Poem of the week: The Sitting by John Kelly

In memory of Basil Blackshaw

Artist Basil Blackshaw

Artist Basil Blackshaw


i.m. Basil Blackshaw

Northern southpaw,
leading with the right –
addressing the thing.
Some puzzle of tone perhaps,
or bad light.

Soutine comes up.
Kristofferson, Cézanne;
but mostly horses, badgers, greyhounds,
Staffordshire Bull Terriers
and a gleeful, outlaw plan for grub –

two local cuts of bloody steak
grilled on fresh-cut whins,
potatoes, butter, bit of salt,
Draught Guinness
in a can.

My place of total honour there –
that cushioned wooden chair.
The breath-taking slugs
of cobalt and red.
The two of us laughing.
Head to head.

John Kelly’s poetry has appeared in magazines and anthologies. His novel From Out of the City was shortlisted for the Bord Gáis Book Awards in 2014. Today’s poem is from Notions, a new collection from Dedalus Press