Poetry competition Third Prize: Joan Lennon – “Itis and Labyrinth”

18 Jul 2019 / News

Notebook on a table during an Arvon course

Itis and the Labyrinth

(Labyrinthitis: a self-limiting disorder of the inner ear)

Hitchcock angles start the pinwheel.

My room strobes past

like fast train windows on a loop.

 

Your intricate architecture

is haunted by hiss and murmur

around the curve

of semi-circular canals and otoliths,

cavities hollowed out,

lodged in the temporal bone, time out of mind.

 

So much of me is blobs of meat

but you are delicate as bird bones,

alien as sea-shells.

 

A labyrinth’s call is to be mysterious,

consumed by its own convolutions.

Mine is to cling to walls and wait.

 

 

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