At the storm’s edge
always, never knowing if it will discharge
and overwhelm, or if it will relent,
recede as the season drags itself upstairs and round the cot …
At the Storms Edge, Frank McMahon



CHECKING IN

You’ve packed your bags and checked them in,
been processed through security,
bought some scotch at the duty-free,
then sit, a latte in your hand,
waiting for the final call to board.
When.

Your partner, family, friend exclaim:
The flight’s delayed. How long?
Who knows? Then all the screens go blank.
People mill and swirl, bark down mobile phones,
hover for announcements.
You let it all wash round and wait for news.
There will be news, so just sit still.

Sit still. Sounds evaporate, eyes
evade the strident lights. Deeper
you drift as if drowsing on a beach
or by a pool. Some time, who knows when,

you feel the gentle pressure of a hand.
There is no noise, all screens are blank.
All travellers have gone. Save one.
Vaguely, someone’s face.

AT THE STORM’S EDGE

At the storm’s edge
always, never knowing if it will discharge
and overwhelm, or if it will relent,
recede as the season drags itself upstairs and round the cot.
Or the days may reverse to that moment sundered
between joy and shock, the seconds scattered
across the antiseptic floor, silence drowning
the other’s cry.

………….Light aches on the newborn’s face
in the muffled house. A ghost demands
its feed, forever probing at the teat
with blue, waxed lips, growing thin on dreams.
At the storm’s edge there is always a prayer.

The ghost is clothed, in a shoe-box laid,
carried away, an exit to be registered.

© 2020, Frank McMahon

Frank’s poems are shared here with his permission.

FRANK McMAHON is a well-regarded poet in our community, a frequent contributor to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt among other activities. I am awaiting a copy of his collection for review, meanwhile his publisher has announced the launch of Frank’s At the Storm’s Edge, a debut collection.

Frank McMahon’s poems of love and fury revel in a keen sense of the natural world and a stark understanding of humanity’s fragile place in the broad sweep of history. Acutely observed and laced with arresting imagery, his writing is full of “music arcing back to a vanishing world”, in which the personal and the political are wound delicately together and sing out from the page in potent harmony. Never sentimental nor didactic, McMahon is a poet who thinks deeply and respects his readers; a poet who tells the truth but tells it slant.

At the Storm’s Edge is available through Amazon US HERE and Amazon UK HERE.

FRANK McMAHON was born and raised in Birkenhead, Merseyside. After graduating he began his career in Social Work/Welfare as a practitioner and manager, working for three Local Authorities, British Red Cross and ActionforChildren. He also served for nine years as a school governor. His last full-time post was to set up and manage a SureStart Children’s Centre. “There is nothing like working with and for young children. They constantly teach you to look at the world with fresh eyes and be open to new experiences.” Frank is married with two children and six grandchildren. When not writing (plays, a novel, short stories and poems) he enjoys walking, (The Cotswolds are his new playground); his allotment (save for the weeds), golf, chess, travel, music, and counts himself fortunate to have some wonderful friendships. He is a member of Somewhere Else Writers Group in Cirencester, whom he thanks for their patience in reading and critiquing his work. As part of that group, he works with Corinium Radio on programmes and plays. 


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