The Cherry Blossoms Were Purple There

Lani O’Hanlon
                     – for John
That autumn, Australian spring,
in the forest where we camped
the trees were full of coloured birds
with strange cries and calls
and mossies that bit the legs off you.
In the ocean, waves came in sideways
across our hips and there was a rip
that could drag you out to sea, 
indigo jelly fish with ferocious stings.
We ate mangoes for breakfast,
raisin toast and coffee in the café,
tame parrots, white and green and pink,
croaked helloo helloo.
Every evening we walked through the woods.
There, we said, looking up at the dozy koalas.
Tea-tree and Eucalyptus drip dripped 
their juices into the lake,
bark peeled and shed itself,
we hung our clothes from the branches.
Page 56, 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.