Poems by Orla Fay (Ireland)
Published in The Ofi Press issue 50
In the back seat of the car she lists out
numbers higher than the sky, a million,
a trillion, a zillion, letters without
the weight of their quantity, a squillion!
Perhaps she is building a skycraper
in her head to match the height of those words,
or painting giraffes above pink clouds,
or planning to fly a kite of paper?
Each child asks what is the biggest number,
agreeing in time on infinity
learning of its meaning and the power
of knowledge, its imparting chivalry.
What starts out small divides and multiplies
grows and strengthens, a sun that never dies.
Researching Thomas Hardy
It’s a midnight wire for help, a scouting
for information about the writer.
She’s driving down to Max Gate, hoping
to wing it on her route to Dorchester.
How do you document his life on screen,
extricate his bones from the paper’s page?
Who had brave Tess of the D’Urberville’s been,
is she a relic from a different age?
I follow her on the hard pagan earth
misused, loved, rejected, many women
hide beneath her voluminous brown skirt,
coat the dagger she drives with cinnamon.
And then the dim hope of The Darkling Thrush –
I picture my friend, the camera her brush.
Orla Fay is the editor of Boyne Berries Magazine. Her work has been published in The SHOp, Boyne Berries, Crannog, Shot Glass Journal, Abridged, Ropes, North West Words, The Stony Thursday Book and Orbis, among others. In 2011 she was selected for The Lonely Voice Short Story Introductions in the Irish Writers Centre. Her poem 'Look Back in Wonder' has been nominated for The Forward Prize for a single poem 2016. She keeps a blog at http;//www.orlafay.blogspot.ie
Image: "Infinite" by Richard He.