“Colour” and Other Poems by Paul Casey

Colour

for T.S.Eliot and after fourteen poets

The purple stole away from the skins of plums
Everywhere we turned became a maze of colour
I protect you with an indigo coloured whisper
You curve the ends of my black and white day
Coffee brown, is mole, dying leaves, dry earth
But smell led me here, the smell of yellow
The blue, white and red stripes of exotic confusion
Moving over the green gravel of a formal grave

I wet my lips and a blackbird flies out of my mouth
Faces in the front row, silvered in screenlight, focus
I thought everyone knew what was meant by sugar-paper blue
Tyrian dyes and flax and peacock plumes
Gold and yellow where the clouds crack and break away
Anemone-blue mountains outlined against the pearl-grey morning

Colour was first published in Live Encounters

Fishapod out of Watercolour

The Spring sea arrives
in flailing sage,
clutches lime-white soles
with the early hunger of sand.

Seeping, air-bound,
caught on the cusp
of an inner eclipse
I turn to olive water.

Nothing can be at rest
beneath this marble ichor
moon of all things opaque
and aquamarine.

In stone-pale, heaving waves
tik-taa-lik struggle
to reach the shore
– to shift an ageing jade spell

for the sea to cast wide
her turquoise daydreams
helpless crashing raging

at the thirsty white sun,
the untempered one
as ocean sighs find all

that crawl from her murky womb
to stand and gaze uncertain
at ice slowly gleaming teal

or a fern vapour of dream.

– first published in home more or less (Salmon Poetry, 2012)

An Béal Corcra

Delightful aftertaste
this river
of kingly colour
Ocular delight
this stream
of purpoesy
vein-aortic mix
of spirit liquid

as even
evolved vampires
overdose
on blends
of rich-thick
contradiction,
of unravelled
breaths expired

even as
seasoned muses
pilgrim-seasoned muses
each leave a trail
of purple dripping
from tongue and teeth
a new harvest
of mystery

and even as
starved poets sip
the mountain manna
purple poem wine,
dream-drunk poets
pulse-deafened
descend purply
their seasoned lips

– first published in the chapbook It’s Not all Bad (Heaventree Press, 2009)

Blue Roses

for Rosie

And then there are uncertain nights
when she blushes a sudden lavender
as I first remember, or darkens to a violet sleep.
Sometimes, she shimmers from the tranquil deep
of a burgundy world, dreaming and I
witness her water to a pale coral dawn

I’ve seen her shine as light as pear
tethered still and clear by the anchors
of warm mid-morning daydreams,
turn sepal green as if petal less
or glow amber as the fallen leaves
from a bouquet of autumn operas.
And on each blue moon, without fail
fold into the calm of origami white.

Usually my rose is a full flaming-red
cardinal weekend in a time made
only of roses. Is a wild flowering
rambler, a climber, a rosebush of scarlet
matadors, urging the shy and tormented
to dance in the showers of abundant daily joy.

If on certain days I could breathe
for her, roses of only breath,
they would each live as blessed
as a momentary labour of thorn-less blood
a singly purposed mist of quartz,
two thousand tender dozens per day
all shed before her footsteps and dewed,
tinted finely, with the scent of blue roses.

– first published in The Stony Thursday Book and then in home more or less (Salmon Poetry, 2012)

In the Shade

ash green lakes
aquamarine memory
beryl tears
cambium skin
celadon mist
chartreuse touch
clover-sprung harp
copper green temper
coral turquoise tongue
emerald green heart
fern green sleep
forest green winter
grass green bed
gravel-green lullabies
grey-green wink
hawthorn essence
hazel green gaze
island green iris
jade green mouth
lime green aura
marble green poitín lips
midnight shade of green
mint green sight
moss green sex
myrtle green palms
olive green age
opal green seas
pea green ire
peacock-green visions
pine green bones
reed green waters
sage green fires
sap green toes
seaweed green thighs
spring green dawn
Tara green rain
tea green calm
teal sorrow-pools
thyme green dusk
viridian storms

– first published in home more or less (Salmon Poetry, 2012)

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Colour & other poems are © Paul Casey

Pic: Shane Vaughan
Image: Shane Vaughan (2016)

Paul Casey was born in Cork, Ireland in 1968. His poetry collections are home more or less (Cliffs of Moher, Salmon Poetry, 2012); and Virtual Tides (Salmon Poetry, 2015). His chapbook of longer poems is It’s Not all Bad (Coventry, Heaventree Press, 2009)

In October 2010 his poetry-film The Lammas Hireling, after the poem by Ian Duhig, premièred at the Zebra poetry-film festival in Berlin and has been screened at StanZa in Edinburgh and Sadho in New Delhi.

