Kevin McManus has only been publishing books for four years, the Irish author’s fiction has already earned him awards. In 2016 the author was awarded the Leonard Trophy for his writing and in 2017 and 2018 Under the Red Winter Sky and New Blood were voted the best Novels of the year out of 2000 nominated books. Kevin works as a secondary school teacher in Drumshanbo, County Leitrim.

On the dark days of December

On a dark morning in december the sky was wet and heavy with clouds,
the branches hung low and draped towards the grey water,
a black tweed cap was perched on the ash,
the grass laid lank and flat, it was bleached by frost,
the moon was still up, its crescent partially hidden behind a cloud even though it was gone eight,
thoughts were centred on the days to come and not the here and now,
the faces were turned towards the earth as we waited,
as we waited on the dark days of December.

On Garadice Shore

Going over old ground passed the church.
Under the low Winter sun towards the shoreline,
The green mossed stone and the bare black branches

At years end, time passed.
Lucid thoughts that pierce through the empty spaces
These things will stay with you.

A bell rings across the lake,
calling patrons to prayer,
to try and make sense of self,
to be rooted to this old ground on a lake shore.