All posts filed under: Contemporary Irish Women Poets

“Child’s Celestial Chime” by Deirdre Gallagher

Child’s Celestial Chime Buttery chiffon taffeta folds of an early evening Hedge rustling sways to softening breeze Dalliant twitterings nestle into hummingbird tillage. Amidst the lazy din, a pristine crystal chime – Unfettered, it’s inflection pierced through the clouds. This ascension Reaching the supreme octave – Vibrations of purity rang out. Labours of Love Palms upward cupped in symmetry An open book of forgotten scripture Etched into frail translucent papery flesh and gnarled knuckles Lines and scars trace a stoic history Discarded chronicles of toil, forbearance, silent sacrifice The forsaken testament of unsung heroines. By the graft of these now rendered distorted arthritic joints were carved Labours of love. “Child’s Celestial Chime” and another poem are @ Deirdre Gallagher Deirdre Gallagher is a graduate of NUI Galway. She speaks three languages and enjoys travelling. She hopes to stir, uplift and summon emotions to the surface with her words. Her work has been published in A New Ulster. She has taught abroad for a period and currently teaches in Ireland. Herself and her husband reside in …

“Thin Places” and other poems by Eithne Lannon

Thin Places The wild meadow weave, the strand, places of late summer, autumn, a stone skimming water, suspended in air, its slow motion glide punctuated by the drop, touch, rise of a ghostly presence, this wary hesitation between water and stone, mysterious as the rift between music notes in air, unsettling the familiar light which shudders again with tiny rainbow bubbles holding air-drops in. And then the final slide over gravity’s edge, into polished bottomless depths, beyond the belly-aching threshold⎯ dropping, ever dropping, into the quiet whispering, the unspeakable tenderness. Binn Éadair I have waited through the long winter grey for the slow clean curve of spring, the sun a warm breath on my neck, its lips glossed with a damp breeze. Far below, the murmurings of wind and water weave a familiar braid of intimacy, the whole of the blue sky is stretched wide, light falls on us, a lovers’ blanket spread on sand. This moment is already time’s fugitive; sweet rain pooled in a dockweed’s leafy pocket, the soft unwrapping of downy buds, …

A Celebration of Women’s Poetry on International Women’s Day 2019

Image: Srilata Krishnan Poethead has been celebrating the achievements of women writers, editors and translators for over a decade. International Women’s Day 2019 is no exception. This year I have decided to highlight the work of women poets from my international index and to introduce my readers to some new Irish poets. I am very grateful to all the poets who submit to the site, especially for their patience. I do not think we would be heading into eleven years this March 2019 without the generous support and uplift that comes from my daily correspondence. Thank you, C. Murray, March 2019 ‘Birth Mother’ by Srilata Krishnan   We are standing in front of the mirror, my daughter and I, brushing our hair and being vain when I think of the doctor’s question: “What was her birth cry like?” I don’t know and never will. She is fine, or will be, I know. But looking in the mirror and into her almond eyes, I wonder what she is like – her birth mother – if she …

“Tarmac” and other poems by A.M. Cousins

REDRESS After Junichiro Tanizaki. Give us this day your problems. Allow us to torment ourselves about shadow and beauty and good taste and we’ll swap all that we’ve got for one hour in the life of a tortured artiste who wants to sit in a fancy lav and listen to a mosquito. We’d leave the shadows to the banshee and the pooka, and the nun who died young – she lurks and snaps bony fingers as your backside hangs through a hole in a bench. You tilt forward to tear a scrap of newspaper. All useless decoration stripped in Sunday’s Well where Little Nellie dances for Holy God, Artane boys march and Heaney’s henhouse child views the moon through a chink in a plank. Ancient Magdalenes and crones – sister-stitchers with blackened teeth and white, pinched faces glowing overmodest grey kimonos – enhance heaven’s cloth, embroider Limerick lace. Give us this day. (published in The Stinging Fly.)   BLESSED after Padraic H. Pearse. I grudge them – more than any of you will ever know …

“Viksdalen” and other poems by Fiona Smith

Shell shock   He built his laftehus in the old way, As it should be done, using cured wood, Beam on tremendous beam, an X joint With interlocking notches at the seam.   Sweating over plans, permits, rights of way. Helicopter drops in snow, cajoling The bureaucrats, architects, authorities. His wife, to just let him get on with it.   A truffle hog, he sniffed out each stick, churn Implement, coaxing farmers, dealers, Collectors to part with their cherished pieces For him to enshrine in his sacred wooden space.   In the hard work it took to fell trees, drag them, Haul them across the forest, dig foundations, And shape the beams, he buried some memories. Then he nailed a few more into the walls.   You can hear him up there still, pottering, fussing By the woodpile, stacking tins of condensed milk, Cod roe from Svolvær, provisions to last him Until he is forced to cede to a new generation.   Already they come, screwing up his systems, Logging their jaunts in his cloth-bound …