For September's Poem of the Month
I have chosen the poem 'Driver' by Sonja Broderick (1971-2014).
It is taken from her collection 'The Things You Left with Me'.
A sample from the poem ' My Fields This Spring Time' by Desmond O'Grady (1935-2014).
It is taken from his collection My Fields This Spring Time
Both poets passed away August 2014
The side of his face.
The side of his head.
The side of his life
He wants me to hear.
Ginger hair, golden.
Boy yet man.
The car speeds
His riddles feed
Me with fire.
His griefs and joys
Are mine for now.
I know what will come
I feel his hand tremble
Through my hair.
We talk of weather.
His eyes ripple pools of morning
Cried from Summer skies.
I am not ready.
But I’m not sure if I can
Wait one more lifetime,
My married love.
a reply to your
THE SEA IN WINTER.
Mahon, you good man, I got
your cried communication sent
from solitary in your Portrush’s
burnt out Northern lawlessness.
It says it took you, off and on
a darkling year to write it down.
It’s thrice that time since when we met
with Heaney, Searson’s pub, Baggot Street.
You were on the dry and I
was on the go elsewhere else to try
my dicey throw at recognition.
We stood in the same position -
separated, sidelined, shorn
of any locks of strength we’d worn
North and South while young. Heaney,
climbed his tree and flew his way.
Many’s the martyred mile and metre
we’ve put down grimly since; more
the sutures of the soul to seal
in or out our commonweal.
Like St. Brendan Navigator’s boat,
we’ve sailed divergent courses straight
to new found lands (far from luckless
love) with harbours for love’s loss.
You fathered your son on that bed
I fathered mine on, Archilochus’ island,
Naoussa bay. Upon that day
we forged a friendship no one may
gainsay between us. You, Ulsterman.
Me, Munster. Both blessed with a son.
We both, in Greece, in our bedlock,
penned poems critical queens can’t knock.
Since then, like you left on my own,
I trailed in search of origin
to Celtic Asia, Azerbaijan
and having seen returned again
to put it in a printed book
for witness. Loneliness of lack
in that cold circle took me months
to sober start, where I stood once,
again. One friend made there was British.
That only goes to prove we Irish
who choose to stay at home live blind
sometimes to stymies in the mind -
although out foreign, free, alone,
we may forge friendships few’d condone
at home. The Sodom of Begorrah
begets no progeny tomorrow.
You thought of me through your cold pain.
I thought of you when I doused mine.
The only time we’ve talked since then
was on some city telephone.
For me that felt unsatisfactory
because we talked about the mystery
without the hieroglyphs of misery
to demonstrate our personal history.
For daily strength I read, decipher
your paean of triumph The Sea in Winter -
that human cri du coeur en hiver.
Enough for now to settle for!
What I may say in this reply
may sometimes seem to give the lie
to where my head and heart now bend;
but as my friend you’ll understand.
Tragedy’s penchant is live laughter
loud in the face of all disaster.
A lesson I’ve grievously learnt at last.
I’ve sworn now to renege my past,
but watch out for what comedy,
casual or otherwise, could destroy
values for which I’m willing to die.
You surfaced salvaged. So may I.
The rest of this poem's 42 stanzas can be
found in his publication My Fields This Spring Time.