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TERRY McDONAGH

 

 

Terry McDonaghTerry McDonagh writes for adults and young people. He's taught creative writing at the University of Hamburg and was Drama Director at the International School Hamburg for 15 years. He has held residencies in Europe, Asia and Australia. Publications include eight poetry collections as well as letters and prose poetry. Translation into Indonesian and German. Echolocation 2015 (poetry for young people). Autumn 2016, Lady Cassie Peregrina – Arlen House. His poem, "Out of the Dying Pan into the Pyre", was long-listed for the Poetry Society Poetry Prize  2015.  Included in the forthcoming Gill & McMillan poetry anthology for young people 2016. With dramatist, Joachim Matschoss, he has set up WordPlay – a writing/drama programme.

 

 

 

 

From a Hauptbahnhof Café in Berlin

 

 

 

Here in a Hauptbahnhof café in Berlin, a tall bony man

struggles at being present with Becks und Bismarck Herring.

 

He’s not a drunk, more a like man cut off from fantasy,

waiting for a train to elsewhere or a threadbare nowhere.

 

Did he ever stroke a cat or run away from loyalty?

His dark glasses rest like temple veils covering up.

 

If he’s a dreamer, I must forgive but his mouth

seems lost to lonely hearts research in a single room.

 

Perhaps he’s a dark horse with a mighty Bundestag wife

choking on words that are almost her own and

 

he’s a pale shadow of a ballet dancer retreating

to a pale other world or his wife’s a pilgrim mother

 

in a Berlin flat waiting for pallid widowhood.

She texts her dark daughter—recently made flesh

 

and wearing that grim grin: I've got a lover,

my prince in training for perpetual isolation.

 

Her husband will be on a train to their address.

When one door closes, abstinence takes over.

 

He has credit card bonus points offering tips

on how to save a heart-never-to-die-young.

 

Their daughter is recording the perfect sound

of constant silence—reconciled to hurt well done.

 

All three are absorbed in giving little out but

they cannot blame Berlin for the why and the where.

 

That man over there wearing the widow's face

set me thinking in a Hauptbahnhof café in Berlin.

 

 

 

©2016 Terry McDonagh

 

 

Author Links

 

Terry McDonagh home page

Terry McDonagh at Blaupause Books

 

 

 

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