Walk among the Leaves

And like him then, you hear that Kev! times four,
scraped baritone in off-stage hubbub from the field’s
over-forties football. Horse chestnut leaves
minister your feet, like it was before

for him, though as the world narrows, brown and sere,
between glimpses of evening’s liquid amber, drips
and sprays of gold through trees and terraces,
did he feel this carpeting, or fly clear

toe-paced, in heart jolts, crunch and scatter,
music that is all of him and some fresh quest,
the blood heaves of joys repeated then quenched
in new obliviousness? But you remember

that he’s grubbing down to grab some leaf mush
and now you see him see, and no one else, you,
recidivism’s thrall, a Duke Bluebeard who
wallows anew, and if it didn’t seem foolish

you would stoop like he’s stooped soon, maybe ten,
thirty or forty years from now, both knees
bending down into the crisp and giving ease,
and these hands are spread through the leaves again.

As well as in Eunoia Review, Paul Connolly’s poems have appeared in Agenda, The Warwick Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Reader, Scintilla, The Dawntreader, takahē (New Zealand), Dream Catcher, Orbis, The Journal, FourXFour, The Seventh Quarry, Sarasvati, Envoi, Obsessed with Pipework, Southlight, Foxtrot Uniform, Guttural, The High Window, Nine Muses Poetry, Canada Quarterly, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Northampton Poetry Review, London Grip, and The Cannon’s Mouth, and will soon be published in Stand Magazine and Chiron Review (USA). Shortlisted for the Bridport and Charles Causley Prizes, he was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly and third in the Magna Carta Poetry Competitions.

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