Tasting Note for Grief # 17

Long and complex on the palate 

rage attacks the tastebuds, 

a territorial robin whose wings 

coruscate the epiglottis, insidious 

as rust in a cut.  Her jaw 

has started to clamp.  Remembering 

is a port wine stain. 

       Similes are useless 

on this red staircase 

that ascends: 

an upside down madder root 

feeling its way to the sky. 

She has become a connoisseur 

of its avoided flavours’  Titian hues. 

The nose has notes of cherry soda, 

ginger biscuit, sang de bouef. 

This is one for laying down: 

it will keep for years under the earth. 

from An Aviary of Small Birds (Carcanet, 2014), © Karen McCarthy Woolf 2014, used by permission of the author and publisher.

The free tracks you can enjoy in the Poetry Archive are a selection of a poet’s work. Our catalogue store includes many more recordings which you can download to your device.