I was delighted to be asked to contribute ten poems to UCD’s splendid Irish Poetry Reading Archive. The link to the Youtube recordings are here: http://libguides.ucd.ie/ipra/readingsotor
Mammy at Masada
If I were to remember you anywhere
it would be here, cliff-top,
59 metres above Dead Sea-level,
seated on rock, light bouncing off
the white glare of your sun-hat,
breath spasming in your 85th year
of brooking no obstacles.
We’d heard the foundation myth
on the way up: the no surrender,
the 960 men, women and children
opting for glorious death. You opt
for glorious life, gasp the thin air
left in your body, grasp the chance
to rise, resume the tour, run upstream
of tourists swarming the citadel.
To celebrate the publication of my first audio book, I’ve got a free code to offer to download the book from the Audible website. All you have to do to win the code is to respond to this post, or to the Facebook posting of this link. I’ll enter each name into a hat and email or Facebook the lucky individual – then all you need to do is write a little review telling the world what you think of Bar Talk. Sweet, eh?
You can visit the Audible Page for Bar Talk at
St Brigid’s Day, Woodside Road
For Fiona Curran
It’s just as well we didn’t bet our souls on it.
This first day of pagan spring dawns white,
the two-day fall blanking out pavements,
children making hay of it with snowballs.
One attempts, Sisyphus-style, to roll a boulder heavier
than his bodyweight up the embankment.
Mothers in tracksuits supervise from front-doors,
fathers, scrapers in hand, track warily round cars.
Sane people stay indoors, waiting for the equinox
and the met office to make it official.
But I brave the frost, looking for some augury or other,
find it in a melted six inch square in Vi’s planter.
I hunker down for a closer look, then bow before
green shoots tangled in a perfect plaited cross.
(from Her Father’s Daughter, forthcoming from Salmon Poetry, 2014)