Matt 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.
Earth to Earth
Oh to be as still as the lily pads
Floating in the billabong
And as idle as the upturned boat
Across from me beyond.
If I was a creature of this habitat,
In the sun filled Australian Bush,
I’d like to be that water hen
Who is never really pushed
But skims around discreetly
And only calls out if she must.
I’d consider being a dragon fly
And I’d frolic in the sun
Like they’re doing over there;
Sometimes joining with another
Over water in the air.
I could be a Kookaburra-
Now that would be great fun:
When I’d laugh I’d take a pleasure
In startling everyone.
It would be lovely to be a Lorikeet
And feed on nectar and on pollen,
To be a pair forever
With your parrot lover
And to gather with the others
For a chatter on the trees
Just before the fall of night
Before we’d go to sleep.
I wouldn’t want to be the wallaby
On the other side of the fence
Who lived incognito over there,
Under cover by the trees so dense
For now that part of the Bush is bare
But the developers don’t care;
And he’s living on the edge in fear,
Who once I stalked ,
Hidden by the dew dropped grass
Just in case that he’d appear-
Which he did, inside a clearing
And looked at me and loped away;
A ride on mower was busy there today.
The silence of the billabong is brittle-
Only broken now and then
By the screech of a galah,
The warbling of a magpie
Or a ‘kak’ from the water hen again;
I look across the pond and far beyond
And I can see how ‘earth to earth’
Makes some sense after all-
Since I feel so much part of here
I could go on to be forever young.
I listen to the throb of the waves
On Tamarama beach,
Curling and crashing,
As rhythmic as the roll of a drum,
Kissing the sands of New South Wales.
We came by the cliff top path
Where seaside shrubs survive,
Shooting their dainty blossoms,
Fit to wear by Neptune
As a floral garland in his hair
After washing it onshore somewhere;
By rock as smooth and white
As a sea gull’s breast-
Eroded into shapes designed
By centuries of time.
In the corner of the cove,
At table seven in The Café,
Lazily plane spotting in the blue
Or following a sailing ship-
Its colours visible now no more;
Swimmers are out there sunbathing
While umbrellas shade the tables
Of those who sit aside out here.
Then I saw a grey haired man,
Wearing a red pullover,
Slowly walking from the shore
And his every step was sure;
His presence had a certain peace
And he sat down at a table
With his family around him-
And he’ll never know
That today he reminded me so much
Of the man from Galilee
As I sat here drinking coffee
At Tamarama, in a café by the sea.