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MICHAEL CASEY

 

 

Michael Casey poem in Southword Journal Online

 

Michael Casey was educated in New Ross, Dublin and Cambridge. He worked in the public service and the IMF (Washington DC). He has published a novel, Come Home Robbie, and a non-fiction book, Ireland's Malaise. He has published a considerable volume of poems and short stories, many of them award-winning. He is a regular contributor to the Irish Times and other newspapers.

 

 

 

 

 

Bulloch Harbour, Winter 09

Third Prize, 2011 Gregory O'Donoghue Competition

 

 

Twenty apostolic fishing boats, shaped

like eucalyptus leaves, curving up to bows,

all heaving side by side, catenaries

keen to slice through swollen seas beyond the walls.

 

But no one’s going out in force eight gales;

oarlocks are removed from gunwales

and varnished oars lie across wooden seats

useless as chopsticks on empty plates.

 

Cots are strung together bow to stern;

moustache-shaped fenders guard prows

against unexpected collisions due to

undertows or rogue waves slipped

 

through the harbour mouth by sudden squalls;

the craft are free to ride but not collide.

They roll and yaw on slow insistent waves,

mitigated by piers of Herodian stone.

 

A separate line of boats face a wall,

bob and nudge each other like drunk uncles

swapping bathroom jokes across urinals,

as they compensate for a lost pay-day.

 

Tracing the clinker lines, painted strips

of red and blue converge on jaunty names:

Seaspray II, Tara, Fearless, Lara Sue.

But to-day is laden with absences.

 

Across the road, in Our Lady’s Home,

those in dry dock knit vests and socks

for India, gaze out at hollow holds,

empty of fish and loaves and rescued souls.

 

 

©2011 Michael Casey

 

 

 

Author Links

 

Ireland's Malaise by Casey at Liffey Press

Come Home Robbie by Casey at Amazon.co.uk

 

 

 

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Southword 6 Southword No 7 Southword No 8 Southword No 9 Southword No 10 Southword 11 southword 12 Southword No 14 Southword No 15