Maeve O'Sullivan

Scenes from Peru & Ecuador

Maeve O'Sullivan

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(for Uzma and i.m. of her friend Ghazala) 

With his song, the crooner tries to connect 

over lunch, where the Nasca lines connect. 

The Cusceñan haiku poet, sharing 

his favourite Japanese master, connects.

At Machu Picchu, after the mist clears,

a young Israeli takes our photo to connect. 

Pedro and I banter while our flight is delayed:

he wonders if the Incas had help, connected. 

The toddler who held back from chatting, smiling,

fist bumps me when we say goodbye. We connect.

Californian Mike tells me about the twenty veterans

who take their own lives each day, who disconnect. 

At Puerto Lopez, the artist-in-residence shows

us his garden, his cabins, his paintings -- connected. 

After the whale-watching trip, the seasick woman

tells me she's a missionary, connecting. 

I ask Bonnie if she believes in evolution:

'I'm a Christian, those fossils aren't connected.'

The old German lady at the Quito traffic lights 

warns me in English about pick-pockets who connect. 

She whose names mean: one who intoxicates,

one-eyed woman of sorrows, yearns to re-connect. 

Maeve O'Sullivan

Maeve's fourth collection, Elsewhere, will be launched by Alba Publishing in Dublin in November 2017. Most of the work in the new collection was inspired by a worldwide trip in 2016/7, and it's the first of her collections to mix long and short-form poetry, along with some haibun, a form which combines prose and haiku.