He grew up in various stages between Ireland, Zambia and South Africa, working mostly in film, multimedia and teaching. He lectured screen writing at the Nelson Mandela University, where he convened the greater Port Elizabeth Poetry Competition in three languages and four age groups.

He is the founder and organiser of the Ó Bhéal reading series in Cork, where he lives. (Source: Irish Writers Online)

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Audio and Film Poetry by Paul Casey:

“The Dream Clock” and other visual poetry by Susan Connolly

Towards the Light  (1)_1

Winter Solstice at Dowth, 3pm (1)_1
One Hundred and Six Days (2)_1
One Hundred and Six Days (2)_2
FireShot Capture -  - https___dochub
Susan Connolly (2)Susan Connolly’s first collection of poetry For the Stranger was published by the Dedalus Press in 1993. She was awarded the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry in 2001. Her second collection Forest Music was published by Shearsman Books in 2009. Shearsman published her chapbook The Sun-Artist: a book of pattern poems in 2013. She lives in Drogheda, Co. Louth.FireShot Capture - The Sun-Artist cover_ - https___docs.google.com_document_d_1

AND AGAMEMNON DEAD : An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry

Thanks to Michael J Whelan for this post on ‘And Agamemnon Dead: An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry’ 

Michael J. Whelan - Writer

And Agamemnon Dead An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry Edited by Peter O'Neill & Walter Ruhlmann And Agamemnon Dead
An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry
Edited by Peter O’Neill & Walter Ruhlmann

Hi everyone, I’m really happy to announce that a brand new anthology of contemporary Irish poetry has been published today (St Patrick’s Day) in Paris and I am also delighted to say that I have five poems included in the collection alongside a number of exciting and interesting new voices coming out of Ireland in the these early years of the 21st Century.

And Agamemnon Dead An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry, Edited by Peter O’Neill & Walter Ruhlmann is published by Muavaise Graine (Paris 2015) –

see https://www.facebook.com/mgversion2datura

and among its 187 pages you will find poetry from

Michael McAloran — Amos Greig — Dylan Brennan — Christine Murray — Arthur Broomfield — Peter O’ Neill — Rosita Sweetman — Michael J. Whelan — Anamaría Crowe Serrano —…

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“I Was Swallowed by a Harry Clarke Window” and other poems by Niamh Boyce

I was swallowed by a Harry Clark window.

 
All that flesh. So exquisitely etched.
Decked in magenta, Prussian, cobalt, lemon
even the halos are mandarin. And, oh
so sweet are those cool palms that peek
from viridian pashminas to pray and bless.
 
I’m on the side altar, reverent, gazing
mouth open, keeping clear of the sacristy
(old habits die hardest) when
the scalding tangerine of Saint John’s robe
pours down my throat. Burnt, I douse my
 
tongue in a panel of inky night. Graze stars,
how they bite! And bite, and bite…
 
Fully digested, I stretch
on a glass horizon that peaks like a breast.
Oh, all here is holy, and all here is sex.
 
I Was Swallowed By A Harry Clarke Window was published by New Irish Writing Magazine

 

Frida Kahlo

 
Eyes me from the blue wall of my semi d
in bare necked upbraiding majesty.
 
How luscious is my pain, she exclaims
and I, can produce it, for you, again and again and again.
 
Prefer me bleeding in the red dress
or the yellow one? Like a bone for a token?
 
Just love the way I left absolutely nothing
unspoken? My torment glued to tin votives
 
for eternity. My pudenda pushing its way
through a bouquet of bad memories.
 
Pray gringo, pray for me.
Pick me clean but pray for me.
 
Frida Kahlo was published in The Poetry Bus

 

The First Time She Painted Me

 
She done me in my blue dress
She done me in my pale blue dress
and the wall about the door sang blue too
 
like the breast of a beautiful bird – soar, soar
then I saw the light, the light pour in
thought of church, candles, the Virgin
 
Mary with a snake underfoot
I saw her smile and move that foot
let the serpent wind round her ankle
 
till she swooned and dropped the infant
he shattered without a sound.
Oh Mary, said I, what’ll you do now?
 
Woman, keep your hair on, says the virgin
there’s plenty more where he came from.
 
The First Time She Painted Me is previously unpublished
 

Auld Lang’s

 
Play us an old tune Harvey!
Get on with you Cecil!
 
