Monday, June 28, 2010

The Poetry Bus

I missed Totalfeckineejit’s bus last week, expertly driven by Poetikat, but am determined to catch it this week. Don't Feed the Pixies is the current driver, and one of the prompts posted by DFTP’s was to pick a sign, follow it to its destination, and write a poem about it.

For anyone who doesn’t have Irish, Béal Bán means white mouth, and is the name of the local strand.

Béal Bán

At the end of the road
there is a mouth -
a great white mouth –
that stretches the length
of the parish, cheek to cheek.

This morning it was hungry.

With a great white smile
it swallowed three fence posts
a section of sandy path,
and a nice chunk
of Noely Malone’s field.

It eats most things, apart from seaweed.

But there are some things
it treats with respect,
like the eggs planted firmly
in its shingled gums
by a small ringed bird that hovers, returns
to its nest, glowing with pale blue life.


  1. Hiya!
    thanks for popping by my mad late teaparty...did you have a cuppa steampunk? good.
    I like your poetry- it's fresh & unpretentious.
    I like to read poetry but not that much drawn to 'untangle' it - I like it to communicate . Like yours :)


  2. Now this is a mouth I'd like to get to know.
    I really enjoyed this piece
    It has for me a tidal feel (maybe that's just me) But the one line stanza followed by the longer stanza gave the feeling of the surge of water in and the pull of the tide out.
    I like the last two stanzas especially

  3. Yes, I found this very immediate and lovely - great name for a beach isn't it?

  4. I like the idea of the smile!

  5. I can't stress too strongly how much I liked this poem. I didn't analyse it too much, I just enjoyed the whole concept of it. I guess it took me by storm.

  6. gREAT POEM. And the trade mark punchline but this one more of a caress. Lovely.

  7. Thanks a million for all the comments

    Gwei Mui, I like how you found a connection between the single lines and the tides - t'wasn't intentional, have to admit. . .

    And yes Niamh, it is a brilliant name for a beach, isn't it? That's what I love about Irish place names - there's so much stuff hidden in them.

    Thanks Rachel - And Dave King, thanks for visiting and leaving such a great comment!

    TFE, ta very much!

  8. Ah Noely Malone! Great piece of local geography and you hold the metaphor brilliantly right to the end.

  9. a slightly spooky one here - and then i thought about urban expansion and wondered if you could apply that as the mouth that is eating up the countryside?

    Excellent poem

  10. Some mouths are safe havens for youngsters... Guess this one is too. I loved this image of gentleness amongst possible destruction.

  11. I loved 'pale blue life' - the whole mouth idea really worked well for me. I could really see it.

  12. I really like this! Those last lines are lovely.

  13. Oh, I love the fluidity and imagery all the way through this poem, PF!

  14. Thanks a million for your comments guys - off traveling the last two days, so sorry for being so late in replying.

    Peter, thanks - yes, all geography is local round these parts - that's one of the nice things about living here, for me anyways.

    Jinksy, thanks for visiting. I love that idea of mouths being safe havens for youngsters - hadn't thought about that aspect of it before.

    Argent, thank you! Maybe some day I'll manage to post a picture of the beach itself. . . some day . . . .

    Karen, thanks for that.
    And Domestic, Nice to see you on the Poetry Bus again!

    And thank you Jeanne Iris. I'm still trying to get over the fact that you live in a place where bears may be roaming near people's back yards. Birds nests suddenly seem a little . . . tame