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.
The night is down and moonlight
Is loitering everywhere, whispering
To us to forget tomorrow’s fears;
And you lie sleeping beside me
In the heart of its peaceful glow.
Today I cleared the bed of briers
Clinging to the lopsided apple tree
In case they’d suffocate its crop
Of apples beginning to take shape
Against the odds upon the ground,
Surviving on the sap that still flows
Through branches of a broken body
That had weathered Storm Darwin
To sprout new life again this spring.
There was a man in a waiting room,
Sitting silently against the daylight
Behind him from the small window
Shadowing his figure anonymously,
Hunched in the infirmity of his age;
When we talked we travelled roads
As far as farmland in County Meath:
He was proud of his Fordson Major
As he ploughed his way through time,
Out of the post war years of poverty;
He praised ‘the little grey’ he also had-
His pet name for a Massey Ferguson,
Best for soft going on a bank of turf.
He said that his uncle Ray had a bike
And he’d cycle to the Galway Races:
He had some stops for a bottle of stout
And he’d eat his sandwiches en route.
In the fifties there was nothing here,
The dead end jobs all ended he went
To work for Wimpy across the pond-
For twenty years, seven days a week.
Her husband died; she turned quiet
And walked with eyes cast down;
Early on she’d stop and chat a while
But after that kept to herself a lot,
Seldom stopping on her way to talk;
Once she said to us how good it was
The sound of the door closing shut
Behind her as she stepped outside:
She must have felt lonely on her own
And sought the solace of the sun;
The last time I saw her little I knew
We’d never meet on the street again:
Walking alone, face averted,unsmiling;
The woman of substance I had known,
So frail a figure coming towards me,
Going by with a look of quiet resolve;
Looking for words I found none.
(Days later heard that she was dead
And bowed my head in deep regret).