Category Archives: Small Books

‘The Last Fire’ and other Poems by Helen Harrison

CROSSROADS

 
Nineteen forty-five was like that
Free-wheeling to the crossroads;
Fifteen miles later; her own birth-place;
Travelling was the best part, the wind at her back,
A greeting ahead. News from home….
 
Roaming the familiar lanes, sisters
Continuous chatter; away from the
Clatter of feeding hungry hens, pigs and
Cows. She could roam without children,
For a day: To pause for some rest.
 
A small slip of time away from the chores
That shaped her life. No sooner had the
Ceili begun, it was time for the door: among
Promises to write, feeling satisfied to have rested
Those tired limbs. She’d set off, her frame;
 
Feeling heavier, cycling up hills, the thrill
Of the annual visit finished; her spirit slightly
Diminished, yet younger. She’d relay through letters,
How when she got back to the crossroads….the
First thing she’d hear; to spoil her wonder
 
Were her pigs squealing with the hunger..
 

PASSING SUNSETS

 
Evening, and there is nothing
To tempt me indoors.
 
Warmed from a day spent in the sun;
I spin it on my fingertips,
Pass it, to my team-
Mates.
 
Scoring goals
Win rolls of respect. Talents
Swaying to the chants; that
Tribal-like victory dance.
 
Ball of mesmerising fire –
Football skills that inspire. Cool
Moves; dipping, diving,
Thriving, in the company,
 
Until friends slip away,
As they are called in –
One by one.
 
Alone, with a crimson sky;
The breath I take is sharp
Like loneliness,
 
As the night turns – flat.
 

MUM AND SPUDS

 
How are you managing for heating oil?
Do you know that Mrs Mullin died?
I hope you like onions with your stuffing?
You said in your text that you’re on nights next.
 
Heaped on offerings of food,
Hot pans make mood for flavour.
Television. Loud repeated soaps,
Water hissing on stove. Potato
Peelings blocking sink – no time to think;
 
Can I help? I question her red face,
No it’s alright – clean the windows instead –
but listen; wait until after you’re fed.
 
POTATOES
 
I can smell the sweet potato peel
Upon my skin – and I visualise walking
Amongst the summer rows.
 
I pick over the box of earthy potatoes.
When I pull one that is perfect
I turn it in my hand like a gold nugget –
Buried in my memory – a charm.
 
I peel back happiness from the soil,
Memories drop into a watery bowl;
The day we planted them – sowing
Love which had lain on the edges.
 
Uncertain, I nearly threw love out
With un-seeded tubers; to decay in hedges.
Instead I wrapped them and stored them
In a cold shed – for spring planting;
 
I can already see your face shining pride
At flowering drills; you stand with a wide-stance;
The posture of the accomplished soul – your eyes,
Stare lovingly at each planted offering.
 

THE VOYAGING VESSEL

 
Even as the tides subside
I glide the horizon like a black-
Backed gull.
Waves of awe unleash
A various world of
 
Words I find deep in the folds
Of a sail-weathered wind
Freedom
Like golden grain in my hand
Rolling the currents to fly
Against a limitless sky.
 
I harbour the salt and the scent
From bays of seafaring faces,
The sea of pearled possibilities
Where beneath the rim and the rhythm
Coral, shells and speckled fish
Water me with colour.
 

THE LAST FIRE

 
You gathered sticks
To bathe the night with fire,
You, in your element
Smiling watery eyes;
Happy sighs – as you bent.
The next day your soul gathered
Over your cold body
To be buried under sticks and clay….
 
These poems are © Helen Harrison

Helen-2[1]Helen Harrison was raised on the Wirral, seven miles from Liverpool, by Irish parents, and has lived most of her adult life in the border countryside of Co Monaghan, Ireland where she is married with a grown-up daughter.
 
During 2014 she was awarded a bursary from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to study poetry for a week at The Poets House, Donegal.
 
Her poems have been published in A New Ulster, North West Words and The Bray Journal.Her first collection of poetry The Last Fire was published during 2015 by Lapwing. Some of her poetry can be found at poetry4on.blogspot.com

“The Dream Clock” and other visual poetry by Susan Connolly

Towards the Light  (1)_1

Winter Solstice at Dowth, 3pm (1)_1
One Hundred and Six Days (2)_1
One Hundred and Six Days (2)_2
FireShot Capture -  - https___dochub
Susan Connolly (2)Susan Connolly’s first collection of poetry For the Stranger was published by the Dedalus Press in 1993. She was awarded the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry in 2001. Her second collection Forest Music was published by Shearsman Books in 2009. Shearsman published her chapbook The Sun-Artist: a book of pattern poems in 2013. She lives in Drogheda, Co. Louth.FireShot Capture - The Sun-Artist cover_ - https___docs.google.com_document_d_1

