Mairtn Crawford's Selected Poems - Lagan Press
Enjoy three poems from the much loved poet who died in January 2004
Mairtín Crawford’s contribution to the creative and cultural life of Belfast was considerable. He was director of the Between the Lines literary festival, former editor of Fortnight magazine, founder member as well as editor of The Big Spoon, and a well known participant in many creative writing groups.
Crawford died unexpectedly in January 2004. His Collected Poems, edited and introduced by Naomi Foyle, are being published by Lagan Press.
Three examples of his work follow, reproduced with many thanks to Florence Crawford and Naomi Foyle.
Under The Bridge
This is not the end - not nearly.
Remember, when you have your
story ready, tell them about the
Hudson, the grey water that turns
to light, the illicit naked waves,
the fairytale floating beyond.
The small details on the edge
and at the bottom of the bridge.
By looking down you create
a difference, the day’s remnants
making their own importance:
The half-eaten souvlaki
squashed under the wheels of
a taxi, the stare of a hungry
bum, the spacemen in the village
and the image of your cigarette
lighter hanging on the precipice
of this girl’s bed like a skyscraper.
We are always taking leave of each other.
There is somewhere else to go, another
friend to see, a bus to catch. It’s a way
of unlearning love, to forget that the day
has just happened, running away from
something we can’t control, the sum
total of despair written on our faces
the guilt that sends us to other places.
What do we leave behind then? A stain
on the sheets? More likely it is the pain
of knowing you are gone, the emptiness
of attics hung with nothing, the less
easy denial of loss that looms,
the silences of newly painted rooms.
What are we looking for all these years?
It can’t be far from us though seasons change
Light’s sensuous quality and our perceptions
altered irrevocably. Like Autumn sunlight
It’s colder glance reminds us that there’s
More to life than summers of indolent repose.
What we have we cannot help but lose.
None of it can go on forever.
But behind Winter there’s always Spring.
You can’t go on in silence imagining
The pure idea of silence. Look out
Your window. The trees are waving in
Unison because the dead are returning
To us, reborn, in new, perfect forms.