GO TO MLC HOMEPAGE
ONLINE BOOKSTORE FEATURED TITLES
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
Create your badge
Jean O'Brien is a Dubliner who moved to the Midlands a few years ago. Her third collection, Lovely Legs, was published by Salmon in 2009. Her poetry is widely published and anthologised, and she has given readings as far afield as New York and Malaysia. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin and has been teaching Creative Writing in the Irish Writers Centre for over ten years. Writing in the Irish Times, Fiona Sampson said of O'Brien's work: "This is effortless writing, graceful and exact as any pirouette in its insight".
Running the Kite
On the beach small figures run this way
and that, seeming to flap in the wind,
as we drew nearer we saw string lines
attached to coloured sails in flight.
They are running with kites.
One child with his father chased
a soaring blue cloud as it tugged
air, straining its leash. The child hung
grimly on while the lines snagged and caught
in the breeze, a jumbled mess.
The father reached over the child's
overstretched arms, caught the line
pulled it taut and brought the kite down.
The pair unwound the tangled traces
crossing them back and over
their hands entwined like children
balling wool for their mother.
When it was free again
the child sprinted across shale
until an updraft teased itself under the blue
and threw the kite skyward.
Airborne again it unfurled,
riding the high currents as child and father
performed their perfect ballet below
on the sand. Hand over hand they played
out the strings that leapt and jerked
at their joint touch. The blue kite bobbing
like a smoke signal rejoicing in the sky.
©2010 Jean O'Brien
Jean O'Brien homepage
O'Brien at Salmon Publishing
O'Brien reading at the White House in Limerick (YouTube)