1st September 2014

The summer comes to a clanging close.
Gas rises up within me and my internal pipes bang.
I imagine the faces of the children I have yet to get to know.
They scare the inside of my head.
My stomach just isn’t even there
and fear gnaws at me.

I lie on my bed and the damn clock
snicks time away closer to the first day.
Do the other children lie on their beds
wondering what kind of teacher they are getting?
Will he be kind to them if they forget?
WIll they be kept in detention often?

The statue of the Budda sits in the corner.
I know what he would say,
‘Just say yes to all of this.’
I want the darkness to douse
the coming day and make my tormets
vanish into soft daydreams.

Chatting to teachers in the staffroom makes it worse.
The school principal is breezily indifferent.
Children play hopscotch on the yard.
My stomach drums, drums in the deep.
I cannot get out. A shadow passes over me.
The bell goes. They are coming.


(Published in The Blue Nib issue 38, June 2019)

The Still Point

The shadows of the oak trees
are broken into blobs.
The wind rushes over the surface
and pondweed carpets the lake floor.
Ravens go in their autumnal circles.

I dawdle here a little
as my house is empty.
Its walls are my companions.
My usual chair tries to comfort me.
The fridge hums to fill the cool space.

I listen to the waves through the boughs
and I say yes to my worries:
a written reprimand from my stiff boss,
a brush off text from a supposed date,
an unexpected bill arriving at my door.

Then a sudden brightening,
the sun glistening on the lake
and the ripples criss-cross over and over.


(Published in the Blue Nib issue 38, June 2019)

The School

On the path a dog barks at me.
Fear grows in my throat, my stomach twists.
I remember when a stray dog
broke into the yard during PE.

The children were in full revolt
refusing to listen to me.
I shouted in frustration.

The principal came outside
with a look of thunder on her face.
Later in the office she admonished
me like a little child.

I protested but got the deaf ear.
I wanted to scream out
that she was impossible.

The dog is still snarling.
I raise my hiking pole to belt it,
then realise he is also scared.
I run on quickly.


(An earlier version of this poem is in The Blue Nib issue 38 June 2019)

The Lake

The air is full of burnt smog
and paths are crisscrossed with briars.
The clinging air fades
as I walk to the bitter lake
I imagine your reflection beside mine
and I dip my hands in to cup some water.
I offer you a cup of these bitter tears.


(Published in The Blue Nib, issue 38, June 2019)

The Dream Tree

The sky is dark with fear
with the moon a yellow parachute
making shadows long.

Salena is with her two children in the bathroom
before bedtime. Badriya and Amin wash their face,
then the car bomb goes off.

Salena runs, squeezing their hands.
Her shoes stick in the mud
then she abandons them.

Reaching a border post, they are refused entry
since they lack paperwork.
Salena gives the guard an unspoken favour.

She tells Badriya and Amin about the dream tree.
It sways its branches when you sing to it
and it makes your dreams come true.

The moon shines over the campsite,
a forest of yellow plastic sheets.
They stand with a sheet between
touching the outline of their faces.


(Published in The Blue Nib, issue 38, June 2019)

6 poems in the Blue Nib

Delighted to announce that six poem of mine are in the Blue Nib journal issue 38, June 2019. The poems are called The Lake, The School, The Still Point, 1st September 2014, Sole, and The Dream Tree. You can view them on the above blog entries or view them on The Blue Nib website on https://thebluenib.com/article/diarmuid-fitzgerald-poetry/ or order paper copy of issue 38 from the Blue Nib website by following the link. https://thebluenib.com/product/issue-38-pre-order/