Very gratified to have made it into Crannog again, Galway’s long-enduring, top-notch poetry and short stories magazine, edited by Tony O’Dwyer, Ger Burke, Jarlath Fahy and Sandra Bunting. Delighted too to read on the launch night (Oct 31st) in The Crane Bar with the rest of the gala company. The magazine is, as always, well turned out and immaculately proofed, with an arresting cover by Sandra.
This edition (no. 37, autumn 2014) lines up plenty of good stuff. My own favourtite poems (apart from my own one, of course!) are Frank Farrelly’s ‘Everest’, an unrhymed hexameter sonnet which springs a surprise in the sestet; also I liked very much Patrick Chapman’s ‘The Infinite Questionnaire’ with its humanistic take on philosophical questions. Great last line: “A god is not required. In fact it rather spoils the view.” Edward O’Dwyer’s list poem ‘Wall’ is good too: “That day the God of Other Plans/tore up the list of things you were meant to be…”
My own poem is a two-voice, ‘counterpoint’ piece entitled ‘Warrior’:
Who did he leave behind
that morning he set out?
“… and as to age, the carbon dating
indicates a lengthy time span
of some nineteen hundred years …”
Who prayed for him each night?
Who watched for him by day?
“… Our X-rays of the skull, indeed
the actual skull itself, reveal
the arrow struck him from behind …”
Who stopped each passing stranger
to ask for word of him?
“… The angle of trajectory tells us
much about the victim’s stance
the moment just before he fell …”
Who listened every night
to hear his step outside?
“… We have here that unfortunate
and not infrequent military
occurrence: death from friendly fire …”
Who hoped when hope was dead?
Who mourned for him a lifetime?
“… Well, I think we have resolved
the most important questions. Any
from the floor? No? Thank you all.”
How many generations
before his name was lost?