Ann Egan, a multi-award winning poet, has held many residencies in counties, hospitals, schools, secure residencies and prisons. Her books are: Landing the Sea (Bradshaw Books); The Wren Women (Black Mountain Press); Brigit of Kildare (Kildare Library and Arts Services) and Telling Time, (Bradshaw Books, 2012). Her poetry was broadcast on radio. Widely published in Ireland and abroad, she is the editor of twenty-one books; Guest Editor 2010 – ‘The Midlands Arts and Culture Review;’ currently writer-in-residence to Naas Housing Association.
Minnows in Donadea Lake
The water is yours now,
great army of minnows,
you wrestle with light
despite its swarming spots.
A convoy of ellipses,
flips signals to a leader,
you sparkle like new boots,
little lieutenants of the lake.
Again the dockleaf’s image,
a stem reddening with life,
bears the upswing of a leaf.
Ochre encircled holes,
a spider’s mislaid pattern
at a fly’s clever buzz.
A designer at her board,
ideas play hide-and-seek.
Her nib drops randomly,
giant leaf bends
its back across the grass,
light filters ageing.
A lacemaker nods,
patterns in her mind.
Spokes of cartwheels spin.
She rushes after her needle,
pierces stars, silken moon,
scarlet threads gyrate.
Dockleaf’s life is a tracery,
tatters of faithful designs,
Cured many sting’s stab.
No jabs, no screams now,
only a haunting composure as
dockleaf bends to the wind.
In this great forest of Donadea
silence sways on every leaf,
a grey squirrel tests the ground,
his step ponderous as a workman’s.
He crosses last autumn’s leaves,
leaps on a birch’s low branch,
then he twirls upwards, ever upwards.
Silver bark barely curls to
the instant’s that’s his touch,
his tail swishes caution away,
soon he is lost to the tree top.
Time settles back to its monotony.
Toppling a Tree
I look on you, standing in a grey place,
your trunk straight, your leaves moulded,
your branches spiral to an ellipse,
marred by one stray that slinks by your foot.
Scars on your bark tell me a toppled tale
amid all the twists and allures of your greenery,
seem to conceal chills in silvered shadows.
A dew star on your summit sparkles
your beauty’s peace, your many-stranded soul,
your oneness with all of yourself.
I think on my lopping and moulding,
events I’ve known, ones I’ll never know,
the many laneways and byeways that I’ve gone,
the oceans I’ve crossed while never leaving
the vistas of my ever changing moment.
I ask you for the colours of the dusk
to whirl away the hollowness that fills me
and encircle me in roots of stillness.