The slide.

this doesn't bother me

as much as it did once –

"experimental poetry"

– but still

I don't think

I like it.

like kids

playing on the monkey bars –

I much preferred

the slide. was never what you'd call

a climber

nor interested

in any expression

beyond that which words

could make. it makes me jittery,

I must admit. no purity –

no art except

the line. I much prefer falling

to climbing - perhaps you

can tell. no reach, no struggle

for meaning

beyond what's written

down. no search

for handholds, just


come on –

come with me –

come downward.

No birdsong.

over the rooftops

seagulls call, sounding

from a distance

like car alarms. undulating

echoing shouts

which move the air

and make attention. this is city-

centre dublin:

no birdsong here.

just this endless

panicked tumble,

collapsing and rolling outward.

like a supermarket fruit

and vegetable aisle,

and a box overturning

with apples.

photo: James Rattigan

DS Maolalai has been nominated six times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019).