Bernadette Gallagher – Ink-well

Bernadette Gallagher was born in Donegal and now lives in Cork. Her poems have been published in Irish Examiner, Boyne Berries, ROPES, Stanzas, in the US peace journal DoveTales and online at, Picaroon Poetry, Poethead, The Incubator, Live Encounters, Backstory, Other Terrain and Shot Glass Journal. A selection of her poems have been recorded by the University College Dublin Poetry Archive More information is available on her writing blog:


We sit side by side, one ink-well each. Brass plates slide
to uncover the dark liquid below. Nibs inked, ready.

Her feet moving in rhythm on the pedal, hands
guiding the material, stitching life into a new dress.

In De Barra’s the school desk with empty ink-well
covers the topless Singer sewing machine, threadless.

The pole outside our house shows where the branches
grew, little bumps in an otherwise straight tall tree.

Another tree formed into a church pew, no longer tree,
no longer pew as we sit sipping beers on a hot summer day.

The table that once bore breakfast, dinner and tea
holds computer and vinyl. No sign of butter or crumb.

My journals stand in line in a cupboard
half-way up the wall, where sugar, jam, bread and tea were stored.

A previous version was published by Irish Examiner for ‘The Tuesday Poem’ on 22nd Aug 2018

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1 Response to Bernadette Gallagher – Ink-well

  1. Nick Smith says:

    Lovely evocative poem, Bernadette.

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