Stony Thursday Book, October 2010

Very happy to appear in this year’s ‘Stony Thursday Book‘, the publication from the Cuisle  Limerick International Poetry Festival 2010 alongside so many (other) luminaries. Of course my eye goes first to people I know on the Dublin ‘circuit’, like Eileen Casey with a fine poem full of the hard, harsh imagery of Siberia (‘Woman wearing her home around her shoulders‘); and Orla Martin with “Regret’, a small poem that covers a lot of (emotional) ground; also I find Anamaria Crowe Serrano with a troubled poem ‘An Elephant’ which gets deep into the experience of grief and sorrow. No ‘Notes on the contributors’ in this edition so one cannot see behind the poems to get a glimpse of the authors, but lots and lots (142 poems!) of really good stuff and one would be really hard-pressed to chose the best half-dozen. But in that nefarious number I would certainly include Cillian Fahy’s ‘Footnotes’. It’s just the sort of lively, sardonic tilt at literary pretensions and posings that really appeals to me. It’s too clever by half, of course…. well, no: it’s too clever by at least three quarters– And that’s what I like most about it. Another poem I would like to include in the best half-dozen is my own ‘It’s Not the Wrinkles’ but then Cillian would have me in his sights for his next composition, so… perhaps not…


It’s not the wrinkles

or the loss of hair.

Or the stiffness in the joints–

It’s the traipsing up the stairs for something

and then coming down again

without it.


I can bear the loss of tooth,

the watery eye,

even dodgy hearing–

It’s the way I can’t remember names

of favourite writers, even close friends

annoys me. Worse,


this constantly repeating myself.

Worse than wrinkles, bad hearing,

or even stiffness in the joints.

Did I tell you that these days

I can’t even remember the names

of close friends? I did? When? — (!!!)


I suppose it’s all pre-packaged,

this sojourn on the earth’s crust,

and when you start outstaying

then all the extras start to be withdrawn. But

I’m not on my last gasp yet … and…

and… now what was this I was going to say …


(Published in ‘The Stony Thursday Book’ No. 9 Autumn 2010)




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