Why are all these people in my dream?
Have I died and gone to the BBC?
Is this what god meant by purgatory?
Cut glass accents splintering under hoof?
Ties tight enough to strangle Adams fruit?
 
And there’s the sweet lord
lifting a Daz white shirt
like a flasher in the park
as dry lips get to grips
with cigars off which
teeny tiny ladies
plunge, flashing
regions nether
and sausage gut
suspenders.
 
Guts, I’ll have yours for garters
says uncle Toff, as he sucks his teeth
with a short shnup
like a rubber glove
coming off.
 
And all the men grow pink cheeked and sprout wings,
tiny things, that wouldn’t carry a budgie across a kitchen,
but they rise and rise and their bellies hang sky high,
there must be a dozen or so of them,
overblown milk fed men,
their navels like punctures ready to happen,
and drown us all,
drown us all who waltz
across the parquet floor
paired and in time, mouthing Auld Lang’s Syne
 
as the piano woman doubles
to set herself against the clock, and the count
(of ten, nine, eight…) down, towards midnight
 
and I look again and see she’s not bent,
that her spine curves with intent
under the daisy dashed taffeta
hailing down her back,
 
five, four, three,
the fat men go cerise,
and two, and one,
and the year
bursts open.
 
Auld Langs was published in The Poetry Bus
 

Petronella

 
Sleepless under hotel sheets I summon
the sleeping child pose of my sleeping child
the wild raspberries on the saucer beside him
 
that tired mother this morning, her twins
sucking slim wedges of melon, those two
tanned magpies who speared all the fruit.
 
Then Alice’s maid, who preys on my dreams
climbs in, with herb fingers and hot breath
clutching a sack cloth dyed red, whispering
 
whoever needed a scapegoat as much
as Alice? Four greedy husbands hoping
for the deeds? Step-children planting seeds?
 
I drift off under thin sheets, sensing poetry
in these walk on parts, the after charge
of a passing heavy goods vehicle
my heart that will someday stop beating.
 
Note: Petronella was the maid of Alice Kyteler and was burnt as a witch in 1324.
 
Petronella was published in The Moth Magazine
 

Night

  
Blue-black fur skims every part of me that moves
and I move quickly, from mother bed to a maze
of paths, glazed with scattered crumbs of glass.
A creature whose voice I can’t hear, whose face
 
I can’t see, is teaching me to read with my feet.
This is a time, not to think. Travelling deep
is tough. It’s always winter. No. Love isn’t enough
in the tinker palace of memory. Bird women squawk
 
overhead, a carnival of forgotten babble.
Baubles swing from their claws, clear spheres
pregnant with sea, moon and sky. They swoop.
Their eyes are yellow with history. Look back!
  
Who knew there were so many of us? I see beasts
unfettered freaks. Feathered, furred and taking
corners until undergrowth gives way to cliff face.
Blinding sapphire waves break, plunge us
  
one by one into an amniotic ice blue sea
where we settle to an alert rest. If
you look now, I’m still. Except for a fishy
under-lid flicker. Sleeping. Not
  
bottom of the ocean, breathing water.
Permeable. Suckling the rushes of some
early second. When a secret runs past
my fingertips, I listen.
 

Night was published in Southword Literary Journal

Niamh Boyce
Niamh Boyce

Niamh Boyce’s novel The Herbalist (Penguin Ireland) won 2013 Newcomer of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. She won Hennessy XO Writer of the Year for her poem Kitty in 2012 and her unpublished poetry collection, The Beast Is Dead, was highly recommended in the 2013 Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award.

Kate O’Shea is a crack poet

Eggs

 
His poems are words upon words
like eggs smeared with henshit.
They could be free range or organic –
who knows? Too calculated to be risky.
I buy 30 for 1.99 in Liberties Market
and dodge small boys with girls’ earrings
who have never heard of Jackson Pollock
but make an impression on the
bottom of Francis Street and day-trippers,
a stone’s throw from the Bad Art Gallery
which is pretty all right if you like
Mia Funk and well-built women
doing dirty things with bananas.
That’s the problem with men
who are too into blowjobs
more words upon words
like eggs smeared with henshit –
stylised, idolised.
 
Eggs is © Kate O’Shea
 

Tadpole

 
Misery heaped on misery like an Irish Sunday dinner.
It’s hard to swallow; lives like this happen to people
that sprouted dreams like Mr Potato head.
Once fat faces chipped away by keeping body
and soul a hive of useless colony,
the queen bee washed-out and martyred.
Even back then with bamboo rod
and fishing net, catching tadpoles in jam jars,
I wrote sentences in water, used the strange
bodies as living commas, apostrophes
following Os, no ownership,
unlike other daughters I scrutinized in photographs,
I turned wild like the ditches dividing fields,
at the roadside, always on the edge, barbed,
 keeping out of the way, scuttling in the sunlight
with rabbits and wrens, foxes, badgers, and hedgehogs.
Words hurt like a kick in the teeth. A fist.
 
