Poultice

Patrick Deeley

A moth pinches and presses itself in under the glass lampshade 
fixed to my hotel-room ceiling, where it clicks and flutters 
all evening, singed and stunned and flaring again out of its dying 
to fret and flounder in the light. I watch the fool’s gold 
of its wings collect as in a Petri dish above my head, and feel 
how far I fall short of my wish-fulfilment. And miss 
the self-abandon of the hurt boy delving fingers into wild hives 
for solace not of honey but of bee stings, or sleeping 
under the rough mercy of furze, or jumping from trees, or diving 
in wells to cool the ardour of nettles, pismires, sunburn. 
And miss a mad boy’s seeming intention to maim himself before
the sometime kindness of the earth became his own. 
Arc of hare, lift of lark, the marsh fritillary’s flit-with-breezes, 
each Callows river meandering to loops that gathered the waders – 
long-shanked, long-billed – in little picture-book lakes. 
No soft sentiment, no cure but make do with slow mending. 
So I haul up from nature’s messy heaven this poultice that resolves 
to a tingle, an afterglow, a turning page – cornucopia 
of images, metaphor and onomatopoeia huffed off a spot-lit stage.

Page 57, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 117
Issue 117

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 117:

Edited by Vona Groarke

Issue 117 includes new poems from over twenty five poets from Ireland, the UK, the US and elsewhere, along with three new poems by Michael Longley, one of the UK’s foremost contemporary poets. The issue features reviews of more than twenty new poetry collections, including books by Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Claudia Rankine, Louise Gluck, Eavan Boland, Dennis O’Driscoll and Dermot Healy. Interviews include a feature on photographer, Seamus Murphy, about collaborating with musician and poet PJ Harvey and poet Eliza Griswold on separate publications, as well as an interview with Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis by Colette Bryce. Colour plates include photography by Seamus Murphy and artwork by Niamh Flanagan.