Best of Irish Poetry 2009
Best of Irish Poetry 2010

Editor: Matthew Sweeney



Songs of Earth and Light

Songs of Earth and Light
Barbara Korun poems translated by Theo Dorgan



Done Dating DJs
Done Dating DJs
by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey
Winner, 2008 Fool for Poetry Competition




Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes





Munster Literature Centre

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Cork County Council







Paul Perry poem in Southword 19


Paul Perry is the author of a number of books, most recently the poetry collections The Last Falcon and Small Ordinance (Dedalus 2010) and 108 Moons: The Selected Poems of Jurga Ivanauskaite (The Workshop Press 2010.)








The Wrack Line


I found your soul on  the wrack line

            What was it doing there

I found your letters

                       Like tinder

            The words walking off the pages like tiny


             your cowboy boots

             I found them too

                         does that make you a cowgirl

Those earrings Id never seen before

            There was a big old radio too

And in a haze of noise were voices

            Our voices

            Reproachful tones

                        Or loving notes

I couldn't be sure

I found your shirt on the wrack line

          And the moon in a bucket

          And the blue dragonflies

          And the wine stains

          And your smell was on the wrack line too

And the double rainbow

          You must have been there      

          Your stink

                                Because you are an animal

          And like a fox you could tear the flesh of the face of a small child

                    I found your memories here

                                           They shimmered in my hands

I found a night we nearly


This then is where we love one another

          On the wrack line


          In its sand and kelp

                                 Are we drowning

          Did we drown

                                 One of us

                    Or are we saved

          Did one of us save the other or was it

                   Were thrown here anyway


          It is the only place we can

          The only place for us


Its twilight here or dark

                       I can see your shadow waning

Your tongue pulling me apart

                       Undressing my soul

Your scent saturating the


                      You've built a small fire

I am the flint I am the ember I am the ash

                      And I burn for you

Burn for you on the wrack line


                      Where / why you are silent

Is it the silence you love about this place


                       It sussurating quiet

            Whisperings I hear whisperings

So then it is not silent no no how could it be


            There have been murmurings

We know it       of deaths        of murders of all manner of


             If like the rest of the debris

                        If like the



But you are quiet

                       You wait        and the water are you scared of the water

Is that what is going on

            It was I who wanted to swim in

                       the heat of your body


What ship or boat or raft

                       Did we fall from

            I've been falling a long time

                                  how about you


                        There was some kind of feast


If the light ever comes

                                  Do you want it to

It must

                      If the light

                      What will you

Will you take my hand again


            There is a storm

                        It is coming but softly now

Rising and look at the water   

                        Rising slowly but surely

                        And you know what that means

the wrack line

                                   where I found  you

Where you found me


           But shining

The wrack line     

           will be wrecked again and we

                      we will be thrown against each other 


                                                                                                                                   once more



©2010 Paul Perry





Author Links


Paul Perry Home Page

Two Perry poems at The Poem.co.uk

Perry at Dedalus Press









©2009 Southword Editions
Munster Literature Centre

Southword 6 Southword No 7 Southword No 8 Southword No 9 Southword No 10 Southword 11 southword 12 Southword No 14 Southword No 15