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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
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ELEANOR HOOKER

 

 

Eleanor HookerEleanor Hooker is a poet and writer living in Tipperary. Her collection, The Shadow Owner's Companion (The Dedalus Press) was shortlisted for the Strong/Shine Award, for Best First Irish Collection 2012. Her second collection is forthcoming from Dedalus Press in 2016. Her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2014) and Forward Prize for Best Single Poem (2014, 2016), translated into Polish and Romanian (upcoming) and published in a number of journals including: Poetry Ireland Review, POETRY, Agenda, PN Review, The Stinging Fly. She was awarded 1st Prize in the 2016 Bare Fiction, Flash Fiction Prize. Her fiction has been published in Banshee and The Woven Tale Press. She holds an BA (Hons 1st), Open University, an MA (Hons) in Cultural History, University of Northumbria, an MPhil in Creative Writing (Distinction), Trinity College, Dublin. Trained as a nurse and midwife, Eleanor is currently Programme Curator for the Dromineer Literary Festival, helm and Press Officer for the Lough Derg RNLI.

 

 

 

A Calling

 

 

I kneel where the water frays, and from my hands

            build the cracked prayer of a cup.

                                                John Glenday

 

The night is a drowned woman

in off the lake to waken me.

She is filled with stones and moulded

by the weight of fog. She sings me

from the nightmare that you have died

in a foreign land. I can hear you calling.

 

Anchored offshore is the great hull

of Humanity, waiting for

the dark to lessen, for the fog to lift.

I launch my boat over a crunch of stones

and jumping in, collapse wisps

of phantasmagoria taking shape.

 

Each pull on the oars is a rhythm

of curl, splash, settle and silence,

and that last I fear more than the

Siren’s song. Solitary boats

rise out of the fog and when I

try to call, ‘have you seen my son’

 

the sound from my throat is a gull’s 

screech and then they are gone once more.

Humanity looms, unrigged and waiting

for the black caw from the crow manacled

to its nest. And there, I see you

atop the mizzenmast, sheltered by

 

the canvas-sail wings of seabirds.

You are smiling the smile you braved

as a small boy in a yard of bullies,

but I am reassured by your point

of safety, your access to anytime flight.

I do not call out through the thinning silence,

 

I row coordinates of a reciprocal journey

to the ragged edge of sleep. In three days you

will call to tell me of your dream; of me rowing

through fog, silently mouthing your name.

 

 

©2016 Eleanor Hooker

 

 

Author Links

 

Eleanor Hooker homepage

Eleanor Hooker at the Poetry Foundation

Eleanor Hooker at Poetry International Web

More by Eleanor Hooker in Southword Journal

 

 

 

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