ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Jude Cowan Montague.



In Solapur
for more than
five hundred years,
to improve
the health
of babies,
they have
taken them
up many
steps, right
up to the
top of the
high shrine,
stood on
the edge
holding the
infants for
all to see,
and then





small blanket stretched tight by the devout.


Our own realities

We tend to create our own realities
in stilettos and legs that shiver
in Leicester Square
when a cold May wind blows.



Baby Races

Mothers shake rattles and shriek,
babies crawl, fathers applaud.
The fastest wins, the human race begins.



Polar Swim

The two or three year old
     weighing 200 kilos
swam in from Greenland.
     Wandering like Beowulf,
through northern waters,
     the dragon-slayer landed.

No chance for his deeds
     to be sung in a shining
epic to dying warrior
     culture. He was shot.
Now what to do with
     this fabulous carcass?

Once it would have made
     a great rug. Measure.




A cosmonaut-plumber
is flushed with success.

His crew are relieved
that the only toilet

on the space station
has been fixed.




No hail of bullets,
he runs towards death
chased by cancer,
doing nicely.




The young canoeists went
into the canyon
with a storm above their heads.

Danger! Dam and power station:

The shoes and swimming trunks
of one survivor are drying
on the picnic bench outside the inn.




With this gas mask on, you may rustle through your soaking dusty things, and if your house has not sunk
too completely, you can possibly pick up photographs of before you were reduced to the clothes on your back.

Jude Cowan Montague is a writer, artist and composer who lives in London. She works as an archivist for Reuters Television. Her first collection of poetry, For the Messengers was published by Donut Press in 2011. Her second, The Groodoyals of Terre Rouge will be published by Dark Windows Press in 2012. She makes musical improvisations on Reuters stories and these are available on the Paris based netlabel Three Legs Duck.


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