English poetry

Poems in English


‘We were killing pigs when the Yanks arrived. A Tuesday morning, sunlight And gutter-blood Outside the slaughter house. >From the […]


Fishermen at Ballyshannon Netted an infant last night Along with the salmon. An illegitimate spawning, A small one thrown back […]

Mid-Term Break

I sat all morning in the college sick bay Counting bells knelling classes to a close. At two o’clock our […]


My father worked with a horse-plough, His shoulders globed like a full sail strung Between the shafts and the furrow. […]


I He would drink by himself And raise a weathered thumb Towards the high shelf, Calling another rum And blackcurrant, […]

Twice Shy

Her scarf a la Bardot, In suede flats for the walk, She came with me one evening For air and […]

Requiem for the Croppies

The pockets of our greatcoats full of barley… No kitchens on the run, no striking camp… We moved quick and […]

The Otter

When you plunged The light of Tuscany wavered And swung through the pool From top to bottom. I loved your […]

The Grauballe Man

As if he had been poured In tar, he lies On a pillow of turf And seems to weep The […]


My “place of clear water,” The first hill in the world Where springs washed into The shiny grass And darkened […]

Strange Fruit

Here is the girl’s head like an exhumed gourd. Oval-faced, prune-skinned, prune-stones for teeth. They unswaddled the wet fern of […]


Late August, given heavy rain and sun For a full week, the blackberries would ripen. At first, just one, a […]


It is December in Wicklow: Alders dripping, birches Inheriting the last light, The ash tree cold to look at. A […]


Between my finger and my thumb The squat pin rest; snug as a gun. Under my window, a clean rasping […]


A rowan like a lipsticked girl. Between the by-road and the main road Alder trees at a wet and dripping […]

Personal Helicon

As a child, they could not keep me from wells And old pumps with buckets and windlasses. I loved the […]

The Harvest Bow

As you plaited the harvest bow You implicated the mellowed silence in you In wheat that does not rust But […]

Death Of A Naturalist

All year the flax-dam festered in the heart Of the townland; green and heavy headed Flax had rotted there, weighted […]

The Perch

Perch on their water perch hung in the clear Bann River Near the clay bank in alder dapple and waver, […]


And some time make the time to drive out west Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore, In September or […]


There, in the corner, staring at his drink. The cap juts like a gantry’s crossbeam, Cowling plated forehead and sledgehead […]

The Tollund Man

I Some day I will go to Aarhus To see his peat-brown head, The mild pods of his eye-lids, His […]

From The Frontier Of Writing

The tightness and the nilness round that space When the car stops in the road, the troops inspect Its make […]

Keeping Going

The piper coming from far away is you With a whitewash brush for a sporran Wobbling round you, a kitchen […]

The Early Purges

I was six when I first saw kittens drown. Dan Taggart pitched them, ‘the scraggy wee shits’, Into a bucket; […]

Act of Union

I To-night, a first movement, a pulse, As if the rain in bogland gathered head To slip and flood: a […]

Rite of Spring

So winter closed its fist And got it stuck in the pump. The plunger froze up a lump In its […]

Lovers on Aran

The timeless waves, bright, sifting, broken glass, Came dazzling around, into the rocks, Came glinting, sifting from the Americas To […]


for T. P. Flanagan We have no prairies To slice a big sun at evening Everywhere the eye concedes to […]