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

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.