Image by Nathaniel Stewart

After Heartease New England

Velma Pollard


After Heartease New England

Velma Pollard


Poem introduction

After Heartease New England, for Lorna, that’s Lorna Goodison.

After Heartease New England

After Heartease New England

It’s not no bird
trapped underneath no bridge
it is a soul bird
wheeling towards a springe

Lord teach wings how
in the stark silence of these evenings
in the fine chiselled rock spaces
to fold and nest

‘use me oh Lord
use even me…’

for I have heard
so faintly given
the soft/loud cry
for small/large ease

the blue note given
the bird
with swollen throat
receives and gives
the perfect yellow note


"After Heartease New England", from And Caret Bay Again: New & Selected Poems (Peepal Tree Press, 2012), first published in Crown Point and Other Poems (Peepal Tree Press, 1988) (Alt+0169) Velma Pollard 1998, used by permission of the author and the publisher.