Tuesday 16 September 2008

Medbh McGuckian's The Currach Requires No Harbours (Gallery, 2006)

Some passages from the book--

of those saints that have the gift of dreaming right

"Galilee Porch"

We have been poised a long time
like souls--like birds that practise
their songs in their dreams.

"Attention to Seasonality"

I fold nature into
my gently bewildered body
as a girl leaves her hair
open to be enjoyed
by the moon's fine touch.

"Mappa Mundi"

The weather muses,
tastes like a field.

"To Compress Her Two Childhoods"

her tar-distilled crimson,
her coal-derived blues

"Bleu de Paris"

throwaway gracefulness

"Consecrated Wafer"

Now her long hair
has a silent way of calling, immediately
knotted to the whole brown city.

"Angel of the Countenance"

She is a room of the months
conceived between battles--

"Ironer with Backlight"

She saw her body alone,
without a soul,

and felt as if one in five birds had flown out
from behind the garden of her spine.


his face lit up
immoderately, as if he were one of the highest
angels who are all fire.

"La Rosa de Santa Rosa"

the evenness
of the day when there is no

"My Must"

secretly turning the hour glass
in my pocket for its gruesome,
sweet infinity

"My Sister's Way to Make Mead"

If I stood too close I suffocated
I was so very concentrated there
if I touched it I was too easily inspired
because it was touch itself which returned
as a kind of ghost--I have learned to live
in peace with what there is

"She Thinks She Sees Clarissa"

veils of colour hang around like languid


while language comes in, on duty
and on time, shredding newspapers,
with its killing bite, its quiet bite,
its starling style

"The Dependent Nature of Lines"

doors of lawless scarlet,
a purple that can be tied

"Lemon with Wine Jug"

After wearing his name, shining, unbruised,
in this world of abrasion

"Soul Candles"

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