Dark Seasons

Jacob Polley

– after Baudelaire

I love the seasons dark, the nights brought down
like blackout cloths and puddles turned to stone.
I love the creaking boards and spiders’ webs,
the rat-shot cupboard of my empty head

and crypt of nibbled books I lie inside,
hardly breathing but glad I haven’t died
and live to feel the draughts that slam the doors
and hear the weathercock squeal itself hoarse.

No warmth for me, no bursting forth, no spring:
my soul unfurls its bright black raven’s wings
when all the trees are hollow-eyed as skulls.

I want nothing to change unless it dulls
to the blinded silver of the winter moon,
staring like a face from a breath-fogged spoon. 

Page 18, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 120
Issue 120

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 120:

Edited by Vona Groarke

Vona Groarke's final issue as editor is packed with new poems from leading contemporary poets, including Simon Armitage, Sinéad Morrissey, Colette Bryce, Paul Muldoon, Sean O'Brien and Caitríona O'Reilly. Books reviewed include new work from Derek Mahon, Bernard O'Donoghue, Rita Ann Higgins, Martina Evans, Denise Riley and the 2016 Forward Prize winner Vahni Capildeo. The centrepiece of the issue is an interview with Paul Muldoon in which the Armagh maestro shares his thoughts on subjects as diverse as public surveillance, the economic down-turn, and the exclamation mark. The cover image is by photographer Justyna Kielbowicz, and the issue also contains award-winning artwork from Sven Sandberg, Aoife Dunne, Jane Rainey, and Michelle Hall. Instead of an editorial, Vona herself answers the questionnaire she put to the contributors of Poetry Ireland Review Issue 118: The Rising Generation.