National Poetry Month: “September” by Conor O’Callaghan

by Conor O’Callaghan from Seatown And Earlier Poems

It must be cliché to think, however brief,
that light on a wall and our voices
out in the open are the pieces
we shall look upon in retrospect as a life.

There is a danger of circumstance smothering
even the smallest talk. If a breeze
shakes another colour from the trees
we say a word like withering

without the slightest hint of irony.
After a season of fruitful conversation
and reflective pauses in the garden
we say we know what it means to be lonely.

Today the first moment of autumn tolls
like a refrain from the nineteen thirties.
The voices of friends and courtesies
are interrupted by thunder and the radio crackles.

We shall remember it as the impending doom
and use this afternoon as an example of decay
when there is nothing left for us to say
and September has outstayed its welcome.

Today our clothes will be spoiled by rain.
We shall drag from the lawn the chairs and table
that all summer made us comfortable.
Though all of that remains to be seen.

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Poem of the Day: Paula Meehan’s “The Lost Children of the Inner City”

from “The Lost Children of the Inner City”

   History Lesson
We read our city like an open book—
who was taken and what was took.

Spelt out in brick and mortar,
a history lesson for every mother’s daughter.

Who owns which and who owns what?
The devil owns the bleeding lot! 

Earl_Street,_Dublin_(6305050889)By National Library of Ireland on The Commons (Earl Street, Dublin  Uploaded by russavia), via Wikimedia Commons

“The Lost Children of the Inner City” appears in Paula Meehan’s collection Dharmakaya and The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s PoetryShe is currently Ireland’s Professor of Poetry

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Poem of the day: Kerry Hardie’s “Ship of Death”

After an unexpected Easter Monday hiatus, we have returned with another poem for National Poetry Month. We hope you enjoy “Ship of Death” by Kerry Hardie from The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry




for my mother
Watching you, for the first time,
turn to prepare your boat, my mother;
making it clear you have other business now—
the business of your future—
I was washed-through with anger.

It was a first survey,
an eye thrown
over sails, oars, timbers,
as many a time I’d seen that practised eye
scan a laden table.

How can you plan going off like this
when we stand at last, close enough, if the wind is right,
to hear what the other is saying?
I never thought you’d do this, turning away,
mid-sentence, your hand testing a rope,

your ear tuned
to the small thunder of the curling wave
on the edge of the great-night sea,
neither regretful nor afraid—
anxious only for the tide.

Posted in Arts and Culture, Ireland, Irish Poetry, Irish Women's Poetry, Our Poets, Women's Anthology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment