Patrick Deeley is from Loughrea, County Galway. His poems have been translated into French, Italian, Spanish and other languages and have appeared widely in Ireland and abroad over the past forty years. Groundswell: New and Selected Poems, is the latest of his six collections with Dedalus Press. His critically acclaimed, best-selling memoir, The Hurley Maker’s Son, published by Transworld Ireland, was shortlisted for Non-fiction in the 2016 Irish Book Awards.
We inhale them – orange, cherry, freesia,
jasmine, lavender, fig, lily, iris,
magnolia and rose – from the dipped
or dabbed tips of the fingers,
until they conspire to gum up our noses.
Even the great Nez trained for years
at Grasse, able to distinguish
between two thousand perfumes, feels his
or her brain grow befuddled
eventually, much as you and I find love
befuddles us. Flowers we marvel
at, their shapes and colours, the pleasant
or in some sprays obnoxious odours
they exude, all that nature and sentiment
would have them stand for. But
if our fortune is this olfactory relish
by which we identify each other
first and best, we aren’t half so steadfast
as the two wolves whose legend
dapples an old, grainy newsreel – solitary
survivors of their respective packs
converging through tundra deep and vast.
Still, out of sorry separation we again
draw close – pressed by desire
along every step of our scattered course.
© 2019 Patrick Deeley