All posts tagged: Contemporary Irish Women Poets

‘Wild Fennel’ and other poems by Tess Barry

Raspberries I started out in western Pennsylvania hills with wild raspberry and blackberry bushes and my mother’s apple field. Bread and ripe fruit and fresh milk. My mother cleaned the carpet right off the floor. My father was a Troy Hill boy who played piano and smoked Pall Malls and drank whiskey. He won my mother in a dance contest. Who wouldn’t learn to jitterbug for a prize like her? They took a train to Cape Cod for a honeymoon and bought hats for their mothers. They sailed all the way from the Cape to ten children. My whole life has been ripe with wild fruit. All the men I’ve loved had left feet. I was innocent until I got myself a good pair of rain boots. There is no point in wondering what I’ll come to. With my first words I wrote my own path straight to New York: all night accents, brick stoops. I left there like a mad dog running free like our Dusty who got himself killed down the street, chasing …

‘I Saw Beckett The Other Day’ and other poems by Órfhlaith Foyle

Photograph of Her Brother’s Skull   They give you to me, a numbered skull from a high shelf and in my hand you are a strange brute thing – a thing I hardly see -my brother.   The clean smooth bone of you – the whole of you no longer with me. In this room of discovered skulls, I have lost my memories And the photographer fixes your dead stare for his lens.   In this room of skulls, Your face is lost, my brother, and I grips hard to what is left.   After Sunday Mass in Malawi   After Sunday Mass they whispered: ‘he was a poet, perhaps. A dissident, yes.’ He ignored the spies in his classroom.’ Then someone else also remembered: ‘Of course, this is not our country. We are Whites, you see   I Saw Beckett the Other Day   I saw Beckett the other day in the doorway of that café where you took his photograph.   You know the one… when he looked up at the lens and …

‘The First Rule’ and other poems by Susan Millar DuMars

Reclamation   The blood has stopped and with it the need to suckle lesser creatures. My breasts are pale, cool proud and mine.   The blood has stopped and with it the need to shield smaller souls inside me. My womb calm. Not weeping. And it’s my womb.   I’m learning the pleasure of empty. The weight of one. Nothing on my back but a breeze getting colder.   The blood has stopped and with it the need to grow anything but older.   The First Rule   Will I show you what to do with a naked woman?   You can lie on top of her feel her yield taste her salt ride her undulations know her to be ocean almost drown   leave her the wind again her breath the tide again her muscles the rocks again her bones.   This is a naked woman. Rain fed pulsing soft.   Respect, sailor, is the first rule of the sea.   Baby Makes Me Watch   His features a pattern of cracks in a …

‘Stormriver’ and other poems by Myra Vennard

NIGHT TREE   Along the river bank street lights are lighting   the darkening waters glow the sun is low   the mountain crouches low in shadow   light drops from light dark creeps back to night …   my mind struggles with a paradox – gleams from a self-source   and light falling from a star   love is racked – there is no owning in the soul   the void is an agitation fixed habit of a consciousness   unwilling to go into the terror of going into light of naked night   my tree reaches up winter bare its star is not yet born.   GOING OUT   Sea fog curls around the cliff face   the island has no contour still – and I   I am weeping amid a conflict   the wish for forgetfulness yet fear of clinging sorrow   intangible dreams are real a beatitude in the memory   at dawn – an echo unfathomable – secret   I dream of the dead as having no subjectivity   …

‘Ism Writers’ by Susan Millar DuMars

Ism Writers The world is full of ism writers sobbing, always sobbing for many distant victims – but if they found ‘you’ bobbing in the river, clearly drowning they’d explain in patient tones how your privilege, not the current, is what’s dragging you down. They’d talk until the bubbles stopped pen an elegy then for now that you’re a soggy corpse it feels safe to call you friend while sobbing, always sobbing. That’s what ism writers do. Every word they write’s correct but not one word is true. © Susan Millar DuMars   Susan Millar DuMars has published four poetry collections with Salmon Poetry, the most recent of which, Bone Fire, appeared in April, 2016. She also published a book of short stories, Lights in the Distance, with Doire Press in 2010. Her work has appeared in publications in the US and Europe and in several anthologies, including The Best of Irish Poetry 2010. She has read from her work in the US, Europe and Australia. Born in Philadelphia, Susan lives in Galway, Ireland, where she …