The Pomegranates of Kandahar

The Pomegranates of Kandahar

The bald heft of ordnance
A landmine
shrapnel cool in its shell

Red balls
pinioned in pyramids
rough deal tables stacked to the sky

A mirrored shawl
splits
and dozens tumble down -

careering through the marketplace
joyful fruit
caught by the shouts of barefoot children

Assembled, they are jewels -
jewels
of garnet, jewels of ruby

A promise deep as the deep red of poppies
of rouged lips (concealed)
Proud hearts

built of rubble
Come, let us light candles in the dust
and prise them apart -

thrust your knife through the globe
then twist
till the soft flesh cleaves open

to these small shards of sweetness
Tease each jellied cell
from its white fur of membrane

till a city explodes in your mouth
Harvest of goodness,
harvest of blood


'The Pomegranates of Kandahar' from The Pomegranates of Kandahar (Chatto & Windus, 2007), © Sarah Maguire 2007, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Recordings

Sarah Maguire

Sarah Maguire Reading from Her Poems

1Vigil

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2Almost the Equinox

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3Cow Parsley, Bluebells

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4The Grass Church at Dilston Grove

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5The Fracture Clinic

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6The Invisible Mender

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7My Father's Piano

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8The Hearing Cure

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9Tidemarks

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10Traveling Northward

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11May Day, 1986

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12Wolves Are Massing on the Steppes of Kazakhstan

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13From Dublin to Ramallah

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14Zaata

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15The Pomegranates of Kandahar

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16The Florist's at Midnight

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17The Mist Bench

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18Year-Round Chrysanthemums

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19My Grafting Knife

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20The Tree Bank at Ten

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21Cotton Boll

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22Europe

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23Mahbouba Zaidi’s Hands

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24Hibiscus

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25Damascene

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26Cloves and Oranges

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27Jasmine in Yemen

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28Rosemary

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29The Jardin des Plantes

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30Proof

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31Psoriasis

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32Dust

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33Spilt Milk

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