Poem of the week: Barcarolle

A new poem by Daragh Bradish

After the director left us,
we put the whole production
beyond the get-out door,

With no more sparkling flairs,
to normal hold,
our private lives tripped back.

Another year commenced
in artless black
and white sobriety.

First, festive decorations
packed in crates for transit
to another town.


Backdrops down and labelled,
handle these with care.
Instructions followed. Freighted

side wings closed over,
each panel folded in,
it's frameworks to the world.

Then in the lumber room
we found The Tales of Hoffmann,
golden ribbon-bound,

which opened nights to us
of bold enchanted spells,
and multi-coloured lantern lights.

The old bewitcher called aloud
'What! What of tomorrow?
Now actors read the plot!'

And so began the Barcarolle
and we the easy sway,
the heft and push that makes

each parting bearable,
and every going-out,
a trust to lilt on muddy water.

Page by crumpled page,
we braced these promptings
with other traces of the stage décor.

Found-out romantics, we pledged
ourselves another carnival,
while undulant in January.

Daragh Bradish’s collection Easter in March was published by Liberties Press in 2016.