Mullahead

Howard Wright
Flattened pennies face-up on the railtrack, 
a coordinate, its arabesque continuing behind 
corrugated outbuildings and millipede pipes, 
vast cold sheds, the tiny insect rasp of sawing. 
Sump oil leaking from tyre-and-plastic mounds.
A muck-spreader abandoned askew 
on heavy banks, the grumbling cattle avoiding 
such contours civility itself, the heavens, 
the clouds, the bronze of armour, grieves 
and pauldrons, pierced, punctured and flaunted
like flush Elizabethans, then Jacobeans
who made the maps. Where three rivers meet,
Georgian coins scatter on the soft bed, 
all or nothing staked in the gambling-den 
under a bridge, business meeting pleasure 
and kingfishers beside the plantation fields 
where new engines get a turn on warm evenings. 
Builder’s rubbish fly-tipped on down slopes, 
shotguns blast open skies above big houses  
taking the sun like lonely, but fully-capable, 
widows needing their roots done. Windows, 
dead eyes glazed over between blackened yews.
Page 81, 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.