Sea of Souls

The not quite dead dance here

just beneath the surface

revolving in pairs

like underwater butterflies

the sky returning a rainbow

of their wings

that leaches down

to paint them back again.





I am ascending something slow.

Something beneath me.

I feel it rising underfoot arching me skywards.

It is obdurate and unrelenting.

A sluggish catapult relaxing me through elastic air.

My carefully revealed root is the same

size and shape as me.

Grubby mandrake flesh

exhumed from its tomb.

Screaming into the light

in an agony of understanding.




Polio Ward

At the foot of her bed

A casement of lead

Curtained, but open,

And painted with garden

And light leaking in

Dusts the numb of her skin

Playing patterney games

With its feathery flames

And she prays for the pain

Of a burn or a blister

But feels just one hurt

As she watches her sister.

David J Costello lives in Wallasey, Merseyside, and is co-organiser of local poetry venues Bards of New Brighton and Liver Bards. His work has been published in several anthologies and poetry journals including Quantum LeapReach Poetry and Envoi. He has been short-listed and placed in various competitions, most recently being short-listed for the 2011 Grist Poetry Prize and winning the 2011 Welsh Poetry Competition.

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