Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Poems by Carol Boland

Last tango in Venice


An Argentine mist rises

over Piazza San Marco

braces a drawing room

lined with arcane arches

and stirring tandas.

A dancer strides under

the moon lamps

leads a blushing man,

spreading into autumn,

out from a grand café.

This raven-haired willow

in short, red skirt

keeps him close

walks a rhythmic pulse,

ankles and knees brushing

as one leg passes the other,

toe of her stiletto

drawing patterns on the tiles.

Eyes almost touching lips

she tugs and pushes

turns and dips, hesitates

elongates in slow measured moves

keeps him close, 


like a visual heart-to-heartbeat

a living act smouldering

in his moment.


In failing days

he would ask his ashen-faced visitors

Have you ever danced the tango in Venice?




The night I landed in Kilanerin

tangled in oak and willow

I heard the screech of a banshee.


Raddled soul of death

she pierced the air

in her grey hooded cloak

or maybe the shift of the unshriven dead -

though I did not witness her.


Prophetic screams disturbed

my moon that night

loosened the dust from its fringe

to fall upon the wings

of an unsuspecting barn owl

hunting the dusk

for his snoring brood’s tea


scaring the bejeyus out of me.




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