The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

Arthur Broomfield: 1 Poem Published

Poem by Arthur Broomfield (Ireland)

Published in The Ofi Press issue 42



The night Bannan’s Threshing Mill arrived in our yard

In memory of Johnny Bannan who died May 11 2011


Johnny Bannan won my respect

 the day he declined to wash his hands

‘they’re grand Ma’am, thanks’;

he spoke with  the assurance

of one who knows his options.

my mother fussed

and poured his tea.


His overalls, decorated

with medals of exotic grease

sparkled in the reflection

of the Aladdin lamp

that lit our kitchen.

Amorphous transfers

to his face and neck,

from his oily fingers,

confirmed the mysticall status

of the Lieutenant  of the Leviathan.


I imagined his railwayman’s cap

badged and braided,

the armour plated engine storming along the front,

he leaning out the side door

barking glad tidings

of bushel weight

to expectant farmers,                                     

at agricultural speed.


I, held back on my father’s knee,

wanted to be second in command

in his benevolent army,

to be there when he swung

the starting handle that fired the pistons,

to carry the drums of T.V.O.

that smelled of the future,

to befriend him,

to give him a hand.



About the Poet

Dr. Arthur Broomfield has been short listed for the 2014 Bradshaw books/Cork literary Review International manuscript competition, for the New Irish Writing's award 1991, and the Hopkin's Summer School poetry competition. His chapbook, 'The Poetry Reading at Semple Stadium' (Lapwing 2011) is available from the publisher. His poems have been published in Poetry Ireland, Cyphers, Salmon, The Honest Ulsterman, Orbis, Envoi, Wordlegs and most other Irish poetry journals. He has read his poetry on RTE radio 1, been guest reader at OBheal, Cork, Carlow Eigse, Limerick writers and in the Alliance Francais, Dublin. Dr Broomfield is a Beckett Scholar, his recent work The Empty Too: language and philosophy in the works of Samuel Beckett (Cambridge Scholar's Publishing 2014) is available from amazon.

Image: "Portrait of a Man in Overalls" by Simple Insomnia.