Annemarie Ní Churreáin: Four Poems

Biographical Note              Contemporary Irish Poetry Index

The Scandal
Blue Dress
30th Birthday



Openly, the sea prays
against the moon’s lead….. the pier’s edge….. the palm-trees

as I sway beneath a ringlet of your hot breath.

And though we know nothing yet of cruelty,
there is a vague bloodedness in the air,
the scent of bulls on the heels of men,
…………..a red hem flaring poppies.

Soon, the dust-clouds will spin
like none seen
at Las Ventas.

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The Scandal

The villagers did not unite
in outrage
but instead, they set about their days as usual,
posting letters, buying fruit, forming queues in the bank
after lunchtime.

They said little
but within that little lay much;
little was a gated field in which something extraordinary was

They held to their inner selves
in emergencies of projected light.

And yet,
over time, there happened a slow retreat from joyousness;
a packing away of the Emperor’s new clothes, for good.

Only the giant oaks
would live to remember imagination.

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Blue Dress

Here hangs a fiction in memory.

I hold it to my body and let it fall
against my curves,…… like a pendulum of water,
each seam ebbing from an unworried source.
……………Mock oars flutter both sleeves.

But I know the harm this dress has seen:
the channels of a girl who swallowed pills,
……………later coins,
slipping them in …………… one after another,
……………until the belly, keeper of fortunes, said: no.

I am told she was a dreamer.
I am told that in the end the breath coming out of her
was mechanical and slow…………… as a helm’s steer
……………towards a last, black bend.

No blue can obscure the dying asters,
undiscovered stars, the mercury
rising in St John’s River.

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 . .

30th Birthday

she sits in front of a mirror
the man drags
a razor
her nape

as if to scoop from a shell
what some say
makes her
a girl

sex, gender, name,
these details once
made her seem


now the strands fall
brown with bolts
of silver already
a chunk of bog-coins
a spade

in every loss:

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