How the Land Lies


There is grit in the air,

fragments of torture


via newsfeed, live feeds

daily grit

yesterday and today


we navigate a grit storm

and try to save ourselves


my friend finds pictures

in inconvenient places

stops suddenly

on roads and street corners

Has me wait

While he makes a frame

for this discarded stain,

that broken brick

Grit has become a way of life


Brexit. My friend will have an Irish passport

and I will not

Still I am lucky. I have two passports

one that gets me in to Ireland

to my friends’ foremothers’ endz

where the earth smells good.

and the water never fails

earth water running brown, down hills, under my feet

clear sky water lashing, rinsing me through

lakes and oceans in which I will not swim no matter who says what a fine day it is

and there is grit of course

always grit



my friend makes us the picture

our family walking on sand

baobab trees in the frame

and a fishing boat

and the seven of us

unaware of the lens

with our backs to the sun

and to the grit we hope

our eyes forward

the I and I

wrapped in our beloved Mamaland


You think you might

in the right circumstances

with a favourable current, a tailwind,


outrun this gritty system

except Babylon is a photo bomb

a where’s Wally on a page

always somewhere in the frame

we the navigators

seeing how the land lies

its sunsets, shadows, deadly edges

we take up tools

dig for the maps drawn under our skin




















Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s