Matt Mooney. A native of Galway, he lives in Listowel. His six collections of poems are: Droving, Falling Apples, Earth to Earth, The Singing Woods, Steering by the Stars, Éalú. Winner of The Pádraig Liath Ó Conchubhair Award 2019. Deputy Editor of The Galway Review and its Poetry Reviewer.

His poems have been published in a number of literary publications which include The Blue Nib, Feasta, Vox Galvia, and in anthologies at home and abroad. He continues to feature in many live and virtual poetry reading events.

A Stark Cross

The only thing I wrote
that end of March
to mark your burial
were six simple lines,
grief laden and finite:

‘The rain fell gently
on your grave
the day they buried
you in Lucan,
a victim of the Virus,
a stark cross above you’.

Out the door of life
alone in isolation,
the rest of us
in lock-down far away;
consolation later
in the loyalty of friends
’round your estate
on a grief-filled day
in their applause
as you passed by
and they sang
our Galway song
that says,
‘It’s faraway I am today
from scenes
I roamed a boy’
in your funeral film,
their last farewell,
their hymn from home
for you.
I have hesitated long,
maybe in denial,
to open up the book,
the story of your life,
its good times
and the bad as well
bettered bravely,
for maybe I’m afraid
I’d find myself
inside there with you
living it to the full,
listening to you Pat,
my own big brother;
taking it all in, then,
seeing the funny side,
laughing in the end.