Poem in The Ogham Stone 2019

The Ogham Stone

I am delighted to have a poem in this journal produced by students on the MA in English and MA in Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. The 2019 edition has a particularly thoughtful and coherent design which draws the contents together visually by simple and appropriate means. The foliage motif (below) combines with an on-page ogham-style vertical element in an elegant colour scheme. The 2020 edition is underway.


Beyond the classroom window

The young tree burns, orange against drab,

Its loosened leaves drifting like languid fire-flakes.

I am ten and I try my hand at a Pearsean ennui,

Picked up from Palgrave’s ‘Anglo-Irish Supplement’:

O, the sorrow of the world is on me

And I’m tired with life…

I am as old as the wind that ferrets in the trees,

As the hidden sun and the pale and empty sky.

Today I’m sixty-one and beyond the window here

My acer shoots from its crown

The green stars of its year’s new growth

Skywards on arching scarlet rods.

Between trees – more than fifty years, the Irish Sea.

I could die now: spouse companioned through the turbulent years;

Children reared; grandparents in their graves.


Wasn’t it the solstice yesterday? A shortening of light

But, I predict, tonight we’ll be astonished once again

At the landing spotlit by a seven-eighths moon

Lancing through the toilet window.


What is it that I’ve learned? Windows are good and I

Should get out of my own light.