The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

Moyra Donaldson: 2 Poems Published


Poems by Moyra Donaldon (N. Ireland)

Published in Issue 26.

The Cow Tail Pump and the Well



Our elderly neighbour says he remembers

the taste of the water, childhood sweet;

but a gulp of air holds it from us.

We have renewed the seals,          

primed the pump, worked

the handle up and down

until our arms hurt

and we’ve built up

a real thirst, yet

the water won’t

be drawn: not

by us.



Moyra Donaldson is a poet and creative writing facilitator, living in Co Down, NI.  She has published four collections of poetry, Snakeskin Stilettos (1998), Beneath the Ice (2001), The Horse’s Nest (2006) and Miracle Fruit (2010), all from Lagan Press, Belfast. Her Selected Poems have just been launched by Liberties Press, Dublin.





Born in nineteen

fifty six: fifty six

this year.


Twenty eight when

my first daughter

was born, who’s

twenty eight

this year,

twenty eight and

twenty eight

makes fifty six:


my father is twenty

eight years dead.

He died when

he was fifty six.


Surely all this must

be significant,

a numeric perfect storm.


Numerology sites

give me little to go on -


28 is the number of small

tombs in the Great Pyramid,

the number of lunar houses,

letters in the Arab alphabet,

days in the menstrual cycle.

It is mentioned five times

in the bible, it’s the number

of years that Osiris reigned.


56 is only used once in the bible.

It is the number of popes

who weren’t Italian; there are

exactly that quantity of holes

in the astronomical circle

at Stonehenge;  56

blades in a pack of Tarot.


So what to make of it?

The year ticks on round

to the next with me no wiser.