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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
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MATTHEW GEDEN

 

 

 

Matthew Geden

Born in England, Matthew Geden moved to Kinsale in 1990 and still lives in the town. He co-founded the SoundEye International Poetry Festival. His poems have appeared in several publications both at home and abroad including Something Beginning with P, Poets of the Millennium, The Backyards of Heaven and Landing Places: Immigrant Poets in Ireland. Lapwing published his Kinsale Poems as well as Autumn: Twenty Poems by Guillaume Apollinaire, translations from the French. His first full length collection, Swimming to Albania, was published by Bradshaw Books in 2009. A new collection, The Place Inside, was published by Dedalus in 2012.

 

 

 

 

The Last King of Portugal

 

 

There’s no-one left to pray

in the chapel of Dom Carlos,

but guests can view it from above

faded in its decorated uselessness;

the chairs wait for a congregation

of arses that will never come,

the king cut down a century

ago, exiled perhaps to the Quinta

da Regalaria where he wanders

a version of the cosmos that

slips in and out of the garden,

past the promenade of the gods.

The signs lead him the wrong

way, towards an exit that is

closed, a mansion he cannot

enter and wearily through

tree-lined avenues, grottoes and

tunnels where the lights cut

out halfway leaving him

stumbling soulfully in the dark.

At the eastern end an

icy breeze blows, chills

him to his non-existent bones

but draws him down beneath

the surface of the earth, on

a twisted journey, it seems

whichever path he takes

ends up at the bottom of a well;

a subterranean tower, this hollowed

space where a staircase spirals

and teases him with the apparent

ease of travelling to the heavens.

Night falls on Sintra, bats

wing their way through the trees

and the late Dom Carlos remains

lost in a land of make-believe.

 

 

©2013 Matthew Geden

 

 

Author Links

 

Buy Swimming to Albania

Buy The Place Inside

Other work by Geden in Southword

 

 

 

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