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Ruth Padel Poems

A collection of select Ruth Padel famous poems that were written by Ruth Padel or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Padel, Ruth
 The ground verdigris, fluffy with young mosquitoes. Waters
as sacred as these, as fatted with reeds. Bronze palm planted
to Sun. Lizards, Nile alligators, hindquarters
rolling on granite sphinx-chippings. Air salted with confident
brown larks, Travelling, you remember (mind 
upturning these foreign priests, finding
the causes) that stamen-summit: white long 
unbloody altar, giddy blues under you, calyx of bronze
flat islands unfolding, blind....Read More

by Padel, Ruth
 We're talking different kinds of vulnerability here.

These icicles aren't going to last for ever 

Suspended in the ultra violet rays of a Dumfries sun.

But here they hang, a frozen whirligig of lightning,

And the famous American sculptor 

Who scrambles the world with his tripod

For strangeness au naturel, got sunset to fill them. 

It's not comfortable, a double helix of opalescent...Read More

by Padel, Ruth
 He's gone. She can't believe it, can't go on. She's going to give up painting. So she paints Her final canvas, total-turn-off
Black. One long
Obsidian goodbye. A charcoal-burner's Smirnoff, The mirror of Loch Ness Reflecting the monster back to its own eye.
But something's wrong. Those mad Black-body particles don't sing Her story of despair, the steel and
Garnet spindle
Of the storm.
This...Read More

by Padel, Ruth
 (published on BLINKING EYE, )

Then spoke the thunder, shattering the looming blackness of our national life. The rumble that breaks a spell of the dry season

 – Saro-Wiwa, "The Storm Breaks"

Does a zebra foal dream? Head lower, lower
under lenticular dark cloud,
he drags harlequin fetlocks, porcelain
quails' egg hooflets through pimpling dust,

slower, slower through the silver
rainbow night, this soot and...Read More

by Padel, Ruth
 Flamingo silk. New ruff, 
the ivory ghost 
of a halter. Chestnut curls,


commas behind the ear.
"Taller, by half a head, 
than my Lord Walsingham."


His Devon-cream brogue,
malt eyes. New cloak 
mussed in her mud.


The Queen leans forward,
a rosy envelope of civet.
A cleavage


whispering seed pearls.
Her own sleeve 
rubs that speck of dirt


on his cheek. Three thousand 
ornamental fruit baskets
swing in the smoke.


"It...Read More

by Padel, Ruth
 Water, moonlight, danger, dream.
Bronze urn, angled on a tree root: one
Slash of light, then gone. A red moon
Seen through clouds, or almost seen.

Treasure found but lost, flirting between
The worlds of lost and found. An unjust law
Repealed, a wish come true, a lifelong
Sadness healed. Haven, in the mind,

To anyone hurt by littleness. A prayer
For the moment, saved; treachery forgiven.
Flame of...Read More

by Padel, Ruth
 I was with Special Force, blue-X-ing raids 
to OK surfing on the Colonel's birthday.
Operation Ariel: we sprayed Jimi Hendrix
loud from helis to frighten the slopes 
before 'palming. A turkey shoot.


The Nang fogged up. The men you need
are moral and kill like angels. Passionless. 
No judgement. Judgement defeats us. 
You're choosing between nightmares all the time.
My first tour, we hissed...Read More

by Padel, Ruth
 (After Pushkin) 
Look at the bare wood hand-waxed floor and long 
White dressing-gown, the good child's writing-desk 
And passionate cold feet
Summoning music of the night - tumbrils, gongs
And gamelans - with one neat pen, one candle
Puttering its life out hour by hour. 
Is "Tell Him I love him" never a good idea? You can't wish this
Unlived - this world...Read More