Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Geraldine Monk

The Unutterable Chair  


Before everybody cried about  
everything ...
nobody cried about 

Illicit heaves 
escalated up-gut to eardrums 
beating a retreat 
forging composures clamping 
brow to chin.

Letting it all out 
was not an opt or
twist of card

Voluptuous with disobedience 
a beauty fluted torrential tears  
outstripping arid stratospheres   
with breathlessness the
organ struck up a chord. 

Prophetic reconnaissance
climaxed her anticipation.

Maying blossoms did we bring  
swanning aisles with preen of clean 
knickers next to godly stiff of starch.

Filing past she lets 
inconsolable sopping-
wet her cotton hanky 
rosary queen  
white ‘nd 
red ‘nd

A rare bird on a dull 
day her speckled tears pearled
our austere post-war world 
our guarded schoolgirl hearts 
supping her 
sweet lips 
so naked 
so raw... 

    ...she had 
to go...


Orpheus-sad her young
husband strummed his 
doorstep grief after mass 
we – my mother and me –
tried to pass by the house 
with shut curtains
his falsetto throat 
caught fast our faltering.

Come.  Please.  Come! 

With no way back we 
followed his beckoning 
entranced our 
hostage state.


Our hanging-back eyes  
roundly lassoed  
pulled between deep
rutted glyphs and last gasp
scrawls. The heavy leather arms 
snarled with spectres of 
ruptured nails
scoring her final

...would you like a cup of tea? 


He vanished for an unquiet age 
to the bereaved and hostile kitchen. 

We -  mother and me  - 
sat in polite company-mode
knees together 
faces on hold 
eyeballs transfixed on
the arms of the 

Incremental rifts 
grew audible her
asthmatic clutch 
earth air 
her earth 
hurt air her 
face disappearing 
into an
all consuming



On catching whooping 
cough it snowed heavily for days 
burying scraps of infant-headed putti 
deep in a biscuit tin...
they emerged some time later 
acting oddly a new breed of
cherubim with festers of
eyes plaguing their hands
their bodies their wings. 

A sprouting of guttural 
panic tropes 

The undying tedium of illness.

To prevent starvation
I’m fed pabulums of white 
bread after every 
whoop and puke a medicinal 
slice of Mother’s Pride. 

More than anything I want nothing.

In the biscuit tin my cherubim grow 
extra heads on their four disturbed faces
brash and doughty. A spate of soothsay at 
high noon. Noon? Time warped sentence. 
Heavy weather. Disinfectant.

More white stuff arrives 
attempting to reverse my emaciated
state. On top of this I’m
stifled to hell against the 
curative fire. Sweated to begs
going a bit crazy from 
remedies I flee to the 
outside lavatory. Through a 
newly dug tunnel I suck up
the arctic cool.  
Untrapped time.
Unbreaded snow.                                                                                                                                 

Geraldine Monk is a thwarted stargazer living in the light polluted city of Sheffield. She is a keen swimmer but is constantly amazed by the substance called water which puzzles and troubles her. When not swimming and stargazing she loves to visit old English churches and ancient pagan ruins. 

No comments:

Post a Comment