Margaret Kiernan has a background in Public Policy and Social Justice. She writes poetry and short stories. She also paints landscapes in mixed media. She is published in, The Blue Nib Literary Journal, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Burrow at Old-water-rat publishing Australia, The Galway Review, Poet Head, A New Ulster, etc. Anthologies, and Cultural news magazines, Etc. She is listed in The Index of Contemporary Women Poets in Ireland, 2020. She writes with the Thursday Group of poets, at Over-the-Edge, Galway. She is also a member of Ox Mountain poets.
Citizens Wheel of Fortune-
The thing is, ninety-nine of us were there
but we didn’t have to go
We knew there would be no medals or carrots
Only stargazers, bit players
Waiting for whom?
The thing is you hold on tight
as you plunge to the valley
of ripened time
one wing un-clipped,
your work laid out each plenary day
not a frock-wearing pulpit hell in sight.
The thing was, there were no blue-blaze rows
only roundtable debates, filtered water
ruminated ideas, a tabula rasa of sorts.
We remembered a woman
Her Halappanavar dream un-got
her soul hoping to return
like water in the river Ghataprabha.
Note. The young woman from Bagalkot died in Ireland in 2012. Her name was Savita Hallappanavar, a married woman. She required an intervention to terminate her pregnancy to save her life.
*In 2016 to 2018 I was a participant citizen in Ireland on the National Citizens’ Assembly. It comprised of ninety-nine people who volunteered their time to move the agenda forward on public life and legal dilemmas. We debated and voted to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, a topic on the removal of the ban on legal abortion and medical intervention for women’s healthcare in Ireland. It was later taken to parliament for debate and ratification. The Irish nation voted to carry the repeal.
Margaret (Gibbons) Kiernan
Babies in the lurch
-Societal condemnation of women
There are those who know things
about discovered lives
from the seventies or
they stagger and wobble
over old ground
with un-composed eyebrows
roll or tilt the words
to avoid a memory of their own
or stumble upon truths
of gushing entrails
lying in the clay
dirt, quieted down.
Unlike those babies spanking clean
washed upon shores
with shells within their ears
their hearing gone.
But mark the trembled bitter tongues
rage or shame, the hunt was on,
girls were un-masked by friends
They seek something in return
for that fetid concealment.
All is sacrificed to ennui
to street callers’ gossip
before Repeal the Eighth was passed
such hypocrisy was rife.
All those Miss X Y Z’s
inspection of them laid
staring at the moons ebb and flow
they are blighted
Small indentations in grassy gardens
skewers to the land
locked in, unspoken
of interred truth.