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Poetry By
  Clare Kirwan

Published on: 4/3/2009
The Airport Run

Four a.m. and night is greasing the streets.
The breath of all the sleeping people hangs
over town and I find myself waiting on red
at the deserted crossroads for nobody.
The moon is tangled in a net of clouds.

I will go back to bed, and you will sleep
on the plane. I will wake up to the familiar;
the heating coming on, creaking and stretching
like you when prodded awake; muttering and grumbling
like you at the petty autocracy of a clock.
I will hear life in its arteries, the audible
thump of its heart, feel how the wood
under my bare feet has the warmth of skin.

Published on: 10/22/2008
Solar Campus

It faced the south, looked out to open fields
of land and sky, gathered the idle sun
with glassy eyes that followed its trajectory.
The temperature set the curriculum
and pupils basked in rows like hothouse flowers,
thoughts oven-fresh, and scented with their rising.
How dazzling we were: swift, incisive, fired
with enthusiasm; hard work blistering
the pages; each illumination
a pinprick of radiance burning like new stars
in the firmament. We were inspired.
Solar flares were hot in '76 -
the stored-up energy of sultry June
radiated through wet holidays;
damp games inside on rainy afternoons
with dizzy brain cells swimming in their spheres.

When autumn came, our hopes and aspirations
feinted and faded along with September's
new books and uniforms. All the heart
spidering out of our calligraphy,
sleeping in history, washed out of art,
leaking away into wasted experiments,
lost in the winter's new geography.
Hands froze above the page, and all we knew
as, clouding over, we ran down like toys,
was freeze-framed at the back of every skull
and we became surly automatons.
The first snow packed our heads like cotton wool,
we lined up shivering in navy blue,
hibernating, waiting for the sun.

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