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








Fiona Pitt Kethley

Fiona Pitt-Kethley is the author of more than twenty books of prose and poetry. She has lived in Spain for the last twelve years and is writing both prose and poetry about life there. She is married to chess grandmaster, James Plaskett and they have a son, Alexander and 8 adopted feral cats.










Erythrite (hydrated cobalt arsenate)

Hornblende from Carboneras





Erythrite (hydrated cobalt arsenate)

Cerro Minado, Huércal-Overa


Easy to recognise amongst these stones,

a femme fatale, loaded with arsenic,

rose madder, cupcake icing, Barbie pink.


No wildlife living in this silent spot.

Some pines grow here but little else it seems.

A garden fit for Mithridates´s use.

The flies of Andalusia can´t survive.

A woodpigeon has fallen on its breast.


What happened to the miners who worked here?

Two or three hours were quite enough for us…

Did they die young? Or else grow used to it,

weathering the poison as Rasputin did?


Seductive, toxic femininity.

We view its deadly beauty through a loupe.

I mistrust women and minerals in pink.

More manicure than heart, deadly at core.






Hornblende from Carboneras


A town once big on coal, out on a limb,

reached one way by a hellish coastal road

with death-defying drops along its route.

It´s just got tourism now, tourism and fish.

As we drove in an angler walking by

was carrying a swordfish shouldered on a sling.


The hornblende, I had heard, was out of town

beside the Algarrobico beach,

whose deserts of speckled sands and rolling dunes

were used in Lawrence of Arabia scenes.

A Spanish Tower of  Babel dominates,

a relic of the building boom gone bust,

when nature was attacked on every front.

It´s many storeys high, a vast hotel,

without a room to let to passers-by.

condemned before its final plastering,

reaching for heaven, a vast white elephant.

A fence keeps any would-be squatters out.


The rocks I want are all along the road,

no rarity, the local building stone,

grey andesite spotted with crystals, brownish black.

Hornblende´s a name of ugly homeliness

that pairs with horn-rimmed glasses in my mind.



©2014 Fiona Pitt-Kethley



Author Links


Fiona Pitt-Kethley at Salt Publishing

Poems by Fiona Pitt-Kethley in Standpoint

Publications by Fiona Pitt-Kethley at Amazon

Fiona Pitt-Kethley homepage






©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