Author: Paul House

Poetry: At the Edge of the Ebro



No movement but the slow seepage of the river.

No sound but it is reflected by the wind.

The tall poplars cannot deliver the season,

rolled flat beneath the sun like dirty canvas.


From beneath a wreckage of rusty cans and weed

a lump of drowned dog bubbles to the surface.

Immense and empty, its dull and foggy eyes

are a door opened upon decay and death.


A drunk staggers, violently empties himself

and blunders on. Downstream, women washing

heave a song into the air, sharp as barbed wire,

and the sky bellies above them, thick with frost.


On the other bank, muffled sentences and smoke.

Four men sit folded in upon themselves,

roasting whole fish over an open fire.

Their voices piece together like a jig-saw.


Chased by children, arms full of sticks and bows,

a donkey wanders amongst a mess of rubble.

Bewildered and uncertain, its breath condenses

and scurries across the grass like a drift of snow.

Sample Chapters

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Poem for Anna •  Mandelstam and Mayakovsky •  The Lighted Window  •  Alone with the Years •  The Poet Tires •  Something there is •  La Madrugada •  Postcard of a Golden Retriever •  Shellfish •  Miguel Hernandez •  At the Edge of the Ebro •  Gone •  Playing Cards •  That's Where I Belong •  An Abstract Perfection •  Pearls in a Glass •  Poem for Susie •  Mornings in MalasaƱa •  Leo •  A Garbled Message •  Gnome •  Old Friends •  More About Penguins •  Ghosts •  Poem for Nelly •  Good Friday in Salamanca •  T.L.P. •  What It Is About •  The Blind Man And His Guide •  The Smell Of Winter •  For No Other Reason •  Poem for Linda