Delighted to receive a copy of Stories Under Every Rock anthology from the British Haiku Society. Haibun is a combination of prose and haiku/tanka poetry. It’s quite a difficult form to write in as it is so demanding. This is my first haibun in print. If you wish to get a copy of the anthology please get in touch with the British Haiku Society.
I was pleased to find out today that a haiku of mine was picked as a runner up for the seasonly Museum of Haiku Literature Award in the February 2021 of Blithe Spirit. A nice surprise.
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That’s the haiku in question. Thanks for eddy lee for selecting the haiku.
A review of the Green Carnations anthology was published in GCN recently. See the link here to read it. The review quotes an extract from my poem Count Day. https://gcn.ie/new-irish-anthology-sheds-light-lgbtq-experience-2021/
A poem of mine called Departure was published in a journal called Beir Bua for their second issue. Please check out their website https://beirbuajournal.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/issue-2-15.pdf and download the issue here. The poem is on page 42. Enjoy.
Some great news. 6 poem of mine where accepted for publication in the Green Carnations Anthology. This finally arrived today. It’s a great looking anthology and I look forward to reading it. I have 10 copies so if anyone wishes to purchase one the please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Queer Writers of Ireland published an anthology of poems called Green Carnations. In Oscar Wilde’s time gay men sometimes wore carnations died green to indicate that they were gay. It is an honour to get so many poems published in one anthology. Well done to the editor John Ennis for editing and publishing the anthology. Unfortunately the anthology is not available online but you can read the poems here.
You can follow Queer Writers of Ireland here https://www.facebook.com/QueerWritersofIreland/
Jogging in the Sun
In this ice-cream weather
my shoes hit the ground,
feels like they are running under me.
Lampposts in a row move slowly.
My tongue is a dry field,
skin tingles as sweat covers my forehead.
Fear bubbles up in me. A jumble of worries
comes to mind. I keep this rhythm up,
release each thought with the pounding.
I take a sip from my bottle,
the magic of water
cools me from within.
This day all things are right
and in there proper order.
The sweats dries away as the sun beats on,
sparks flash on passing cars
and the traffic sings. My thirst slackens.
I feel the glitter of hope as I run home.
I drove a cute guy home.
I hoped he and I could start dating,
nothing happened. Near his house there was a church
with girls and boys in their holy communion dresses.
The snow of their clothes filled the estate.
I was exhausted and went home
In bed alone I slept fitfully for a few hours
remembering the white ballots spilling from the boxes,
the buzz of counting, trying not to miss a single tally.
I woke to hear the official result
and was too exhausted to even care.
Four months of solid canvassing.
Later that day I made it into Dublin Castle,
the nerve centre of celebration.
People were dancing on the streets,
laughing, crying, and singing.
My heart swelled with pride.
A man stood there, with his placard
demanding that gay people repent
and live a life according to the Bible.
A crowd surrounded him and chanted
“Love heals all.” He ran away.
In a bar met a lady.
She thanked me for all my dead legs, bleeding toes.
She could not have stomached asking people
to allow her to marry her girlfriend.
By night time I was with my friends
outside in the warm May night.
We lit white paper lanterns.
They floated up and away
into the dark Dublin sky under the wooly clouds.
to Ryuichi Okamoto
My Japanese boyfriend
said my skin was like origami paper.
The pressure of his hand was a jolt of electricity,
the frisson of skin on skin.
We held our tongues together,
shared semen on and in each other.
He wanted whiter skin.
I wanted different hair,
to change my skin to a darker shade.
In Japan I learned to slur the ‘l’s and ‘r’s.
I picked out words from the streets signs,
round my mouth to say them right,
‘exit’, ‘entrance’, ‘up’ and ‘down’.
I appreciated the sheen on a lacquer screen,
admired a traditional tea cup,
held a fan the right way.
I knew the local ways
and yet there was still a gap.
I missed the umbilical cord
to my motherland,
so loose it could unravel.
