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Image by Fatima Teixeira


the madrigal, volume i

helen jenks and tomás clancy


by helen jenks

The scent of April rain slinks down along 

the unruly stone, curling and unfurling its slow-winding belly 

there in the street’s quiet marriage of cracked tar and 

sweet-lipped moss. Down along the Georgian road 


the old folk grumble their shrewd and sensible dirge––

Sure look, who would go out in this? 

Put the kettle on, now, and wait for it to end. 

Safe behind old panes and soft-moving drapes, they peer curiously

out of the warm belly of their home, breathing in

the cool, mournful draught that pried through the groaning 

weight of the worn, beaten bricks. Storms like this are sure

to pass, and will nurture this thirsty earth in a flood of tumbling

vanity. It is nothing new.


Let the moss and the proud-nosed mayweeds preen and prance

for a lick of it all –– they will be trampled anyway by the people

that duck and hide away from what is life-giving,


or by those that stroll along, unburdened by the wet which clings to them.

Perhaps they think fondly of the warm, welcoming doorsteps they

walk softly by, and dream of things that cease the bitter chill––

a roaring fire, a cup of tea, or freshly laundered clothes––

but still they walk on.


The puddles drown the foolish weeds, but no one pays them any mind.

Here, the slinking, pouring rain shall wash us all anew—

reborn again in the pooling dirges of springtime.

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