Eugene O’Hare – Two Poems

Eugene O’Hare was born and raised in County Down. His plays are published by Methuen. He writes short stories for BBC Radio 4- most recently “Bosco” read by Stephen Rea which has been adapted into a feature film script and will shoot in Ireland in 2022. Eugene occasionally teaches his own Masters module in Irish Contemporary Play Texts to international students of theatre and literature.



he lost his wife today.
she told him she wasn’t afraid.
she said she could see her mother
as she remembered her
in the fifties.
it was all in her mind;
a mind full of colour, music, love,
bloom. beautiful mind she had.

house is cold.
he lights a fire.
warms a pot.
he’ll eat hers too.
he wants to be strong & ready
for when grief comes
& throws his body
into the walls.

he’ll be ready for it.

she called him Hercules.
watch. he’ll prove it.


we could never find the key to your gun cupboard.

often i would open the wardrobe door,
pull your jackets aside & place my hand on the metal safe.

inside i imagined bullets in boxes
& the second you considered how many to buy
against how many you might need.

leaving for the city when i was eighteen,
knowing i’d never be back,
i thought of your gun cupboard. still do:
its air locked tomb, felt interior, the smell
of polished metal i sometimes mistake for your cologne.

and the key; hidden in another world
where you stand, half smirking, beyond the song of birds.



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