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Bernadette Gallagher – Reminders of things to do

Bernadette profile Dec 2020

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing, Volume One, December 2020.

Bernadette Gallagher is a poet from Ireland. Her work has been published in Irish Examiner, Boyne Berries, ROPES, Stanzas, in the US peace journal DoveTalesIn the Cinnamon Corners, Ó Bhéal Five Words and in various online journals. A selection of her work has been recorded by the University College Dublin Poetry Archive.  She has been invited to read her work in Ireland, UK, US, and at the Sahitya Akademi in New Delhi, India. Further details at bernadettegallagher.blogspot.ie


Reminders of things to do

grass gone to seed
birds and bees feed
weeds grow in gutters
watering the plants below

paper on the floor
boxes stacked high
clothes laid out —
waiting for an iron

seeds out of date, unopened,
chimney in need of a brush
paint cracked on the door
books — some shelved, some not

walk down the lane, listen
for buzzard call
watch as they soar and dive
remember this.

Mullaghanish 2020

We climbed and saw her
across the valley
Goddess Anu lying back
breasts bared to the sky.

Like sheep, we zig-zagged
our way up, sun high
the sound of birds and water
flowing downstream.

Standing on the highest spot
we point to familiar landmarks —
look for where our home might be
unseen but knowing it is out there
a few giant steps away.


Out Walking

Like Morse Code
one barks
another responds, quickly
followed by a third, fourth
and fifth message until
the whole neighbourhood
of house protectors
have decoded my presence.

On my way home the sounds retreat.
The dogs lie again in wait, alone.

Don’t Write about Death

Maybe you could write a poem
about words, those words you
copy in your word book.

I chose jejune — unsatisfying to the mind
veridic —shown to be true
ratiocination — a reasoned train of thought
hegemony — the strongest and most
powerful, able to control others.

Why are these words so recondite, so
obscure?

There is no insouciance here
no carefree thoughts, but
concern for the ontological
the why of being.

I am but an epigone, a less
distinguished follower
leading to my demise.


© Bernadette Gallagher