Gaynor Kane

Nella Rose

She’s looking ahead, down Market Street,
and all she sees are walking palms in a dessert 
and what she wants 
is to be a resurrection plant, 
always thirsty, primitive, 
desiccated, but still alive. 

All these flowers 
that dissolve in the rain— 
around every corner is a threat:
of lust, of love, of hate. 
She wishes for a mate;
someone made of clouds.

At the top of Mount Temptation, 
she would kiss his misty lips, 
hydrate herself with just one long hug, 
unfurl her mossy tendrils, 
bright and green and fresh;
once more a rose in Jericho.


In the lilo dip of a decade-old mattress, 
gliding, dozing off; the rumble of rhythmic snores 
like poolside chatter. I’m sandman caught, soaring, 
whirling now to fall furiously, a bolt back to berth. 
Hypnic jerk and ghostly impact 
leaves me awake and frightened. 

He does not wake, but even in his sleep 
can sense my distress. He reaches out 
and holds my hand and then we are floating away, 
otters drifting downstream, with their little paws 
linked for fear of separation. 

He leaves briefly to return with a pebble 
to stave winter hunger—blue-grey, 
white veined and heart-shaped. 
I gnaw on it as the sounds of another world 
creep in, the beeps, whirr of engines, 
a maintenance crew carrying out checks.  

Prising my hand from his, I smooth his whiskers, 
wake him gently to roll on his back and wriggle a scratch. 
Later, walking alone along the towpath, 
watching white egret and long-legged heron fishing, 
I catch a flash of bronze fur ripple the river.
Hand in pocket, I hold his heart.

Gaynor Kane is a Northern Irish poet from Belfast who came to writing late and is trying to make up for time. She has two poetry pamphlets, and a full collection, from Hedgehog Poetry Press, they are Circling the SunMemory Forest, and Venus in Pink Marble(2018, 2019 and September 2020 respectively). She is co-author, along with Karen Mooney, of a pamphlet of pandemic poetry entitled  Penned In (2020).  

Follow her on Twitter @gaynorkane or

Flights, Issue Six, September 2022