Poems from “Venus in Pink Marble” by Gaynor Kane


Window weather

The Icelanders have a word that means just that.
A murky day that you know is better
enjoyed from the comfort of a window seat;
soft mizzle cleansing leaves shiny and bright.

When webs become crystal dreamcatchers,
or perfect drops form on the telephone lines
and slide slowly down like the oil
on the wire of the indoor rain lamp,

with Venus in pink marble,
her flowing robe revealing perfect curves
against the plastic plants.
Outside the blackbird puffs himself,

feathers rippling. He dances on the lawn.
Drizzle doesn’t bring the worms up
but his fancy seven step has the desired effect
and he pecks and pecks and pecks;

like the drinking woodpecker did, long ago,
on the dentist’s counter, see-sawing,
a globe of red liquid dancing, as I looked
passed it and through the window,

longing to be outside in the rain.



Spring Bank Holiday

We travelled far from city noise
to wide skies, woods, wetland
and a lapping lough-shore.
Lego birds had been the bribe.

Leaving Minecraft in the boot
we time-travelled, from plastic blocks
to the kiln, where men had fired
clay bricks. Further back, in the
Crannog’s rustic roundhouse,
we stroked hand-daubed clay walls.

Posed for pictures with brick birds
but spent more time feeding the living,
adding new naming words, researching
migration paths, becoming birders.
Pinched your mouth on finding
a yolk-stained shell outside the coop.

Drifting off homeward bound
with Shovelers, Shelducks, Redshanks
flying around your head,
Best day out, EVER, you said.

Until the next one…




These Strangford wetlands and fields,
inlets, islets and islands,
one for each day of the year,
are your haven; curlew’s perfect landscape
of mottled wheat and barley
camouflage, speckled pointed eggs.

Quaver call carried on the breeze
floats through open sash
as I drift off to dreamland.
Ash thin, plane-grey legs
vapour-trailing a cloudless sky
over a moonlit low-tide lough,

transforming into my daughter.
Feathers curl into auburn hair,
down-curved beak becomes a bow
poised to shoot fox mid-flight.
Quiver strapped breast.
She soars towards Scrabo Tower.

Dreamchild returns to loughshore.
Wades at water’s edge, where
along Monaghan bank, I’m walking
with a thatched batch of uni stats.
She does not speak, roots under rocks
shyly searching for shellfish.

Six Curlews arrive to join her.
She shrinks, cane legs and crescent
beak reform, feathers return
as she outstretches both wings.
Seven whistlers take flight.
Please – please come home.

Window weather and other poems © Gaynor Kane

Gaynor Kane lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She came to writing late in life, after finishing her Open University BA(Hons) degree with a creative writing module in 2015. Mainly a writer of poetry, she has had work published in journals and anthologies in the UK, Ireland, and America. In 2018, Hedgehog Poetry Press launched their Stickleback series with her micro-collection Circling the Sun, which is about some of the early women pilots. Gaynor has just released her chapbook Memory Forest, also from Hedgehog Press. That is a thematically tight collection about burial rituals and last wishes. She is currently putting the finishing touches to her debut full collection, after receiving an Arts Council NI grant in 2019, which allowed her writing time and mentoring and editing services.Gaynor is a member of Holywood Writers’ Group, The Irish Writers Centre, and Women Aloud NI. She also volunteers for EastSide Arts during their summer festival and the CS Lewis Festival in November. Gaynor is a keen amateur photographer and has had some of her photography published in journals and anthologies.

Her website is www.gaynorkane.com.
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