Three poems by DS Maolalaí

Such fantastic last nights! 

bookshops closing. pubs
closing. music pubs and pubs
where they don't allow
music. hotels going up
like fungus from wood
on a mountain gone rotten. 
the city with bones 
and with no marrow – 
no flavour, some structure 
and mummified shape. 
and they just announced chapters 
is closing down too.
and next year they're closing 
the cobblestone, northside 

of smithfield – you walk
over streets like a beetle now,
past stones in a newly
paved garden. you touch
things which stood there since
england ran ireland and also the 90s 
when you were a child;
when everything built
was immortal. bricks get
put in places and loose
all their context, it's misery.
but the closing-down sales 
have such bargains! and the pubs, 
such fantastic last nights!


he was seen going out
in a kayak by someone
at distance. early afternoon
and a fine day so far. 
and this was in dingle – 
the sight of this one figure 
had stuck in the mind of the ferryman. 
too far out, he had felt 
as the weather turned pages, 
to get back, and so raised 
the alarm. and so there 
were various helicopters – various 
boats – all stirring the grey chop
of water. there were regular places
where people wound up – the meat
under seashells and bisque. 
and alerts out – more serious – 
the dolphin tours marshalled, 
and this in the days 
before fungi had died 
and the tourism gone rare 
as opals in much out of
dingle. the sky was a bruise 
of red wine on a carpet. 
and the sea a bruise also,
more violent for causing
real pain. someone called his father
who came to the house. he was there – 
had come in roaring curses
at losing his phone in the ocean. 
it was raining, he told them – 
he'd seen the rain blowing.
of course he'd not wanted 
to paddle about in a storm.

My life without you

breaking the habit of six months of not 
having cigarettes. you've gone
out to dinner. there's nothing to do
in the flat. I wander our rooms
like a spider on green 
bedroom carpet. clumsily open 
a beer in the kitchen and sweep up the glass 
from the tile before anyone's 
hurt. my life without you 
now is something like canned
syrup peaches. not alive,
or so thought of, though sweeter
than things that have grown 
from trees. I could walk out our door
and go anywhere – and you wouldn't 
know it for hours. I could get in the car
and start driving – could go 
where I want if I want. I am a hawk
turning circles of earth 
like the clock hand which turns
round a falconer. you are the falconer – 
I feel freedom, my wings and a fulcrum, 
which is also your talon-
proof glove. 

DS Maolalaí has been nominated nine times for Best of the Net and five times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016) and “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019)

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