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Chapel of Rest

Matthew Barton

Winner of The Strokestown International Poetry Prize 2018

Chapel of rest


Mícheál Ó Ruairc

Mícheál Ó Ruairc, ó Bhréanainn, Co. Chiarraí agus Baile Átha Cliath, a
bhuaigh Duais de hÍde 2018 ag Féile Idirnáiisiúnta
Filíochta Bhéal na mBuillí, Co. Ros Comáin, le dán cumasach íogair dar
teideal Draighneach, ar fhilleadh an duine ar dhúthaigh a óige.




The Male Line

Iggy McGovern

The Eyes of Isaac Newton by Iggy McGovern (Dedalus Press 2017)

McGovern's technical skill is of a piece with his humour: lightly worn and deftly handled. There is of course a strong formal element to wit, so it is no surprise that a craftsman of such dedication can make you laugh, but these poems also make you think: from the brilliant Parodies Lost in memory of Dennis O'Driscoll, to the economy of Memoir: "From Bisto to bistro/From Osmiroid to haemorrhoid/From shamrock to glam rock/From Alice Liddell to Alles Lidl . . ." 

Extract from a review by Caitriona O'Reilly in The Irish Times

The Male Line




By Moya Roddy

Watermark is from Moya's forthcoming collection Out of the Ordinary to be published by Salmon in April. 

towards a safe mooring

towards a safe mooring

Gerry Boland

Dirty Little Dresses

Dirty Little Dresses

By Louise G Cole

Hennessy New Irish Writing, October 2017 winning poems

Hymn to the Reckless

Hymn to the Reckless

By Erin Fornoff

This poem, now the title of a new collection by Erin, won 3rd prize in The Strokestown International Prize in 2013.

Meet Me for Coffee

Meet Me for Coffee

By Jessamine O Connor

Winner of the Poetry Ireland/Butler's Chocolates award, April 2017

A Wilding

A Wilding

By Sean Lysaght

2 Poems of the Month

'The Fen Woman's Redress'

By Patrick Maddock

'Lorg Shuibhne'

By Rody Gorman

Our Lady of Cúm a' Chiste

Our Lady of Cúm a' Chiste

By Paddy Bushe


Winter Commons

Winter Commons 

By Geraldine Mitchell

Taken from Geraldine’s forthcoming collection, 'Mountains for Breakfast', published by Arlen House in March 2017.

Where The Brown River Flows

By John Murphy

Here they come, the Friesians and Charolais,

the Large Whites and Landraces, down

Oxmantown, down Aughrim Street,

Ross Street, Ashford and Arklow Street,

they run, the rivulets of dung turning

to rivers on Ben Eadair and Niall Street,

the crombied drovers calling and shouting,

their ash plants strafing polls and bleeding

haunches, fear and a strange exhilaration

everywhere on market day when children

crush in doorways and alcoves, well-used-to

but wary of the thundering hooves

and the sudden grunt of diesel engines.

Here they come, the blessed of the country,

the cattle ranchers and farmers, the dealers

and flush bucks in money-chocked boots.

Here they come, the spit-on-the-hand men,

the blowers and puffers, the gombeens

and sharps. They come and they come,

and beasts bellow in the slaughter races,

and ramps clang on the pavements,

and sticks jangle the grills and hollow rails,

and they turn in a ring of churning dust

where the auctioneer yammers the bids

and farmers pummel rosettes of money.

And still they come, they come until

the blood drains from the killing floor,

the foundations drop, and Drumalee estate

slides over the cattle pens and abattoir,

the stench of crop and carcass lingering

for years— And now they are gone,

one hundred and seventeen years of gore

and slaughter, a holocaust of beasts, ten

thousand hecatombs drained to the bones,

trotters and hooves, skulled, hung and cropped,

the slung curves of hooked meat

cut clean as the torsos of mannequins.

They came and are gone, the cattle trucks,

the glazed eyes that bulged between the slats.

