An eerie whistling sound comes
barrelling down the hall toward
the room of refuge, freezing even
my extra heartbeat, stilling my
pen on the cusp of a word.
A contraction of ceiling & new walls
settling into their sigh, gathering up
voices, folding my hot breath into their
The unbearable clamour of sound ends in
a heaving groan, this new house bracing
to contain the myriad voices of the coming
one hundred years. A small part of me sunders.
If you need to quiet the ruckus & clatter
In your head, go to a west of Ireland field,
Down low to the shore where reeds are their
Stalwart selves: entities unbidden, yet biased to
Their marshy home.
And lay your shy cheek against a cool archaic
Stone & feel it raw. Align body with stone & feel
What you will never meet, but know the joy
Of your part in the genesis of your great great
Grandchildren & how they too will pause at the
Altar of the ancient & how they will wonder what
Happened here. Wonder what it is, exactly, that is
That very specific scent of salt whipping across
Their lips so wild, wonder at how everything comes
Around and spins into itself & begs itself into being.
Marian Kilcoyne is an Irish writer based on the west coast of Ireland. She has, in the past, been a teacher at senior level, worked professionally in education and management for an AIDS Organization, and reviewed fiction and non-fiction for the Sunday Business Post, Ireland. She attended the Seamus Heaney Centre summer school at Queens University Belfast in 2013. She has been published or is forthcoming at Prelude (US), The Louisville Review (US), Poetry Salzburg Review (Austria), Crannog (IRL), Ofi Press (Mexico), Frogmore Papers (UK), Cyphers (IRL), Apalachee Review (US), Foliate Oak Literary Magazine (US,) New Contrast (Cape Town), Quiddity (US), Right Hand Pointing (US), Grey Sparrow Journal (US), Off The Coast (US), The Galway Review (IRL), The Liner (US), Into The Void (IRL), Roanoke Literary Journal (US), The Rockhurst Review (US), Banshee Literature (IRL), The Catamaran Literary Reader (US), The Worcester Review (US), The Stonecoast Review (US), The Main St Rag, (US), Brushfire Literature & Arts Journal, (US), Poetry in The Park, Athlone. The Poetry Collective, Clare Champion, The Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review, (US, Spring & Summer 2018), The Cape Rock: Poetry (US), The Curlew (UK), The Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review, (US, Fall 2018), Crossways Feb’ 2019, The Qutub Minar Review ( Intl,’ 2019 ) Southbank Poetry London, The Normal School (US), Beyond Words Literary Magazine (Berlin) CHILLFILTR – art is truth (US), The Trouvaille Review (US), Shot Glass Journal (US), and others. She was featured poet on Poet head – Contemporary Irish women poets, January 9th – 16th 2018. She was shortlisted for the 2017 Dermot Healy International prize for poetry. She was placed on the long list for the 2019 Fish Poetry Prize. She was shortlisted for the Dalkey Creates Writers Prize 2020. She joined the editorial board of Beyond Words International Literary Magazine, Berlin, for Issue 5, July August 2020. She presented her work on national radio, RTE Lyric FM, Poetry File in 2021 Her book, The Heart Uncut was published by Words On The Street publishers, Galway in October 2020. Her website is at www.mariankilcoyne.com