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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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SEAMUS HARRINGTON

 

 

 

Seamus Harrington

 Seamus Harrington's recognitions for poetry recently include a shortlisting in the Desmond O'Grady Poetry Competition. He has had poems published in the UK, the US and in Ireland in publications such as Hungry Hill Writing, Southword Journal, The Red Wheelbarrow, Poetry Rivals, Crannog Magazine and Mobius. He has read his verse in Lake Orta, in Strokestown and contributed also to the Radio Programme “Seascapes”. He has a piece accepted by the Caird Library at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. (He believes the muse frequents lighthouses, especially at night.)


 

 

 

 

Highly Commended in the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition

 

Open Day

 

A weather window at last.

Into the doorway filters the trickle of feet eager

shoals always in single file follow the leader

step after step in lemming-like incremental

stages a seep of osmosis percolating up

up the granite stem the group’s rear

-guard admires the flat calm seals

slip away to seaward red hand-

rails steps chiseled into rock

under ominous gantries and

derricks white stormrooms

storehouses generations

of generators concrete

paths whitewashed

past that heliport

perched on a flat

cliff edge fort-

ified windows

flicker in gua

-no sunshine

on-ward and

upward up-

ward in strat

-ified layers

parabola of

lilliputians

a helical spiral

of concentric cir-

cles as each course

of stonework narrows

towards the waist of the

rising sentinel daylight slits in

to musty paint and saline spray hazy

smells cling to the iron echoes that clang on the

staircase as the top floor is reached the peaceful lantern

room no click-clack of cogs a burst of opulent optics but the view

stirs the leaders a gasp of delight escapes over the balcony and two gannets

      soar into the seascape faraway down the flight expectations elevate the troop which leg to rest
      on but the patient majority of us favour the left to match the widest part of the clockwise step.

 

©2013 Seamus Harrington

 

Judge's Statement

Very few concrete poems are successful. Generally the theme has little to do with the form and the flight of the lines collapses. ‘Open Day’ is a notable exception in a sea of technical failures. It soars up the centre of the page ‘a helical spiral/of concentric cir-/ cles as each course/ of stonework narrows.’ It is a perfect description of our lemming-like communal walks in an unexpected weather-window. Descriptions are compressed and crowded so that they spill through the egg-timer of the centre. This is a beautifully made poem.

 

 

Author Links

 

'Indulgence': an article by Harrington at World Cruising Club

'White Out': poem by Harrington at MaryCharmanSmith.co.uk

'The Hunters': Seamus Harrington reading (YouTube)

 

 

 

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©2009 Southword Editions
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