Simon Costello: Annual Ring


I’ll read your death at breakfast- a small article

woven just beneath another story-

Historic Oak tree removed for public saftey…”-

that instruments, tuned to every sharp , sang you hollow

and the men eyeing your open cage

counted your rings,

one for every year you held a shadow.


When I was three feet from the earth

you were my monster,

eating each figment,

your lungs had howled a century

bracing every one of them-

the storms that shook you-

the lightening, war ready,

itching to parse you.


At six feet, I saw your skin everywhere,

stoic on infinite fields, cast in an overhang on streets-

under dinner plates-

holding up spines and crooked backs.


Years from now, returned to four feet,

men eyeing my open trunk-,

my rings countless,

I will remember you

overseeing our Sunday picnic, sighing

your arms braced.

Little acrobats lost from parents ascending,

small hands hooking your royal skin

sometimes falling

unable to catch them,

to float beneath your tower.


And when the sun

folds itself into the horizons breast,

I’ll look back to you & see my father, linear,

draining himself behind you – ushering me away,

you, the silent sentry

side by side-

two old Kings-

two great Beasts.


I’ll hear the fade of my mother

swimming the incus of my ear


Hurry pet, or we’ll leave you behind.



Simon Costello graduated from Athlone Institute of Technology Ireland with a B.A in Law, and currently work as a childrens’ English teacher in China. He has completed a poetry workshop under Irish poet Eileen Casey. He was previously long listed for a competition with Brilliant Flash Fiction in Ireland.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s