leave this death alone, by Candi V. Auchterlonie

purple blue thistle

ghosts/ghosting mouths
they’re pulling purple blue thistle/our heads
prickle their grey thumbs.
the un-holdable bouquet/clamped
with their veil of see through teeth
blood is not blood it is
a shadow veining the natural light
that our eyes fail to adjust to
and our glossy mouths fail to lipsynch
the weeded purply hill
when we speak between that strained speech
purple blue thistle is © Candi V. Auchterlonie

lookers stone

looking glass/under glass eye stares they become lazy moons/but try to catch these petaled fliers with your hands,
just try, they’re slippery mints tonguing fate.
my house is plagued with the secret of mint moths and they’ve begun to eat the hearts out from all of my best coats.
lookers stone is © Candi V. Auchterlonie

tearing cotton from your breast

poems from grand static/stasis that hurts with its stained whiteness.
tearing cotton from your breast is © Candi V. Auchterlonie

the flood of man

the tall-tall creek/creeps into your backyard.
your very own backyard/and you flood
a river into the wild
your things/they trickle out of your life
the things you always meant to keep.
the flood of man is © Candi V. Auchterlonie

the long drive

you will always have
the right of way.
the long drive is © Candi V. Auchterlonie

into the day we dream/into the night we work

spines are bridges
for tomorrow
we hold every hope up
to the jagged shadows of our bindings
each and each colourless moth
of us dissolves within the window pane of day/flirting death
only separate as wings are.
we hold every hope/we might chance/ideas of forever
and stay with them.
into the day we dream/into the night we work is © Candi V. Auchterlonie

The above poems are from Candi V. Auchterlonie’s forthcoming collection , leave this death alone. I am linking here her previous collection , Impress  (Published by Punk Hostage Press, 2012)


Candi’s Homepage

Poems by Doireann Ní Ghríofa


The knitting needles
drew melodies from silence
as stitches seemed to follow
one another like swallows
alighting upon a wire,
watching the tiny dress
of softest yellow wool
grow like a sunrise
waiting for she
who waited within.

She, who came
and left
all too soon.

Stretched and stitched,
I lie empty, raw, alone
In the cold corridor of the hospital
grey knot of my mind
grasping blindly for meaning
I hold the soft brightness to my cheek,
then unravel the stitches

Swallows of hope
disappearing at sunset
to some unfathomable,
faraway land.

My grief grows, like wound wool.
Dull. Full.

Swallows is © Doireann Ní Ghríofa

Recovery Room, Maternity Ward

(for Savita Halappanavar)

The procedure complete,
I awaken
alone, weak beneath starched sheets.
As the hospital sleeps, my fingers fumble
over the sutured scar, a jagged map
of mourning stitched into my skin —
empty without and empty within.
Beyond these white curtains,
stars shine bright as Diwali
in a cold night sky.
Someday, within these walls,
I will hear my baby cry.
Cradling my hollowed womb,
I trace this new wound and weep.
The only sound I hear now is the fading retreat
of a doctor’s footsteps, echoing my heartbeat.

Recovery Room, Maternity Ward is © Doireann Ní Ghríofa

Rusted Relic

Drifts of dust muffle the old typewriter’s surface
each dead key is encrusted with rust—
a forgotten Gaelic font
of blurred syllables and bygone symbols.
Muted music. Smothered percussion.

 Rusted Relic is  © Doireann Ní Ghríofa

doireannDoireann Ní Ghríofa’s poems have appeared in literary journals in Ireland and internationally. Her Irish language collections Résheoid and Dúlasair are both published by Coiscéim. The Arts Council of Ireland has twice awarded her literature bursaries (2011 and 2013). In 2012, she was a winner of Wigtown Gaelic poetry contest— the Scottish National Poetry Prize. Her short collection of poems in English Ouroboros was recently longlisted for The Venture Award (UK).

