Paul Bregazzi – Ophelia

P Paul Bregazzi LE P&W Vol 2 2019

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Poems by Paul Bregazzi

Paul Bregazzi’s poetry has been published widely in; e.g:The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review, The Stony Thursday Book, The Stinging Fly,  The Wells Review, Magma (UK),  Fields Magazine (Univ of Texas at Austin). Selected for Poetry Ireland’s Introduction Series 2015. Winner of Cúirt New Writing Prize for Poetry 2017. Selected for Words Ireland National Mentoring Programme 2019. His debut collection will be published by Salmon Press in May 2020.


In black socks getting
ready for the off

or the on, if time
permits she says it

doesn’t but does not
object to pirouetting

out a laugh and faux
stumbling until caught

then mounting daybreak
and its grind

the wind from the lake
lifts her hair

birds turn from the wallpaper
put up by the red flash

of nails on her nape.


We drove that day along the Highlands coast
headed north.
Clouds moving out over the Atlantic
Sunlight threw darts through
the missed
opportunity. The longer the gap went on
the harder
it got to close it.
A bump in the road and the glovebox
flies open. We stare at its silent mouth.

The sun hits the gannets as they
throw themselves
at the sprat-life below.
‘Ailsa Craig!’ she shouts.
We grasp the short joy
of the nominative. Sigh
around the next bend
away from the accusative.


We found him on one of our silent walks
up the hill there through the abandoned
fields along the old green road.
He was bedraggled and tiring –
not wanting to be helped, critical,
slumped in the long grass of the lost track,
more like something spewed from the earth
than fallen from the heavens. We threw
an old coat over him and brought him
We made up the spare room for him – a single
chair to rest on,  a box-bed, newspapers
on the floor for his mutes.

At first we moved slowly around
each other – he was a dark shadow,
his voice harsh and unforgiving,
particularly when the wind came.
But slowly he let himself go.
The funk of him filled the house –
it was everywhere – I began to believe
I could scent it off my wife.

Finally, one evening I came
home and broke. I took him back
to the lost track – cast him high into the dark.

Still, when I try to remember
my wife,
his reek comes first.

© Paul Bregazzi