Sudden Showers

summer broke open
like an old cup and saucer
and shattered rain down in rivers
and onto the kitchen floor. I woke at 11
and realised I needed to fix my window –
I’d ignored it all year,
letting hot air
and the bluebottles in,
setting myself an incentive
to put away the milk
and remember to wash dishes.
all over the city
pollen got flattened to pavements
and women
raised umbrellas
and cursed
their curling hair.
I went outside
to enjoy it; wore a leather jacket
which was still too warm for august
and tasted rain
as it flattened my eyebrows
and ran down my cheeks to my mouth.
a rainy day at the tail end of summer
is the perfect way to be hungover.
someone was walking their dog
and I stopped to say hi. the creature
was just as happy as I was,
and chasing the scents
that the water brought shiny,
and I think,
if I didn’t have a window to worry about,
I might have been happier
than that.


The Weight of Leaves

night signs like a crier
and signals sounds against the wind.
cars shine the road
like light come from a puddle
and fish float coldly under the rolls of a bowling sea.

trees shift with the weight of leaves
like travelers
with uncomfortable suitcases.

at night
the signs stick with crimson
and birds
curl in
against their wings.

is not
so rare a thing
as copper.


The Artist

I can paint.
I mean,
I imagine I can paint;
I’ve never tried,
but it really must be easy,
sleepily applying your pigment
once you get a feel
for the brush. after poetry
painting is be the easiest thing in the world.
I could do this drunk
(I only do this drunk)
and good painting
is just poetry
with a steady hand.
I have pictures
in my head;
a red guitar,
a blue rat,
in a vast cathedral
and I have nothing to do with them yet
but describe them in words
that you can’t see.
one day
I will get too confident;
buy a box of paints and learn
that anything is easy
when you don’t know how to do it.
I once picked up a guitar
after not having played for years
and my F chord
still rang out like bluebells.
I will paint Hannibal
crossing the alps on elephants
and it will be so
on the cover
for a book I write, it’s main value
being a promise
that something else


DS Maolalai recently returned to Ireland after four years away, now spending his days working maintenance dispatch for a bank and his nights looking out the window and wishing he had a view. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 by the Encircle Press. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.