poetEsther Murbach, born in the middle of the 20th century, grew up in Basel and is living in Basel and Galway. She studied languages, history and philosophy in Basel and Berlin. She is a journalist and translator writing German and English. Since 2008 she has been a freelance author, published four novels, one short story collection and one poetry collection in Switzerland. In Ireland her work has appeared in The Galway Review, The Galway Review Anthology, The Galway Advertiser and Crannóg.



The corners of her mouth
only know one way
invisible strings
pull them towards the sun
no matter what

The day may not be sunny at all
in fact
it’s pouring cats and dogs
umbrella reversing in the storm

Computer suffers from a virus
so does the fragment of her novel
hospitalised in a drawer
with a bad case of writer’s block

Recent poems wilt in wait
to be long- or shortlisted
for various prizes
her older poetry stuck
under piles on editors’ desks
finally filed
in the dustbin
before the email verdict states:
“due to the load of submissions
of extremely high standard
which puts us in the dilemma
of choosing primi inter pares
we regret…”

She can no longer stay
in the house
because boyfriend
took his love away
with it half the rent
at least he also moved out
his chronic depression
which had weighed on her

Mother recently got diagnosed with cancer
operation pending
chemo to follow
radiation recommended
and so is the look on the bright side

Smiley got her smiling genes from mammy
they both ever drink
only from half full glasses