Sample Poems - In Deep Time - Connemara

A Praise Poem

for John

Curled on a cushioned rock
you’ve carved out for me,
there’s an incessant humming,
busy until a bumble bee
full stops with a buzz.
Errisbeg mounts to a blue sky.
Little puppet dolls on your fuchsia
dance in scarlet, as another bee
dives into the bell of an orange nasturtium.
There’s a whirr of blurred wings
and a commentary from the occasional finch
before he flies in arabesques.
Sun in September creates urgency
yet the sea is lazy,
hardly brimming under seaweed.

It’s everything you want to seal in a globe
to shake in the grey winter,
after we’ve gathered your honey,
bee and I.

Spaces In Between

(after a painting by Alannah Robins)

I am the silence
between two heartbeats,
the lapse of time
between one word and another.

I am shape also
within the gleaming silver tracery
strolled by a snail on patio flags
or the blue gap between clouds.

See me in between a flight of starlings,
fluid, swift and ever-changing.
I am instinctive and careful between horses,
even when they thunder in a herd.

You see me in the distance between each human,
if there is betrayal my borders will be walled off.
If, of one heart with all, a gate will be left open,
if loved by another, boundaries will be dismantled.

Summer Solstice

On the longest day when the sun stands still,
I have a conversation with Mannanán Mac Lir,
God of the oceans and of this inlet
where my house is poised.
I saw his chariot coming
drawn by Aonbarr,
a horse who gallops over Mannin Bay
as if the water was firm ground at the Curragh,
kicking up white waves as he goes.
Time has a different meaning
for Mannanán. He tells me
that the length of day is in your mind.
Joy mutes the ticking of a clock.
Grief slows it, almost unbearably.
It decants a day
leaving the sediment of sorrow.

In Deep Time - Connemara

Ita O’Donovan’s poetry is timeless, and yet her poems are filled with time passing: stone steps worn to slopes; the eroding western coastline; the fragile memories of a childhood lit by sunlight.

Tony Curtis