We're delighted to present our Poem Of The Day, presented in association with Poetry Ireland.
Today's poem is 1941 by Fred Johnston - read it below.
It was taken from the balcony, or somewhere in the gods
The row of high-kicking girls a blur of short-skirt white
As if light took its time leaving them, their leggy constellation
Rotating with infinite slowness or, arguably, light's improbable
Speed: you can tell her fourth in from the photo’s right, stage -
Grinning with the rest, a tsunami of wartime rolls washing
Over the painted backdrop of a fat-winged comic airplane
Trapped in blade-sharp paper spotlights dull as smoke
The stage of The Empire Theatre full of ambush and shadows.
He played the Stage Door Johnny, so much he admitted
Together in coats blooming like parachutes in the oily wind
They’d link arms out of the Stage Entrance alley, take their
Time to a scarce taxi, canoodle in the back seat, her make-up
Powdering his double lapels, the streets under black-out rules
The scent of Mandalay opened his lungs like oxygen, he was
Light-headed, unsure; and if not tonight, then tomorrow
They’d come over again, cranky bombers full of fire and light
She’d be lined out in chorus high-step when the bombs fell.
About the Poet: Fred Johnston was born in Belfast in 1951. In 1972, he received a Hennessy Award for prose. He founded Galway’s Cuirt festival in 1986 as a poetry event. A poet, novelist and short story writer, his most recent collection of poems is Rogue States (Salmon.). He also reviews new poetry. He lives in Galway.