Poetry: Dennis Moriarty

Dennis Moriarty is originally from London England but has lived in South Wales UK for thirty years. Married with five children Dennis enjoys reading, writing, walking.
This year he won the Blackwater poetry group competition and read his work at the Blackwater international poetry festival in Ireland. Dennis loves all things Welsh and speaks a little bit of the Welsh language.
Dennis Moriarty
Socially Distant. A Swan Nesting

In the velvet stillness of the afternoon
Her eyes are rock pools
Rippling in the slack jaws of the wind.
Locked down, house bound,
She is socially distant in the reeds.
Her stare fluid as water
She is immobile and intense occupying
The gun metal silence of the lake.

And she does so not out of compliance,
Nor does she do it
To protect and further the selfish interests
Of mankind,
She does it simply out of a need to nurture
Her species.
After all, for her, self isolation is a seasonal
Requirement of incubation.

A Piece Of Rural Kerry In A London Yard

That summer I took to watching him
From the back room window.
Each evening after work he would stroll out
Into that backyard
To tend the small dirt patch with all good intention
And due diligence.
Lithe and small boned, his body from the waste down
Strapped to his shoulders by green braces,
He would stand for a moment, sucking on his pipe, observing
His small piece of rural Kerry in a London yard.
I saw him bend down as if in supplication running
The earth through his fingers.
And on more than one occasion I saw him dissect worms
With a rusty spade,
Decapitate weeds and casually throw them over the wall
Into the next door neighbours garden.
And once I watched him scrape a blunt hoe between
Two rows of puny leeks
That stared at him like green eyed malnourished urchins.
And late one evening I stood fascinated as he shook the dirt
From the tapered tail of a stunted carrot,
It's orange flesh pock marked and blown with fly,
He held it up to the sky,
As if by holding it closer to the sun it would suddenly become
A prize winning specimen,
Then he threw it down among the puny leeks and radishes
That refused all nurturing,
His pipe signalling his bitter disappointment in the aromatic
Language of tobacco.

A Long Way From Anywhere

A woman with two German Shepherds is walking
Up the field toward me.
A dog either side they keep perfect rhythm
With her.
From where I stand beneath this pigeon fringe
Of Welsh oak
I can see that her lips are moving. Perhaps she is talking
To the dogs, nurturing their intellect
With quotes from Shakespeare, or reciting the canine
Alphabet to stave off boredom.
Suddenly she stops and each dog folds like a pack of cards
At her feet, watching
As she delves into a hawthorn hedge, her hands quick, as if
She is rummaging in a jumble sale
Of winter cast off’s. Snapped twigs, unpicked strands
Of an empty next, An old leaf
Crumbling in her palm, a dried out spinster seeking refuge
From the world.
Surprised and unnerved by her groping intrusion a blackbird
Takes fevered flight, the dogs watching
As it flutters and fades into a silver haze of birch.
They walk on towards me
Until at last she reveals the detail of her being. Middle aged,
Round, a battered hat, a coat smelling of wax and dogs.
The dogs sit at her side, one aloof and dismissive, the other intent
On showing me the glint of menace in his eyes.
“Good morning” I say, “Good morning” she replies in an accent
The colour of African plains, her words tribal.
She tells me she is from Johannesburg originally but has lived
Here for five years or so.
“Well love” I say, “you’re a long way from Jo’burg.”
She turns away and I hear her sharp reply,
“Up here mate, I’m a bloody long way from anywhere!”

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