Maeve O'Sullivan

Spirit of Killaloe & Galápagos Islands

Maeve O'Sullivan

Share Via:


Spirit of Killaloe

(i.m. Bruce Carolan, 1953-2015)


The boat leans gently into Lough Derg's swell; 

on board, the teen's clear notes drive out the rain. 

The lyric - much beyond her short years - tells 

a tale of whiskey, solitude and pain. 


I want to share this wonderment with you 

but then remember that you've upped and left. 

She now sings of a friendship close and true 

and suddenly I’m all at sea, bereft. 


You had a taste for culture, avant-garde:

cult screenings and film festivals your thing;

for all your pals, you went the extra yard,

with humour sharp and that ironic grin.


When afterwards she covets my old coat, 

I gift it to her, then step off the boat.


Galápagos Islands

morning excursion -

the head of a sea turtle

pops up out of blue


* * *

alighting on basalt

a yellow warbler

lives up to his name


* * *

hot afternoon

he blends in well with the basalt -

lava lizard


* * *

the pelican swoops down

lands on our lifeboat -

hunter's moon


* * *

wetlands     ripples spreading out from the flamingo

* * *

sea lion underwater his backflip too fast for photos


* * *

the tropical fish

that lived in my uncle's house -

I'm in their tank now



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. 

More poems by this author: