Issue 29: Ian Davidson

The Mystery of Faith


Why wouldn’t you said Geraldine

counting on the fingers of both hands

unsettling the balance of equations

prodding the smooth surfaces

with which power coats itself


Glory to Monk in the highest


And chanting at the top of her voice

disrupting authoritative rhythms

of reference and citation


On earth poetry to people of good will


Distributing tension through performance

letting loose the irritation

that falls like the dust of fairies

as authority seeks firm ground to stand on


I believe in Monk

maker of poems


and why wouldn’t you

undercut when authority repeats the names

that give it stability and why not, 

articulate in return in such a way that power

cannot sustain itself


From the dust she lifts up the lowly

From the dungheap she raises the poor

To set them in the company of princes





[Ian Davidson’s most recent poetry publications are New and Selected Poems (Shearsman 2022) From a Council House in Connacht (Oystercatcher 2021) and By Tiny Twisting Ways (Aquifer 2021).  Current work can also be found in Plumwood Mountain, Black Box Manifold, Tears in the Fence and the Long Poem Magazine. Critical writing includes monographs and articles on ideas of space and mobility in modern and contemporary poetry with recent essays considering the work of Diane di Prima, Bill Griffiths, Tom Pickard, Lenore Kandel, Rhys Trimble and Leslie Harrison. Brought up in Wales, where he spent much of his life, he now lives on a small farm in Mayo, Ireland. He is Professor of Poetry in University College Dublin.]

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