Poetry: "Lightfall" & "The Farrier" by Diarmuid ó Maolalaí


the sun doesn't set;

the black

rises. like a bruise

giving colour

to the bone of a beautiful


and driving from the city

on the coast road

and eastward

you can watch; the sky darking

like the shadow

of rising pines

in lines and along

the horizon. they creep;

all down arrows

and birdfoot to cap,

as if the blue

up there

were the music

from humming guitar strings

and the black

were a hand

coming down.

look west, toward the blue;

it diminishes. shrinks lower,

gets smaller and skinny. a mouse

in a trap

hiding when you come close to it.

you come close anyway –

take it outside,

let it go.

The Farrier

he is making a cigarette

next to me. it's out

on the table – papers

and cotton, a brown

pubic hair of tobacco.

they roll thin – it's

beautiful, seeing

his thin fingers do it.

like watching the tide

as it changes the coast-

line; a farrier, shaping

a horseshoe. I borrow

the makings and try it

myself; curl paper

to seashell, the filter

a pearl and tobacco

then, finely, and spit.

and I don't smoke much

normally; have just had a third

pint of beer. and I

am no farrier, carpenter,

plumber or ocean –

I make air pockets,

dents in the paper's

integrity. I make bulges

and oddly shaped places

like muscle, the legs

of a horse or the wreck

of cracked rocks

in a harbour. we light and I draw

on the pipes of a sunken

titanic. he draws

on the neck

of a seabird in slow

skimming flight.

Diarmuid ó Maolalaí has been nominated nine times for Best of the Net and seven times for the Pushcart Prize. He has released two collections, "Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden" (Encircle Press, 2016) and "Sad Havoc Among the Birds" (Turas Press, 2019). His third collection, "Noble Rot" is scheduled for release in May 2022.