Ode to My New Lens
Fake you may be,
but like the bonafide thing you replaced,
put up with pressure,
flex and unflex,
bend without breaking.
You become, as my eyes converge
to focus on the words of this page,
thicker, fatter, ovoid in shape.
But, then, as I look away
in horror to discover
a gust of wind blowing
another panel off my fence
in this tenth
or twelfth storm or gale
only halfway through the month
of February in Mayo,
you relax, unlike me,
and spring back
so that my eyes can diverge to fix
on the leafless stand of sycamores exposed
in their nakedness through the wind-raped gap.
Though I can’t feel your presence in my eye,
nor can I sense a nanometre of your expansion,
I know from what I’ve read
that, for me to see the bark of those trees
with such precision at this distance,
become wider, flatter, less convex.
What a marvel you are:
You fake! You implant! You intraocular lens!
Thanks to you, I’m not blind to the sight
of dozens of kippeens the wind blew
from nests in the rookery to mess up my garden.
A downside of your gift
is I’m allowed no excuse
not to get off my butt and abandon this laptop,
for, thanks to you, my new vision insists
there are chores I must do.
Jack Grady is a founder member of the Ireland-based Ox Mountain Poets. His poetry collection Resurrection, published by Lapwing in 2017, was nominated for the T.S. Eliot Prize.Resurrection can be ordered from Lapwing Publications, Belfast, at: /lapwingpublications.com/
Every morning we cover the Good Eye.
The patch smells like the hospital
and sticks on like a Band-Aid.
Right away everything goes grey and
slanty. I feel carsick and my Bad Eye aches
like my arms ache if I have to lug
something heavy a long way.
In the playground I don’t go near the swings.
I like to jump-rope by myself, not Double Dutch.
Lincoln, Lincoln, I’ve been thinkin’
what’s that stuff that you’ve been drinkin’?
If anyone teases me, I roar and say I’m a pirate.
… looks like whisky, tastes like wine,
oh my gosh it’s turpentine!
When I get home I’m so tired
I just want to not have to look.
At dinner we eat chicken pot pies and talk.
My brothers and I say Please pass the butter
and What’s for dessert? Suddenly
my dress is wet and so is the tablecloth.
One night I knock my milk over three times.
Nobody shouts but I have to eat in the kitchen.
I’ve never eaten in the kitchen before,
with the quiet,
and the friendly dark.
Lydia Kennaway’s pamphlet, A History of Walking, was published by HappenStance in 2019. She earned an MA in Writing Poetry from Newcastle University in 2019, and was the winner of the 2017 Flambard Poetry Prize.
Note from Lydia: These are selected from a twelve-poem sequence called HERE THEY ARE ~ LOOKING AT YOU exploring my experience of childhood visual impairment and treatments, including three operations.
M Y O – P I C
A S U R G E R Y
C O U L D C O N –
V E R T M E B U T I
B A C K E D O U T I
S A W M Y S E L F
I N Y O U R E Y E S
T W O B L A C K H O –
L E S I W A S E S –
C A P I N G Y O U –
R D E S I R E
A S M Y H E A R T
L E A P T, R E S I S –
T I N G G R A V I T Y
I B A C K E D A W A Y
Y O U B E C A M E A G –
H O S T O F A R M –
S T R O N G,
T H E H E L M –
M E T, T H E S U N,
A D Y I N G S T A R
Antony Huen‘s works have appeared in The Compass Magazine, Eyewear’s The Best New, Hong Kong Review of Books and Wasafiri, among many others. He studied at Birmingham and York, and now teaches in Hong Kong. His website: http://antonyhuen.mystrikingly.com/