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.
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