Seán Hewitt
                I will encounter darkness as a bride
                And hug it in mine arms.
                                    – Measure for Measure
All distance emptied, the world reduced
to an arm’s length. The closeness of the night
is absolute: nothing to steady an eye on,
nowhere to rest a thought. My life is narrowed
to the ground beneath my feet. There is a guilt to it,
a clandestine hush to the fumbling of breath.
Whole fields have surrendered – the night
lifts its hood over them, calms them, sings a hymn
of warm silence to lull the grass to sleep.
A small wind brushes past my leg,
somewhere a bird settles in a hedgerow 
or rests its full breast in the stubble of the corn. 
The dark wants my life for itself. It raises its lips
to mine, its breath is in my breath, and I think
its face pauses before mine. Imagine its contours –
the deeper pools of blackness – its full embrace.
My limbs are buoyed helplessly by it, and I float.
I almost speak, but it stops me, lifts a finger
to the empty word of my mouth, and leans in.
Page 28, 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.