Blackbird by Alan Carroll

There’s a blackbird mocking me from a nearby gnarled sycamore tree
As I sit outside the graveyard with the car windows down
She whoops and hollers out across the heaving meadow
And her mate responds to every needy sound

The bar across the car park stops caravans coming in
A flat denial perched atop the gate
Only room here for hearse and cars
As they carry the dead unto their final fate

This road is quiet with an occasional passer
And a thrush is now crashing the blackbirds gig
She skips and hops between treated wooden stumps
And puffs out her chest to make herself look big

A few minutes more and I’ll be at your grave
And say a soft prayer and bleed a silent tear
As the distant hum of traffic floats on the weak wind
Still bringing that blackbirds song to my ear…

Alan Caroll is a writer from Cellbridge.


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View From Within by Caspian Hedberg

Deep into the cyclone I am plunged,
The waves that so often crash around me
oommFor now are silenced.
In eerie quietude I am forever folding inward.
Down through thoughts unclear,
My body a callus shell.
The world outside looks so unreal,
When viewed from deep within,
As if one strong tap could shatter all,
And bring the whole screen crashing down.
oommThen time speeds up and sound creeps in,
As from the cyclone I emerge,
Standing still and silent,
While the street it looks perturbed.

Caspian Hedberg is  a young poet living in Dublin.

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The Sinking Duck by Turlach O’Brion

Amongst her buoyant raft of ducks
pausing from plashing to digest a little weed
exchanging the odd contented quaa
the waters surface,
warmed by a gift of a day,
began to accept a little more her,
gradually at first,
she put it down to a full stomach;
creeping up her plumage
she raised her wings to keep the bottoms from the surface
Her abdomen sank futher
Quaaa escaped her in astonished fear
Further sinking
The raft a paddle was in the thralls of late evening contentment
Affirming affirmations
The quaa murmuration continued
Quaaa! In undiluted terror
as the bottoms of her wings began to touch the water
The raft froze for and instant the next was all a flutter.
Amid a tumult of alarmed Quaaa’s and slapped water,
the raft rose.
Sinking, torso almost submerged
imploring quaaa!
The mountainous wakes of the departed filled her eyes
Her head sank beneath the water.
Half a second of panic passed
At a quarter perch beneath
Desperation overcame terror
She undulated and kicked
With all her strength
For the near bank
her stomach a harth stone, lungs a fire but,
the palmates kept kicking
Stirring mud,
Scraping mud,
Treading mud,
Paddling mud
As a two oared raft
She broke the surface
To a cacophony of quaaa’s
Exhausted and bewildered
Collapsed at the water’s edge
…………………………………….She breathed.


Turlach O’Brion is a 26 year old Barman, Historian, and Photographer living in Drumcondra, Dublin.

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My Cosmic Tour by Mandira Ghosh

I am lost in
The Cosmic Ocean.
As I return to
The shore
The earth

I collided with an ocean and
Like a child
I measured its vastness
Today I return to the dust
Cosmic dust.
He created the dust with
Brilliant ingredients.

Welcome planet earth
A place filled with blue nitrogen
Ocean filled with liquid water
Cosmos is alive in forests and meadows
I look for a maroon Cosmology in my imagination
But as I witness around
I witness depth of the fathomless blue
Emerging void
I a fulfilled self
Once again witness around
All fine, absolutely fine
But blindfolded
He has absolutely forgotten
To remove pain from life.
Pain from the planet
Planet as a forest in fire

Mandira Ghosh is the present treasurer of the Poetry Society(India) and has published eight books including three volumes of verses-Aroma,New Sun and Cosmic Tour. Recipient of several awards for verses, she has been awarded with a Senior Fellowship of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

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Dusk by Stephen Elliot

The day darkens.
The wilting shadow of an infant birch
Grants its last leaf to the pavement,

Becomes the gnarled, knotted hand
Of Otherworld,
Each twig-shade a
Spindle fingered cipher

Tickling the evening into passage.

The moment shifts.
Streetlights flicker and buzz into being.
A portal shuts.

Stephen Elliot is a 20 year old Belfast man currently studying English Literature at Strathclyde University, Glasgow.

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The Mask by Caspian Hedberg

I saw the knife being plunged into the mask,
Held tightly by my own hands,
Wounding and cutting deeply.
The wood peeling away and
………Falling off like decomposing skin,
Flesh pulsing hot and tender bellow,
Singeing under the light of day.
But that light was soon eclipsed,
And the whole world became divided,
With me left standing; one foot in the light,
………And the other in the dark.

Caspian Hedberg is a young poet living in Dublin

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Spitting Out Night by Colin Dardis

I want a goddess to come
arch her golden compress around my feet
so that I may jilt her with highfalutin disinterest;
feel the bitterness of my empowerment,
beauty cast in the eye of the rejecter,
the gilded critic, the holder of the scales,
the broken competitor
now raggled as a hag, a dog
lapping up retirement from a chipped bowl
spat into by passing pedigree suitors
deeming her unfit and useless,
unworthy of speculation or contemplation,
the cherry orchard fallen,
a drift of Autumn on the branches of life,
the corrupted Eden, long lost and dead
to the mouths of the Olympians.
I understand the lust
in taking beauty’s hand
and burying scornful nails
into her still lake of flesh,
the perpetual virgin publicly deflowered
for there is no satisfaction found behind closed doors;
let the birds sing out in the open,
let the deer come laugh by the riverside
fleshly carved from her tears,
trickling with proffered blood extended
to the slick mountainside of her coveted lover.
She will find no foothold waiting
for her daintily-clad steps,
her talons find no purchase on the rock,
unforgiving as a summer nettle.
I have turned cheek and back
to her supplications,
feeling almost sorrow
to the echoes of her want.
Born at the tail end of the seventies in Northern Ireland, Colin Dardis is poet, artist, and sometimes musician. He edits FourXFour, an online journal focusing on poetry from the North of Ireland. He is also the founder of Purely Poetry, an open mic poetry night in Belfast, and a member of Voica Versa performance group. Colin’s work has been previously published in numerous anthologies, journals and zines in Ireland, the UK and the USA. His poem ‘Perhaps’, won the 006 Writer’s Choice Award for Poetry. Notable appearances include the Belfast Book Festival, Sunflower Fest, and the Belly Laughs Comedy Festival.

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