Everything comes down to numbers in the end.
This morning a blackbird woke me up; five swans in formation
trailed their silver chevrons upriver, unbothered by
the heron’s slow torpedo; three horses in maroon jackets stood
mystified by their own breath. A greenfinch and thirty-nine
cows patterned the field; twin black labs trotted through
the long grass, jingling, and unearthed a compact of magpies.
I didn’t count the dandelion clocks, there were so many.
You ask me would I move to the city to be with you.
I’m telling you what I saw; you can do the maths.
Poetry Ireland Review Issue 120:
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.