Shining Rock Poetry Anthology

"Achill 72," and "Dining Al Fresco" by Crona Gallagher


Achill 1972

On Winter nights such as this
When iced air is cold as glass
and the blood of the sky a dark galactic ink,
you would take us outside in our bare feet,
point north to the heavens, and instruct.

We used whale bones for stools
as you hedge row taught, pin pointed the stars,
gave co-ordinates, latitudes and meridians
the mapping terms from lost shipwrecks
that lie still under rock studded seas.

We turned our faces like satellites, up
to find the warrior, to build it up from dots
until a giant of a man with rapier and holster
stood firm in Hibernian firmament.

Rivets and bolts formed an iron- age plough.
We would find the archaeological remains
and dig it out of the dark so it could turn once more
the sods of night sky and a dash of startled milky way
was flung across the blackness
as seeds thrown from a sack.

Then we'd stand in our pyjamas to go inside,
one of us slightly taller than the other, slightly older
another, slightly smaller and younger and another again.
This human staircase stepping up towards your lofty world
and you, the rudder on our round blue planet
turning our cosmos, turning every tide.


                                                                     First published by 'Poetry Ireland Review' Co. Dublin, Ireland


Dining Al Fresco

"Aha!" said the dunlin
"so that's what it is!"
"What"? said the curlew
  with its water sweet voice.

"It's a clam!" said the dunlin
"It's a clam!" that; he said.
"It's a clam?" said the curlew
  with its' bow bent beak.

"It's a clam!" said the dunlin
"It's a golden clam!"
"In the sand" said the dunlin
"In the sand!"

"How absurd" said the curlew
  with its thrush brown down.

"What to do?" Said the dunlin
  as it fuddled round the shore.

"It's a rue!" said the curlew
  as it pecked at its door.

  And it opened.
  Just a creak, but it did open.

"What a treat!" said the dunlin
  with its starfish feet.
"Then let's eat!" said the curlew
  as it pecked at the meat.

So they emptied out the locket
turned out all of its pockets
and the shell filled with silt
which the sprung sea had built.

Then they ran along the shore
to explore it for more,
but the solvent waters fell
and then buried them, as well.
                                                                       First Published by 'The Moth Magazine' Co. Cavan Ireland

Cróna Gallagher is a studio holder at Leitrim Sculpture Centre in Ireland. Poetry and short fiction have been published in quality journals and anthologies across the globe.
 
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