Fred Johnston

The Bridges

Fred Johnston

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The bridges in new winter light

Dance in their distance and dark.


Weather heaves out of mountain

A deep hysterical sea –


Short days, bitter and sharp,

Street lamps fluttering like lashes:


Coy, too, the unrisen sun

Hand-over-hand up morning’s ladder,


Drunk on flagons of night under

The earth: the gardens are out of breath.


Fred Johnston


FRED JOHNSTON was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1951. In 1972 he received a Hennessy Literary Award for prose. In the mid-seventies he, along with Neil Jordan and Peter Sheridan, founded the Irish Writers' Co-operative, based in Dublin. In 1986 he founded Galway city's annual Cúirt literature festival and in 2002, the Western Writers' Centre in Galway, Ireland. A novelist, short story writer and dramatist as well as a poet, in the late nineties his play, 'No Earthly Pole,' on the life of Sir John Franklin, was staged at Galway's Punchbag Theatre as part of the Galway Arts Festival. In 2004 he was appointed writer in residence to the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco. His work has appeared in The Spectator, The Sunday Times, The Financial Times, Stand, The Irish Times, The London Magazine, The Edinburgh Review and, in the US, The Southern Review, The Sewanee Review and elsewhere. He also writes and publishes poetry in French. He lives in Galway, Ireland. 

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