the sun is sparkling, the rain rumbling, and we badly need some poetry...

Monday, 16 April 2012

Donal Mahoney - 1 Poem

Unintelligent Design

An hour a day, 
sometimes more,
I chipped away 
with mallet and chisel
on a block of marble 
I found in Carrara
and shipped to New York 
on the deck of a trawler.

I offered the marble 
to a famous sculptor 
who told me he works
in granite only 
so I grabbed his beret 
and one of his smocks 
and said I'd sculpt 
the block myself 
with whittling skills
picked up as a kid 
from a drunken uncle 
named Whittling Sid.

Several weeks later, 
to my surprise, 
I finished the bust 
of a chimpanzee  
simply by wielding 
mallet and chisel 
the way I wield 
pencil and eraser 
when hewing a poem.

Working with marble 
or working with words, 
a sculptor or poet
proves less is more 
by chipping away
until something emerges
upright and walking
with a soul of its own. 

BIOGRAPHY: Donal Mahoney has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. He has had poems published in The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, Commonweal, The Christian Science Monitor and a number of online publications.