After the other guests leave, you are alone
with them, and, in the minutes it takes
for absence to settle, you plump up the cushions
on the settee, stoke the fire – seeking refuge
in the crackle of sparks – and wonder
what direction this might take. Neighbours
and friends for years, there was
that gnawing silence the last time you met,
a silence you just couldn’t explain.
Yet, when you invited them around,
they were quick to accept. Now,
turned towards the fire, you sense their eyes
on you – the burr of a cleared throat signalling
a conversation that could go either way.
Maurice Devitt: Curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site, he published his debut collection, ‘Growing Up in Colour’, with Doire Press in 2018. His Pushcart-nominated poem, ‘The Lion Tamer Dreams of Office Work’, was the title poem of an anthology published by Hibernian Writers in 2015.
It might be over
This morning we found
a glass slipper on the step
and, despite me trying
to convince you
that it looked a little tight,
you felt it was a perfect fit,
so ever since
I have been watching you
like a hawk, as you hover
in the vicinity of the front door,
though, thankfully, one postman
and two chuggers later,
there is still no sign of a prince.
Maurice Devitt: Winner of the 2015 Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition, he has been runner-up or shortlisted in Listowel, Cuirt, Patrick Kavanagh, Interpreter’s House and Cork Literary Review. He is curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site, chairperson of the Hibernian Writers’ Group and has recently published his debut collection ‘Growing Up in Colour’ with Doire Press.
The New Neighbours
The sign had hardly gone up
when the house was sold,
a young couple with two kids,
people said, and we wondered
how they would fit into our perfect lives.
They started well, it must be said –
two weeks like a film set
and the paintwork was pristine,
the garden in bloom. We thought drugs
or witness protection, and yet
they integrated with aplomb –
she joined the book club,
he talked rugby on the street,
but still, five years later,
there is something
I can’t quite put my finger on.
Maurice Devitt: Runner-up in The Interpreter’s House Poetry Competition in 2017, he was winner of the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition in 2015 and has been placed or shortlisted in many competitions including the Patrick Kavanagh Award, Listowel Collection Competition, Over the Edge New Writer Competition and Cuirt New Writing Award. He is also the curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site, a founder member of the Hibernian Writers’ Group and has a debut collection upcoming from Doire Press in 2018.