Saturday 1 October 2022

Two Poems by Margaret Kiernan



the allotted man who butchered the village pigs for winter food.


Named after an Angel

Michael has blue twinkling eyes under bushy brows

owns a broad bladed knife

he carries in a thong tied leather scabbard


His long boned freckled hands hold

his stained brown hat

beige mackintosh (coat) flaps

around his tall frame when he limps


Favours an up-ended barn door

as an abattoir bench

the shackled animal tied by ropes

screams to the wind


Meticulous rasping

as steel kisses stone

blood curdling screeches


the morning is ended

as butcher spits into the ditch

he regrets not marrying.

Fishmongers’ Elegy-

The end of licensed street trade in fish

Morning found him setting out

his stall, space allotted

unpacking his wares

touching with love

his Pedigree pram

the nursery

cot of Kings.


Smells of the sea reach his nostrils

his face the colour of decline

pale silver hairs push out against the light

forty years have flown by

peddling his fish.

The Municipality has called time

on the street trader’s lot

lament to the smelly cot as

morsels feed the scrawny cats

gutters suck up the leavings

at the end of day

the opera of the gulls

still at play.

Farewell fishmonger

your time has come

do not linger any longer

your scent is called home

to slumber on your pillow

and express sweet nothings to

your demure wife

time has declared you

null and void

your cot no match

for the processing ships out at sea

you’ve been ambushed

by bureaucratic stamp

a casualty not recorded

buried in a paper sea.

Margaret Kiernan writes fiction, non-fiction essay, memoir, and poetry. She has had poetry and prose published in e-book, in anthology collections, and literary journals and magazines - including, Black-lion Press, journal-C19 collection , archived at University College Dublin, The Blue Nib Lit-Journal, The Write Life Magazine, Unity Global Festival, Vox Galvia at the Galway Advertiser, A New Ulster Literary Press, The Burrow Lit. Journal,, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, The Galway Review and The Irish Canadian Cultural Newsmagazine, New Brunswick.

She writes with Over the Edge, Thursday writing/reading group at Galway Arts Centre, and, Ox Mountain Poets, Sligo.

She is listed in the Index of Contemporary Women Poets in Ireland, 2020. 

She holds several Educational qualifications, Including a Degree in Arts in Humanities, from Sligo IT.

Her background is in Advocacy in Human and Social Rights.

Margaret has completed numerous courses and workshops in writing, for prose and poetry.

Tutors in poetry includes, Annemarie Ni Churainn, Martin Dyer, Colm Keegan, Monica Corish, Moyra Donaldson, Noel Monahan, Kevin Higgins.

Tutors in prose includes, Claire Allan, Anne McMaster, Conor Kostick, Carlo Gebler, Malacai O’Doherty, Jan Carson, Ciara Doorley.

Margaret has four grown-up children. She lives in Westmeath with her dog Molly. She is a landscape painter. Is into Nature, walking, gardening, music, and heritage. She is working towards a First collection in Poetry.

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