Amanda Bell

– I’m so
I could power
each decoration
on the tree, and the
blue lights of the ambulance
the Christmas Eve Dad had a t.i.a.,
three paramedics piling in beside spiced
beef, wine spilt as glass slid from his grip, while
one hand clawed & face screwed up; at least somebody
had the nous to turn the telly on, distract the kids with
blinking shapes and colours while we weighed up where
to find an A & E. I hate going out at Christmas,
coming home to a cold grate; can’t comprehend the sadness
that wells up so tight I feel I’ll choke, spills in tears at cheesy soaps.
This dark night of the year might always be the last; we’re fiercely forging
memories by the flames of table candles – yet fail
to grasp
why love
feels just
like rage

Page 10, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 129
Issue 129

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 129:

Edited by Eavan Boland

Issue 129 is a fitting finale to Eavan Boland's term as editor of Poetry Ireland Review. Along with Eavan's inspirational editorial, the issue includes new poems from Eleanor Hooker, Luke Morgan, Mary Montague, Simon Ó Faoláin, Geraldine Mitchell, Brian Kirk, Dane Holt, and Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal. The titles weighed and measured by the reviewing team include new books from Mary Noonan, Tracy K Smith, Nessa O'Mahony, Susan Millar DuMars, Stephen Sexton, John W Sexton, and Eileen Sheehan, along with Thomas McCarthy's expert appraisal of Making Integral: Critical Essays on Richard Murphy, edited by Benjamin Keatinge. Ciarán O'Rourke provides an essay on William Carlos Williams, assessing his influence on Irish writing and the influence of Irish writers on the New Jersey-based poet and paediatrician. And artist Ailbhe Barret provides the landscape images for PIR 129, a stunning visual send-off for this last issue of 2019.