A Saturday Woman Poet, Kate Dempsey

It’s What You Put Into It

For Grace
On the last day of term
you brought home a present,
placed it under the tree,
a light, chest-shaped mystery
wrapped in potato stamped paper
intricate with angels and stars.
Christmas morning
you watched as we opened it,
cautious not to tear the covering.
Inside, a margarine tub, empty.
Do you like it? eyes huge.
It’s beautiful.
What is it, sweetheart?
A box full of love, you said.
You should know, O my darling girl,
it’s on the dresser still
and from time to time, we open it.


Kate DempseyHennessy shortlistFebruary 2006Pic: Mark CondrenKate Dempsey’s poetry is widely published in Ireland and the UK including Poetry Ireland Review,The Shop, Orbis and Magma. She won The Plough Prize and has been shortlisted for the Hennessy Award for both poetry and fiction. She was selected to read for Poetry Ireland Introductions and Windows Publications Introductions, as well as at various arts and music festivals with the Poetry Divas. She is grateful for bursaries received from the Arts Council, Dublin South County Council and Kildare County Council. Kate blogs at Writing.ie and Emerging Writer. You can catch her on Twitter at PoetryDivas. 

Reviewed here, The Moth Collection, Little Editions



” i.m Barbara Ennis Price
It’s all the fault of the British, she said.
The cursing came in with the troopers,
the other ranks and their wives as bad.
Before that, we Irish never swore.
No curse would pass our tender lips,
no drop of whiskey,
no beatings, no casual cruelty.
Sure, weren’t we a gentle race
until the squaddies boated in?
We were milk and honey,
the soft heads of babes, the pigs at Christmas,
root vegetables and stone walls.
What did we have to swear about
until the British came?”
© Kate Dempsey

Two Poems by Colette Ní Ghallchóir.

The Spark of Joy / Dealan an Aoibhnis

When I lit the sparkler
long ago on the hearth,
I ran the house with it screaming with delight.
They scolded me,
but grandfather said,
‘Let her be,
let her be,
there is no use talking.
She will always light
any flame she wishes.’

by Colette Ní Ghallchóir, trans,  Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill

Trans, Dealán an Aoibhnis

Nuair a lás mé an dealán
Fadó ar an teallach,
Rith mé leis ar fud an tí
Go háthasach.
Bagraíodh orm,
Ach dúirt no sheanathair leo -
‘Lig di lig di,
Níl  gar a bheith léi,
Lasfaidh sisi i gconaí
Na dealáin is mian léi .’

le Colette Ní Ghallchóir.

Divorce 19th-century Style.

‘That is not the way
things are done
in this townland,’
she said.

‘Well , if it isn’t,’ said he,
‘then go and do it yourselves.’
And he had crossed Gleann Tornáin
before nightfall.

‘How come you never told me,’ said I
to my father, ‘that they had been separated for a while?’
‘You don’t broadcast
all news,’ he said …
‘Anyway the end of the matter
is that he died here at home.’

le Colette Ní Ghallchóir, trans, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.

Colscaradh na Naoú hAoise Déag.

‘Chan sin an dóigh
A bhfuil rudaí déanta
Ar an bhaile seo,’
A duirt sí.

‘Munab é,’ arsa seisean
‘Déanaigí féin é.’
Agus thrasnaigh sé
Gleann Tornáin
Roimh thitim na hóiche.

‘Char inis tú dom,’ arsa mise
Le m’athair, ‘go raibh siad scarta tamall.’
‘Ní churieann tú an nuacht
Uilig sna páipéir,’ ar seisean…
‘Cibe scéal de,
Fuair sé bás sa bhaile.’

Le Colette Ní Ghallchóir  ,

from The New Irish Poets, ed, Selina Guinness. 2004, Bloodaxe Books.

Bio of Colette Ní Ghallchóir , Colette was born in the Ghleann Mór Gaelteacht in central Donegal. Her poems are published in The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Volume 5, her book Idir Dha Ghleann was published by Coiscéim 2005.