Patrick Deeley


Patrick Deeley

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The thin, dry skin of your lip comes away on the tip

of your cigarette, the jarred bank of firewater

bracketed upside-down behind the bar counter veers

left, vrooms right, sobering only to mirror

your slumped state. Fall asunder or mend, the world

isn’t for impressing. The crash-and-burn cave

of your heart, the rave talk, the two-timing

and the ten-timing, all turn out one confabulation.

With just this scene to settle by: a light breeze

trembling every leaflet, a stray cat curled in a vestibule

of sunlight, the ears of wild barley open to

a blackbird mimicking the chug and rattle of a tractor

taking the crooked laneway out and down the road.

Patrick Deeley


Patrick Deeley was born in Loughrea, County Galway in 1953.  He is the winner of the Dermot Healy Poetry Prize 2014.  ‘Groundswell: New and Selected Poems’ is the most recent of his six collections with Dedalus Press.  He has also had four works of fiction published for younger readers.