Poems from ‘The Blind’

These series, published at A New Ulster #10, Ditch Poetry, and The Southword Journal are from my book The Blind (Oneiros Books, 2013)



it is all ceremony
it is all the cloths
all gathered-in

it is white tailor’s chalk
in a neat triangle
it is the blanket-stitch
before the machine

it is the neighbour woman
with her bone-pick
pulling stitches
one by one
from the curtain lining

the [bone-pick] is ivory coloured
a little larger than a [tooth-pick]
nubbed to cradle under the silks

and lift them up
so she can snip it at the ties


the little knot hidden in back of the material stretched out across her knees is silver
the thread is doubled-to

the material is some floral-stuff on white laid onto a cream skirting
she will rinse it out in cold water later

and hang it on the monday line the blue-blue rope of the monday line
the length of material

is clean / sweaty from her handiwork
she will hang it over the gauze of her nets which are always immaculate

her effort is blind/
she does not need eyes to feel her work her gathering-to of the pleats

‘Sans’ published The Southword Journal


outside the ragged bird tears
dead flies from window nets

and it is not clothed right
– it claws the glass

suspend I

from the mirror architrave
float down silken threads
they are not blackened yet

from the branches they reach down
laden with fruit
out on the limb
birds beat them for desiccated meat

making sweetmeats for desperate bills
a man is clipping the edges with steel
season’s treachery

suspend I

from the mirror architrave
float down silken threads
they are not blackened yet

from the ceiling hooks
float down wisps of
red thread – almost

cobweb light she is
arched back unsure
whether to suspend

burnt orange silks
cover the shutters
there are children in the street

she is nonetheless
quite bound-up
in red ropes

from loop at nape
and length of torso
it is peaceful

being spider-rolled
webbed-in and arched
as if a

bird swoops down
behind the orange silks


suspend I

as if
she were an exotic fruit
a seed caught in breeze

from the mirror architrave
float down silken threads
they are not blackened yet

cobweb light she is
arched back unsure
whether to suspend

in the red threads
that loop at her nape
down the length
of her torso

dividing and opening
her out achingly
if she moves the
threads will tighten

the harpies are perched in the suicide-trees

Hunger, published Ditch Poetry


a hook for an eye
this ribbon for a slip

there’s a pigeon in the pot
and tree makes the room

your foot on the boards
your head in the sky

no mind if your stockings snag
are splinter-caught

the red thread
frayed or snag

walk now on swollen feet
on feet that are bound-in

with red and orange
with stocking threads

these can be mended
these can be made whole again

you wouldn’t even
notice the tear

we are so good
at what we do

neat and tight
no pain no gain

for the ragged flower


gauze dries into the stitched wound
where the tender-care of hands tug
to redress to change to douse stitches
with a brown liquid stuff

it dyes the skin a type of clinical colour
but with so tender a care –

the split wound of vaginal mutilation
is less easy to care for
no gauze can be safe at depth of
and thus submersion-in salt baths

whilst the jagged edges gather to
as mended sails, as canvas-stuff
as linen-stuff

you can tell at a distance that
a woman has a scar that snakes up
by the cast of her foot
the heel-down look

those stitches are insoluble
the birth passage
for the next opening


the feather-hook is a seed spiralling in the breeze,
a false signal

it mocks the mayhem of the caught moth down to
its nub stone

its plane is a shell network of dried skin, veined even
– it has a spine of sorts

it mocks the mayhem of the caught moth down to
its nub stone

Hooks’ published in ANU #10

The Blind is a contemporary poem-tale about The Furies. The themes and symbols of The Blind are entirely interdependent from beginning to end. The Blind is set out as a tale and employs experimental poetic methods throughout, including cut-up, repetition, symbol and internal rhyme. I did not make use of poetic prose, as I felt that it would be a challenge to tell a tale poetically. I am delighted that the book is now available. I have found it easier to employ these methods in conceiving book-length poem-tales since I began working in this manner, and to this end I have initiated another project in a similar vein.

Christine Murray is a City and Guilds Stonecutter. Her chapbook, Three Red Things was published on June 4th 2013 by Smithereens Press, Dublin, Ireland. Her collection, Cycles was published by Lapwing Press (Belfast) in August 2013. THE BLIND is her latest collection.


ISBN 9781291577105

Purchase Link for The Blind
Previews of The Blind at Ditch Poetry

Publications acknowledgements for The Blind

Thanks to David Mitchell , publisher at Oneiros Books and to poetry editor Michael McAloran, who guided me through publishing my second poetry collection, The Blind.

  • Thanks to Amos Gideon Grieg , publisher at A New Ulster Magazine, who previewed some of the poems from The Blind this past summer. The series published at A New Ulster was entitled Hooks, Ceremony and Hunger.
  • Thanks to Ditch Poetry, who featured Suspend I from The Blind in their magazine.
  • Thank you to the editor of Southword Literary Journal (Munster Literature Centre) who will publish poems from The Blind in the Winter 2013 issue of Southword.

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