All posts tagged: Contemporary Irish Women Poets

“Words Like Stars” and other poems by Roisin Ní Neachtain

Janus His Janus head looks both ways, Double-jointed at the neck. The honey juice of the persimmon Bursts from their mouths, Babbling tales in frothy tones. A river parts his muscles. The knot in his guts is split. Inimical flesh in the dour night, Unborn in blackness, You seek, four-eyed, for memories that the oil burned bright.   The Moon of Pride The skies are thrown in a vernal frenzy. We are strangers again And tremble in rounded movements. We dance through the open of a new obscurity. Our voices imagine the salt of shame, Still insisting between lines for honesty. Pale as the moon of pride, He plays our hands And knits fingers into spirits. Ashes ingrain the shadow of his feet And blunder through each sorrow of my mind.   Words Like Stars How they flow unformed Then fix themselves like the stars Shivering and held up Worshipped And I And they Staggering and squawking Sweating and squabbling Night and day Wobbling words Singing Dust Dust Dust Corrosive mantles Wrought to a stain …

“Harbour’s Mouth” and other poems by Annette Skade

Threnody I know why the sea churns. A woman gets the news, drops to the chair, floor – further, the quick in her bleeds out. She is liquid now, leaching away, this hour, this day, day-on-day. At the back of her eyes a face ebbs and flows: his lop-sided smile makes room for her touch, the tilt of his head calling drinks at the bar, wide arms swinging his kit, their young child, onto working-man shoulders. Can God breathe underwater? Each year a sacrifice: the man in blue overalls, flower-blue eyes, who loved his wife at first sight; the ready-laugh man collecting glasses in the pub in off times; the dancer bending into sound like a squall; the dare-devil larking about first night back, caught up in the dizziness of breathing; the ones who tread water, the ones who don’t know what hit them, the ones dragged down in sight of shore. All lost. They slipped from sight like water through our hands; our hands are empty of them, our mouths are empty of them, …

“Irish Twins” and other poems by Roberta Beary

Genetics Your eyes are big and round like your father’s but while his are the color of the Irish Sea yours are the color of the muddy fields on my father’s land fit only for the peasants who worked them. abortion day a shadow flutters the fish tank Publication credit: Rattle #47, Spring 2015 (ed. Timothy Green)   Lunch Break The fridge is empty. Which means someone stole my sandwich. And stuck me with this blueberry yogurt. Expiration date two weeks ago. Who stole my lunch. Or is it at home. Retrace my steps. Retrace. Did I take my lunch off the counter. I’m not sure. I was in a hurry. I set the alarm. Remember setting the alarm. Did I lock the door. I’m sure I did. I set the alarm and locked the door. My stomach is making weird noises. I’m starving. A slightly dated yogurt should be okay. Or maybe not. I might get sick. Salmonella, E.coli. I know the symptoms. Fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps. I’m feeling queasy. It’s this yogurt staring …

“Lúb ar Lár” and other poems by Máire Dinny Wren

Lúb ar Lár and other poems by Máire Dinny Wren. Original Irish versions followed by English translations by Máire Dinny Wren and Kathryn Daily Ar an Chladach Dhearóil Is cuimhin liom a bheith ag snámh, Is cuimhin liom a bheith ar an tanalacht, Is cuimhin liom a bheith ar an doimhneacht, Is cuimhin liom a bheith i mbéal cuain. Ní cuimhin liom an t-uisce á thruailliú, Ní cuimhin liom ag ithe micreachoirníní, Ní cuimhin liom mo shláinte ag meath, Ní cuimhin liom a bheith cloíte. Is cuimhin liom a bheith ar ghrinneall na habhna, Is cuimhin liom a bheith ag léimtí as an uisce, Is cuimhin liom na hiascairí ar an bhruach, Is cuimhin liom a bheith ag snámh in éadan an easa. Ní cuimhin liom na lanntracha á scoitheadh, Ní cuimhin liom cár chaill mé na heití, Ní cuimhin liom ag fás cnámha saorga, Ní cuimhin liom an claochlú. Is cuimhin liom a bheith san uisce ghléghlan, Is cuimhin liom an fiadhúlra muirí, Is cuimhin liom a bheith ag sealgaireacht, Is cuimhin liom a …

“Sing” and other poems by Jane Clarke

Sing Let choirs make frosty nights sing, let them tell stories of shepherds caring for sheep, a stable, a donkey, a star in the east, while you remember the road to the church in the woods, the battened door, timber trusses, peeling paint and plaster that fell like snow on the christening font and harmonium, the pot-bellied stove that offered a smidgeon of heat, candlelight soft on the bible lying open to Isaiah, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given… Let yourself sing, diminuendo or crescendo, as if you still believed.   Point of Departure A Sunday evening in January. My father is taking me to the train because my mother can’t; her heart is broken over what I told her. Just my father and me, unused to this time together, quiet except for the engine’s hum and the sweep of wipers but in his silence I hear a rhythm — he’s cutting thistles with a scythe, a gate opens into a meadow I’ve never seen.   When winter …