Matt Mooney – Four Poems

MattMatt Mooney was born in Kilchreest, Loughrea, Co. Galway. He has lived in Listowel since 1966. His first book of poetry ‘Droving’ was published in 2003 and this was followed in 2010 by ‘Falling Apples’. His poems have appeared in ‘Feasta’, ‘West 47′ , ‘First Cut’ ,The Applicant’, The Kerryman, The Connaught Tribune, The Galway Review. He has read at The Baffle Poetry Festival in Loughrea, The West Cork Literary Festival, The White House Pub, Limerick and The Forge at Gort Literary Festival.

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The Cuckoo Gate

Because we stopped there anyway
On and off in case she’d call
By the back road over the brow,
As we strolled from cross to cross,
We called it the cuckoo gate;
Indian Balsam in whorls of colour
Pink and purple bee filled blooms,
All lined up there for our delight;
Beyond the ditch a rivulet rambled;
And from here we heard her voice
While we idly rested on the rails,
Straining our ears, barely breathing-
And from over the fields faintly,
Carried on the back of a stray breeze,
Came the sounds of summer to us-
The long and lazy lilting of a cuckoo:
The one who evicts another’s chicks
Or drops one egg out of the nest
And fools a female to hatch for her
After laying one the same herself-
And she has the cheek to sing about it;
Soon she’d return home to Africa ,
Leaving but the echoes of her refrain.

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Furled

A signore and a signorina
Stand framed face to face
By storied stone and water;
More coins for the fountain
In the heart of ancient Rome
Over shoulders to be thrown;
No ‘ménage à trois’ this time,
That had made a film famous
By a croon about three coins
Lying then in the lap of Trevi.
It seems that Cupid’s arrow
Has struck this couple true
Who come closer for a kiss
Near the fountain’s foaming
Furled around each other
In the presence of so many
Who revel in romantic love
And the roast chestnut man,
Awakened from a snooze,
Roasts yet another handful
To make them warmer still.

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Beside Loch Leane

The evening star descends
From earth’s far infinity
To be its first night light;
Twilight turning our heads
Across the lake, silver still.

Star topped Tomies Mountain
Next to the MacGillycuddy’s,
Loch Leane’s kith and kin;
The sun sinks down untiring,
Carrantoohil’s turrets defiant.

Silhouette of purple darkens ,
Lady night arrives in black;
The lake shivers just a little.
Late birds fly hastily home
Before the moon’s ascension.

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Starlings

Seeking shelter in the hall
Of the hotel of ivied walls
And the door bangs shut
By a sudden stormy gust.
Locked in without a key,
I called out for my liberty
And with a heavy metal one
She came to set me free
In sweet tones of hospitality
And the leaves from the trees
Danced for us in the breeze,
Maybe glad of their release.

‘Hear the starlings’ she said,
Inviting me outside to listen
To them in the ivy up above
And I listened to the twitters
Of  the murmur just flown in
From their daring air display-
As if they took a sudden flair
For this corner of the Square.

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