Poetry by Christine Valters Paintner, Weasel Patterson, Fiona Perry, Eoin Hegarty and Maggie Mackay

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    Christine Valters Paintner is an American poet and writer living in Galway, Ireland. She is the author of eleven books of nonfiction on creative process and contemplative practice and her poems have been published in both Ireland (The Galway Review, Boyne Berries, Headstuff, Skylight 47, Crannog, North West Words) and in the U.S. (Spiritus Journal, Tiferet, Anchor, Presence, ARTS, U.S. Catholic). She was shortlisted for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Award in 2013, 2014, and 2017, was a featured reader at Over the Edge in 2015, came in second for the Galway University Hospital Arts Trust Poetry Competition in 2016, and was shortlisted for the Dermot Healy Poetry Prize in 2017. Her first collection, Dreaming of Stones, will be published by Paraclete Press in 2019. You can find more of her writing and poetry at AbbeyoftheArts.com.

     

     

    Thirteen Ways to Love the Rain
    (after Wallace Stevens)

     

    I
    Moss profusion dangling from branches
    II
    mist’s dew-faced gleam
    III
    bucketing, lashing, mizzling, a whole vocabulary
    IV
    sun’s glimmer on wet stones
    V
    the way a broken umbrella dances, urban tumbleweed
    VI
    walking home that night so soaked I no longer cared
    VII
    moodiness of rain, defying perpetual optimism
    VII
    splashing puddles in wellies, like we did as children
    VIII
    curling up to read by rain-splattered windows
    IX
    fat drops falling slowly, then gaining momentum
    X
    the ferocity of storms, wind blowing you sideways
    XI
    arcs of color crossing the sky
    XII
    birds huddled on quiet city streets,
    XIII
    how it keeps me inside with you.

     

     

     

     

    Weasel is a degenerate author and The Dude of Weasel Press. His forthcoming short story collection, “Jazz at the End of the Night,” is expected by December 2017. In 2016, he published a novella with Thurston Howl Publications titled, “We Live for Half-Moons,” and self-published a book of poetry titled, “a warm place to self-destruct.” Weasel was featured in a documentary on indie artists called Something Out of Nothing (S.O.O.N.) directed by Mitchell Dudley.

     

     

    i have forgotten the lines of your face

     

    how invisible they became
    when the sun hit you
    just right

    the broken teeth we suffered
    now nothing more
    than a deleted chapter—
    manuscript all burnt out
    words decayed
    bones dissolved

    my hand still reaches for you
    when the moon is brighter
    than the sun on a bad day
    but i only find the small indention
    you left on our bed

    you collected half-moons
    hanging in the chests of dull boys
    when the hearts grew smaller
    you lost yourself

    never realizing that a heart
    never grows full—
    that the world
    runs on
    empty

     

     

    Fiona Perry’s  short stories and poetry have been published in the Irish Literary Review, Skylight47, Spontaneity Magazine, Into The Void and many others. She was born in Ireland but now lives in New Zealand. Follow her on Twitter @Fionaperry17.

     

     

     

     

     

    Panthera

    Dublin Zoo 1979

     

    Laughably they said
    you are a cat but
    caged in plain sight
    your crow-coloured pelt
    tells five year old me you
    are shadow incarnate.

    Steadfast you
    pace, posture and rehearse
    the hoisting of
    carcasses into trees-
    refuting the futility
    of your instincts
    in captivity.

    It’s true. They have
    Squeezed your mightiness
    into a box. But
    ghosts of night forests
    cannot be contained.
    I believe –
    because scrying

    In your patient amber
    Eyes- I decipher you
    are more black hole
    than substance-
    a moveable trap door;
    one of a shifting
    legion inclined
    to swallow a child.

     

    Eoin Hegarty: A primary school teacher working in Dublin. I’m a member of the Hibernia Writers’ Group and this year came 2nd in the Robert Monteith Poetry Competition and 3rd in the Rush Poetry Competition and Anthology.

     

     

    Snow

     

    When the cold deepens, settles,
    a delicate bird floats through

    the still afternoon – sweeps a cheek,
    rests, crooked, on the bridge of the nose.

    Holding out your tongue as a true
    communicant, you catch one –

    it tastes of nothing; a shiver
    that ghosts away on your breath.

    The cold purrs at your ear.
    Colours glow in its white blaze

    as children stomp about with raw hands
    and slushy boots – voices brittle

    with frost. You stare through it,
    as through a page – remembering

    nothing. Later, a moth
    at the window, panicky among

    the myriad petals, feels its body
    constrict with delicate ice crystals –

    feels it weep and open
    with so many needles of light.

     

     

     

    Maggie Mackay, a jazz and whisky loving Scot, has work in Algebra of Owls, Amaryllis, Atrium, Prole, The Everyday Poet, Southlight and Three Drops Press and forthcoming in the #MeToo anthology, March 2018. Her poems have been nominated for The Forward Prize, Best Single Poem and the Pushcart Prize in 2017.

     

     

     

    My Mother’s Gloaming

     

    The day it happened, afterwards, we stepped out
    for fresh air, my brother and I, arm in arm,
    a foot in height between us. We walked as if angle-gazing
    through a looking glass, following the missing.

    We ate dry scones in the Gallery of Modern Art
    among shallow people. In the Ladies I peed
    for the first time in days.
    I heard myself say aloud to a stranger,
    my mum died this morning,
    then her reply, so calm, oh, this is a big day for you then.

    I dared to glimpse up into the mirror for the first time
    in days, hair shocked with end of life craze,
    skin transparent from lack of food,
    my gut solid with loss.