Noel Monahan – Linus

Monahan profile Dec 2020

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

Noel Monahan has published eight collections of poetry. His most recent collection: Where The Wind Sleeps, New & Selected Poems, was published by Salmon in May 2014. He has won numerous awards for his poetry and drama. His work has been translated into Italian, French, Romanian and Russian. His most recent plays include: “The Children of Lir” performed by Livin’ Dred Theatre. His poetry was prescribed text for the Leaving Certificate English Course 2011 and 2012. His seventh collection of poetry: “Cellui Qui Porte Un Veau” a French translation of his work was published by Allidades, France in October 2014. An Italian selection of his work was published in “ Tra Una Vita E L’Altra”, published by Guanda, 2015. His work appears in the recent Anthology of Poetry “Windharp” Poems of Ireland Since 1916, edited by Niall MacMonagle and published by Penguin, 2015. A new collection of poetry entitled: “Chalk Dust” was published by Salmon Poetry in May 2018. This is Noel’s eighth collection of poetry.


For Linus McDonnell, raconteur and storyteller

Linus poured pints of ichor, shots of benediction oil
And walked on hallowed ground behind his bar,
Moving from one story to another:

This country has been propped up
By fabrication for years!
Yes! Oh yes!
In every yes there is a no.
We must restore our country
To its original state of corruption
Mother church and Mother Ireland,
All the tyrannies, democracies and aristocracies,
Has anything changed?
The R.I.C. eyes, the ears of the British Government,
Network of informers,
All gathering intelligence,
Did I hear an empty glass rattle?

Linus knew each one by name,
All the mothers’ sons, all the fathers’ daughters,
The wounded and the healed,
Silent men in civil wars with themselves
And he entertained them with a smile, a story,
A flip of a drying cloth, a parade march, a salute
To a night full of stars.

Smile on an Infant’s Face

For Fiadh, born 28th. February 2020

My name is Fiadh: Wild Deer
I am light-footed, the bones in my feet
Are graceful and growing,
Soon I will dance with the wind.
My eyes are sometimes misted by tears
But today they carry the sun.
My dreams are not revealed yet,
Somehow I know
I have the gaze of a beautiful girl.
My brother Oisín is a little deer
He waters the flowers with his watering-can
My Dad grew a beard for Covid-19,
My Mom loves the smile on my infant face,
I feed at dawn, fade by noon
Into a soul sleep in her arms.

Nobody Home

We peeped through a window,
The moon, my shadow and me.
Nobody home.
Mugs and plates on a table,
Empty chairs,
A blue Milk of Magnesia bottle
Alongside a statue of the Virgin Mary
On a shelf.
The floor hadn’t been swept for years.

© Noel Monahan