Elegy For A Good Mother


You’ll never again bite into a blackberry,

Taste its sweet juice,

Grind seeds in your teeth.


Never again look out to the lake

Where moorhens dip, nor watch

The coots with their nuns’ coifs.


Nor will you walk the high road,

Name a flower in every front –

A wonder to its Latin root.


And still the briars insist,

Thrust out, filling space,

Still the water ripples.


And your lovely image lingers

In the house where you raised a family,

The garden flush with hollyhock.


You are woven into this townland,

On rambling rose and hawthorn,

Honeysuckle, meadowsweet.

Published in Poetry Ireland Review 129.






Shuttling forward very fast

into spacetime’s warped embrace,

icy comets hurtling past.


Though the journey is fantast-

ic, still the fear, the cutthroat pace,

shuttling forward very fast.


The cockpit shaking as we cast

aside concern, we daren’t lose face;

icy comets hurtling past.


Home fires burn. Oh God! The blast!

And days before we’re back to base,

shuttling forward very fast.


Stressed, we turn on Mozart’s Last

Requiem, as we onward race,

icy comets hurtling past.


But look! ahead the iconoclast-

ic moon, a conch in expanding space.

Shuttling forward very fast,

Icy comets hurtling past.

Highly Commended in the Jonathan Swift Competition 2019.



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