Peter O’ Neill was born in Cork. He is the author of six collections of poetry, most notably the Dublin Trilogy comprising of: The Dark Pool ( mgv2>publishing, France, 2015 ), Dublin Gothic ( Kilmog Press, New Zealand, 2015 ) and The Enemy, Transversions from Charles Baudelaire ( Lapwing Press, Northern Ireland, 2015 ). In his review of The Dark Pool, the critically acclaimed American poet David Rigsbee wrote: Peter O’ Neill is a poet who works the mythical city of Modernism in ways we do not often see enough.’ ( A New Ulster ) The same book was described by Michael S. Begnal in Poetry Ireland’s Trumpet as ‘O’ Neill’s unique achievements.’
This year sees the release of his two latest collections: Divertimento, The Muse is a Dominatrix ( mgv2>publishing, France, 2016 ) and Sker ( Lapwing, Belfast, 2016).
I met you one day by the river,
You were standing upon the bank
After surfacing from the forest
Which echoed with the chatter of the macaws.
I had been searching for fresh water crab
When, like an earth star fungus, your touch came over me;
Fire ants, black cormorants and scarlet ibises
Were just some more of the animals of this primeval world.
But thinking about you now,
And knowing more about your clever little ways,
I would have to had anacondas, pumas and tarantulas,
All playing together serenely, beneath the cannonball trees.
My Desert Island Girl
Editing the world’s news for both missionary and cavalier,
With the four-letter-word ( a time-honoured subversion)
As spoken by the Baptist gently trembling with the rose of Christ fury
Till the guitar resonated the plumb-line in the well.
Or, as did Shiva, many handed lover,
Who tickled us dervishes into a bloody fine sweat
Till all the whipped liquid gold sent all the tin coins jingling
And had all the poor Titians mounting canvas to the masts.
So, I see it too now in your eyes storming,
And I too would like to let the great winds blow.
The most wonderful thing to see in a woman’s eyes
Is your own reflection, playing heart and cross-bones,
Like I in you my desert island girl.
The Holy Bird of Paradise
The holy bird of paradise
Has descended upon the town.
Red is the colour of blood
And the skirt which covers her sex.
Yellow and gold are the sun
And the tights which clothe her legs.
How many miles have they travelled
Those thighs and calves of the Marys?
Black is the song of the night
And the jerkin which keeps her warm,
White is the colour of milk
And the fluid of diamonds.