All posts tagged: Doire Press

“Poem for the Female Unspoken” and “Daphne’s Riposte” by Emily Cullen

Poem for the Female Unspoken Perhaps you’ll excuse my lateness…I’m on my period. – MP Danielle Rowley to the House of Commons, July 2018 This poem goes out to generations who had to keep confidences about the curse, clots, bloodstains, cotton wool bulk between their legs, menstruating in harsh climates with minimal comforts. This poem flies in the face of centuries of social mores, honours loose pelvic floors, the sanctity of feminine secrets, universal female fear of leaking crimson through smalls, seeping into jeans, onto crisp white linen. How many women through history have shared this worry when they slept on foreign sheets? This poem bears witness to small, hidden woes endured in silence: that morning she inserted her first tampon in anticipation of a rough sea crossing, her acute unease, swaying back and forth above a choppy ocean; her mortification about that fourth-degree tear after the birth of the baby, the soreness and weak bladder she’s suffered ever since, secreting just enough urine, as she coughs or sneezes, to force her home from functions …

“The Other Side of Things” and other poems by Robyn Rowland

I. The Other Side of Things. from the sequence Sky Gladiatorials Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown made the first non-stop aerial crossing of the Atlantic, Newfoundland to Ireland, 1919.Previous to that, they both flew for Britain in World War I. Alcock ‘was the first man to bomb Istanbul’; then, with plane trouble, crashed-landed near Suvla, 1917. He was imprisoned in Kedos, Turkey. Air is crisp in the cockpit and seeded with summer when he flies toward that once powerful city. Constantinople, desired, mysterious, Mimar Sinan’s mosques of exquisite geometry defining its shape. Libraries bulge with rare illuminated books. A city lovely in both poetry and Churchill’s dreams sits unaware of the bombs Alcock clutches under his plane The boy Irfan Orga is nine, father taken to the war, never to return, his small brother ill from hunger, grandmother sharing their two rooms, hampered by new poverty, their home burned out by fire, everything of beauty gone. In Mahmut Paşa Street, his mother struggles through the crowded market to forage, unused to being …

Fragmenting…defragmenting… by Breda Wall Ryan

(i) Woman, Fragmenting Out of reach of Bach’s Rescue Remedy, she free-falls through 2, 1, G to the basement. Wifemask says she’s fine, hides behind her Prozac smile, offers cake and tea, nods and nods. Wearing her disguise, she lies While chemicals scramble signals, sparks refuse synaptic gaps, the machine malfunctions, cables snap, she swallows despair, takes what’s on offer for toxic sorrow, peels her skin down to the raw child at the core of her unhinged matryoshka. Things can only get worse if nobody Zolofts her back to the surface. She tries to grip the creature—is it she?— sinking through air, land, water, submerging, seabedding. (ii) Woman, Defragmenting She searches for handholds inside her head, climbs her hair through a blizzard on the north slope. Choking on terrors of high unguarded places, she fights the urge to step off into nothing, give in to gravity, plunge through the sea-skin, then fly, half-cormorant, down to oblivion’s seabed. Spiralling riptides draw her under, she rides an undertow down, down where dolphins drown, stars nail the lid …

‘Aleph to Taf’ and other poems by Emma McKervey

Aleph to Taf The magpie uses a rudder to steer by. I watch the long feathers of its tail turn according to its needs. The women here swear they see them singly for weeks before a death, but that is only said after the fact and I know you can see as many as you wish wherever you look. Now there are seven moving about this field; I think nothing of it. I hunker the tip of the long drill which runs to the North and is ghosted by frost in winter’s milky light. The dibber is in hand. It is not a strong name but I know it carries force, carries the moment of force in its twist. Torque it is called and the dibber forms the T of that turn. It is a brand in my hand which separates death from life, beginning from end, from Aleph to Taf as the Hebrews say and I rotate the taf, the true cross, opening the ground with its shaft and turning the raw soil with …

“Market Prayer” and other poems by Annemarie Ní Churreáin

Laundry   Here in the Indian foothills, I share a house with a man from Greece   who speaks no English perfectly, disappears for days on a motorbike,   leaves his laundry on the low make-shift line, grieving an absent sun.   Side by side they hang: his shirt, my summer dress as if they know each other well   and when he returns, smelling of engine oil, monsoon, rolled brown cigarettes,   we have no formal language, to share our separate joy.   Drip-drip on the balcony, a queer, white pool gathers below.   He holds at a sleeve, looks to sky. I open my palm for signs of rain.   Market Prayer   It is the scent of hanging fruit more than roots pulled from lines of parallel dirt that lingers after all that has happened. I touch a pyramid of lemons and everything is new again. I pick one, and close my hand around it as if to test these immutable seeds glowing in my darkness. For what, I do not know. …