Tim Cunningham – Three Poems

The Galway Review

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATim Cunningham is Limerick-born, and has worked in education in Dublin, Delaware, London and Essex.

His sixth collection, The Lyrics to the Nightingale’s Song,  is due out with Revival Press in April.


BALLYLOUGHANE, 1916

(‘Lord, You are hard on mothers’, Padraic Pearse)

There is blood at the birth of a child
And blood at the birth of a nation.

The blood in a country cottage was discreet
As a young woman’s waters broke
And my father slipped from bow
To stern down the deck of her body.

Beside the Liffey, a nation’s waters broke
And the river ran red as if
Blood was the currency of freedom.

Outside the whitewashed cottage, a mother
Proudly pegged white napkins to the line
Where the plover’s splash was golden,
Bog myrtle perfumed the air
And slanes sliced softly into turf.

Outside Dublin’s G.P.O.,
The tricolor fluttered its pride,
Startled starlings scattered,
The stench…

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