All posts tagged: Contemporary Irish Women Poets

“Thrushes In The Rowan Tree” and other poems by Maureen Boyle

Christmas Box   There is honey and chocolate on our doorstep since Christmas—sweet box and coral flower— one on either side. The heuchera with ruffled cocoa-coloured leaves hunkers in the corner but the sarcococca or sweet box is where we step inside by design so that on nights as dark as winter and full of storm we brush the bluff, squat, shrub and boots and coat trail the scent of summer into the hall. Its flowers are what are left of flowers, petals blown away—spindly threads ghostly in the leaves, the odd early blood-berry that follows. Its genus confusa is right—from so frail a bloom a scent so big, as if the bees have nested in it and are eager for their flight.  Thrushes In The Rowan Tree   The very day the rowanberries ripen, thrushes fly in, stately and speckled, as if summoned there. They turn the tree to illustration, an autumn square in an illuminated script, or a sultan’s tree of singing birds. Acrobats in motley, they swing, making lithe lines of branches, stretching—somersaulting …

‘sunday DARTS and my phone’s dead’ and other poems by Alicia Byrne Keane

sassy ghost sometimes I’m startled by how perfectly my boots land when I take them off in poses too outrageous to plan like a dandy has strode into the room and is posturing, invisible, in my boots i can’t draw shoes it makes me restless (the art room of my school with its swelling cabin roof like an overturned ship, the teacher played the bon iver album with skinny love on it on repeat all the time the song makes me sleepy and cold)   i can’t draw shoes, when i try they look like puddles or ghosts everything about them less certain on inspection the soles worn in places so the line will look uneven on the page (the fear that no-one would know you were accurately capturing the wobbly bits)   When we came out that morning everything was covered in ice We talked about so much stuff that I can’t remember Any of it really, just that I was nervous in a good way And that we slept surrounded by paintings You’d …

Poems from ‘Available Light’ by Maria McManus

from ‘Émigrés’   3.   What is going on in your heart?   Prisoners of war live here   Throw off your gaudy vestments, spring’s best and brightest fig and let me see you naked and then, more naked still —   Put your heart in my hearts cavity. Slip it in.   Bring your worry beads if needs be. It’s not too late to shred all documents of denunciation.   5.   Now we must hunt by ear and put our trust   in gossiping swallows, the hooded crows, the herring gulls,   the wryneck’s potent drum.   7. Between silences take notice of the imago of your stolen self. Sold back but at what price?   10. Collect wishbones, place them in charnel houses, quarter the ground to make sure and certain none are missing – these things bring a plan to grief.   11. The song-birds are drowning, the sea is now a cemetery. The song-birds are drowning, the sea is now a cemetery   14. Life’s comforts are honeycombed and treacherous, and …

“Hair” and other poems by Kasey Shelley

My Name Is 1 Kasey 2 Bailer Kascerd Kasmeister Macy Bae 3 Casey Katie Tracey Lisa Chelsea Shelley 4 Bitch Slut Cunt Whore Prick tease Damp yoke 5 Kasim Kas Princess Hon Love Hard Work When the boy texts you to cancel your date, saying you’re hard work, say “OK”. Say “Thank you”. This will confuse him, obviously. He will be expected to respond with “How?!” “Why?!”, starting an argument, thus proving, you are hard work. When he writes back “what for?” you do not respond. When he texts you the next day saying “ah hun, babe” you still do not respond. He has already given up on something that did not have the chance to begin. Besides, you like men. Men who know what they want and go for it. Men who do not masquerade their own insecurities in yours. So you’re hard work because your walls are higher now than they were at what, sixteen? Well, he should now be taller than he was at sixteen. When you threw over a rope and …

“A Gradual Eden” and other poems by Audrey Molloy

A Gradual Eden After the lava had cooled, hardened like a carapace over the fresh-earth graves of our marriages, nothing happened for a while. Sure, you and I still talked all night, once dared to walk arm-in-arm like a real couple to the Vietnamese restaurant with the string-bead curtain and napkins folded into swans. I had to learn the basics: I only knew your every thought, but not, for instance, how you took your coffee, how you swam at five each day, leaving me to wake alone. Nothing grew on the hard-baked basalt of us. Ditches that had defined our highways vanished, once-shady trees now jutted like antlers where the lightning had struck. When the strawberries were gone we ate dandelion and fiddle-head ferns. You were an inventive chef, but I was sick of roots and leaves; I wanted Passiflora (or violets at the very least). Once, longing for old comforts, you peeked back under the edge of the rock-crust for a glimpse of green, but the lawns were mustard and thistle-pocked. Twice I peeked …