Mary Mulholland graduated in 2019 from Newcastle University/ The Poetry School with an MA in Writing Poetry. She runs Red Doors Poets and co-edits The Alchemy Spoon. Over the past year she’s been shortlisted for Artlyst, Prole Poetry, longlisted for Acumen, Torbay, won the Momaya Poetry Prize and published in The High Window, Blue Nib, The Fenland Journal, Under the Radar and two anthologies.

Muse

at night beautiful lines come to me
they’re so meaningful
they wake me like a haunting

I lie chanting the words to the dark
willing them to memory
sometimes whole poems arrive

in the morning I try to tune
into the music I heard
occasionally a line

survives
mostly I just remember
there was once a beautiful line

Berlin break

In the bitter cold at Check Point Charlie
you photograph me with uniformed guards
like that’s a romantic thing to do.

People are flying, somersaulting through air,
or turning, stretched out like starfish in wheels
on ground that keeps parting, misting.

The wall is calling, but you lead me in circles
through ice and snow to that Rococo bungalow,
slip into bad German as if forgetting your own

tongue, call me by her name. In the mirror
in Voltaire’s room we’re looking opposite ways.
I translate his quote: madness is the optimism of insisting

all’s well when we’re miserable. I’m not miserable,
you say – and it’s true. You’re exactly the same
as when we first met. It must be me that’s changed.

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