Francis O'Hare

'A Field in Mid-Summer' and 'Sonnet in A-Minor'

Francis O'Hare

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A Field in Mid-Summer

Somewhere between Dundalk and Castleblaney

there’s a field of corn the colour of nostalgia.

I found it once, in the middle of July,

on one of those days you wish you had a camera


but don’t, so all you can do is park the car

and dander through a golden landscape, dreaming

of Francis Ledwidge, that summer before the War,

musing on butterflies, transience and women,


the heat of history beating on his back

as he walked a field like this, one last sweet time,

the buzz and drone of bees, the dull ack ack

of a corncrake somewhere, heartbreaking as rhyme


offered to a girl whose heart is cold

as earth is in the black-iced depths of winter

in no-man’s land, the fragrance of an old

sorrow haunting his memory of her


as he held his hands out to touch the living day,

the spider-peopled silence of a field

in the central plain of Ireland, filled with fey

glimmerings of poppy-flowers that yield-


ed something of a sense of his own path

through torn-up corn-fields later on in France,

the golden days of youth and love blown south

like roses, lips, poems, summer’s essence.



Sonnet in A-Minor

Somewhere between here

and the time of the prophets

I dated and married

the autumn wind.


We breezed through the pages

of The New York Poets

and honeymooned in

the Italian renaissance,


double-dated with Shakespeare

and his Dark Lady,

dining by moonlight

and hydrogen brisance


as dolphins played madrigals

composed by the sea

that sang in our veins

while another day dawned…


… sometime around now

I questioned existence

with Jean Paul and Albert,

who spontaneously yawned


and left me alone

with my family portraits

in a room in Greenwich

village, my destiny


written in blood

on the glass of a mirror

hung upside-down over

a glass of Madeira



Francis O'Hare


Francis O'Hare was born in Newry, Co. Down, in Northern Ireland, in 1970. Educated at Queen's University, Belfast, and University of Ulster, Coleraine, he now works as a teacher. He co-authored, Outside the Walls (An Clochan Press) with Frank Sewell in 1997. A selection of poetry was included in Poetry Introductions 1 (Lagan Press, 2004). His first full collection was published by Lagan Press, Belfast, in 2007. His second collection, Somewhere Else, was published in 2011 by Lagan Press. He has also published a collection, Home & Other Elsewheres, with Evening Street Press in America [2011]. His new collection, My Bohemian Fantasy,is awaiting publication. His work has been published in magazines in Britain, Ireland and the USA.