Making Room

Ita O’Donovan
I’m thinking of the curlew,
that we Irish call the hump-backed,
or An Crotach.
They look for open land that’s damp,
not much to ask for in this country
yet they are not breeding here.
An adagio being lost
from the soundscape of our countryside.
 
The curlew has been around a long time,
appears on old Greek monuments
being given the genus name of Numenius,
or New Moon, sickle-shaped like his beak.
When I look at it, this scimitar
curving down his breast,
I wonder how he carries it,
until I note his knees,
back-to-front for balance.
 
I never see a flock of curlews 
on the rocks below my house,
only one, possibly an immigrant,
announcing himself with his burbling triple cry,
always on a day that’s damp,
or about to be, never luminous.
He has become my familiar; after sunny days
I’m watching out for grey, for moisture, 
and that heart-aching cry.
Page 37, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 124
Issue 124

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 124:

Edited by Eavan Boland

Poetry Ireland Review 124 contains new poems from Paula Meehan, Ciarán O'Rourke, Lizzy Nichols, Mark Ward, Gabriel Rosenstock, Özgecan Kesici, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and many other compelling voices. Also included is Eilean Ni Chuilleanáin's remembrance of her Cork childhood, excerpted from The Vibrant House: Irish Writing and Domestic Space, a book of essays reviewed in issue 124 by Caitríona O'Reilly. Other books considered in this issue include collections from Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Mark Granier, Tara Bergin, The Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets, and the Collected Poems of the late Dennis O'Driscoll, and there's also a short interview with Thomas Kinsella along with an essay on Kinsella as poet and civil servant. Another Kinsella is this issue’s Featured Poet, Alice Kinsella, and all artwork for the issue is supplied by artists associated with the Olivier Cornet Gallery on Great Denmark Street, around the corner from Poetry Ireland.

Available now to purchase online or in all good bookstores.