Matthew Rice

The Calf

Matthew Rice

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I walk beneath the wind-blown rigging

of trees, wading through the depth

of consequence.  Rain-soaked branches

are wild as flooding veins

trunking under a tourniquet.

The encroaching field is stacked

with young calves, spindle-legged, tucking in

on lush, wet blades,

and when one lifts its head

to look at me as I pass

there is a lightness of comfort

in the doomed heaviness of its eyes;

immeasurable stillness,

mirrored deep and clear,

zip-lined in our passing gaze.


Matthew Rice


Matthew Rice was born in Belfast in 1980.  He now lives and works in Carrickfergus, County Antrim.  He is currently studying for his BA Honours in English Language and Literature. Rice has published poems in magazines and journals on both sides of the Atlantic, including The Asheville Poetry Review and The Echo Room.  He was one of six new poets showcased in a special reading to mark Poetry Day Ireland 2016, organised by Poetry NI and Poetry Ireland.  His work was chosen for the 2016 Community Arts Partnership anthology, Connections, funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.  He was long-listed for the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2016. 



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