Download PDF Here 13th Anniversary
Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Two December 2022.
Maynooth Calling, poems by Noel Monahan.
Two extracts from the long poem: Maynooth Calling, due for publication in Noel Monahan’s 9th. Collection: Journey Upstream, 2023.
A group of students, birettas on,
Stand like statues, facing heaven
( strophe antistrophe) (spoken as if in choir)
Long corridors many doors,
God took us here or did He?
To be marked out a chosen one
Took our names assigned us numbers instead
All searching for something lost
Loved by our mothers Pueri Aeterni
Word in the womb the word made flesh
Converting myths into day-to-day living
Carrying our heads in our hands
Seminarians behind a high wall
Seminarians A seed sowing race
Inside the Pomerium
Bells toll you are only a number
The holy rood fish on Fridays
Rules are rules auto-da-fé
Birettas in our hands birettas on our heads
Better reign in heaven than burn in hell.
Photos hang on the walls
Faces on the wall,
Clerics like mice smiling
Look down at us,
We look up with curiosity.
We look up at them.
With Fantasies about their faces.
Reading into their lives
Dressy fellows in soutanes
Faces about to make the sign of the cross,
Faces about to sing a Hymn to Mary,
Up The Catholic faces
Praise the Lord faces.
Fleur- de- lis faces.
Lines of faces in carved oak stalls,
Rotatory faces in the dust grains of sunlight,
A face attached to suffering,
A face with a poem on its lips
Faces singing from the same hymn sheet,
A rose window is caught in a curve of light,
A thurible sends smoke down the aisle,
A white surplice dances in the draught of an open door.
© Noel Monahan
Noel Monahan is a native of Granard, Co. Longford, now living in Cavan. He has published seven collections of poetry with Salmon Poetry. An eight collection, Celui Qui Porte Un Veau, a selection of French translations of his work was published in France by Alidades, in 2014. A selection of Italian translations of his poetry was published in Milan by Guanda in November 2015: “Tra Una Vita E L’Altra”. His poetry was prescribed text for the Leaving Certificate English, 2011- 2012. His play: “ Broken Cups” won the RTE P.J. O’Connor award in 2001and Chalk Dust, a long poem of his, was adapted for stage and directed by Padraic McIntyre, Ramor Theatre, 2019. During the Covid-19 lockdown, Noel had to reinvent his poetry readings and he produced a selection of Short Films: “Isolation & Creativity” , “Still Life”, “Tolle Lege” and A Poetry Day Ireland Reading for Cavan Library,2021. Recently, he edited “Chasing Shadows”, a miscellany of poetry for Creative Ireland. Noel adjudicated The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2022. His ninth poetry collection, “Journey Upstream” will be published in 2023.