TO SEE THE PACIFIC IN A PUDDLE. For Fiona being a belated birthday poem on her lockdown Donall Dempsey birthday by

I miss
the hug hellos

I miss
the kiss goodbyes.

The looking
into eyes

the laughter
the surprise.

How much we
took for granted

the simple
sharing of a cuppa

the simple
touching of a hand.

Some day when all this
will be a story to be told

when we will be
unearthed as if

from an archaeological dig
blinking at the future

the ordinary things
the bric-à-brac

of who we are
and how

will be precious
as anything to be

found in a museum
the jewels of the everyday.

To see the Pacific
in a puddle

eternity in
a child’s smile

a walk in the wood
the infinity of a wild flower

the kissing you goodbye
the hugging you hello.

[The title is derived from my twisted remembrance of  Tristan Gooley’s How To See the Pacific In A Pond chapter in his
wonderful  HOW TO READ WATER.]


Dónall Dempsey was born in the Curragh of Kildare, Ireland, and was Ireland’s first Poet in Residence in a secondary school. He has read on Irish radio and appeared in TV programmes there. He moved to London in 1985 and continued to write and perform his poetry there. He is well known for his dynamic delivery when reading, his surreal imagery and his tenderness as a poet in love with the world. Dónall’s poetry has been published in numerous magazines, anthologies and journals, both online and in print. He has published four collections, ‘Being Dragged Across the Carpet by the Cat’ and ‘The Smell of Purple’ in 2013, in 2017 ‘Gerry Sweeney’s Mammy’ and in 2019 ‘Crwaling Out and Falling Up’. In partnership with his wife Janice, Dónall is co-editor at Dempsey & Windle Publishing.

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