Mo hata – Ava Ní Loingsigh


Look, keep your warm calloused hands and your smiling eyes,

Keep those sea wet salty eyebrows under Connemara skies,

Keep the easy-going attitude “Beidh gach rud ceart go lóir,”

Stay there and sit in factor 50 on the sandy shore

Keep the dances we danced together and try to dance like me

Think of Fionnán eating lunch in a jellyfish sea

Keep the classroom coincidences I don’t even care

Sometimes I wish I’d never met the loveliest boy from Kildare

Keep your kayak bravery and your rounders skill

Please promise me you bless yourself when an ambulance passes still

Keep a list of people and counties and keep the Cork lads close

Ní raibh mé do chailín níl mé anois ach b’fhéidir go mbeidh mé fós

Keep “tá Oisín chomh deas” yeah keep especially that

Keep it all ná bach leis but give me back my hat

Woo Trad

The trad monster stumbles forward it takes a deep breath,

The boy on the uillean pipes hasn’t learnt his part yet,

Eight people sit each a limb of the beast,

All set to fight (or like to intimidate at least),

All quiet respectful a room full of dotes,

An instrument per person, a cacophony of notes,

Float up into the air,

Diffuse across the ceiling and settle nicely there,

Unbelievable symbiosis it all comes to an end,

We’re shocked we weren’t aware we’d such a talented friend,

They hold their breath and they all look to Saibh,

The three of us stupid talentless, stand to the side,

Mise i m’oibrí is fear ag dossáil i gceart ach ag foghlaim alán,

Ar an slí abhaile cheannaigh mé fadóg stán


I Am (the confessing animal) by Callum McGuire


Do you ever feel the same as I do?

That is to say,

Not at all?

No rise, no fall,

Just a constant plateau

An incessant urge to let it all go

To shit

Because your life’s a jigsaw puzzle,

But the last piece couldn’t quite fit


Couldn’t quite click into place,

And all you can feel

Is that empty space

Like your finger

Poking through a hole in your pocket

Like your brains just not 

Plugged into its socket


And there used to be screens 

Between reality and my dreams

But now they’re breaking,

Bursting at the seams

Bleeding into each other like invading regimes

That I can’t fight

And harsh insight’s a light too bright

Behind my skull

Leaves me vulnerable to feeling void and null,

To going through the motions,

Actions automatic,

Alarms ring out

But can’t cut through the static


A step separated,

Living through a lens

Reality removed

Sterilised and cleansed,

Sutures sewn shut

As strings pull the limbs,

And with experience extracted

So the play begins

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