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Sinéad Griffin

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the poet

Sinéad Griffin has been published in Poetry Ireland Review, The Irish Times, Under The Radar, The Four Faced Liar, Hog River Press and elsewhere. One of her poems was recently included in the Poetry Jukebox installation at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. She was awarded an Arts Council Agility Award in 2023 to work on her first collection.

the poems

View from the Dunes

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Run hip-high through seagrass to the hollow, lie on the slip face of dunes,

perfect angle to observe heaven. Hear breakers hush, windward side, 

by the hole for Australia dug with an orange spade. 

Fern plumes in place of daises, hands sticky 

with forest scent, intoxicated by the shape 

of some boy’s name,

he loves me, 

he loves me not,

he loves me,

we never stop on not,

crave feelings we can’t fathom, 

dream one day we’ll walk other realms.

Castletown days of tide, not time, we don’t know

the Wexford shore will tumble, the slope of illness to come.

For now, all the world seems nothing, but a few big thoughts away.

Letter from Dublin

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Remember us as city schoolgirls, brown uniforms, 

scratchy gabardines and knee socks on the Quays.


I’m in Dublin this late June evening,

the footpath all bar stools and al fresco food,


so continental even the seagulls 

curse in three languages. 


Burglar bars still gird low-level glass, metal 

shutters rattle closed at dusk, only the charity


shop window invites with a teapot, cat jigsaw,

jade skirt, a snorkel, and flippers green as 


Liffey wall scum. Do people still river swim?

A string of rosary beads makes me think


of O’Connell Street Mad Mary, she’d dance, sing,

proclaim, our traffic island Doris Day.


We never crossed at her spot, scared off 

since she tried to talk to us about God.


As per usual the Quays are insane,

elbow-out-the-window taxi drivers shout blame


up Ormond Quay. The traffic flow opposite

to how it was in those days. Sure look.

                                                            

Buses of assorted colour, doors flush to pavement,

not like our navy and cream old favourites, 


bubble-nosed, open rear platform and pole, 

no door, years before health and safety was born.


You taught me where to grip the pole, swing on

once the bus left the stop, dodge the conductor


if we were lucky, scamper box steps at the back,

sit and stare like we’d been there forever.


Capel Street, tonight I join the boardwalk,

bounce timber planks, feel the suspension. Rewind.


Reverse flow. The 26 is leaving Aston Quay

before time, you leap the platform turn and smile.


Figment or a memory, now I’ll never know,

but you pull away and I have to let you go.

August

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I sit with my parents, drinking hot coffee 

in the strong sun of their back garden. 

 

My father in T-shirt and shorts, welcomes 

the warmth, my mother is shrouded in cotton, 

 

doubly shaded with a parasol and floppy hat, 

since medication makes her sensitive 

 

to the light. They tell me about a neighbour’s  

dementia, a cousin’s husband’s angina, 

  

they tell me they bought Lotus biscuits  

in Dealz. We don’t mention my sister, 

 

how August was ours, a year minus five  

days apart. All the while I watch  

 

a white butterfly turn in flight,  

zigzagging the grass, like a slip of white  

 

paper, a note that flits away, 

like something I meant to say.

Publishing credits

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