THREE POEMS – Gráinne Daly


Image: Helen Frankenthaler – Brown Moons, 1961

Gráinne Daly holds an MA in Creative Writing from UCD. Shortlisted for the Gregory O’Donoghue Poetry Prize, Maeve Binchy UCD Award and winner of Greywood Arts Prize 2017, her work has been published in a number of publications, including Southword Magazine and Ogham Stone Journal. She has completed her debut novel.


Your raspy voice redundant,
spilling empty sentences
enjambed with weeks of silence,
the less you say the more I hear,
you choose not to send a message
to send a message,
wordless whispers of what’s left to say –
that vague sound of truth
fills the hushed hours,
frames unshared conversations
that once were flirtatious, compassionate,
texting or talking
in bars, in bed,
but like a freak wave
you crashed and turned
into a mute mystery,
a silent mess
of whatmighthavebeen


Car Park Loiter

Unoccupied H blocks
mark the tarmac
outside Dunnes
at 7 on a Monday morning

You’re in a far corner
near the church wall
more private there you think
for when they come

Whenever they come
but until then
you have the private refuge
of an empty car park

Warm with spring sun
that could lift the spirits
but for the fact
you can’t go home



Regrets gnaw ravenously,
your image in the mirror
begs for apology
as you batter teeth in paste and fume
to purge the sins
of sentiments spilled,
glum knots stick in the throat
rinds of shame and if-onlys
when he said he liked you
you weren’t meant to take it to heart


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