Poems from Colin Ryan

Aitheanta

D’aithin an leabhar í
a claoine is a claonbhearta
an scian ina glac aici
agus í ina fánaí folaigh
ag imirt díoltas ar an domhan
i gcathair na gcat is na leannán
nó gur bháigh sí an leabhar
i dtobar sa ghairdín
is a haghaidh aníos ón uisce
is gealach mhire ina teannta

Known

The book knew her, knew her crookedness, her wicked deeds, the knife in her grip as she wandered secretly, avenging herself on the world in the city of cats and lovers, until she drowned the book in a well in the garden, with her face staring up from the water and a mad moon beside her.

Turas

Anseo a chuaigh an long go grinneall
agus a raibh ar bord
i ngreim na scléipe
ag druidim ina n-intinn
ar chalaí na seanchathracha:
ní chreideann siad fós
i gcorraí mall
na feamainne amuigh
ná i gcaidéis an éisc
ní chreideann siad fós
go bhfuil na cathracha báite
thall i bhfásach an aeir

Journey

Here the ship went down, with all on board at the height of the fun, while in their minds they drew on to the harbours of old cities. They still don’t believe in the slow sway of seaweed outside, nor in the curiosity of fish; they still don’t believe that the cities are drowned beyond in the desert of air. 

Traein oíche

Traein lán de strainséirí
i gcríocha an tsuain
(na strainséirí céanna
oíche i ndiaidh oíche)
ag imeacht faoi na droichid
thar stáisiúin thaibhsiúla
agus aghaidh i lár na tána
ag múscailt ionat cuimhne
ar an ngliondar, cuimhne
nach seasfaidh ionat
tar éis an taibhrimh

Night train

A train full of strangers in the realms of sleep (the same strangers night after night), passing under bridges, past ghostly stations, and a face in the crowd awaking a memory of delight, a memory that will not survive the dream.   

Uacht

Ní fhágfaidh mé agat ach focail
lán de bhrí nach mairfidh b’fhéidir
focail ghreanta a d’fhéadfadh
gaoth shuthain na cruinne
a scaipeadh is a mhilleadh;
murach sin ní bheidh agat
ach luaith mo choirp is seangheansaí
is bróga atá caite ag cosáin mo shaoil
ach b’fhearr liom focail a fhágáil agat
focail a fhágáil ionat

A will

I’ll only leave you words, full of meaning that might not last; polished words that the eternal wind of the world might scatter and ruin. If not that, you’ll only have the ashes of my corpse, an old pullover, shoes worn out by the footpaths of my life, but I would rather leave you words, leave words inside you.

Melbourne-based Colin Ryan is a regular contributor to Tinteán.  He has a poetry collection available from publishers Coiscéim in Dublin.