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Ron Carey – Down from the North

P Ron Carey LE P&W Vol 2 2019

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Poems by Ron Carey

Ron Carey was born in Limerick and lives in Dublin. He has had poems published in New Irish Writings, the Irish Times, The Stony Thursday Book as well as numerous magazines and journals. He has been a winner or runner up in many international poetry competitions. He recently won the Allingham Poetry Prize and came 2nd in the Gregory O’ Donoghue International Poetry 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 has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of South Wales and facilitates CW courses in Limerick and Dublin.


Down from the North

We took a different road home, crossing borders built
In the mind of the people; stone rain pelting both sides.
You are now roaming. You are on your own, loosed
From the familiar to the gasping, questioning dark.
We splashed in and out of sloppy villages that still knew
The best whitewash mix but couldn’t tell the right road
To the capital of the Free State; a fistful of men blocking
The doors of a trodden pub; alien petrol stations telling
Their price in pounds; car lights picking up the skinless arms
Of Winter hedgerows, sacrificed for a promised Summer.
The rain stopped in Cavan and threw itself into the gutters
Of the Town. Ravenous with the hunger, we prowled
Through the evening people with their going-home-faces;
They barely glanced at us, strangers down from the North.

Morning at Clifford’s Farm

The engine of Morning has not begun to turn when
The birds fly down and light on steel blades of silence.

Earth’s rustic mechanisms run deeper than the core,
Heart pumping in the dark mantle. Now something

Electric, ozoneic, reaches for the tingling roots
And leaves that tongue every living breath, vibrate.

Now grasses bend their rods before the breakfasting
Walk of animals and the hills are popcorn rich with sheep.

The Sun brings it’s golden spears to the fields and Night
Turns down the boreen where blackberries hang like hurts.


Three Suits

Waiting at the edge of my mother’s shopping, outside
The grumble of unfitting rooms, the women
Carrying Autumn by its swan-necked trends, to
And fro, under the yellow stubble of soft lights
And music, I’m reminded of my father’s three suits
Hanging like criminals in the jail of his recently
Deceased wardrobe. On the youngest he depended
For a casual comfort that was not always there.
His business suit is an older blue but even Chinese
Dry-cleaning cannot rinse out the patchy terror
Of losing or the pale bloom of the shocking win.
The third had worn him out; for it had endured
The puddling furnace of humanity, though its heft
And threaded nerves still hold a bravery of dreams.