Jeremy Haworth, Elsewhere

On Fethard Quay

A Jackson Pollock of gull-spatter and tossed offal
where the tired, salt-crusted trawlers float

on rainbows of oil, cabled to a harbour lip
where lobster pots flout their glut of shining heads.

A seal like a tarred thumb punctures water-skin,
dips into shadow and is gone, tremoring dark

sluppers of kelp, a needle-dart of sprat,
but now the sea’s stippled eye reglasses itself,

drinks again a white scurf of cloud, a rubix of light –
our bodies cobbled in ozone, brinking the canvas.


Storm-coked waters,
rain-stitched earth,
wind cold as the swipe

of a feathered hook
peeling the iron
of trawlers junked

in a bath of silt.
One a hoop of ribs,
another a cringe of rust.

Staling in the cramp
of metal scrap, engines,
diesel fumes,

dead fish,
nettles, tangled nets,
a fisherman’s shack

and a kitchen slump
of tabloids, takeaways,
empty bottles,

where the postcard
on a cupboard door
telegraphs elsewhere

on an A6 palimpsest
of sand and clear water –
Playa de Palma –

the blear of gold weather,
bronze skin, speedos –
Sunny Mallorca

and on the rear,
where cobalt biro runs –
Wish you were here.

Jeremy Haworth is a Dublin-born poet. He won the 2019 Cúirt New Writing Prize and is working towards the publication of his first poetry collection. A market gardener by day, he lives in rural Laois with his wife and two young children.

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