Image by Josh Withers


the madrigal, volume iii

North of Poolbeg, South of the Calf

by d.w. evans

The captain of the Peveril - a fine vessel

of the Steam Packet line - tugs a horn

that wails away the albatross
from the isle that is not there.

Over this mischief, the wild singing

of barrel-chested pigs haunts
feral waters where sea clutter

crowns a never shore.

Lady Circe sees the Peveril;
she knew a captain once
so, waves with all her heart,

slopping a stem ginger smoothie

all down her fish scale pinny.

A little drop ignites to blooms,

bright as Phoenician pharos,

pungent sweet as rum.

Forget-me-nots, blue as a Viking’s eye,

fight to flower,
wither quick when mist
from pines falls salt white,

heavy as flat irons,

pressing out brief lives.

A clever chemist, Circe cures

distemper with juiced red apples,

some apples are pink:
a rosy scald like a sailor’s sunburn.

If he would stop, Circe would cook

for the Captain of the Peveril.

Oblivious to entreat
he steams for Douglas port

never to know pink apple sauce

tastes excellent with pork
or sailor, the same.

DW Evans was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and now lives and works in Jersey. He won the Alan Jones Memorial Prize 2019 and in 2020, he was shortlisted in Ó Bhéal’s Five Words (2020 and 2021), and received highly commended in Acumen’s first international competition 2020. His poems have appeared in the Frogmore Papers, Proverse Mingled Voices, Best New British & Irish Poets 2019 -2021 (Black Spring Press), Lucent Dreaming, Bindweed, A3 Review, The Madrigal – volume 2, and later this year The Honest Ulsterman, Epoch and Driech’s Pop anthology.