What Kind of Love Leaves a Cunt-scar? by Chris Murray

What Kind of Love Leaves a Cunt-scar ?

the bee-sting

I arise to close
the heavy window
against cold fog

and her woods are littered
with little death

of sucked out corpses
and dessicate(d) fruit flies

and I feel the scar

snaking

ridged

against

and spider scatters into
her charnel house
fast-as-light

and her webs are
an ocean of exoskeletons

 

© Chris Murray, a version if this poem appeared in And Agamemnon Dead: An Anthology Of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry.The official launch of the anthology will be take place in Skerries, Ireland on the 23rd May during the Donkey Shots, Skerries First International Avant Garde Poetry Festival

Christine Murray

Christine Murray

Christine Murray is a graduate of Art History and English Literature (UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4). She is a City and Guilds qualified restoration stonecutter (OPW). Her chapbook Three Red Things was published by Smithereens Press in June 2013. A collection of poems Cycles was published by Lapwing Press in Autumn 2013 . A dark tale The Blind was published by Oneiros Books late in 2013. Her second book length poem She was published in Spring 2014 (Oneiros Books). A chapbook Signature was published in March 2014 by Bone Orchard Press.

‘Crystal Clear’ and other poems by Eileen T O’Neill

Crystal Clear

 
She sits alone within her own cocoon,
Shrouded from her entire surroundings.
Eyes stare without seeing today’s world,
The sound of talking is silent in her mind.
Her crystal lamp is abandoned from care,
All belongings are deserted from attention.
Her perspective is internally facing forever,
Her gaze is transparent in its sad emptiness.
This journey is taken in isolation and alone,
Farewells too late as her departure had gone.
Her dementia deteriorated in a sneaky fashion,
Only memories enliven her past participation.
 
© Copyright Eileen T O’Neill 20/02/2015
 

Solitude’s Soliloquy

 
Loneliness is an outpost endured,
Alone in isolation bereft of friends.
A far flung niche deserted in tundra,
Or lost in the coldness of city living.
It shrouds demeanour and self-belief,
Belonging is seemingly for all others.
Unattached except for wishful dreaming,
Solitude does not placate a lonely mind.
Seclusion is at times a necessity of desire,
Its calmness affords tranquillity to muse.
Reflections gaze and ponder their silences,
In this solitudinous mode one draws breaths.
A soliloquy considered in quiet contemplation,
This position sits well in the stillness of being.
 

© Copyright Eileen T O’Neill 19/02/2015
 

Rebirth and Opportunity

 
Making that first bold move takes much courage,
The contemplation and the deliberation were easy.
Stepping away from what was life’s familiarity then,
Every worldly possession uprooted and packed away.
Closing doors of the old abode was a surreal moment,
Pulling the garden gate shut and not daring to look back.
Nearest and dearest confused in the midst of changes,
Looking beyond the confines of what had been home.
Promise and dreams awaited in a flight of sixty minutes,
The arrival revealed an environment of boring normality.
Leafy slumbers of countryside living in a haven of safety,
Opportunities grasped at every turning point of direction.
One could sit and contemplate the nothingness of something,
Or simply taste life free from the scourges of its daily violence.
That momentous date of departure remains in minds forever,
Yet a rebirth evolved from the perspective of fresh beginnings.
 
© Copyright Eileen T O’Neill 14/01/2015

XdxI_-Ln_400x400Eileen T O’Neill was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She lives in Cheshire, England. Mum to four wonderful and loving children and one beautiful grandchild.
 
Eileen’s Website

AND AGAMEMNON DEAD : An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry

Thanks to Michael J Whelan for this post on ‘And Agamemnon Dead: An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry’ 

Michael J. Whelan - Writer

And Agamemnon Dead An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry Edited by Peter O'Neill & Walter Ruhlmann And Agamemnon Dead
An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry
Edited by Peter O’Neill & Walter Ruhlmann

Hi everyone, I’m really happy to announce that a brand new anthology of contemporary Irish poetry has been published today (St Patrick’s Day) in Paris and I am also delighted to say that I have five poems included in the collection alongside a number of exciting and interesting new voices coming out of Ireland in the these early years of the 21st Century.

And Agamemnon Dead An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry, Edited by Peter O’Neill & Walter Ruhlmann is published by Muavaise Graine (Paris 2015) –

see https://www.facebook.com/mgversion2datura

and among its 187 pages you will find poetry from

Michael McAloran — Amos Greig — Dylan Brennan — Christine Murray — Arthur Broomfield — Peter O’ Neill — Rosita Sweetman — Michael J. Whelan — Anamaría Crowe Serrano —…

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