Wake: Up to Poetry
“Helen” by Frank Ormsby from GOAT’S MILK
“Helen” from Frank Ormsby’s new collection GOAT’S MILK brings to life the poetic marriage between the chaos of an ongoing national war and the peace found in an intimate moment.
In the introduction to Ormsby’s collection, poet Michael Longley’s writes: “Frank Ormsby belongs to that extraordinary generation of Northern Irish poets which includes Ciaran Carson, Medbh McGuckian, Paul Muldoon and Tom Paulin. He is a poet of the truest measure.” Ormsby weaves his artistry with the his personal experiences throughout the collection and in this poem below.
(b. 12 August 1994)
The war will soon be over, or so they say.
Five floors below the Friday rush-hour starts.
You’re out and breathing. We smile to hear you cry.
Your long fingers curl around our hearts.
The place knows nothing of you and is home.
Indifferent skies look on while August warms
the middle air. We wrap you in your name.
Peace is the way you settle in our arms.
Frank Ormsby, Goat’s Milk (2015)