Three Poems by Christine Minnery

New Work

Under Sharia Law

In Khartoum I wake at the foot
of a square eclipse. The Nuer,
I read six years ago,
advanced from cow trading
traditions to bullet rituals.

On marble tiles I squat under
a faucet like a watering
can, dress my shoulders
in news of last week’s flogging.
Cruising altitude: my fingers slip

between leather cushions to pull out
date pits. I watch the Nile
from a bird’s view. The word
genocide is a debate I remember
after a special boarding in El Fashir.

My supervisor waves her hand
in front of her nose—“They stink.”
Daylight a migraine aura
and vice versa. On the weekend
the Russian crew coach pork fat

chasers to Juba smuggled vodka
and I roll on the lawn with Valerie,
hear the Nubian reverb of a 4 AM
call to prayer blast through
megaphones higher than lampposts.


The Clyde

Mercury molars and a tongue gullied
like a cetaceans; her mouth was mine
to burrow until peering beyond
our kitchen window

she deafened
the landscape     The lilacs in Greenock are better

Summers piled. Pimm’s, Paua shell
bracelets, stirling silver raindrops
and an alarm clock. The sisters packed
mythology—daughters who lapped
a man of war.

Year round a hollow red stamp
AIRMAIL on envelopes
of blue paper letters. In January
SUVs drove on Nipissing,
Trout Lake froze.



Triffid roses and glass
Virgin Marys
are the waiting armies
of residential lawns.

And the cafes
with custard tarts glow
as a boy cycles
by on the sidewalk,

his kid brother hitching
a ride on his knee;
they dress
in identical t-shirts.


  1. Stephen Muirhead
    Posted January 17, 2015 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Wow, my cousin, a poet. Robert Burns had cousins. I know how they felt.

  2. Emily Harris
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful beautiful!

    Toronto’s next Poet Laureate!

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Christine Minnery

Christine Minnery is a Canadian writer with a degree in anthropology. Her poetry has been published in Arc Poetry Magazine and Contemporary Verse 2, and her first chapbook appears with Anstruther Press in spring 2015.