Three Poems - Spring Breaking, The Greenhouse, A Moor

By Diarmuid ó Maolalaí

Spring breaking


the sprinkling rain,

as it filters through tree branches,

lands with a crackling sound,

as if somebody were stepping

on crisp packets.


and I am walking home on Sunday

after dropping off my bicycle

at JT McGowan

Repairs, where I nodded with James

while he said something racist

and told me he can get the brakes working

for probably no more than 30

euros, depending on availability

of parts.


and it is 3 pm and April; spring

breaking cover. like a lion

pushing through long grass and coming

upon ducks. the way they whip over surfaces

with wings clattering

in sudden applause,

and now the rain

comes heavier, the sound

ovating, and I'm glad bike is broken

because it frees one hand

for an umbrella

and the other for a bottle

of wine.


I come around the corner, open my gate

and run the driveway

while around me flowers

get their knickers knocked sideways,

wet as newspapers

and dribbling ink. I struggle my keys

and soggy fingers, all objects

jammed in my arms,

and get the door open. as I step in

the sky cracks shining - a thin line

of blue between the clouds -

but my pants are soaked already,

and my only errand

is done.


The greenhouse


my grandmother's house

lying shucked like an oyster shell. and I come by

with baker

so he can use my van - he's been promised

a greenhouse

by my aunt for his place.


alone in thick gloves

my granddad worked here;

he once bred a flower

named for my gran.


baker's brought stickers

to number the window plates. brought tools and machine oil

to move a few bolts.

once there were seedlings

and a yellow

box nursery - now gone,

and the spiders, though other things

have stayed.


together in gloves

we examine them carefully - try moving pliers

to fiddle with screws.

above us

thin rain

clouds the view of the garden. under one rack

find a decomposing spade.


A moor


shunting on train-tracks

like rearranging furniture. going through dublin

in the elevated carriages, looking out

at a landscape

which is also a moor

sunken in rooftop pyramids. chaos;

the patchwork joints of buildings and chimney-stacks,

and chimney-stacks with cages on their spouts.

the uncomfortable placement

of skylights - livid, like scars

where you might have cut your hand.

you could be looking at waves bashing,

or cattle forced up a walkway - movement

pushing hard against

movement. up here

connections show the city. weak connections,

like the bones of dead animals,

crushed by traffic and pulled apart

by dogs

and curious children.