Poems of the week: ‘Cedar and Elm’ and ‘Moon’
New work by Frank McGuiness and Carmen Bugan
Frank McGuinness getting the Ulysses medal at UCD. Photograph:Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times
Cedar and Elm
Ships smelling of wood, cedar and elm,
trim their sails by the trade winds -
they measure the map of Ireland
stitched on my mother’s pincushion.
Living two doors down from the sun,
she worships at sacred mountains
in awe of ash and volcanoes
where forests grow cedar and elm.
Frank McGuinness is a playwright, poet and novelist whose work has been performed on Irish and international stages. Cedar and Elm is from his new collection, The Wedding Breakfast (The Gallery Press )
The full sunlit side of the moon filled
Our room with light
That broke through autumn trees;
We could have stayed awake all night trying
To name it, as it lit up the clock, corners,
Our heads on pillows.
But we fell asleep with its light
On our eyelids, with nothing to hide,
Not even private dreams.
I felt not too far from being translated,
The same way sunlight was interpreted
By the moon face we could see.
Carmen Bugan was born in Romania and now lives in the US. Her publications include the memoir Burying the Typewriter: Childhood Under the Eye of the Secret Police, the collections of poems Releasing the Porcelain Birds, The House of Straw, and Crossing the Carpathians. Her New and Selected Poems: Lilies from America will be published this September