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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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Paula Cunningham was born in Omagh and lives in Belfast. Her poetry chapbook, A Dog called Chance, was published by Smith/Doorstop in 1999. Her first full poetry collection Heimlich's Manoeuvre, also from Smith Doorstop, was published in Autumn 2013 and was shortlisted for the Fenton-Aldeburgh First Collection Prize.
2nd Prize in the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition
The Weather in the Mournes
The glass slides open onto deck and mountain,
six days without the slightest sign of rain.
All night I’ve heard the sluicing of the river,
it flushes like a thinly-walled ensuite.
I’m drowsing in a shaft of attic light,
the sky a Velux postage-stamp which flowers
with clouds - slow backdrop for the birds.
Dust galaxies in attic slants of light
to morning-song all water, breeze, and birds,
a spare acoustic bowled around by mountains.
The garden’s green is eking out a memory of rain,
wild deer steal down to eat the heads off flowers;
the hills’ white caps are thinning in the sunlight
that’s sparked each day like fireflies on the river
where hours ago two kingfishers, those flightiest of birds,
so anything, you feel it now, might happen in this light
which alters hourly and minutely so the flower-
heads make small movements imperceptible as mountains’
tiny shifts beneath the snow. The sun’s play turns the river
xylophone. Just now a peacock minced the lawn, a dandy-bird
whose ruffling throat was camp as feather-dusters. Then the rain.
It played between the glimmers on the river,
till afternoon fell grey as heavy weather, and rain-
pelt pecked the glass and bowed the light;
it damped and drowned out almost every bird,
en-greened the lawn, uprighted all the flowers.
Its run-off has replenished Shimna River,
and challenged proofs on walkers’ mountain
gear. I’d no idea I’d come to grieve but rain’s
the current weather. Though this week’s sunlight
has been overshadowed, there’s still that bird,
these hills and trees, the wet grass and the flowers,
this loft with windows wide above the river,
the rain-song and the landscape all ensuite.
©2014 Paula Cunningham
Four poems by Paula Cunningham in Penduline (Issue 9)
Poems by Cunningham at From the Fish House
Purchase A Dog Called Chance and Heimlich's Manoeuvre at The Poetry Business