Beth McDonough

Beth McDonough’s poetry is in Gutter, Stand, Causeway, and elsewhere. Much is connected to the Tay, where she swims, foraging nearby. She reviews at DURA. Handfast (with Ruth Aylett) investigates autism and dementia. Her first pamphlet will be published soon.





From a dark cafe, they hawk,
hood into inked-out suburbs.
More serious than sleet,  this snow eeries,
slight, but sufficiently thick to flinch
in the quick of a car’s clicked beams.
Nothing else whirls.
No-one observes the gutter’s damp greed.
Wet pavements guzzle just-thicker air.
Snow only exists in the lamp’s new watch.

Inside the motor, a slow engine grumbles.
Wipers scissor arc  arc obliterate  arc.
In the windscreen’s rhythmic death
arc arc obliterate. A radio tells
snow’s presence elsewhere,
but no-one witnesses anything here.
Snow only happens on glass
and in the fierce bald stare of twin lights.






Almost-cancelled concert

You could galeburn your face
in the screaming storm’s quick,
tune into brown hurtle waves.

Long poles, far too wrecked to flag any red,
energise their strange backing tracks,
clipping in with pegged-metal percussion.

If that broken-off post signs out to no place,
just listen how it channels this wind.
Let it flute out some eerier story.

Wait.  Under the car park’s rolled-over drain,
hear a hundred brass hammers tap tap.
All from industrious armies of gnomes.

Not one of them cares if you clap.