Poems by Paula Cunningham
This is the place where nothing ever happens,
where youngsters cram into their souped-up cars
to swig and laugh and drive each other crazy,
they maybe can’t afford the drink in bars.
This is the place where doughnuts spin on handbrakes,
where young men howl and hit each other hard,
this is the place that’s Hades on a weekend,
where daylight’s quiet, loudness seeks the dark.
Where daylight’s quiet loudness finds the dark -
the place become a Hades every weekend -
where young ones roar and punch each other hard.
This is the place they revved and honed their doughnuts,
perhaps they felt unwelcome in the bars
(the horseplay’d only drive their elders crazy)
and chose instead the harbour of their cars.
This is the place where nothing’s meant to happen,
the junction spinning under April stars.
Paula Cunningham was born in Omagh and lives in Belfast where she works as a dentist. Paula’s poems have been widely anthologised in Ireland and beyond, appearing in The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing Vol. 5. and The New Irish Poets. In 2011 she won the Hippocrates Poetry Prize (NHS section) and was shortlisted in the Edwin Morgan Prize. She took first prize in the 2011 Hippocrates Prize (NHS Category) and third in the 2012 Ballymaloe International Poetry competition.
Paula has also written plays for Tinderbox and BBC Radio 4, and a short story appeared in Faber’s Best New Irish Short Stories 2004-5. She currently holds an award from the Arts Council of NI.