Poetry: Arthur Broomfield

Arthur Broomfield
Dr Arthur Broomfield is a poet, short story writer, essayist and Beckett scholar from County Laois, Ireland.

The Fairy Rath


She told a Mosiaic story, of sorts,

the widow Wynne, to the ramblers,

that gathered round her hearth,

of a bush that beats a man

 caught out on his own, alone,

instead of one that burned ;

two tablets, it was said,

were set in slabs of stone,

as she spread blackberry jam

thick along the soda bread

and filled the pewter teapot,

left them by Nora Murphy’s

decent husband, Ned.


How her Paddy went and of his own accord,

though he knew the bean si curse

could light upon him,

to chop it down without a word,

the schioch tree on the Fairy Rath –

I knew he’d cleared the furze –

he’d need the land for barley in the spring,

with two more cows and calves to feed.

But did he think to mention that fairy bush to me !


The widow passed around

the plate of bread and jam,

and poured the mugs of tea.


He never should have touched it,

she went on, tears welling in her eyes,

and did he bring them with him,

his cannister of pills ?

The oul people all had warned him

the man that puts an axe again it,

the Maybush on the hill,

is sure to have bad luck.

And that’s the way I found him,

His poor heart not too good,

His diner frozen cold,

he beaten blue and black,

Not a Christian near him,

The low branch soaked in blood.



Hell hath Fury

It takes so many years to learn that one is dead.

TS Eliot


This place is all do, all say,

one-way train on a wet Sunday.

Eros Moon, after a silk tight,

 Lucifer waits, night, lies by.


Sun embroiders shrouds

for the early arrivals,

stirs potions through the mix

of christening robe squabbles,

holy wars fought with pebbles.

The mouse in the trap

fights for survival.


He’d raised the lid early,

As is his way, the sun in accord,

crawls from his hob-hot gurney,

snaps cadaver scenes for the record:


Polar fires that bleed to the beat

of a string quartet,

the mood music of Sahara floods.

belches of the fed,

the robin in his grave

that blesses the worms he eats,

are makings he files and saves,

a mummified menu of Calvary treats.


This is the halting hearth

of his buzzing bits and pieces

it’s where they fell to earth.


He takes the weight on his elbows

reads the chemtrail codes of Robin Hood’s arrow:


Hell is Vlad impaling, the age-long,

the sun at high noon. The all right, swing song.

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