Jenny Byrne

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the poet

A newcomer to writing, Dublin-based Jenny Byrne had her first poem published in 2020. Her poems have appeared in The Galway Review, Impspired, Dust Poetry Magazine, Drawn to the Light Press and The Madrigal – though Jenny still thinks her biggest achievement is being a mum to two lovely people. 

the poems

Danseuse

00:00 / 01:25

            I do not want to lament the day you died,

            each year, purging up the aisle of

            expectation to kneel and prostrate

            I am ready for the day to come and know

            there is no must, no proper, no should


            I may trace a fingertip across your scarf

            of orchid silk, allow jewels to glisten in my palm,

            scatter photos, hold linen to my face

            and breathe you in — less of you with time;

            but still, a tiger knows her cubs,

            animal instinct reciprocates


            This pace, once chaotic, stumbling,

            shape-shifting to satisfy others

            has slowed, is gentle;

            with desire to gratify fading

            I move, a rising relevé in satin slippers

            to my tentative, delicate rhythm


            I may look back from time to time as I lead

            myself forward towards my skyline

            I think you would raise a celestial hand,

            urging me onward.

Love (Classified)

00:00 / 00:45

            I don't write about love

            it's ours, it's private.


            Where we are

            queen and king

            passions force

            bloody battles

            some won

            many lost


            We grieve

            poultice womb

            wounds

            with salt

            purging

            the demented


            Orchid roots

            reach toward

            light and air

            epiphytes survive

            supported

            freely


            I don't write about love,

            it's ours, it's private.

Sapere aude

00:00 / 00:59

            The wise child

            omniscient, sensing, absorbing

            full up, engorged, overflowing


            No reprieve, corridors closed,

            dam bulging, deluge certain

            walks within the gilded mausoleum,

            sham, chaos mire


            Instinct knows what can and cannot be said

            perception is reality they say

            a ten-year-old cannot play with perception


            Sensitivity has no place in dysfunction

            systems are not made to be broken

            wise children, bearing all weights,

            eventually crumble.

Publishing credits

Danseuse: The Madrigal (Vol. 2)

Love (Classified): Impspired (Issue 11)

Sapere aude: The Galway Review