My mother died one summer—
the wettest in the records of the state.
Crops rotted in the west.
Checked tablecloths dissolved in back gardens.
Empty deck chairs collected rain.
As I took my way to her
through traffic, through lilacs dripping blackly
and on curbsides, to pay her
the last tribute of a daughter, I thought of something
I heard once, that the body is, or is
said to be, almost all
water and as I turned southward, that ours is
a city of it,
one in which
every single day the elements begin
a journey towards each other that will never,
given our weather,
the ocean visible in the edges cut by it,
cloud color reaching into air,
the Liffey storing one and summoning the other,
salt greeting the lack of it at the North Wall and,
as if that wasn't enough, all of it
ending up almost every evening
inside our speech—
coast canal ocean river stream and now
mother and I drove on and although
the mind is unreliable in grief, at
the next cloudburst it almost seemed
they could be shades of each other,
the way the body is
of every one of them and now
they were on the move again—fog into mist,
mist into sea spray and both into the oily glaze
that lay on the railings of
the house she was dying in
as I went inside.
Poetry Ireland Review Issue 129:
Issue 129 is a fitting finale to Eavan Boland's term as editor of Poetry Ireland Review. Along with Eavan's inspirational editorial, the issue includes new poems from Eleanor Hooker, Luke Morgan, Mary Montague, Simon Ó Faoláin, Geraldine Mitchell, Brian Kirk, Dane Holt, and Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal. The titles weighed and measured by the reviewing team include new books from Mary Noonan, Tracy K Smith, Nessa O'Mahony, Susan Millar DuMars, Stephen Sexton, John W Sexton, and Eileen Sheehan, along with Thomas McCarthy's expert appraisal of Making Integral: Critical Essays on Richard Murphy, edited by Benjamin Keatinge. Ciarán O'Rourke provides an essay on William Carlos Williams, assessing his influence on Irish writing and the influence of Irish writers on the New Jersey-based poet and paediatrician. And artist Ailbhe Barret provides the landscape images for PIR 129, a stunning visual send-off for this last issue of 2019.