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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

 

 

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Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
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PATRICK DEELEY

 

 

 

Patrick Deely

 

Patrick Deeley was born in Loughrea, Co Galway, and was a primary school principal in Dublin. He has now retired to concentrate on writing full time. 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. Groundswell: New and Selected Poems will be published by Dedalus Press next spring.

 

 

 

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Riviera

Soyer's Recipe

 

_____

 

Riviera

 

The white, close-crammed tables and deckchairs

on the private beaches at La Croisette

are anybody’s now the patrons have gone indoors.

 

Onshore breezes caper the fine-gold sand,

sparing no footprint. The Carlton, the Marriott

and the Majestic shimmer behind us.

 

A bed for the night, breakfast excluded, would exhaust

our life-savings. The pier, beaded with lights,

resembles an ocean liner, or a yacht owned

 

by a Russian oligarch and moored where

it’s deepest, at Antibes. Three flares of sanctuary-lamp

red, a moment’s pause, three flares more:

 

we watch the Cannes lighthouse repertoire.

And exaggeratedly dance each other up Palais steps

the stars take to wave to flickering multitudes,

 

and exaggeratedly dance each other down

to follow far-flung peasant tales: of Estella the witch,

whose potions distilled from Alpine flowers

 

helped childless women to conceive; of Patrick

on the island of St. Marguerite climbing a palm tree

to evade the floods sent by God to flush out

 

a plague of snakes; of sheep descending the mountain

at dusk in pre-tourist Aix to drink from

the lovers’ fountain. “Il pleut,” you say, but still we go,

 

by train and bus and splashing through pavements

to see Matisse’s Chapelle du Rosaire

de Vence. It’s closed, wouldn’t you know, so we ponder

 

la vie, la grande illusion, on our stroll back towards

sea level, while smoke from a rich man’s

rubbish dump mingles with rainclouds high on the hill.

 

 

 

__________

 

Soyer's Recipe

 

The soup boiler sits rust-eaten under a hedge, moss

cosying up to its lip and nettles scraping

an existence out of the black abscess at its base.

It doesn’t hold water any more, but we imagine water

thereapproximately two gallons, frothed

by morsels of leg of beef, a few diced onions, a pinch

of salt admixed to a shake of brown sugar,

with pellets of pearl barley floating on the surface.

 

Soyer’s Recipe for outdoor relief: 1s 4d the cost;

‘prudent economy’the lumper, the rock,

the Irish Apple and the cup, all rotted where they lay.

But if today the leaf-dappled shadows reveal

no starving figures shivering, no bone bundles heaped,

no fevered heads wobbling on withered stalks,

the museum at Strokestown tells their story

the stain of human famishment in which, however

 

unwittingly, we are complicit as it seeps onward

and down. For long after the voice-over has held us

rapt and sorrowful, the figures still stumble

across our thoughts, appear unbidden on our screens,

fed to us in small doses and rations, the fly-covered

orbs of their eyes beyond beseechment

or tears, their faint breaths squeezed by imperatives

of sky rockets and ‘smart’ weapons, trade

 

tariffs, food mountains, casual wastes and neglects

that bring them to expire. So we weep, well-meaning

as before, and weep the more at each tidbit

fleshing out their desperate chronicle. So the blamed

soup boiler is mobilised and stirred one way

or another. And a tent flaps somewhere and a field

logistics officer mutters Fuck it; fuck it to high

heaven as clay is shovelled over the coffinless corpses.

 

©2012 Patrick Deeley

 

 

Author Links

 

'Geezer': Poem by Deeley which placed 3rd in O'Donoghue Competition 2010

Deeley at Dedalus Press

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

 

 

 

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