James Conor Patterson
As one put drunk into the back of a parent’s car –
seized, it would seem, by the adolescent desire
to be reminded of one’s failings – this morning
saw me return to Bambooland near John Martin Gardens.
I went alone, spurred as I had been in previous years
by the cousin who supplied the Sprite bottle-lung, the beer,
the suite of cobbled furniture pilfered out of skips.
Back then we’d sit for hours atop broken doors & pallets
until one of us, suddenly compelled to danger,
would gaze square into the bamboo void and bid the other,
‘Jump!’ as though nothing at all would stop us;
as though neither one had thought, like Orpheus,
that to descend in order to retrieve might leave us
head-propped against the lyre – might see us
ascend again with scuffmarks wound beneath the skin,
and trailed by the scents of bamboo, oak & whin.
Page 59, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119
Issue 119

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119:

Edited by Vona Groarke

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119 includes new poems by 48 poets including Frank Ormsby, John Kinsella, Rachel Coventry, Aifric Mac Aodha, Gerald Dawe, Alice Miller and Claire Potter. Also included are translations by Richard Begbie and Kirsten Lodge, an essay on Bishop, Lowell, Heaney and Grennan by David McLoghlin, and reviews of Paul Muldoon, Paul Durcan, Sarah Clancy, Medbh McGuckian, Kate Tempest, George the Poet, and many more. The issue also features photography by Hugh O'Conor, Dominic Turner, Sheila McSweeney, Fergus Bourke and John Minihan.