The Politics of a Shamrock. A poem by Damien B. Donnelly

We stopped the telly and the tea
to watch the thunder on Thursday;
1-100, 2-100, 3-100 we counted
in between the light growing dimmer
and that storm, coming closer.

We watched from distant windows,
catching breaths in between fears
of catching colds while next-door neighbours pulled curtains over concerns,
here, in a country where we thank
the drivers of busses, a country
now the bearers of the cleanest of bottoms
whose aisles run empty while out in the fields
I see nothing but bounty.

I wish I had a river I could skate away on-
I hear the song but we can’t all slip upstream like the salmon, these are not the days
of the dance and knowledge, until captured,
is not a cure.

We packed up Patrick and his party
with handshakes and other saints
for other seasons, swapped the shamrock
for a dozen hand sanitisers
and will drown out all fear in Dettol this year.

We stopped the telly and the tea last Thursday
to take stock of the storm, trying to capture
in the sky all we couldn’t see with our eye,
and all I saw was an eagle;
sitting shameless with a bowl of shamrocks
by an orange coloured man in a white house,
a far cry from the panic raining over my house.

We stopped the tea on Thursday
to watch the thunder.


​Damien, 44, Dublin born, recently returned to Ireland after 23 years in Paris, London and Amsterdam, has been writing since childhood, poetry and short stories questioning identity, sexuality and fragility. His daily interests revolve around falling over and learning how to get up again while making delicious cakes. He’s been featured in the books ‘Second Chance’ from Original Writing, ‘Body Horror’ from Gehenna & Hinnom, ‘Nous Sommes Paris’ from Eyewear Publishing and The Runt Magazine. Online, he has been featured in Black Bough Poetry, Scribe Base, Barren Magazine and his debut poetry collection arrives in 2020 via The Hedgehog Press. Here is his blog.

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