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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
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Songs of Earth and Light

Songs of Earth and Light
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PATRICK MADDOCK

 

 

Patrick Maddock

Patrick Maddock is a former Hennessy Poetry Winner whose poems have appeared in various magazines in England and Ireland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New Court

 

The lines are exact and completely unscuffed.

The angles look pure. Sheathed in green,

the cage-work fencing holds the vertical point.

 

Beyond: that frieze of mountains,

to which the spectator’s lens can adjust.

 

Vacant, the umpire’s high chair

supervises the quiet.

 

Laces are being tied inside.

 

A whiff of shoe white – sharp and bright –

slips through an unseen open window

from a few decades back…

 

The parts combine to measure up.

 

Only the players, officials, need to arrive

while the impetus is fresh and the day

brims with an early summer’s scent.

 

Here, in the cut-away site that centres

the banked earthhere, or in a place like here,

someone wins the toss and gets to serve first

 

someone with the power to connect

over the immediate harvest of the footed earth

 

who quickly gauges the bounce of the ball

across the hard court – strikes back and forth –

and extends right through to the closing shot

 

past the ultimate lateral move

of the onlooker’s head.

 

                                      Game, set and match.

 

Was that a distant burst of applause

or a high-speed train through the region’s cleft?

 

 

 

©2010 Patrick Maddock

 

 

Author Links

 

'Dazzle': A Maddock poem in Southword 18

 

 

 

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Southword 6 Southword No 7 Southword No 8 Southword No 9 Southword No 10 Southword 11 southword 12 Southword No 14 Southword No 15