It was (I dreamt) years from now.
My father had long since died, and memories
of him, so vivid once, were fading:
the man whose deft touch could rouse
a sluggish fire; whose fingers knew
the inner workings of clocks and watches;
but most, the inveterate sower of seed,
so indulgent he’d let stray lettuces
or spuds flourish in a drill of carrots;
who, even when stooped with age, could still wonder:
Where do all the weeds come out of?
This stubborn man whose gifts I didn’t have,
whose paths I wouldn’t follow.
So there I was, standing
on a neglected patch of ground,
not knowing why: Instinct? The lengthening
evenings? A bird’s lingering notes?
And I didn’t seem to know what to set:
Flowers? Shrubs? Organic vegetables?
I was just getting down to work,
turning scraws over with a spade,
when I came on them, snug as landmines: bulbs
he’d planted years before, still waiting there ...
Innocent, helpless, strangely eloquent.
Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119:
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.