Ron Carey – Shooting Michael Collins

Ron Carey LEP&W V4 Dec 2022

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Four December 2022.

Shooting Michael Collins, poems by Ron Carey.

Shooting Michael Collins

We’re waiting all day in Béal na mBláth to shoot Michael Collins.
But the sun won’t behave for the Director of Photography.
Himself some actor from the North, with a tall Cork accent
That ricochets around the dying body of the day.
The cameramen are scattered on the hillside, having to move
With the everchanging light to get the best and clearest shot.
Below, the road twists and turns as if it doesn’t know where it’s going.
We only own it for another hour and then we head to Bandon
For a shower, a meal, and a pint by the fire in Brady’s, where
The man who plays Dev sits by himself to practice his tears.
From her suite of rooms, the American Superstar rings down.
She wants to try on Kitty Kiernan’s wedding dress, one more time.

If You Know How a Boreen Sometimes

If you know how a boreen sometimes tunnel’s the light,
You will know how it came delving towards me, carrying
The black outline of a man.
His face wore the generations of a settled people.
His eyes green with land.
His persona as sharp and awkward as hawthorn.
He asked me what in God’s name brought me
Here, to this out-of-the-way place, as if his owning it
Was a separate thing – already my going was in his voice.
I answered it was poetry – poetry brought me.
He turned and looked at the fields – the way
A shepherd might look for a lost sheep.
Finally, he nodded, satisfied with whatever bargain
He made with himself.
Then, with nothing agreed, we walked on together, while
The wet day shook itself vigorously in the sun.

My Daughter Has Trouble with Colour

One day my daughter asked
If everything was in black and white
When we were young.
And I told her it was, as I remember it.
But white then was much deeper, richer
Than today’s white, we called it Persil white.
And the women then gleamed under
White skies, lit by a white sun.
And all the men wore suits – suits that held
Seven different kinds of black, stitched
Into the fibers, so that one could see
The unique and relative luminance of Mourning,
Luxury, Evil and Darkness.
Now her teacher has rung to tell me
My daughter has trouble with colour.
He doesn’t laugh when I say
She is taking after me.

© Ron Carey

Ron Carey was born in Limerick and lives in Dublin. His poems have been published in numerous magazines and journals, including New Irish Writings and The Irish Times. He has been a winner or runner up in many international poetry competitions, including the Allingham Poetry Prize, the Gregory O’ Donoghue International Poetry Prize and the Bridport Prize. Ron’s first collection, ‘Distance’ was shortlisted for the Forward Prize Best First Collection UK and Ireland. His latest collection is ‘Racing Down the Sun’ from Revival Press. He holds a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of South Wales and facilitates CW courses in Limerick and Dublin.

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