Three poems by Maurice Devitt

Maurice Devitt: A student at Mater Dei in Dublin I have just completed an MA in Poetry Studies. Recently short-listed for both the Cork Literary Review and Listowel Writers’ Week Poetry Collection Competitions, placed third in The Joy of Sex competition and long-listed for the Doire Press Chapbook Competition, during 2011 I was short-listed for both the Fish Poetry prize and the Cork Literary Review Manuscript Competition, and was also runner-up in the Phizzfest poetry competition. Over the past twelve months I have had poems accepted by Orbis, Abridged, Moloch, Revival, Boyneberries, Paraxis, Weary Blues, thefirstcut, Stony Thursday, Ofi Press, Bluepepper, The Weekenders and Smiths Knoll and am working towards a first collection.

 Three poems by Maurice Devitt

Southport Beach, 1935
 For Kathleen
We laughed at the familiar
strangeness of reminiscence,
the near-misses of faces and names
words describing things
that never happened –
events now blurred
in space and time –
the cross-hatch of contradiction
a different colour,
a different place
only to settle
on the certainty of a swimming costume 
hand-knit from the cover of Vogue,
the duplicity of water
and you
shrieking into the glass of memory.   

It’s important to have a system
when burning someone’s letters –
you choose last in, first out,
twist the words
till they are dry as tinder
and she is naked
ready for death.
You crown the pyre
with photographs of her –
the 70’s deb in gown
and pageboy hair, Trinity grad
book-ended by proud parents
and young bride
smiling into the camera
one honeymoon night
in Lanzarote – 
her blistered smiles
left blazing
in the empty frames.
Flags today are flying east,
nothing they can do
but obey the wind,
scorched leaves
whip across doorways
and shoes dampen
in the beads of morning.
Your steps have been stolen
to echo on another path,
thoughts no longer hurried,
eyes frozen blue.
I will write your life
in gold-leaf
on a sequinned skin of granite,
words tracing your fingers
                       as you sleep.

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