Matt Mooney – Three Poems

Matt Mooney. Born in Kilchreest, Loughrea, Co. Galway in 1943, 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’.
Earth to Earth (2015) and The Singing Woods (2017) were both published by Galway Academic Press.
His poems have appeared in ‘Feasta’, ‘West 47’ , ‘First Cut’ ,The Applicant’, The Kerryman, Duilleoga, Striking a Chord, The Connaught Tribune,The Galway Review and read on Radio Kerry.


The Singing Woods

Slipping
on to a motorway
you are challenged
by a charging elephant –
an unyielding juggernaut
terrorising you.

Surviving – just about,
driving on, on track,
easing away, onwards.

Words
throwing you a lifeline –
hauling you away
from the brink.

Settling
into cruise mode:
gathering at will
the gifts unpaid, unaided,
words
that drop into your head
seductive and insistent,
waiting on you to work,
to be yours:
words
that spring up
in your singing woods.

Falling metaphors
in the light
filtering through.


Winterman

I do not like you Winterman,
walking slowly towards me
with your long black coat
brushing against the bushes,
black as well this evening.

It’s your fault you old timer,
you stole the leaves of gold
and sent the sun to bed early,
donning your broad grey hat
for Halloween above us all.

Driving the grey road ribbon,
leaving Abbeyfeale behind,
headlights on at half past five
against your onward march –
dipping downhill to Duagh
through descending darkness,
ever trying to creep over me;
a rising string of street lights
up a glenside football village,
each orange glow my beacon.


Declan Clarkes

The tsunami of set dancing
almost drove me back
going in the swing doors
of the wayside pub –
an overwhelming wave,
sounds, welcome to my ear,
inebriating me again,
refuelling my senses
after the long weary miles
down every road –
to be a native for a while.

Only a village away now
under the mountain’s brow
to the old home on a hill –
once a house of half sets
rising the dust on cement,
burning the lamplight low –
a child up late, enthralled
by grown up merrymaking.

There in Declan Clarkes
neither young nor old
spared the wooden floor
but hammered home
with their boots and shoes
every note of every reel –
with rising rhythmic fever
as Oliver Roland played
his ‘Maid of Mount Cisco’,
and I was just the caller in.

 

 

 

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