More happy love! more happy, happy love!
—JOHN KEATS, Ode on a Grecian Urn
Women Improve With the Years
Always Sligo Rovers
and we remember
our pasts, our people returned to us for tonight—
Gym Poem #1
scene 1: the goldberg variations
a kiosk at the end of a dark train in an abandoned travelyard:
the magician in his moth coat appears in a vaudeville flourish.
your piano plays the rescued Goldberg,
– their black edges.
it is the gothic quarter
their coffins are white with crosses on (red)
aside an archivum (shades of gray):
Scene 2 : the goldberg variations
wending its tones above a skatepark of bullet-glass
(the melody plays, yes).
I see that:
softening the blow here and here
he is always the hanged man (stasis)
Scene 3: sphinx
nobly in-dreaming he (of heads ?)
lover (‘not’ properly addressed)
he dreams gold or red heads (emanant)
sphinx cat lies on my egyptian cottons,
& my lover’s red
the stress clinic it’s ok no one need know only negligible impending threat i’m going to leave you let healing happen i’m turning left into the coffee shop it’s easy like this one step one more comforting to sit even on seats slashed by spooks i can wait learn patience is learnt on the edge other worlds where others wait for the breath something that “presents” a hiatus between one distress and the nest you’re reluctant to leave it’s ok the world is out there still the density you love suspended in space preparing the next problem for you to solve you’re good at that talented are you ok? me too it’s just the acid sprung on a tensile in my stomach ❧ at ulica Freta, 16 – before radium or polonium the wood seeps into your bones in a room that lives as if its grain & whorls were part of your nervous system – smooth marrow – polished in your tea one lump, two meticulous the molecules contract till they disappear optical illusions have their own reality billowing on the balcony Poland is diluted Prussian Russian fission renames a people invents a purpose of its own but you can shut it out indomitable in a room that soon is rubble while thunder splits the summer partitions your future gladioli everywhere alert to your black dress alive your luggage waltzing in the street (originally published in Can-Can #2) ❧ modern art you’re slung rigid against the wall boxed in the past adroit your mouth apes bereft of tongue hoping to emit a word a silence, even something, anything of the side-tracked route you had to take from primitive iron lodged in some alpine nook through ism, to prism to plexiglass you’re waiting - aren’t you for me to gut you get the warm feel of your spasm when I tug on the spinal cord and watch you crumple to the ground crimson refusing to be pressed ❧
Anamaría Crowe Serrano is a poet and translator born in Ireland to an Irish father and a Spanish mother. She grew up bilingually, straddling cultures, rarely with her nose out of a book. Languages have always fascinated her to the extent that she has never stopped learning or improving her knowledge of them. She enjoys cross-cultural and cross-genre exchanges with artists and poets. Much of her work is the result of such collaborations. With a B.A. (Hons) in Spanish and French from Trinity College Dublin, Anamaría went on to do an M.A. in Translation Studies at Dublin City University. Since then, she has worked in localization (translating hardware and software from English to Spanish), has been a reader for the blind, and occasionally teaches Spanish. For over 15 years she has translated poetry from Spanish and Italian to English. Anamaría is the recipient of two awards from the Arts Council of Ireland to further her writing. Her translations have won many prizes abroad and her own poetry has been anthologised in Census (Seven Towers), Landing Places (Dedalus), Pomeriggio (Leconte) and other publications. She is currently Translations editor for Colony Journal: www.colony.ie.
Nocturne for Voices One and Two
Nocturne For Voices One and Two is © Christine Murray (Published in Outburst 15)
Outburst 15 Preamble by Dr. Arthur Broomfield.
Christine Murray is a Dublin-born poet. Her chapbook, Three Red Things was published by Smithereens Press, Dublin (June 2013). A collection Cycles was published by Lapwing Press (2013). A dark tale The Blind (Poetry) was published by Oneiros Books (2013). She a book-length poem was published by Oneiros Books (2014). Signature a chapbook was published by Bone Orchard Press (2014).
|It was with great sadness that I learnt of the death of Dr. Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin, Senior Lecturer of Early Irish (Sean-Ghaeilge), at the Centre for Irish Cultural Heritage at Maynooth University. Obituaries and remembrances are too formal a way to encapsulate the energies of the person who has passed away. What we may say about her on paper; on her authorship, her survivors, and her activities, pale in comparison to the ball of energy that she was. Muireann had a huge and warmly generous physical presence despite her tiny size. She was quite literally a ball of energy.
I first met Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin at the Four Courts, as one did during the campaigns that dominated the Celtic Tiger era. Protestors would be in and out of courts fighting on issues related to the complete destruction of any and all heritage laws by the Fianna Fáil Party who came up with new planning bills even as they tore down and scrapped institutions that were charged with the preservation of our natural and built heritage. News media would jostle to get near the government ministers who thought up new and ingenious ways to fast-track planning laws and ramming their tastelessness into property bubbles, bad housing, dublin satellites, and the ephemera of trash that can only be described as garbage politics. People like Muireann were almost criminalised for objecting to the fact that in the 13 years of political dominance by Fianna Fáil and it’s motley collection of political props, not one of them actually bothered to bring in a single heritage preservation bill. The media never asked why there were no heritage bills, they were busy selling houses for the government.
Muireann asked the awkward questions like why Dúchas was abolished by Martin Cullen TD, Why Bertie Ahern was so intent on a leadership that passed endless fast-track and Strategic Infrastructure Bills, and why successive Environment Ministers could not pass The Aarhus Convention into Irish law, they still haven’t. Why above all were we demolishing (‘Preservation by Record’) unique sites at Tara (39 sites were demolished) in the Gabhra Valley to allow for the M3 Toll Road. Decentralisation of protections like the OPW, and the defunding of existent preservation programmes were policies that ensured cheap housing and good profit to companies like the NRA (who also managed to take on the majority of archaeology programmes nationally) The media not alone did not trace these issues but they deliberately ignored or obfuscated them within a sugary silence that disallowed anything negative or challenging to emerge that might effect the status quo. There was no joining of dots, just a lot of quangoes and silence in the Tiger Era.
Despite this juggernaut of profiteering and short-termism, Muireann for the most part kept her temper and went into the courts, or she stood out on the Hill Of Tara in all weathers, or she waved orders into the faces of the Gardaí. She never cried in front of me but she witnessed a scarring and vicious tragedy that seems to encapsulate the appalling recklessness and greed of the Tiger Era. It was a devastation that was fuelled by greed and lack of education: bulldoze everything and make some cheap tract housing , extend the Dublin suburbs into Meath and while we are at it make a tidy little profit from unhooking all laws that preserve our unique heritage. Gombeenism is not the word for it.
Muireann’s gentler side emerged when she involved herself in cultural events like the Feis Teamhair where poets like Peter Fallon, Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Susan McKeown and more came yearly to Tara to raise cultural voice and to sing their protest. It was probably at Feis Teamhair that I last saw her turn back toward someone who grabbed her arm and asked her a question or greeted her warmly.
We make public poets, great men and women who are imprisoned in the media glare. We want them to represent all that is good in Ireland, and we consign the irritating questioners to the margins. Muireann was an irritating questioner, a restless and enthusiastic spirit, a friend and colleague of great poets, she defended and embraced our literary and poetic heritage with all her health and drive.
She has not lived as long as those she opposed, but her name is inscribed in the history of Tara, a visual sign that people will battle great odds to illuminate truths that politicians and their wordless and grey supporters ignore. Dr. Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin has died a respected and feisty woman, unlike the liars she challenged daily and I will miss her big heart.
Rest in Peace Muireann x
Christine Murray (published at The Bogman’s Cannon )