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JO BURNS

 

 

 

Born in County Derry, Northern Ireland in 1976, Jo Burns studied biomedical science before working in the pharmaceutical branch. She now lives in Germany.  Jo is fluent in German and Spanish and dabbles in poetry translation, when not writing her own.  Jo's poetry has been widely published, for example in Ink Sweat and Tears, Poethead, The Honest Ulsterman, The Literateur, The Interpreter's House and is forthcoming in Crannog and The High Window. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Jo is one of Eyewear Publishing's Best British and Irish Poets 2017. She was shortlisted for the 2017 Robert Monteith Competition and the Mairtin Crawford Award. Her debut pamphlet Hummingbird will be published in Autumn 2017 by Eyewear Publishing.

 

 

 

Concepción

 

 

 

i

 

On a rolling boat, in the Golfo de Penas

with trekkers, writers and conservationists,

I learn the wing-span of the Juan Fernandez petrel

 

and capebound, follow him underwing (but nauseous)

to stock, before Antarctica, at Punta Arenas.

A small white wand bought from the Farmacia

 

magics a new and unexpected glacial field.

While we were seasick and bored in our cabin,

those minutes froze into the lifetime of our first child

 

ii

     After Pablo Neruda

 

The night races into millennia

as Hyades and Alpha Centauri  

take the hammer from the beaten day.

 

The night hangs as a backdrop to Orion

taking lightyears to retreat under sleep.

Drops of milky chloroform

 

peel from the starry mask, anaesthetising,

suffocating my mental riots

streaming into vacuums of everything.

 

I lie, this night, pregnant, propped to dream,

searching for some tool, to pull this news

through needle eye, to sew,

 

to stitch the world down to what I know.

The night is a bar over the anvil of fear.

The barthe mother I hope I will be.

 

It’s night. I cannot fight it all.

It’s rule and occupy, without intent

but when I look up, it all makes sense.

 

And I, drunk with this great starry void,

feel myself a pure part of this abyss,

I wheel with the stars and my heart breaks loose

 

 

©2017 Jo Burns

 

 

Author Links

 

Poetry in Literateur

Poetry at Poethead

Poetry in The Honest Ulsterman

 

 

 

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