s
s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MLC

GO TO MLC HOMEPAGE


FOOL FOR POETRY
INTERNATIONAL CHAPBOOK
COMPETITION 2017


 

submit
Submit to Southword

 

 

ONLINE BOOKSTORE FEATURED TITLES

 

New Irish Voices
Poetry chapbooks by
Roisin Kelly & Paul McMahon

 

 

Liberty Walks Naked
by Maram al-Masri, trans. Theo Dorgan

 

 

Done Dating DJs
Done Dating DJs
by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey
Winner, 2008 Fool for Poetry Competition

 

 

Richesses

Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes

 

 

 

 

Munster Literature Centre

Create your badge

 

 

 

 

 

Arts Council

 

 

Cork City Council

 

 

Foras na Gaeilge

 

 

Cork County Council

   

 

 

PAUL McMAHON

 

 

Paul McMahonPaul McMahon is from Belfast. His poetry has appeared in The Threepenny Review, The Salt Anthology of New Writing, The Montreal International Poetry Prize Global Anthology, The Atlanta Review, Agenda, Ambit, The Irish Times, The Keats-Shelley Review, Interpreter’s House, and others. His poetry prizes include The Keats-Shelley, The Ballymaloe International, The Nottingham Open, The Westport, The Golden Pen, and second prize in both The Basil Bunting, and The Salt International Poetry Prizes. He has received Bursary Awards from The Arts Council of Ireland and The Arts Council of Northern Ireland. His poetry has also been broadcast on RTE radio.

 

 

 

 

The Cure for the Burn

for Robert Moore

 

is somehow hidden in the scales

of a small seldom-seen lizard,

known as a mankeeper,

who lives in the boglands

 

and only ventures out

when the August dry spell

is finally cast over the turf field, 

 

and the daubs of bog cotton,

like milky blind-eyed Jack-O-Lanterns,

sway over the summer turf-grasses

 

and it’s then it scurries out   

like a beady-eyed myth,

baptised in fire, to climb

the pyramids of footed turf

to receive the sacrament of sunlight

 

and to get the cure for the burn

onto the turf ridges of your tongue

this un-struck flint of a lizard

while still cold enough

to be slow enough

must be caught, and held

with both hands

tail in one, head in the other

 

and its bog oak body

placed into the mouth

and turned like a skewer

 

until the cure seeps out

from the mankeeper’s scales

onto the waiting tongue

and transforms it

into a newly-tempered

flame-ready, burn-soothing altar

where the sting of any burn

 

can be laid to rest

with one long soothing lick.

 

 

 

©2016 Paul McMahon

 

 

Author Links

 

Two Hennessy New Irish Writing poems by Paul McMahon in The Irish Times

Interview with Paul McMahon in the Honest Ulsterman

Keats-Shelley prize-winning poem by Paul McMahon

More by Paul McMahon in Southword Journal

 

 

 

CONTENTS BACK TO TOP NEXT POEM

 

 

   
 
©2009 Southword Editions
and
Munster Literature Centre
   

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