Jonathan Hicks

Kilmore Quay / The Straw Chopper

Jonathan Hicks

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Kilmore Quay

In between visiting hours

  the Gruoni Veridis splutters into the Celtic green of Kilmore Quay.

     Tangled among the rusted poles are green nets,

       scrap steel, ropes, chains, stacked-up, dried-out

        lobster pots.

  Along the promenade

    three teenagers fight the bit out

      over green M&M’s

    beside an old corroded giant: an industrial sculpture

      saved from the rock-struck steamer: SS Idaho. 


     Fishing, once the sole backbone on the fluid god

  now yields to the life support system

  of a fifty five berth marina and the chartered pleasure cruisers:

Autumn Dream, Celtic Lady II.

    Fresh ice chutes

  are inserted into the steel belly of Willie B

    and Mikey the fisherman’s afternoon work in oily overalls

      is welding the broken main frame,

  or painting the hull of Osiris viridian green.

Sometime in the future

it will seem like only yesterday

I held your hand.

The Straw Chopper

Thats a Philip Pierce & Co model

from the infamous lock out foundry of old Wexford town

where Tescos is Doyle declares.

                         You feed in straw through the top, reel this handle here

and the fly-wheel keeps momentum going.


                     For a moment I’m distracted

by the cumhráin of spurting slurry over in Rochford’s field

     and the children’s motorized glider.


                        See these blades, can still slice a limb

clean off.


This cast-iron symbol of agricultural industry

                     propped against the new roll-belt baler in Doyle’s yard

               is near down to its brittle knees.

                                     I crank the handle.

The rusted drum shrieks through one reluctant revolution.

The earth spins faster, son.

‘You’d think this contraption would outlive the cockroaches.’

Rust waits for no machine.

Jonathan Hicks

Jonathan Hicks lives in Bangor. A number of his poems have appeared in anthologies and magazines north and south of Ireland. He also writes songs and drums in 3D Shark.