Francis O’Hare – Two Poems

Francis O’Hare was born in Newry, Co. Down, in 1970. His first full collection, Falling into an O, was published by Lagan Press, Belfast, in 2007. A further pamphlet collection was published by Lagan Press in 2009, entitled Alphaville. He published his second collection, Somewhere Else, with Lagan Press in 2011. In the same year, he also published a collection in America, with Evening Street Press, Ohio, entitled Home and Other Elsewheres. He has published poems in various magazines in Ireland, the U.K. and the United States, including Poetry Ireland Review and The Yellow Nib.

The Island

The island of me
has a changeable climate;
one day it’s sunny,
the next day it’s wet.

The rain can persist
for week upon week,
a dolorous mist
stretching from peak

of highest mountain
to low valley floor,
draping gray muslin
to every shore

so that each passing
ship on the blue
ocean surrounding
my island sails through

to sunnier climes,
more temperate places,
in search of good times,
welcoming faces,

leaving my cliffs
cold and morose
pondering what ifs
in seagullicose

wind-haunted silence,
until the next day
when the brightest of suns
lights up the bay.

A Street

It was an early morning street, its quiet distances
still small secrets shared by day with night.
                                           At Swim-Two-Birds Flann O’Brien

Everything was sacred
in the 7 a.m
incense, your aftertaste
wine-sharp on my tongue

after our very first
encounter, the taxi-ride,
sitting up, talking, kissing,
till, suddenly, aware

of darkness’s declension
into grey dapple,
mid-October leaflight,

chamber-group acoustics
of birdsong trellising
your garden, dew-original
glimpses of green hills

emerging out of silence,
suburbia withholding
approval, not unkind,
dawn-blessed, I’d slipped

out into the coolness
and otherness of morning,
light-headed, in love,
christened by existence,

to stand, overwhelmed,
in the whole shimmering
Indian-summery city’s
rose-rich largesse,

its rivers, swallow-paths,
wood-flowers, sea-aromas,
sense-memories, footsteps
echoing themselves

in the early morning
street, its quiet distances
still small secrets shared
by day with night.





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