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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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Padraig Rooney’s In The Bonsai Garden won the Patrick Kavanagh Award for poetry in 1986. His second collection The Escape Artist (Smith/Doorstop) won The Poetry Business competition in 2006. The title poem of The Fever Wards, published by Salt in 2010, won the Strokestown International Poetry Prize. He lives in Switzerland.
The Names of the Winds
The harmattan was blowing and Ahmed woke
beside me in the house that buffeted with wind.
I saw him kneeling at the window, praying,
and felt the film of sand that overnight
had settled on the counterpane and pillow.
Underneath the door and round the window
more was coming in. He finished praying,
came back to bed and snuggled up beside me.
Simoom, he said, correcting me, and slept,
his breath a prayer, his skin a desert erg.
I ran them through my mind like grainy film,
the names of the winds, and traced them on his back
in script the wind effaced. The ghibli and arifi.
The africo that lifts the dunes as far as Rome,
the beshabar that blackens all before it,
and dust a thousand meters high that brings
the Sudanese their annual rain: haboob.
And then I wrote the name of a wind a king
had banned because his son had died inside it.
©2012 Padraig Rooney
Padraig Rooney home page
Rooney poem in Magma
Rooney at Modern Poetry in Translation
Rooney at Salt Publishing