Poetry by Maria Castro


‘Hope is the thing with feathers’

—Emily Dickinson


She wears a feather

tattoo pressed over her bruises

a dream of rebirth.

It was Carmen the office cleaner

who told her how

a feather carries a prayer:

its stalk echoes a plea upwards

like baying towards the heavens

and a wish for an answer

returning through its hollow shaft

its message of hope.

The day he left at sunrise

she found a feather,

bent in the middle,

its barbs blue and yellow.

After praying she let it go,

watched as it fell softly to earth,

its song swept up in a current of warmth.




Dropped Dandelions


He ─ twenty years younger ─ moved —

in February when the cold sticks to limbs

— it wasn´t lust just love


he a painter — filled me with colours

— dropped dandelions in my tea

made me languorous and dreamy


posting poems in his pockets —

I posed for him as Diana in a

forest of weeds — in summer


we´d sunbathe naked — make paper chains ─

around our waists play air-writing games

— blow liquid kisses in the bath ─ drying


afterward — lying awake — he feared

love unmooring itself —

drifting off — a silk parachute



Tambococha Puff


On my cedar bed I feel island,

a language of feathers

levitates along my body.

Its slatted base has a cave

where my belongings squeeze:

mother my child, father my spirit.

I dream of nomadic tribes huddled

together on waxy leaves, rocks and moss

tucked in by toucans, macaws

parakeets and tanagers.

Deep underwater blackens,

an anaconda dies, a desert extends,

a tiny heart left to breathe.

Near to waking I hear a vision,

I see the silence of smoke

clouds wheeling up barrels of rain

forests blown up in a puff.

Maria Castro Dominguez is the author of A Face in The Crowd which is her 2016 Erbacce –press prize winning collection. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals such as Orbis, Obsessed With Pipework, Sarvasti, Apogee, Stepaway, and  London Grip. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English philology.

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