Poems by Colette Nic Aodha
Colette is an award winning poet who resides in Galway in the West of Ireland. She writes in both Irish and English. She has fourteen publications which include a volume of short stories, Ádh Mór, as well as an academic study of the blind poet Anthony Raftery, an 18th century bard whose songs and poems are still recited and sung today. She has one volume of English poetry, Sundial, which was published by Arlen House Press, She also has two dual language collections of poetry by the same publisher; Between Curses: Bainne Géar , and In Castlewood: An Ghaoth Aduaidh. Her work is on the syllabus in Primary, Secondary and Third Level colleges. Colette’s latest collection (bilingual) is titled Bainne Géár: Sour Milk,which is available in hardback and softback, published by Arlen House, 2016. : Colette is pursuing postgraduate studies in the English department of NUI Galway; she also has a master’s degree in modern Irish. ‘Magyar Dancer’ is her forthcoming collection of English poetry.
At Devenish West
a solitary swan
raised his feathers,
turnstile into the past,
St Mary’s Priory
had a Beckett story,
our bellies filled
despite the shadow
of purgatory. Birds
gave a winning performance,
an easterly wind carried
warm friends from far afield,
reeds on the banks of the Lough
waved towards a round tower,
I imagine early Christian ‘tearmain’
sanctuary for strong desires,
mixed coloured ink on calf skin,
I keep thinking of the Irish for parchment,
illustrate how soil is tilled,
vermillion of a shimmering lake.
Not wanting to fall at the last hurdle
and be found storing coal in the bathroom
or with cows lowing in the pasture of his bedchamber
he resolved to take her to dinner, his treat,
make polite simile and metaphor, she thought his speech
lilted classical and was impressed with the bachelor piece
despite previous undertakings never again to sit in his audience.
Later they waltzed and did the foxtrot beneath Egyptian
cotton and silken moon, he was all petals and silver gilding
but when the sun surfaced and without the consolation
of night’s blanket it was the customary underground river
to be negotiated, potholing in treacherous straits.
The colour of skin
and ripe pomegranates
elephant tusk and mountainside,
handwoven rugs fade into sunshine.
An opportunity for discussion whether
Christian, Buddhist or the nature of animal:
Chickens, horse and peacock are Islam,
above all this is art by the hands of ordinary
people of Iran ,east, west or north Kurdistan
who cannot write or read the Koran,
made from the flesh of an unrecognised land
a country of riches and beautiful wine,
A lemon tree sits inside the glass,
tomatoes grow outdoors
an elephant raises its wooden head,
four pyramids of glass.
On this island a bull and his herd
hold a wake for a dead cow,
slip of a girl skinny dips
in the water behind sand dunes
Music revs lust to boiling point,
scores fertility alphabetically.
Hares stomp on a circular grave,
fishing boats unfasten in the heat.
From Twenty Three
Water edges around blue and red
buoys on the lake
red maple flutters
from the bow of the boat
anchored beneath, old tyres
like ones used on sides
of silage pit or to set the bonfire alight
on John’s Eve, are lined three deep,
light uplifts cloud. Deciduous
frames the face of water,
autumn colours a light aircraft
as it lands on a strip of sunshine
to the right. I reside on floor twenty three
for seven recitals, make a wish.
Large marble skull
arched and dark,
torrents of the deep,
that calls Celtic heroes from their sleep,
sing not Shubert but Ó Éinniú,
quartz is coloured and opaque.