Berni Dwan

Berni likes to write and perform a kind of poetry that she describes as Frankly Blank Verse, and she does so regularly at Takin the Mic in the Irish Writers Centre. In March 2016, as part of the Scene and Heard Festival, she performed her one-woman show, Unrhymed Dublin, in Smock Alley Theatre. Her poems have been published in The Galway Review, A New Ulster, Stepaway, and the Irish Times New Irish Writing page. In October 2017, she earned second prize for poetry in the Johnathan Swift Creative Writing Awards. Her work has been broadcast on RTE’s Sunday Miscellany and Lyric FM’s Quiet Quarter. Her essays have appeared in Headstuff and Ireland’s Own. She is working on an A to Z of Historical Blunders that should never have been repeated.


Fat Man on a Bicycle

The wheels turn slowly; slowly you up
slope and down slide, stoically lumber forward
on the even stretch. Your behind
embraces the saddle; like a lover you straddle
that leather seat, gripping the handlebars with
the tenacity of a pommel horse gymnast. In
the summer haze you sink into road like a warm
knife into butter. You spread yourself atop the
hill before sharpening into focus on the flat. Your
battered pneumatic prosthetic has hefted your
swelling frame and weathered shopping bag for all
your adult life; bucking the trend; buckling the
wheels of progress. You never owned a car; never
travelled far enough to need one. The odd time
you’ll take a lift from a neighbour to a hospital
appointment or a funeral. You marvel at the satellite
navigation system and the hands-free phone. Tomorrow,
you will renew your vows with that old accustomed road;
meld into that familiar topography. You make a lovely

© 2018 Berni Dwan