For those whose ends I’ve followed – Eleanor Beeby

For those whose ends I’ve followed

Is this my curse,
Because I relished your words
I, a blank-faced spectator,
surreptitiously lining up my unworthy part
in this text-block hammered, manufactured oeuvre.
Sickened, I think of those
whose graves I have scrambled for on sparse, gorse smothered hills.
Primordial bloodlust mistaken for sanctum.
Surely your maggot-bitten bone masks would scorn me

And in this too, I feel my lowliness.
No room to conjure vivid dreams, pastel, technicolour dreams for the living.
A prosaic, grey faux-marble box, with cheap chrome fittings.
A towel from Ikea, hanging by racks of soaps and oils,
craning their necks like crowds at the guillotine

yet his moment lacks any bombasticity.
My blade is prised from a plastic razor
once used to erase the shame of my unfemininity.
But the souls gate I know well, it’s place I have often sought.
The slow thud of escape from shadow has soothed me,
nestling like a lamb in the hollow cradle beneath my palm.
I test my will, droplets swell.

The razor drops
I again find myself unworthy
And retreat, like a beaten dog, back to my pillowed keeper.



Eleanor Beeby is a Belfast based poet. Her work explores the liminality between lived and universal experience through the lenses of feminism, mental health and international human rights. Her work has been featured in publications such as The North, The Moth and Wordlife. She works in the field of health, social care and international development and has lived and worked in working towards a career in International Development and has lived and worked in Madagascar and across South and South-East Asia.

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