"On the Shoals" by James Matthew Wilson

in Cahirciveen We found a thousand hollow shells left scattered Among the rocky, kelp-strewn teeth of shore: Some of the seeping, tight-lipped hunks were shattered, Tossed up by chance and left as dried decor For tourists like myself to stow away In pockets, as a keep-sake...

The train runs, carrying her amongst her things, A bag upon her lap like some dull child To whom her pale but red-ringed throat never sings. All songs forgot, as she grows clenched and riled. Her hand, all nerves, combs over a blond case As...

Let me tell you about a bullet And a body.             -Virgil A Sunday Mass Tolled its loud bells While we all stood Near tenements; And broken glass Crunched like old shells Through the neighborhood, Where a mural presents What’s come to pass: Masked men, spent shells, In a field of...

Innis mór We scrambled up the craterous outcrop That ruptured like an isle among gray sands Spread thin around Cill Éinne Bay.  A sop Of drying kelp lay tangled in red strands, Half-covering a shallow pool, inside Which a few trapped snails slinked till the...

I stood atop Slane Hill Where Patrick’s fire burned And chapel floors now fill With cold rain.  Each cracked grave About has risen with The dead.  And tourists, turned On knotted, brazen lists Of all the “weak or brave,” In any case, those lost Beneath the winning...

American Beauty Exhibition, National Gallery, Dublin I The wounded anger in your eyes, last night, Seemed for the first time and, perhaps, the last, To cut through every screen of charm, and sight In me the innards of a sordid past. “For too long...