Sitting at a desk I feel I have come full circle.
Tadpoles swim in the pupils of my eyes,
drip from my tongue, squirm on the page for all to see.
I imagine a thumb come to squish them.
I imagine his hazel eyes,
dumb as nuts telling me nothing –
the mouth moves like a loom.
Conformity, conformity, conformity.
I am sick of language, and even he cannot comfort me.
Old allegiances like dead frogs
spread-eagled to reveal their insides.
Anatomical clocks. Ancillary. Tadpoles.
 
Tadpole is © Kate O’Shea
 

Dandelion Clocks

 
Female poets with cropped hair bang on about their weariness,
world-weariness and immortality on the grey page.
There is grief and they are all alone, day after day after day,
their lovers have skedaddled, now they drag the icy moon
after them like a giant pill into middle age.
 
This is the stage I dive roll across like a navy SEAL
avoiding cat flaps and vintage night gowns with tiny buttons
up to the neck, trying not to look pensive,
that finger-cocked-under-the-chin faraway gaze
like Rodin’s statue, but not the same. Bang.
 
I inhabit a different space, my only dread, going home,
or whatever that means, to hang like a windsock
on a calm day, slightly awkward and out of place.
I have moved on and how I chose to wear my hair
contains no clue to my tabernacle, the fugitive in me
plays rummy and quaffs light beer, takes two foreign holidays
a year and listens to Wallis Bird full blast – ‘To My Bones’.
 
I scrimped and saved all my words for grand sentences
and the joy of christening nameless things,
whether broken or chipped, chilled by the breath of history,
no longer walking on tiptoe but stomping a sean-nós dance,
and here is the mystery, my feet dodging the bodies
scattered across the floor like unloved seeds of blow balls,
our dandelion clocks.
 
Dandelion Clocks is © Kate O’Shea

Kate O’Shea lives in Dublin. Her chapbook Crackpoet is available on Amazon. She was short listed for the Cork Literary Review Poetry Manuscript Competition and the Patrick Kavanagh Award twice. She is widely published in journals abroad. Her latest publications were in The Seranac Review, Orbis, Cyphers, Outburst, and Prole. Most recently she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in America.
 

She has been published in Icarus, Electric Acorn, Poetry Ireland Review Issue Number 34 (1992), The Burning Bush, Riposte, Poetry on the Lake , Silver Wyvern Anthology (Italy), Out to Lunch Anthology 2002, Poetry.com, Shamrock Haiku, Bamboo Dreams an Anthology of Haiku Poetry from Ireland, Poetry Bus 3 & 4, Outburstmagazine Issues 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13, First Cut, CANCAN (Scotland) June 2013, LucidRhythms (U.S.A) ,Angle Poetry Journal, Australia (Issue 3, March 2013) The Galway Review and Turbulence Magazine (U.K.) June 2013.
  
Her first published work was a short story, and for this, she won the Prudential Young Irish Writers’ Award 1990. Her humorous sketches were broadcast on Mike Murphy’s Arts Show on RTE Radio 1. She was one of the youngest members of the Dublin Writers’ Workshop, and after that went on to found Chocolate Sundaes at La Cave with William Kennedy and Christopher Daybell in the mid nineties. She was the winner of the Gerard Manley Hopkin’s Poetry Award 1991 and took the overall prize for poetry in the 1998 Clothesline Writers’ Festival. Two poems highly commended by Al Alvarez, were published in The Silver Wyvern Anthology in Italy, 2001.
  
Kate edited and published posthumously, the selected poems of her good friend Christopher Daybell, The Man With The Crowded Eye (2001).
  
She is an accomplished performer and respected on the open mike circuit. She wrote about her experiences in Poetry Ireland Review Magazine (2003), and has read in New York and Rome. She recited in The Palace Bar 2009 to honour Patrick Kavanagh; in 2010 she did a reading/stand up routine, for GLÓR, International Bar. She was one of the poets from Dublin’s lunchtime reading series organised through Bank of Ireland’s Arts Centre and featuring contemporary poetry in Ireland today. The OUT TO LUNCH anthology (2002) featured the works of “…young, emerging poets like Paul Grattan, Conor O’Callaghan, Kate O’Shea, and Enda Wyley.”