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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
Best of Irish Poetry 2010

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Songs of Earth and Light

Songs of Earth and Light
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Done Dating DJs
Done Dating DJs
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Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
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PATRICK DEELEY

 

 

Patrick Deeley

Patrick Deeley was born in Loughrea, Co Galway, and is a primary school principal in Dublin. He has had numerous poems published in Ireland and abroad over the past thirty years, and five collections of his work have appeared from Dedalus Press, including The Bones of Creation (2008).  He also writes fiction for younger readers, and his novel The Lost Orchard won The Eilis Dillon Award in 2001.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geezer

Third Prize, Gregory O'Donoghue Competition

 

To find in slowly ripened time you are old, 

a fumbling and stooped curmudgeon

never picking the path of least resistance 

even in the crucial, maddening matter

of articulating the right word that is always

on the tip of your tongue. To feel

justified in taking what pleasure you can

from noisily blowing your nose

into a plaid handkerchief, or from fiddling

with coins at a post-office counter

while the whole queue sighs lengthily behind.

Let them make allowance for diminished

circumstance; you roll and unroll

with the days, still able to tie your shoelaces

and shave your face. And the supposed

liberations of being an old geezer? You’ll say

they are mythical, to be endured

as a thousand tethers tightening their grip,

bearable provided you can get away

even for a day to watch the waves breaking

and know the temper of the world

enough to know they are waves breaking

more or less at the pace waves have

always broken.  Provided you can still be in love

on a train with the woman whose hair

is long and dark as the first night it tumbled

onto your skin. And sneak a little look

while she reads a book or dozes to the train’s

rhythm.  Provided you can witness

for her sake the mile after mile of blossoming

whitethorns, the cattle grazing in one

direction, the slickly wet necks of horses

twisting a behemoth out of mist and imagination. 

And suffer again your lifelong trick

of falling into the cloud-transforming heavens

while, away to the west, empress evening

trails dappled sleeves of sunshine and shadow

across the heather, and far and near

clumps of golden furze rich with the scent

of marzipan break your heart faithfully as ever.

 

 

 

©2010 Patrick Deeley

 

 

Author Links

 

Deeley at Dedalus Press

Review of Deeley's The Bones of Creation in Contrary Magazine

Deeley at O'Brien: writing for young readers

 

 

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