Jean Tuomey

Jean Tuomey grew up in Dundalk and currently lives in Castlebar. A  former teacher,  she now facilitates writing groups, having trained in the States as a writing facilitator with theNational Association for Poetry Therapy. She is published in Crannog, Fish Anthology, Stony Thursday, Washing Windows? Irish Women Write Poetry and Poetry Ireland Review.

7 am. on Inishbofin.

i.m, Margaret Murray

Fill your ears with birdsong,
the only sound that vibrates
during the island’s slow awakening.
Swallows, lapwings own this time.

Watch fishing boats head out
towards High island,
circle in sparkles on the sea,
return for a second net.

Drink coffee outdoors
in an hour of sunlight
that pours through Margaret’s
remembered red geraniums.



for Gabrielle

Sometimes it’s the annexe,
our communal garden, that is the salve,
soothing my need to go elsewhere
before the day has folded itself
like crisp cotton sheets once tidied by mother,
moving towards and away,
folding and stretching,
while I held the far sides taut.

Now middle –aged,
I kneel on this shared bed,
pull out weeds after the day’s growth,
compost them.
If only worries were like that-
extractable at source,
put to good use.

© 2019 Jean Tuomey