All posts tagged: 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, …

“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 …

“The Unfinished Poem” and other poems by Caroline Johnstone

The Unfinished Poem The house his mind once called its home Has gaping roofs, and paint-cracked eaves, Of forget-me-not blues The frosted brittle skeletons of history and wit served now As a porridge of forgetfulness, faint echoes haunt Sweet gentle kisses of remembrance Dementia’s wraiths roam shadowed emptied rooms, Herald long laments for lonely roads where memories float In space yet give no hope, no sense of place. As Alice keeps on falling down the rabbit-holes of grief The curtains close on last acts interrupted. Observers weep at unfinished poems. 1771 – The American Wake (published by The Galway Review) My firstborn child declared his independence, Said he would choose to live, not die, by drought that stalked us all, Or drown by workhouse shame. The death knell rang. America had called, cried freedom, hope. He left our land, was pushed by fear, by poverty that gnawed his soul, And pulled by hope, and images of greener lands than these. While on the hill, the landlord nodded, raised the rents And watched our young ones …

“Devotion” and other poems by Lani O’Hanlon

MY MOTHER’S LOVER   The occupational therapist who came to visit left an invalid toilet seat with handles in the bathroom and a gadget with a claw hand to pick up things from the floor. My mother demonstrated how they worked, rehearsing to be an old lady hobbling on arthritic feet. Until Stein arrived, the sailor she’d had an affair with thirty years before. ‘You have no idea how angry your father was.’ ‘I do. I was in the next bedroom.’ And so the Dutch man came, with flowers and still wearing her Claddagh ring. He had blue eyes and a dog called Bonny. The invalid toilet seat vanished. She made my sister go shopping for new underwear. First published in The Moth Issue 19 Winter 2014/2015 Ed, Rebecca O’ Connor BACK UP QUICK, THEY’RE HIPPIES   That was the year we drove into the commune in Cornwall. ‘Jesus Jim’ mam said, ‘back-up quick, they’re hippies.’ Through the car window, tents, row after row, flaps open, long haired men and women curled around each other …