Jim Ward

Jim Ward has previously been published for poetry in English and Irish, for one short story in Irish and for ‘Smoke’ his story published in The Blue Nib. His play Just Guff won ‘Best in the West’ award at Galway Fringe Festival, 2017 and has toured locally including Town Hall Studio, Galway, Kilkee Playwright Festival and Liberty Hall, Dublin as part of MayFest 2019. His poem 2016 Proclamation was runner-up in the Galway Bay FM/Thoor Ballylee Yeats Poetry Challenge,2017. His memoir piece Begging from Beggars will appear in The 32 in 2021. He has just finished a first novel. 
His artwork has appeared in various outlets including Ropes and Dodging the Rain literary publications, gracing the walls of the famous Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop in Galway city, Ireland and the Irish language National Theatre in Galway.

MALE  STRIPPER

I have women;
I dance and they cheer. They wolfwhistle, I perform.
I flick my calvins down, then up, for a tease, a preview,
before the night depraves or hots up – depends on your view of us.
From the corner of my eye I spot her; enjoying me.
 She’s cute.
She whistles me over and stuffs a 20 into my thong.
Then pats it tight, above my crotch...and laughs.
Like I say...before the night hots up...
She’s cute.
She’s got a wedding band on her finger. Like all the rest.
I have all women, and none.

CARRYING A POTATO

i.m. James Joyce
 
As a sensualist your love for women and forbidden fruit
Turned you against your Church.
Always a lotus-eater though, its rituals still held you – like the Roman candle you describe.
Eating blackberry jam at Easter a reminder of the crown its thorns once made.
 
With teenage visits up Mecklenburgh Street to satiate the attraction
(and your mother dying young couldn’t have helped),
God and Rome couldn’t convince you to stay with them,
Though Nora did.
 
The daily afflictions that followed you; a doctor’s casebook.
Now, reading between the lines -
Was Lucia inspired, not mad, when she told you she had it? Congenital?
And is it that and not Rudy’s death, why Bloom never troubles Molly anymore?

TRYING TO TAME A MUSTANG

Untamed and riderless he covers the range.
A trail blazer free, maverick of his age.
In leather boots, thigh high, a rider - no mount.
She dresses the part – chaps reveal hungry gaps, enough to distract.
Her lariat catches his sinewy neck thrusting out,
glistening with pearl drops of saltiest sweat.
Mounted at last, her shanks grip tight waist,
he snorts all the while, exhaling hot breath.
A breaking match, contest of wills,
bronco bucking in hot heat, the mount feral, rider shows skill.
It ends with a jerk –  he’s gone – breaks loose when he pleases,
comes and goes forever. Does it with an ease.
-          Life’s rodeo’s too short for just the one rider.

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