poetry pf header



Maria Jastrzebska     about Maria      more poems

this poet is taking part in the poetry pRO project
this poet is published in the
Series project

events listing


home button poets button features button

links button shop button about ppf button email ppf button



in collection I'll Be Back  Before You Know It, 2009
Pighog Press, ISBN
978 -1 -906309 -06 -0




There was a smell before I was born.  

It came across fields

dotted with sows, above yards


where thin chickens scratched

in the dust, past cordons

of pines, scaring out quails.


It was stronger than the smog

of Nowa Huta, which eats away

stone faces and newborn lungs.  


How could you miss it

when it rose from chimney stacks

along that flat skyline


or blew over rivers and broken

telegraph wires to spread

above schools and church spires?


Ladies dabbed Chanel Number 5

on their fox furs to ward it off

gents lit the fattest cigars.


Gents with made-up eyes, ladies

with shingled hair and monocles

danced rumbas and milongas  


but overnight they vanished.

Not even alcohol or opium

could dispel it  the smell


stayed in the air.  

Soon everyone coughed.

Some politely, some not.



Maria Jastrzebska


last update:

Maria Jastrzębska  photo

e-mail Maria

Maria's Blog

poetry favourites:
 South Pole
Pighog Press
Poetry International Web

and in the shop ...
collections -
"Everyday Angels",
Waterloo Press;

"I'll Be Back Before You Know It",
Pighog Press;

Redbeck Press;

bi-lingual -
"Old Knives",


of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet
site feedback welcome