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NESSA O'MAHONY

 

 

 

Nessa O'Mahony in Southword Journal 19

Nessa O’Mahony was born in Dublin and lives in Rathfarnham where she works as a freelance teacher and writer. Her poetry has appeared in a number of Irish, UK, and North American periodicals and has been translated into several European languages.  She has published three books—her first collection, Bar Talk, appeared in 1999. Her second, Trapping a Ghost, was published in 2005. A verse novel, In Sight of Home, was published by Salmon last year. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deserted Village, Achill Island

 

 

in memory of my father

 

A gap between showers,
blue filtering half-light
so we take our chances
on the slopes of Slievemore.

Those who’d called it home
knew about impermanence,
the reach of bog,
the gaping sockets of roofs.

Hap-hazarding lazy beds,
slip-slides of water
pouring down
the side of the mountain,
we settle for the track,
the safety of shale and quartz.

Sun wets white shards,
crystal lures us
as the track forks
to where a burnt-out digger
acts sentinel over oil slicks;
wind chimes music:
a plastic bottle
trapped by bog-lethe.

The quarry opens out,
slag-heaps improbably white,
as if someone had cleared snow
into neat piles,
or had scattered detergent
like there was no tomorrow,
no white sheets to be spread out,
no single rose bud to be left
beside a hospital bed.

 

©2010 Nessa O'Mahony

 

 

 

Author Links

 

Nessa O'Mahony at Salmon

'Accident and Emergency': O'Mahony in the Guardian Book Blog's poem of the week

'Lingua Franca': poem by O'Mahony in The Poetry Worm

 

 

 

 

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