The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

Breda Wall Ryan: 2 Poems Published

Poems by Breda Wall Ryan (Ireland)

Published in Issue 31 (Augiust 2013).


in sunlit bracken

on a forest margin,

three young stoats

gyrated, white-bibbed,

sleek headed,

with the soot-tipped tails

that stay when winter turns

summer coats to ermine.

They purled in mad,

fantastic-cabled whirligigs,

spun to the fiddling

worm in the brain,

as if illuminations shaped

in ancient scriptoria

had slipped the scribe’s hand

and, conjured to full blood,

danced for the span

of a grasshopper’s song,

then vanished in a finger-snap,

but glimpsed again

among the velum pages

of The Book of Kells:

stoat spirits racing

along lines of text

or puzzled into Celtic knots.




That winter of long snow

a fox scraped down to bone

licked the dog’s empty bowl

by the kitchen door.

Brazen, Father said,

loaded a red shell

into his break-action


cracked the door;

an inch of leaked light

spotlit hackled fur,

bony haunches,

slack belly, knuckled spine.

Father set his gun

back in the rack,

left the fox till Spring.



Image: Courtesy of Chris Talbot used under creative commons licence.

About the Poet

Breda Wall Ryan has an M. Phil. in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. She is a founder member of Hibernian Poetry. Her poems and short fiction have been widely published in journals and anthologies. She has been shortlisted for The Davy Byrnes Irish Writing Award, Hennessy Literary Award, Mslexia Poetry Prize and Fish Poetry Prize and won the inaugural UCD Anthology Prize (Poetry). She lives in Co. Wicklow, Ireland.