Series Editor - Jim Bennett

Introduction by Jim Bennett


Hello.  Welcome to the next in the series of CITN featured poets.  We will be looking at the work of a different poet in each edition and I hope it will help our readers to discover some new and exciting writing.  This series is open to all to submit and I am now keen to read new work for this series.


You can join the CITN mailing list at - http://www.poetrykit.org/pkl/index.htm and following the links for Caught in the Net.



Mother and daughter

picking shells along the beach

we rinsed them in the sea

and watched tarnished pastels shining through,

small glimmers of light reflected in my tears


                 from; Requiem by Emer Davis






     The Crossing

     Coming Home


     Chain Event


     Kill Your Television

     The Kiss


     To Tear Your Breath Away

     The Long Goodbye





1 – BIOGRAPHY:  Emer Davis


Emer Davis grew up in Achill Island in Co Mayo.  She is now living and working in Abu Dhabi, UAE.  Poems have been published in Poetry Now, Drogheda Writes 2, Boyne Berries, Revival, Upstart and Message in a Bottle.  Her story was published in A Pint and a Haircut – an anthology of true Irish stories.  She set up the Viaduct Bards Writers group in Drogheda and organised the monthly Poetry in Motion Sessions there.  She launched her first book of poems Kill Your Television in 2010.







The Crossing


From our outpost we tiptoed

across this green divide

rifles in hand.

A ragged allied force

sleep walking this unknown land

we marched on,

hoping to smell

the sweet scent of summer.


Fields pockmarked by war

stood before us.

Bloodied and betrayed

empty shells littered the scorched ground.

A soft light flickered through

as we retraced our steps

on the relentless road

of an unnerving peace.






Coming Home  (Already published - Revival 2009)


Slipping from one hand to another

This case holds the secrets of journeys

Made by one family for over a century

It lay on the rack overhead as

The train travelled west

Towards home.


A young girl stood at the gates

Holding onto the worn handles,

Waving goodbye to her family,

Stepping inside to a new world

Of order and submission.


Remnants of her early life

Locked in this tanned leather box

She entered these cloistered walls,

Leading a nomadic existence

Shifting through a maze of cultures

Over the intervening years.


Letters and old photographs

Stuffed into side pockets,

Plain cotton shirts and brown skirts

Folded neatly in two piles,

A dark face carved in wood

Shrouded in a woollen blanket,

Yielding to a recurring doubt,

She is returning from a distant land.


Stirred by her passion to be free

From the shackles of an ordered faith

This tanned leather suitcase

Creased over time

Chronicled her life story

In a dark unknown landscape.


Slipping from one hand to another

This case holds the secrets of journeys,

Her years of service now ending,

It lay on the rack overhead as

The train travelled west towards home,

Returning to leave this cloistered life behind






Requiem (Published in Boyne Berries September 2010)


Yellow crocuses are bursting forth

around the gravestone

where your name will be etched.

There is nothing to draw me back home,

the final threads of our lives snapped apart.

I sit by your side

and listen to the sirens

moving away in the distance.

Silence descends around us,

Alone at last, words are lost

in this vast open space.

I look around me

and see snowdrops shivering,

their petals wasting away in the pale sun

as you were in those final days.


Mother and daughter

picking shells along the beach

we rinsed them in the sea

and watched tarnished pastels shining through,

small glimmers of light reflected in my tears

I see your hand reach out to me

as we skipped along the water's edge,

grey froth on our shoes

we watched the trawlers come and go.

And now I sit here beside you

and listen to the faint hum of traffic

passing us by,

Alone at last I can hear your voice

filling the gap.




Chain Event (published by Revival Oct 2010)


You wake to the warmth of his breath,

the careless touch of his lips

tickling you in the shadow of early dawn,

a clement haze around

flesh merging with flesh,

clasped together in silent order

your unending figure

moulded by his frame

you lounge, eyes closed,

listening to creased sheets

slide to the floor.   

Damaged and corroded

you hold onto a gift

as fragile tarnished links

slip through your fingers

connecting to another time,

binding you to another place,

secrets clenched

in a scratched chain.





Keel (Already published - Boyne Berries 2009)


Under the moon we danced,

Danced to the rhythm

Of the waves fading in and out,

Moving in time to the shore’s

Darkening horizon.

Tingling in the evening light

Our silhouette

Caressing the cool air,

We sink deeper into the shore,

Sand sifting under our feet.

We whisper

Embracing the moment

When the full moon

Captures our light.




Kill Your Television (Title poem of published book – Kill Your Television)


Kill your television

that's what he said

soap freak

kill your television

I didn't have to

it blew up.


Now I listen to the radio

he said

kill your radio

chart freak

kill your radio

I didn't have to

somebody stole it.


