Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Driving to the City, Dublin 2011

On route to the M1, doubt is released
as verges widen, and a diesel
tractor bumps off its hay.

I hand over one euro-eighty to uniforms
who witness and laugh at my accent
and loss at the Rugby match.

My diminishing fuel is mea culpa.
I've made an appointment at County Rentals
ending a kind of chaos opening the tank.

Near the airport, I enter
and reappear, losing my bearings,
the fuel tank near to empty.

I enter Dublin, a cavern
of one way streets, glares and crowds.
The River Liffey moves under my feet.

I find the tourist bureau, tell a
Melbourne assistant I need directions
to County Rentals from the other side

of the city. I act nonchalant, first stop Grafton
Street, buying camera parts, books. I disguise
my morning hell over Hahn beer, this nervous

entry into a city, as simple as an awkward tourist.

Where I'm Staying

The Centre sits on 450 acres of a bequeathed estate.
There are wide lawns, stone paths,
potted fushias and cool country lanes.

Behind my apartment of five rooms, stairs
to a balcony, the woods are a miasma of hills
and dales, and across the road in front of

The Big House nears a lake they call Annaghmakerrig.
There is a boat ramp and a seasonal fishing spree
with cars, dogs and restless maggots.

Today early, I will walk down to the fishermen
and talk about their miniature jetties, fixed and
splayed as iron chairs in water.

Some men stand in their wellington boots, others
pin their hopes on their jackets, all manner of
tackle, hooks, glasses bonded to their nose.

Each day I will walk under the canopy of maples,
an avenue at dusk with only small troughs of cloud
passing through. The season is warm and mild,

an Indian summer, the radio says. And I can only
think of the shamrock buried in my hands before
I left, a very lucky wish from my Oz-Irish friend.

Paradelle to Irish Women

I can't forget your warm, singing smile
I can't forget your warm, singing smile
Always baked ready in the morning kitchen rush
Always baked ready in the morning kitchen rush
Morning smile, I can't forget the warm rush
Always singing, I baked in the ready smile.

It is time for me to write your poem 
It is time for me to write your poem
Praise your friendly, culinary skills at the stove
Praise your friendly, culinary skills at the stove
You're at the stove for me to skill the poem
Praise time, it is for me to write your poem.

The aprons on, your old world, familiar.
The aprons on, your old world, familiar.
Your talks remind me of your bread, pasta and sorbet
Your talks remind me of your bread, pasta and sorbet
The familiar pasta and sorbet as tasty as your bread.
Your old world of aprons on, remind me of your talks.

I always praise the morning stove, the familiar poem.
Sorbet, pasta and bread of your tasty talks.
Your warm smile I can't forget, your culinary skills.
It is time for me to skill the poem, your old world.
Singing, and aprons remind me  to rush, to write.
Kitchen-friendly, I baked it for you, it is ready.

The Paradelle was invented by Billy Collins. It is a poem of four six-line stanzas in which the first and second lines, as well as the third and fourth lines of the first three stanzas, must be identical. The fifth and sixth lines, which traditionally resolve these stanzas, must use all the words from the preceding lines and only those words. Similarly, the final stanza must use every word from all the preceding stanzas and only those words.

I found the paradelle to be just as challenging as the villanelle. It was also fun to write, thank you Billy Collins!



Published by Australian Poetry Centre, Melbourne

of Arc & Shadow

of Arc & Shadow
Published by Sunline Press, WA

The Joyous Lake

Par écrit

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Helen Hagemann, MBA(Wrtg) ECowan. Her first literary collection, Evangelyne & other poems, was published by the Australian Poetry Centre in their New Poets Series 2009. 'of Arc & Shadow' is her second full collection published by Sunline Press. She has two e-books, The Joyous Lake & Par écrit: poetry of the feminine @ http://issuu.com/evangelyne/​​docs/joyous_lake/


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