Pete_Mullineaux (2)Pete Mullineaux has published three collections: Zen Traffic Lights (Lapwing 2005) A Father’s Day (Salmon 2008) and Session (Salmon 2011.) He has been anthologised widely in Ireland, UK, USA & France including Poetry Ireland Review 100 (Ed. Paul Muldoon) the websites, & Van Gogh’s Ear in Paris. He has also had a number of plays produced for the stage and RTE radio.


Fiddle Fox

Because we live in a small house
not to be too annoying
I practice my fiddle in the bathroom,
where sitting on the toilet seat
the angle between wall and cistern
is such, I have to tilt my elbow
and tend to use only the bow’s upper half.

Perched on the edge of the bath
offers more freedom but
isn’t so good for my back.

So today I change tack and stand,
looking out the window –
am rewarded immediately by a fox
poised at the wood’s perimeter.
A thought fox? No, what I see is flesh
and blood, it sniffs around
in circles, just like real foxes do.

A fairy fox I wonder – would it dance
to my tune, if only I could really let rip?

Then again, perhaps we are both
hesitant beginners –
this one too has yet to try
more than a slow waltz –
venturing beyond
its first rough field.


A Musical Bridge

In a north west corner of Ireland
near the town of Bellacorick
County Mayo, not far from

Ballina and Crossmolina,
there is an infamous bridge
that sings a rebel song.

Incomplete: the cap –
or final copping stone
cannot be fixed in place

until a stubborn curse
is lifted, an epic story
finds conclusion.

Built under the 1830’s
Poor Laws by the stricken
unemployed, continued

through the famine
amidst starvation and cholera,
many died in the making

until finally, finished in ‘47
none left had strength
to lift the last huge block.

Ever since, those who chose
to ignore the forewarnings
have come to sticky ends.

Even now the legend goes –
when a small stone is rubbed
along the northern parapet

melodious sounds can be heard:
the bridge will have its broken
voice, its persistent lament.

The place is Bellacorick
County Mayo, not far
from Erris, Rossport…