Davnet Heery – Three Poems

DavnetHeerySmDavnet Heery is the 2012 winner of The McLlelan poetry prize for her poem Diagnosis. A graduate of the MA in Writing at NUIG 2010, she has read at literary festivals countrywide and has been published in a number of journals. Currently she is working towards a poetry collection, Camellia for which she has been grant aided by Galway Co.Co. A long-time resident of Chois Fharraige, Connemara, she enjoys solitary walks along the shore and on the bog.



for Aoife

Emerald beads peek
from the horseshoe folds of a grey wool skirt
that falls to the toes in meringue swirls,
inspired by the whorled weathering of Burren hills
and maidenhair fern in grykes.

Carded clumps of darker grey stand alone
like erratics abandoned by moraine.
Lace cuffs around neck and wrists
are cobwebs on morning hedges
with dew crystals sparkling in the sunrise.

Colours leap to life, ripple and merge
as a dried out palette unravels with slaking water;
Harry Clarke’s magnesia blue,
peacock feathers in aquamarine,
gems bronzed and shimmering cascading down.

Her hand, sure pilot for her artist’s eye,
transposes landscape to the page
in designs for fabric, for garments,
elements vital and familiar—
the strut and stuff of catwalks.



In the long grass, thick with bluebell leaves,
a bird stirs, cuckoo maybe thrush,
turns northwards towards some disturbance ,
an egg in her mouth, pale blue-green.
She drops the egg to her left foot,
claws the ground in long rhythmic swipes,
winds a basketry of twig and scraw, like candy floss—
armour, mud-coloured as chocolate.

More buff-feathered birds come into view,
east and west, the fields are full of them,
mothers everywhere protecting their eggs.
My own fragile newborn I lay
like a pearl in the camellia’s crimson bloom,
fold layers of soft, satin petals around her.



The new fence forces my eye in
to observe what’s already there,
throws into relief a scrawny Whitethorn.
Lattice screens my long view
like a watercolour wash blurs a background –
the bay’s throat, the sunrise red along the sea’s rim.

Burning haws on its stripped limbs
but for a perished patch –
a dense mesh of tangled twig,
threatening spike and barb,
where a few crisp leaves remain, green still –
I set out to trim and prune.

Tracing the trunk back to its base,
I find it wound around another –
buckled and gnarled;
two trees growing together,
the one reaching tall and spreading,
their arms in supportive embrace.
When the black-pronged branches
loom out of the April mist –
doodles scribbled on the white air,
and snowy blossom lands like fairy bouquets,
I wonder, was it an evil eye
first rendered that patch barren.

It comes into leaf later
as the enfolding arms spring green clumps –
bread n’ cheese of childhood,
tiny eggs nesting within,
that erupt in hosts of corymbs,
shower the May Bush in petal ash.

The hardy Blackthorn with its black-ink bark,
fearsome as a fence and feared alone,
and the paler-skinned, pagan Haw,
harbinger of summer and youthful bloom:
my olive-toned girl grown golden,
winter-light streaking my dark hair.

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