Poems by Peter Sirr
my visor down, waiting
like a courier in the lobby
for someone to come. No one came,
there were no instructions, no
guides or plans, no signals
crackling in the headset.
Where were you? But then
it came to me, the wreckage
spilled out all over the hillside,
the mitigating, falsifying acres
as if the whole country had killed you
or none of it, or nothing claimed it –
threads of a tunic, bloodstained clods,
hair and nails, a broken plectrum,
the body parts, the mutilations
when they showed,
like videos calmly posted ...
It was all
forensics and after-quiet
and I gathered what I could
crouched in the dusk
singing softly to the hillside
and carried the bag back down.
No one looked or queried. The transports
were full and everyone tuned
to their own devices.
I sit now in the lounge
reading the report and playing back
the old music and you come
prancing through the headphones,
swinging the mike from hand to hand
as if it was all still waiting,
the stadium full and the lighters flaring,
everything plugged in, tested,
ready to explode,
and I had stood behind you, arms stretched out,
your body retreating to my breath,
your shirt falling on my eyes
as you yell redemption
and strike the opening chord.
The Gravity Wave
Where next for this gust
printing itself on your dress,
catching the rim of your hat, riffing
in the strands of your hair?
Maybe the same place
as this single breath, this turning
of neck towards neck,
this widening of the eyes and whatever
that have left us and gone
pouring down the billennia,
fainter by the second but lodged forever,
where two particles conversing
almost falter, almost alter
as they register
the micron’s micron, the hair’s breadth’s whisper
of what passed between us.
Born in Waterford, 1960, Peter Sirr is a freelance writer, editor and translator. He was director of the Irish Writers' Centre from 1991 to 2002, and editor of Poetry Ireland Review from 2003 until 2007. He has published seven collections of poems with Gallery Press which include Marginal Zones (1984), Talk, Talk (1987), Ways of Falling (1991), The Ledger of Fruitful Exchange (1995), and Bring Everything (2000). For many years, Sirr divided his time between his native Ireland, Italy and Holland. A well-respected poet, Sirr has received numerous awards, including the Patrick Kavanagh Award (1982) and the Listowel Writers’ Week poetry prize (1983). A regular contributor of reviews and essays to a wide variety of journals, Peter Sirr was also a co-founder and editor of the Irish cultural journal Graph. Additionally, he is a freelance writer, editor and translator. He lives in Dublin with his wife, the poet Enda Wyley, and their daughter Freya. Gallery Press will publish his new collection, The Thing Is, in 2009.