“Drowning”, “Forms” and “Odysseus”

“Drowning”, “Forms” and “Odysseus”


This time he dragged her down, bound with him

Clutching they spun inhaling, plunging in

Needle tight breaths, she smacked and fought back

Against his tourniquet grip, she slipped free in slack

Necked gropes as he grasped her hopes and crushed

As burning, they spiralled, kicking then hushed

Foiled in mutual dependence they caved in grey space

Where silently they swayed in soft spooning haze.

Sniffing deep breaths, clung, with heads thrown back in slow,

Washing relief, no longer attached, he let her go

And she fled through thick dungeons, the child’s dread cry

out of reach in the distant darkness, she dived to lie

in dark pools where watery creatures claimed her

silent screams, ricocheted in echoing chambers


When I die the world will stop spinning

And die too

The man on the radio said we’d inhabit Mars

I won’t be around, that won’t happen

They need to stop making space plans

I will be a form, a shape, a number, a colour, a sound

All will end with me.


I placed a hand on October stone

Winter skinned my palm. And curled red leaves

Into the hollow of the city wall

Around the drifting man

Bound in viscous sleeping bag

Cushioning stone from bone

Ragged Odysseus, he was no one

Beating aimless meters, elopes life

Strapped under city’s belly

Travelling man on stained path

Warrior of wet slabs, battling the wild

weaving winds. In blinkered armour

I saw no one                                                                                                                                             

About the Author

Theresa Ryder

Theresa was PA to author, J.P. Donleavy for many years before graduating MA (Classics NUIM) and a teaching degree. She won the Molly Keane Creative Writing Award, 2015 and has since been published in various literary journals for her prose and poetry. She was selected to read at the Women X Borders Readathon, 2017 at the Irish Writers Centre, Dublin and at Culture Night 2017 spoken word event in Cork. She is currently working on a novel based on the events of her Classics dissertation.