Fernando Pessoa’s Lisbon

Noel Monahan. Illustration: Dearbhla Kelly

Noel Monahan. Illustration: Dearbhla Kelly

Sat, Feb 15, 2014, 01:00

Uncertain morning, you rise to turn Lisbon
Into one long poem. Your heart talks to
The first tram as it glides past street corners.
All passengers flaunt white lipped masks
Their mothers made them wear since childhood.
You pen your poems on the backs of letters,
Note-books, a matchbox … Time falls with drops of
Rain and you smile

                     At the drama constantly
Changing: women lean over balconies
Hanging out laundry, old couples on benches
Long for the Mad Fiddler’s tune and you hide
The people of your dreams in a wardrobe
Like the old sorrow of a faded overcoat
You keep at home and never seem to wear.


Noel Monahan has published five collections of poetry. His next collection, Where the Wind Sleeps: New & Selected Poems, will be published by Salmon in May .