Poetry Drawer: The swimming pool: One shouldn’t fit: The overly personal poems: Fear of losing: The train goes thwacking by DS Maolalai

The swimming pool

I aim a spray
of bleach. the bathroom
smells strongly
of swimming pools.

expecting visitors,
I touch my mask,
and scrub the toilet
spotless.

an attendant,
tired and early
morning, long
on a hot
summer’s day.

One shouldn’t fit

on a bus, and seeing
the mind inside each
of these people.
a lady who smells.
a man with a book.
a kid looking somewhat
uncomfortable. the cone
of thought backward,
expanding all colours
and size – infinite large
in shape and not knowing
collision. thought in there.
there’s so much person
in everyone’s head
that one shouldn’t fit
on a bus. like going to a tent
in wexford, in growing season.
seeing how sunlight
makes strawberries.

The overly personal poems

flying our interest
like flags at a football match.

animals hidden
amongst other animals;

robins
in gardens
fighting christmas
decorations.

camouflage –
the rage
and futility
of display.

Fear of losing

what you’ve managed to get.
or reducing your income.
or only maintaining it.

fear that the job
will be different
next year. fear
that it won’t be.

that my girl-
friend won’t marry me.
that she will.
that she will

sometimes.
all these thoughts driving
nails in the soles
of my feet. I sit at a table

outside a cafe
eating a fried breakfast
sandwich. traffic honks,

snarls and sends smoke
through my mouth
and they finger my collar.

it’s saturday. the weekend
a scramble. the weekdays
some eggshell which got
in the pan. a truck

could be sideswiped, could come
off the road.

I wouldn’t get out

of the way.

The train goes thwacking

grown tired of my novel,
I stretch,
scratch my legs.
everyone here is sat down;
sleeping or freezing
in snowdrifts
of quiet conversation.

it’s late. outside
the train goes
thwacking
like a galloping animal
over countryside.

in here
we’re all sealed in.

it’s very quiet.
steel
tore the ground like a tight pair of shoes
and left it red
and wounded
and we run across it
together
in silence
ignoring each other.

DS Maolalai is a graduate of English Literature from Trinity College in Dublin and recently returned there after four years abroad in the UK and Canada. He has been writing poetry and short fiction for the past five or six years with some success. His writing has appeared in 4’33’, Strange Bounce and Bong is Bard, Down in the Dirt Magazine, Out of Ours, The Eunoia Review, Kerouac’s Dog, More Said Than Done, Star Tips, Myths Magazine, Ariadne’s Thread, The Belleville Park Pages, Killing the Angel and Unrorean Broadsheet, and has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His work is published in two collections; Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden ((Encircle Press, 2016)) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019).

You can find more of DS’s work here on Ink Pantry.

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