Moya Cannon – Two poems

CannonMoya Cannon is an Irish author.Cannon was born in 1956 in Dunfanaghy, County Donegal. She studied History and Politics at University College Dublin, and at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. She has taught in the Gaelscoil in Inchicore, in a school for adolescent travellers in Galway, and at the National University of Ireland in Galway. She served as editor of Poetry Ireland in 1995. Her work has appeared in a number of international anthologies and she has held writer-in-residence posts for Kerry County Council and Trent University Ontario (1994–95). Cannon became a member of Aosdána, the affiliation of creative artists in Ireland, in 2004. Her first book, Oar, (Salmon 1990, revised edition Gallery Press 2000) won the 1991 Brendan Behan Memorial Prize. It was followed by The Parchment Boat in 1997.Carrying the Songs: New and Selected Poems was published by Carcanet Press in 2007.

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Burial, Ardèche 20,000 B.C.

No bear or lion ever raked him up,
the five-year-old child,
victim of illness, accident or sacrifice,
buried in a cave floor
high above a white-walled, roaring gorge,
shortly after the ice-sheets had retreated.
Someone sprinkled his grave with red ochre,
someone tied a seashell around his neck,
someone laid a few flint blades by his side,
and under his head someone placed
the dried tail of a fox, perhaps a white fox.

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Viewing the Almond Blossom

was an exercise repeated every year
as though some lessons could not be
well enough learnt –
how bare twigs put out small pugilists’ fists
which open, fragrant burst
after fragrant burst
right to the stem’s tip.

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