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Conkers

Yesterday, gliding around the internet, I came across this poem of mine, beautifully presented on Robin Boothroyd's blog The Cold Tap Sings.  I don't know Robin Boothroyd, but it really gave me a great deal of pleasure to find my poem and his comments here:

 

October 4, 2012 BRAHIC: CONKERS

Every year I pick up a conker and place it on my bookshelf, discarding last year’s wizened old nut and replacing it with a shiny new talisman. I can neither remember nor explain why I do this, but it has become a tradition (and a superstition) that I believe will bring me luck. How strange, therefore, that in the week following this autumn’s find I come across a poem by Beverly Bie Brahic about that old chestnut.

***

‘Conkers’

by Beverly Bie Brahic

Good for curing what-ails-you
old wives profess. Chestnuts –
she thinks them found coin

jingling in pockets of leaf mulch
of the old stag hunting grounds,
their Oratoires de la pucelle. Folly’s ruins?

Deer eat them
without harm.
They cure wind in horses.

Serve as weapons for kids.
Placed in corners of rooms
they keep spiders out.

Ripe, their cases split
tumbledown prickly blow-open wedge
gleam of mahogany brown –

like this wife’s best view of her husband
(your classic bent-over backside bedtime view):
the fork in his trunk,

round touchstones
to heat the pan
of your hand, a trail

of crumbs
to the snow-whitish sheets.

***

A super poem brimful of folklore. I particularly like the wordplay in the last line, which suggests both the fairytale Snow White and the title of the volume in which this poem is collected: White Sheets.

White Sheets is published by CB Editions. It’s available for purchase here. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: publishers profit better from direct sales, so why not, on National Poetry Day, pick up a book? Trust me, you’ll love it. If you still need convincing, why not read more Beverly Bie Brahic here.

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This poem is stunning. Thank

This poem is stunning. Thank you for reminding me of the humble conker. m

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Thank You

Thank you, Mary. It is so nice to hear from you and to discover your own blog. The west of Ireland is one of my favorite places in the world--we had the luck to spend part of several summer on a small island off the coast of Burtonport, and also in Connemara.

Beverley