“Murmuration at Six O’ Clock” by Nessa O’ Mahony

Murmuration at Six O’Clock

Seurat could have captured this,
the swarm and pulse
of a thousand starlings
over St. Peter’s Basilica
as the light dips and the rain-tipped
Roman sky stains mulberry.
As far as the eye scans, birds rise
in ventricled waves
of fibonacci spirals,
gulls joining in, crows,
the parakeets from the Borghese,
till the air fills and bells
in each campanile sound
for every vespered swerve.


Nessa O’Mahony was born in Dublin and lives in Rathfarnham where she works as a freelance teacher and writer. She was awarded an Arts Council of Ireland literature bursary in 2004 and 2011, a Simba Gill Fellowship in 2005 and an artists’ bursary from South Dublin County Council in 2007. She has published three books – her first collection, Bar Talk, appeared in 1999. Her second, Trapping a Ghost, was published in 2005. A verse novel, In Sight of Home, was published by Salmon in 2009 and a third collection of poetry will be published in 2013/14.

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