Image by Crispin Hughes

The Pomegranates of Kandahar

Sarah Maguire


The Pomegranates of Kandahar

Sarah Maguire


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 Reading from Her Poems

1Vigil

2Almost the Equinox

3Cow Parsley, Bluebells

4The Grass Church at Dilston Grove

5The Fracture Clinic

6The Invisible Mender

7My Father's Piano

8The Hearing Cure

9Tidemarks

10Traveling Northward

11May Day, 1986

12Wolves Are Massing on the Steppes of Kazakhstan

13From Dublin to Ramallah

14Zaata

15The Pomegranates of Kandahar

16The Florist's at Midnight

17The Mist Bench 18Year-Round Chrysanthemums

19My Grafting Knife

20The Tree Bank at Ten

21Cotton Boll

22Europe

23Mahbouba Zaidi’s Hands

24Hibiscus

25Damascene

26Cloves and Oranges

27Jasmine in Yemen 28Rosemary

29The Jardin des Plantes

30Proof

31Psoriasis

32Dust

33Spilt Milk