Roderick Ford – 1 poem

Ordinary Magic

Thought no one knew this path
but deer, rabbits and me

so seldom here
this blackberry tangle of woods
untenanted hills, so many hills
the distance
crammed with streams, high
bird conversations and shy things
but I was wrong. There’s
a baby
on the path, soiled
cloth pinned on haunches
stiff and hard in the cold sun
puckered lips where eyes once were
the shock of it like a bursting
bubble, skin gone
in islands from the skull, bent
mouth in mid-cry, you could
stare forever, it wouldn’t close, might
hum to itself like a sly
thing—fly mad with terror
down the sunny path
something chasing me, no
just that baby
in this empty land.

away for months
then snuck back to look. Some years
I’ve come again and again.
Not much left now, just
a low shape
with grass grown through.
Soon very little
will remain
only grass that bows in moonlight
to nothing at all.

Roderick Ford was winner of the 2004 Listowel Poetry Collection prize and the 2005 Listowel Single Poem prize, was shortlisted for the 2006 Strokestown English language prize and won the Francis Ledwidge Award in 2007. His first collection, The Shoreline of Falling (Bradshaw Books 2005), was shortlisted for a Glen Dimplex First Book Award.  He had commended poems in both the National Poetry Competition (UK) and the Forward Prize single poem competition in 2006, a shortlisting and commendation for the Keats-Shelley Prize in 2008, and a shortlisting for the Bridport Prize in 2009. His second collection The Green Crown was published by Bradshaw Books in 2010. Recent anthology inclusions in Being Human, published by Bloodaxe Books, and Poems of the Decade, published by Forward/Faber & Faber, both 2011. More details here


About gobbet

gobbet is a literary magazine dedicated to publishing the very best experimental poetry and prose. Intellectual perversity and explorations of dark themes are positively encouraged. We are only interested in work that is progressively experimental. We want to see risks, and we want to see them pay. No previously published work. Prose should not be longer than 1000 words. There are always exceptions. Send 3-5 poems. Include a short bio. Send submissions to Work will be published every 5-10 days. We also intend to publish anthologies of selected work published in gobbet. We will do our best to reply promptly. Most submissions will receive a decision within a month.
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