In the niche above the stairs: The poetry of Dave Kavanagh

By Dave Kavanagh


Attic Conversion

This is what shaped us,
the imprint of old- grey floorboards, chilling toes.
The dancing shimmer of heavy dust motes- through nail-holes,
searchlights of the morning, planetaria of twilit evenings.

Geometry unfolded- in the crevices-
between uneven cork board.
We absorbed the wisdom of water through the rusted edges of a header-tank,
that belched through asbestos lagged pipes.

Learned the decimal possibility of eleven,- on narrow uneven- stairs,
that drop abruptly,- lengthened spines prematurely.
Down to cold black flecked slabs and soot stained range,
Speckled,- as the breast of the Maran hen, -pecking gravel in the yard.



Where you are

Dust and fibre, settle- among the debris- in the niche above the stairs.
A faded print of Martin de Porres.
A small broken travel clock – locked with a gilded clasp.
I stop halfway down the narrow steps,-  listening.

The thrum of boat and aeroplanes,
locked inside your tartan suitcase.
It carried you away on maps charted, by cardboard airline labels,
faded grey, as the men of 1960s San Marino.

If I could reach the alcove on tippy-toes,
would blind finger-tips
read -words tumbling from your lips.
Would I hear the roar and chatter of the stadia and streets,
the bull-fights and the wine tasting, the towers and bridges of Copenhagen.
Or would I just touch the soft grey felt- of dust.

Dave Kavanagh lives and writes in a small fishing village in North County Dublin. His work includes poetry, prose & short fiction. Dave has had work published in numerous Ezines and his poetry has recently been included in ‘Indelible Poets’ & ’Poetry Soup’ (International Poetry Foundation).

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