for Padraig Regan

Here is the inventory of stone I
could not bring myself to make
and instead I have simply
photographed where stones have
been left on turned ground where
stones are gathered and piled
where stones are used to define
borders used as garden features
used to stem erosion of the
stream’s bank used to alter the
flow of water used for their first
purpose in walls and in buildings
and now increasingly as
metaphors for the day’s weight
the year’s weight the weight of
loss the weight of unforgiveness
the weight of load bearing the
weight of breathing of every
breath of every covering for every
touch of anything for every single
contact for every presence of a
body within the garden for every
trespass and how will I now
employ stone with this added
weight with this photographic
proof upon proof of stone
uncountable and everywhere and
for always now there are the
stones here and here and here and
here here here here here

Paul Maddern was born in Bermuda and has lived in Northern Ireland since 2000. He has four publications with Templar Poetry, the latest being The Tipping Line in 2018. The operator of The River Mill writers’ retreat in Co Down, he is editor of Queering the Green: Post-2000 Queer Irish Poetry, published by Lifeboat Press in 2021, and is the recipient of two Bermuda Government Literary Awards.
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