Leaving London for Belfast

Mícheál McCann

 - for Andrew

Rather be parochial
than suitcase-weary
and tie-bonded
and slow to laugh
and desperate
to walk in the opposite direction,

Rather be coastal
than coughing,
slow in our going
than quiet with wanting.
Bless this plane, carrying
us over what we cannot swim.

My tired thighs hear
where we're going over the tannoy
and I can hear Jo Stafford
smiling as she sings. I missed you.
I hoak for a life vest under my seat
to realise I was wearing it all along.

Page 81, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 130
Issue 130

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 130:

Edited by Colette Bryce

Poetry Ireland Review 130, the first issue from editor Colette Bryce, contains new poems from Michael Longley, Tara Bergin, Mícheál McCann, Emily S Cooper, Martina Evans, Gerard Smyth, Julie Morrissy, Afric McGlinchey, and Gabriel Rosenstock, among many others. There's an interview with broadcaster John Kelly on coming out as poet in his middle years, while Doireann Ní Ghríofa provides an extract from A Ghost In The Throat, her essay/memoir about coming-of-age as a poet through the poetry and passion of Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill.

There are 26 titles reviewed in this issue, including new collections from Paul Muldoon, Paddy Bushe, Julie Morrissy, Enda Coyle-Greene, Caitlin Newby, and Peter Sirr, along with Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin's assessment of the lifetime achievement of the late Dorothy Molloy. Louise Leonard provides the cover art and image insert for this issue, a series of superb etchings from parkland, river, and glade, all safely within 2 kilometres walk of every reader of Poetry Ireland Review