I wrote home,
felt the pressure of the pen
marking its message.
I folded the letter and posted it,
asking them to send news,
and without using its name
to spell out love.
St. Stephen’s Day
I meet my childhood friends in Charlie Mac’s Bar.
We exchange polite gestures.
I stand at the edge of the circle a little crowded out.
We talk of the latest match, who is engaged,
and the price of houses.
I am unanchored here.
Whether I would return here, break up with my boyfriend,
or settle down is simply beyond them.
I am a tourist in my own town.
I will find my family is elsewhere among those whom I do belong.
The Pressures of Love
for Ishmael Marquez
And then you and I slept naked.
Your chest against my back,
the hairs electrifying me,
your heat came into my body.
You played with my earlobe,
slid your arm under my arm
and stoked one of my shoulders,
drew your hand down my chest,
I felt your manhood against me.
There was no gap then.
kept your look
and the pressure of your body on mine.
The Rose Garden
We walked hand in hand though Inchicore
to the War Memorial Garden,
sunken beside the road.
The roses came up to our waste,
boxes and boxes arranged in a circle
divided by a central grass plane.
There was a stone wall and pillars,
a plaque said something like ‘remember’.
I recall your kisses, the way our lips met,
how we imprinted the grass with our bodies.
I placed my legs between yours
you held me in a tight embrace.
I smelled roses, cut grass
and dandelions. No birds sang
but they could have for all I knew.
My heart soared, floated above
and I saw the pattern of love
criss-crossed in the paths.
Two poems of mine have been published in Crossways issue 10. Unfortunately that is the last issue of Crossways. It was an honour to be included in that publication. The name of the poems are Night Drive and The Bridge.
Check out the link to the poems here. https://crosswayslit.com/1532-2/
You can read the poems here.
I set out and the full moon is in the sky.
The road curves suddenly turning in on itself,
a carpet of black with cat’s eyes.
The moonlight silences the sea,
a ring of copper around torn clouds.
A town glitters against the bay
as mud sucks the water in.
My lights flash against another car
who flashes back, momentarily blinding me.
The dial moves up a number
and time stands away.
There is surprise in each corner
and yet the same darkness keeps up with me,
the same line of paint glowing.
The road unfolds as it does
neither adding nor taking away.
Finally my mind is quiet.
The canal is quilted with brown leaves.
There are nine trees on the right bank,
teasing towards nudity. My college days are over
and the breakup of my friends is near.
I am left with the company of water, leaf, and tree.
I walk under the bridge and whistle to its stones
not wanting to return home and pack my bags.
A flock of swans fly over the bridge
their underbellies pure white,
they call in unison and settle in the rushes
far beyond my reach on the other bank.
I found out that I won 2nd place in the Ballyroan Poetry Prize. Thanks to the organisers. Here’s the link and the poem below.
They knife their food in unison, scrape their plates.
She clears her throat and asks for the salt
a hard word from him falls onto the table.
He marches out around the garden,
pulls leaves off the shrubs,
tests the hose, checks the lawnmower.
She pokes the fire, feeds kindling to the flames
and runs her finger down the tongs,
tension held in the clasped claws.
I am delighted to say that I was selected to do a fiction workshop with the novelist and poet Brian Kirk. This is organised through South Dublin Library Services. I wish to thank South Dublin Library services for this opportunity.
A poem of mine called The Singing Hollow will be published in Crannóg, which is a journal based in Galway, Ireland. Here is the poem.
The Singing Hollow
Deep in the bowels of Dublin, there is St. Audoen’s Park.
In the middle is a singing hollow,
a slab of rock upright, grey,
with a hole carved into it.
You are invited to place your head inside,
clear your throat,
purse your lips and hum.
Vibrate until all your organs are in tune
and the pulse matches the stone.
Waves spread out and meet
the road, blackbirds, apartments,
all vibrate in concert,
beyond what the ears and eyes can tell
but the heart knows.