top of page

November 29, 2022


A rising scent: a lush and nettled green.

A sheen of swallows soaring into view.


I give my time (my ticking life) 

to watching weather bleat and blow 


along the river-banks, or simmer 

like a mist of heat in every passing 


rushy patch, long, drifting links 

of meadowsweet a-whisper at the verge. 


The light is lilting now, laconically slow:

the sun beds down, a copper god, 


in meadow-marigold at dusk, the sky 

a burning blue. I breathe the ancient summer in 


before it dims. I died, you know, a beat or two, 

when I rowed my stony days and nights 


away from broken me-and-you, a burial at sea:

my sunken self-mythology, a memory 


that flows. The flailing creature I’ve become 

will curl into the sun-restoring dark, 


a nervy coil, and twitch in pummelled pulses 

to repeat, in dream, the falling-mountain-water blue 


I slipped into – to look you in the eyes. I’m everything 

I was when I reneged: weeping poetry, a brutal, 


brimming boy; an egomanic in love. I barely 

recognise you, you replied. And finally: goodbye.


Reprinted with permission of the author

by Ciarán O'Rourke

Ciarán O'Rourke's first collection, The Buried Breath, was highly commended by the Forward Foundation for Poetry in 2019. His second collection, Phantom Gang, has just been published by The Irish Pages Press. He blogs at

bottom of page