Gordon Ferris

Gordon Ferris was born in  Dublin. In the early eighties, he moved to Donegal where he has lived ever since. He started writing in 2014 and has had many short stories and poems in many publications.  He has also won prizes in the summer 2020 HITA Creative Writing Competition for his poem ‘Mother’, and won the winter competition for his poem ‘The Silence’. Poetry Ireland awarded Gordon a Poetry Town Bursary in 2021.

Journey.

1 Night rush.

From the rear of an ambulance,
white lines rush by

left and right
Illuminated crucifixes
flash by and show themselves

she rises from her slumber
looks at me and asks,
are you ok?
lowers her head,
smiles
closing her eyes again.

 2. Morning.

Curtains float on billowing air
the sun rises to start this new day
seagulls signalling there begging way.

I watch you sleep
and touch your hair

you won't show fear
you spare others being hurt

you ask after the dog
you disguise your pain

You let your eyes follow the voice
you must plan every step

You accept the damage is done
 
In the voice of a father 
in a hotel room alone 
after leaving his daughter 
in hospital for surgery 
during lockdown 
with all that entails.   
  
The Threshold  
 
Watching specks of dust 
Reaching for the light 
  
I see my precious one 
cannot even say good night. 
  
I recall her first 
waddling steps 
  
her race across 
the sun hardened garden 
  
I now witness her 
cross the threshold 
to the place where 
demons go 
  
Five times we guided her 
Five times we took her home 
  
This time there is a curse 
  
Which has her enter alone 
Without the forehead kiss 
And lie 
alone 
  
Can I send you something 
thinner than thoughts? 
  
taking away your pain and fear 
and replant them into me. 
  
Are you resting now 
your eyes closed 
dreams crossing 
the astral plane 
to be watched over by loved ones 
and dry their fallen tears? 
 
  
( In the daughter’s voice after her ordeal.)  
 
Into darkness  
  
 
I take the last steps 
as carefully as the first steps 
each step thought about 
 
I rise with the desire 
as it's developed 
from rest and thought 
 
sometimes, desire abandons me 
I don't want to rise 
just to lay here 
 
listen to books 
as my eyes 
won't let me see the words 
 
the sounds on the street 
I don't know how near 
or far the cars are 
 
they sound right beside me 
are they going to hit me 
the depth of my footfall 
 
how high or low the path 
am I walking into a hole 
is this sound 
 
that of the flowing river 
underfoot on the bridge 
will I walk into its water? 
 
 
 (Daughters voice again) 
sometimes our dreams come true / but not as we imagined 
  
we had huge plans
a life together
planned to move away to his country
leave behind all I loved
to be with him
he had visited in summer
after I had been ill
he acted as if, all was normal

he then returned home saying
how he treasured the idea
of our future together
then nothing
no word
I messaged
I phoned

no reply
no explanation as to why
I inquired often
fretted long,
was he hurt
unable to respond
maybe laid up in bed

Can he not be bothered to
even answer the phone
reply to my messages
nothing only silence,
ringing,
messaging
all received
but no reply

word did come
that this was not so
that he had moved on
unfriended me
just discarded me

after much anger
pain and self-blame
I realise there’s no point in this torture
count my blessings
be glad my illness
didn't happen in America.
 

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