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Prizewinner, Strokestown Poetry Festival, 2005

and in collection With Blushes in the Sky, 2005

Flight of the Heron


1. Evening


Gainly, magnificent, the heron stands

A menhir on the water's edge.

Its granite eye anticipates

The red, red dusk while overhead

The silhouetted starlings flutter

Like soot escaping from a bonfire.


2. Dusk


The town is a tidal memory

Wafting its way slowly upstream

Fanning out over silt and mud

To the bullrush, where the heron dreams

Of nightfall sudden as a shower,

Darkness total as forever.


3. Night


A tired man chants his tired prayer

The one about 'respect for difference'

Or how a lifetime's search for peace

Turns into a decade long lament,

For chances lost between the fences

Outside the heron wakes; tenses.


4. Dream


In memoriam, I skitter stones across

The beach at Glenigivnew bay

Bright as sweets they pop the surface

Then ripple towards America.

I sense my father's sweatered spectre

Applaud the action 'Again...better.'


5. Dawn


She stalks the heron in charcoal strokes

Approving of the Japanese lines

The classic lean sublimity

On a canvas of morning sunshine;

Suddenly soars, a pure arc dipping

Seaward, the sound of one wing flapping.


Michael Conaghan


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Michael at The Bear Review (and see Writing / Growl)

and in the shop ...
collections -
"A Map of Johny Casey"
"With Blushes in the Sky",
Lapwing Publications


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