Question & Answer 2 – Niall Bourke

Question 2

When I am forced to recall my childhood – on Thursdays
amongst the pandas begging for rain [or eating shoots
or something, I forget my own poetry sometime] – I
try to recall a cowbird planting me in that broken
nest. At least brood parasitism would give me an
excuse to start plucking hairs and thrusting them in
front of scientists. I mean, they can’t be mine, right?
How can I fit into this weird, cultish mould? They never
abandoned that hunting ground, just pushed me
from the bark at an early age. I can’t say I flew, maybe
just hit the ground a little harder than expected.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

Someone is chopping up my father.
Bough by bough, limb by limb, knot
by knot, reducing him to kindling.
Someone is chopping up my father.

These days, I often hear some scything
woodsman’s thwacking, his relentless
whacking as his cowl and cape creep near,
and if I could find him I would kill him
but I cannot. So instead I watch my father rot.

I think my father was once a mighty wood.
Hard to see it now, but he must have spread
out a huge canopy of leaves overhead,
filtering the light in just the right amount
until, through his expanse of branches, I climbed out.

Now, he’s been all but hacked right back
by some hour-glass wielding lumberjack.
Maybe there was a mighty forest once. So, yes
I’ll attest, that as this forest I knew him best.

– Niall Bourke