Patrick Deeley – Vixen

patPatrick Deeley is a poet and children’s author. He was born in Loughrea, County Galway, but has lived most of his life in Dublin. David Marcus published many of his early poems in New Irish Writing during the late 1970s and early 1980s. His first collected work appeared in Raven Introductions 1. Six highly praised collections of his poems have been published by Dedalus Press: ‘Intimate Strangers’ (1986), ‘Names for Love’ (1990), ‘Turane: The Hidden Village’ (1995), ‘Decoding Samara’ (2000), ‘The Bones of Creation’ (2008), and ‘Groundswell: New and Selected Poems’ (2013).
His poems have also featured in leading literary journals in Ireland and been published in the USA, UK, Canada and Australia, as well as being translated to French, Italian, Dutch, Ukranian and Moldovan, and anthologised in more than thirty compilations.
His books for children, published by O’Brien Press, include ‘The Lost Orchard’, winner of the Eilis Dillon Book of the Year Memorial Award in 2001.
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Vixen

She is the one washed across the River Dodder,
fur plastered to her skin and on her face
a rictus grin, the one yet making her rounds
unfazed by thump or roar of motorcycle
or by ambulance’s blue flickering hullaballo, its
red tinging, and she perpetuates the one
leaping through a net-wire henhouse window
fifty years ago, the cub my neighbour fed
from a trough after he had killed her mother,
the cuddlesome one soon to tune in
to her own feral nature; she absconds, vagabond
at home among the urban – the long
rout of foxes gone before seems to become her,
those dug out, those poisoned or shot
or mangled by hounds, those broken
under the wheels of cars; survivor, the glisten
of health attends her, the youthful lustre
she won’t outwear, being too wild, too crossed
with the cricks and crimps of her kin;
she’s a fire, an aura, a lollop along the back lane
from dustbin to doorstep, a den dweller,
my first Galway Blazer, my townland namer,
and it’s as if the stars have fashioned
a pelt for her, the frosts a carry, the hills a cover;
as darkness deepens she comes brushed
with heather smell, harebell, stone-quarry dust,
comes maybe to shake loose her shrieky
mating ochoons or the chalk of cemetery bones –
this numinous one representing all, this
watcher whom I suddenly want to get next to
as though she were the burning down of my years
so lightly here and gone as I take the air
in midsummer, in a midnight suburb of Dublin.

 

 

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