Mike Gallagher

Mike Gallagher is an Irish writer, poet and editor.  His prose, poetry, haiku and songs have been published  throughout Europe, America, Australia, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Mexico, The Philippines, Japan and Canada. His writing has been translated into Irish, Croatian, Japanese, Dutch, German, Italian and Chinese. He won the Michael Hartnett Viva Voce competition in 2010 and 2016, was shortlisted for the Hennessy Award in 2011 and won the Desmond O’Grady International Poetry Contest in 2012. His poetry collection Stick on Stone was published by Revival Press in 2013.







McGahern’s Lake

The alder screen is threadbare now,

Its scant leaves hang in rags of gold

Two swans still fish the shallow reeds,

Three cygnets now long flown.

November sun breaks through white cloud

And casts a beam that’s bright and deep

It catches heron’s loping flight,

It lights on perch’s hungry leap.

What was he like, where did he live?

The eager pilgrim asks;

Who inspired the master’s pen?

Why did his ink run black

With guilt in stories of the dark?

The answers snarled in sullen tones

Unveil scorched souls that strayed

Too close to one at ease with truth,

Too lucid, it is said.

Pilgrim explores another view

Then turns to face the setting sun.


An End To Innocence

May is white.

Yesterday, its trees shimmered

in the shy evening light.

Today ivory-trained Communion frocks

Lurch into the age of reason;

Saplings. So young! Too young?

Dandelion drumsticks follow the rhythm

Of a playful wind, abandon

Pale, pocked tom-toms on pastel stalks.

Horse chestnuts, bright cones erect,

Light a changing world with domed candelabra.

Fern-leafed cow parsley firm, slender-fronded,

Delights the verge with dancing pompoms.

Plantain rosettes, antennae swaying lazily,

Don white veils trimmed in ochre.

Mountain ash, late to the party,

Bears a cream, scented bouquet,

Precursor of poisoned fruit.

Hawthorns, pearl beads exploding,

Proffer long, decadent fingers

Teeming with flickering jewels.

Blackthorn, forsaking purity,

Flicks a red-tipped tongue

From a green-lipped leaf,

Inviting; beguiling; hiding thorns.

The tree of life communes

With the tree of knowledge.

Nature, in new-found guilt,

Abandons the age of innocence

And swaggers in the brazen light

Of a white May evening.


© 2018 Mike Gallagher