Poems of the week: By Michelle O’Sullivan and Ciaran Berry

‘What Was Mistook’ and ‘Entering the Town of Ovid’

Michelle O’Sullivan

Michelle O’Sullivan


What Was Mistook

The road that kept close to the coast.
The field that kept from the road.
The weighted length of spring.

The stream that opened a hand.
The hill that opened to a shoulder.
The drunk-remorse of summer.

The sun that packed in its fairground.
The woodland that packed copper with gold.
The hound at the heel of autumn.

The wind that looked to recede.
The hoar that looked only hale.
The studded mouth of winter.

Entering the Town of Ovid

We were somewhere to the north of Ithaca
when the phone went off, came alive in your lap,
the GPS getting us lost once more
and the voice down the line about to sex
the poppy seed, the lentil, the chickpea
grown in your belly to the size of a Key lime.
‘You are entering the town of Ovid,’
read the sign, our boy becoming eyelid
and fingertip, shifting shape in the brine.
The cells, at their easy math, were busy
as he climbed the rungs of his double-helix,
stealing a trick out of The Metamorphoses.
Then we lost satellite and checked the map
between Lake Cayuga and Lake Seneca.

Michelle O’Sullivan’s poem is from her new collection This One High Field (Gallery Press) and Ciaran Berry’s is from Liner Notes also recently published by Gallery