Hennessy New Irish Writing winning poems: February 2017
This month’s winner is Sinéad Griffin
Sinéad Griffin is winner of this month’s Hennessy New Irish Writing poetry competition.
A view of Vaucluse
From the cocoon of winter’s kitchen,
Wrap my hands around the Le Crueset pot,
Stealing heat. Dig for earth colours,
Goulash of carrot, beef, tomato
Turn ochre, umber, sienna. Summer
Opens reliable skies with wide
Possibilities of light. Sunshine fires
Stone, gilds the perched village of Gordes.
We stand on a balcony of gold,
Overlook the plains of Cavaillon,
Bunched olive groves, a braided scalp of vines,
Weave green to the bedrock of the Luberon.
I slow the wind
I am coastguard, dunemaker, hideout,
I stand stiff and sharp, look resilient.
A stalk of marram grass, I bear the seasons.
Desiccated, buried, I hold my resolve,
Watch my stock grow tall. Cast a blanket of roots,
Bind shifting sands to hold us together.
Eyes of the foredune, I scan every change,
Gilt of sun on water, spume of algal bloom,
I read the drift lines, the suck and pull of tides.
Face a sea that would swamp me to advance.
Listen to the Cheese
In Modena, they heed the aging process,
No short cuts, just the slow passing of time.
Carlo, 50 years a cheesemaker –
Parmigiano reggiano – hauls a wheel
Onto a wooden block, taps around the crust.
Hammers in specific places, ear cocked,
Carlo doesn’t speak: he listens to the cheese.
At the timbre of the density that sounds
Maturity, Carlo nods his peaked cap,
Only then can the art of cutting commence.
Parmesan crumbles the colour of wheat,
It tastes of memories and flowers,
Eight centuries with hints of grass.
Notes in Hopes Envelope
Each girl is a line
Her mark in time
Scripted in Biro
Red, green, black, blue
Study Hall scribes
Each word curved
By a four button Bic
On torn off corners
From backs of journals
An origami of dreams
Sent fist to fist
In hopes envelope
These dawdling days
You own even chance
And haven’t yet
Sinéad Griffin was runner-up in the Reclaim the Vision of 1916 Poetry competition. She lives in Dublin with her family.