Now I read books

he said

what are you reading?

I look up and mumble a name

he smiles

and I start reading again.


I come home from work

a new television sits in the corner

he stares at the screen all day

all week all year.


I shout

kill your television

soap freak

kill your television

that's what he used to say.




The Kiss


Name tag pinned

to her winter coat,

the kiss still warm

on her flushed cheek,

on a hot September morning

she watched her mother

walk away.


All day they passed

a continuous stream

on the suburban platform,

teachers in armbands,

loud speakers replacing

the hurried murmur

of her mother's voice.


Blinds pulled down,

hot and sweaty

in the dim blue lights,

her eyes flickering

into the blackness,

shunting from one station to another

deep in a foreign landscape.


They stood in the village hall

surrounded by an eager crowd

waiting for the auction to begin.

Her stomach rumbling

with each child slipping away

into darkness.


Doors opened and closed

until all were housed.

She stood in a stranger's kitchen

and held onto her bag,

surrendering to

strange voices and faces.


Rereading those early letters,

a hurried scrawl

with no news of home,

cradling her doll

in her arms,

she remembered the warmth

of that last kiss.



She strayed

from her mother's memory

abandoned by war

and her family.


Her mother's kiss drifting away.


She stands alone

on the site of her old home,


a few bricks,

a saucepan,

an old cushion remained



She stands alone

with no trace

of what she left behind

on that day,

when she held her mother's hand.






An orange glow

streaking across the horizon

she gazes at these bonfires

lighting up an empty sky.

Alone for one hour

to witness a still night

as beacons of light

flicker gently in the falling dusk.


Recalling evenings of her past,

timid cows shuffling home

down boreens

strewn with briars

and the low hum of crickets

and an autumn breeze

rustling in the closing hour. 


Leaning against an old wooden fence

she listens to the faint hush

across this barren landscape

stripped of all its beauty

darkness hides all traces

of the constant shelling.




To Tear Your Breath Away


Sand dunes rolled in front of her,

its twirling contours

unravelling before her eyes,

a continuous wave

misleading her down

unknown territory

she heard the ghost wind swirling

as troops moved forward.


She stood by her truck

waiting for the order to come,

this lunar landscape

of windswept sand

blowing in her face

watching the battle

played out from a distance,

match stick soldiers

charging to the end

tearing at each other

until there is no more noise.


An uneasy silence descends

as an amber glow

casts a lingering shadow

across this dust bowl.

She drives across the erg

picking her way through

dead bodies and empty shells,

defeated figures, heads hung low,

returning to their camp.


Carefully looking for some trace of life,

fingers twitching in the dying sun,

bruised faces staring at her

a soft moan, a frail whisper,

she holds his head

releasing all his pain,

loading these broken souls

onto her truck.


A cold wind surfacing

across this gritty graveyard

she leaves behind

old and new acquaintances.


Young corpses interred

on this vast desert,

a collection of metal tags

jingling on the dashboard,

a faint rustle of sand vipers

peeping above the earth

as the trucks rolled away,

this ritual replayed across

this barren landscape,

all that is mortal is gone

tearing your breath away.




The Long Goodbye


Snowdrops wavering

on a cold winter’s morning,

a pale sun weakened by falling flakes

slowly rises in the east.


Cloaked in whiteness

and surrounded by old headstones,

she ambles gingerly among ominous graves,

scanning names etched in stone.


Under stark trees

icy drops dripping from bare branches,

she holds onto her only memento

from her distant past.


This creased old black and white photograph

of a man in uniform

fading with every touch.

Today she walks among these invisible heroes

searching for his name,

wondering what he felt when it ended.


No more screams

No shouts

No falling debris

No bullets

Or sirens piercing your eardrums

No more lightening attacks

On the horizon to shake you from your sleep.


Her muffled despair cried out

as their clandestine affair ebbed away,

evaporating into a distant past.

A muted stillness permeated

when the emergency ended.


This old print clasped in her chapped hands

remained buried along with her voiceless story.


Standing at his grave,

she remembers a gallant youth leaving home.

She has waited fifty years

to see his name.


She stands alone, now, as she did back then,

watching early buds gradually

blooming in the morning sun.




3 - Publishing History 


     Coming Home  (Already published - Revival 2009)

     Requiem (to be published in Boyne Berries September 2010)

     Chain Event (published by Revival Oct 2010)

     Keel (Already published - Boyne Berries 2009)

     Kill Your Television (Title poem of published book – Kill Your Television)




4 - Afterword

Email Poetry Kit - info@poetrykit.org    - if you would like to tell us what you think.  We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org

Thank you for taking the time to read Caught in the Net.  Our other magazine s are Transparent Words ands Poetry Kit Magazine, which are webzines on the Poetry Kit site and this can be found at -