The Great Isle

Beneath a starry night
like the Dutchman would paint
we met as star-crossed lovers
This with a kiss I die

The dark waves lapped at the steps
of the stone pier
named for an American President
The one they killed in Dallas
Tipped with moonlight

Played with each others like children
That first night
Strangers exploring new lands
Untrodden paths

And in the moonlight once again
A small car by the sea
Knew the trails through the newly discovered
As time passed by so beautifully.

But charts of harbour become tattered
Forcing fate on troubled wave
our little boat too soft to weather
Screams of sirens for the grave

He bellows to the silent heavens
The pagan gods of old
The mute mythical martyrs
A cry in the night on a crackling line
He says the words you cannot say
The white queen and panther passing
to history to fable
to shining myth
to echoing darkness of dreams.

The mystic equations of love
proved unprovable
only language remains
Memory filtered and fractured


Kenneth Hickey was born in 1975 in Cobh, Co. Cork Ireland. He served in the Irish Naval Service between 1993 and 2000. His poetry and prose has been published in various literary journals in Ireland, the UK and the United States including Southword, Crannoig, THE SHOp, A New Ulster, Aesthetica Magazine and The Great American Poetry Show. His writing for theatre has been performed in Ireland, the UK, New York and Paris. He has won the Eamon Keane Full Length Play Award as well as being shortlisted for The PJ O’Connor Award and the Tony Doyle Bursary. His work in film has been screened at the Cork and Foyle Film Festivals. He holds a BA and MA in English Literature both from University College Cork. His debut collection The Unicycle Paradox was published by Revival Press in November 2021. He still resides in Cork.


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