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Best of Irish Poetry 2010
Editor: Matthew Sweeney
Songs of Earth and Light
Barbara Korun poems translated by Theo Dorgan
Done Dating DJs
by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey
Winner, 2008 Fool for Poetry Competition
Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes
Munster Literature Centre
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Patrick Maddock is a former Hennessy Poetry Winner whose poems have appeared in various magazines in England and Ireland.
The New Court
The lines are exact and completely unscuffed.
The angles look pure. Sheathed in green,
the cage-work fencing holds the vertical point.
Beyond: that frieze of mountains,
to which the spectator’s lens can adjust.
Vacant, the umpire’s high chair
supervises the quiet.
Laces are being tied inside.
A whiff of shoe white – sharp and bright –
slips through an unseen open window
from a few decades back…
The parts combine to measure up.
Only the players, officials, need to arrive
while the impetus is fresh and the day
brims with an early summer’s scent.
Here, in the cut-away site that centres
the banked earth—here, or in a place like here,
someone wins the toss and gets to serve first
someone with the power to connect
over the immediate harvest of the footed earth
who quickly gauges the bounce of the ball
across the hard court – strikes back and forth –
and extends right through to the closing shot
past the ultimate lateral move
of the onlooker’s head.
Game, set and match.
Was that a distant burst of applause
or a high-speed train through the region’s cleft?
©2010 Patrick Maddock
'Dazzle': A Maddock poem in Southword 18