The tanglers, drovers and penny boys gone.

The skull bolt and the brown river gone.

The greatcoats pressed, the boots polished,

the streets washed clean— all of it gone,

everything put away or covered over.

This is civilisation. This is how it is.


Doireann Ní Ghríofa 

arís, músclaím scáileán dorcha an fhóin phóca
líonaim an scáileán le himpí:
[bí liom, a ghrá]
[bí liom]
[   ]

arís, scriosaim na litreacha, ceann ar cheann
amhail fuil ag fágáil croí
[tar chugam a rún]
[tar chugam]
[   ]

ach arís is arís, fágaim folús eadrainn
ní chuirim chugat
ach tost
[   ]
[   ]
[   ]

agus fágtar ár scáileáin

Is file í Doireann Ní Ghríofa a scríobhann as Gaeilge agus as Béarla araon. I measc na nduaiseanna atá bronnta uirthi tá Duais Rooney do Litríocht Éireannach, Sparánacht Ollamh Filíochta na hÉireann, Gradam Filíochta Mhichíl Uí Airtnéide agus duais liteartha Wigtown (duais náisiúnta filíochta na hAlban).

At the Station

By Mary Turley-McGrath 

You did not see me as you left the platform,

turned through the swivel gate and crossed the road ̶

the safety barrier still down.

I called your name and the wind blew words back

into me. I gained pace until I was almost parallel,

the lines of speeding cars between us now.

I did not call again but watched your coat blow back,

your left hand resting on your stomach, head bowed

as if talking to the baby inside.

You were never so close to me, never so far away:

like in the film of Dr Zhivago, in the final frames

we see their love-child for the last time:

a plain business-like girl with a headscarf,

quite unromantic in herself, who hurries home

with her young man, a balalaika on her shoulder.

I saw the film my first weekend in college.

I still remember that sunlight through winter trees,

Julie Christie’s hair, Omar Sharif’s gaze, love’s despair,

as if here I could never cross this road to hug you

or that we would walk forever in parallel lines

like the railway tracks in the film, glinting, stretching.




By Grace Wells

Some things happened that should not have,
I made mistakes and was given witness to my worst self—

I was left like something a spider leaves,
sucked of everything except despair.

We founder and must find ways to mend.
One foot in front of the other I walked the riverbank,

inland, upstream, letting water flow against my failings.
I struck a path through cow-parsley and nettle,

holding the indigo lamp of bluebells to my damage,
moving deeper toward the river’s quiet country,

further into my personal ruin. Where the two
converged I slumped among the wet weeds, wanting

the river to wash right through me, to wipe me clean.
And up from the liquid surface rose an otter;

an otter plunging water. It dived to somersault,
to divide in two and become a mated pair.

Black as eels but halo-bright they circled, swimming
me into their carnival, into a wider world—

so that I want to say, do not fear your anguish;
despair births miracles; hope is only waiting for release.

Pay attention, the signs gifted are subtle: small beads
for the necklace of faith we must thread for ourselves.

Fur Grace wells (418x640)

Globalising the Grafán

By Paddy Bushe

The Béarra man recognised it alright. I thought he might.

The neighbour with the John Deere tractor had no clue,

Although the teacher home on holidays recalled his grandfather

Insisting that “a grafán is your only man for the garden”.

Someone found it on Amazon (a “digging hoe” in DIY)

After I had tried hardware shops all over the peninsula.

It came – cheaply – by courier, a heavy shaft and blade

That scrapes a dogged living for the wide world’s poor.

Some of whom, migrants now, reviewed it on Amazon:

“I have looked for this since I left my own country”. Mine

Flew through lazy-beds of potatoes, scattering boggy sods

While I recalled ridges and furrows in high, remote places,

And I thought of my friend who was smuggled into Europe

And of Amazon trafficking its stateless tax-accounts

Between borders, searching for a haven, like refugees

Who slip across frontiers when the guards avert their eyes.