Abandoned this ten years , a garden
that once fed a dozen, its gap
clogged by hawthorn, cluttered by briar.
I hacked and chopped and slashed
for an hour or more, heedless
of blood and scratch and gash, blind
to blister and tear and thorn, eager
as Livingstone- a venturesome child –
breathless in pursuit of the new.
And now, with final slash of hook
the lost field is revealed,
its grasses regenerated, again
and again, matted and tangled
and layered; its blackberry strings
stitched through wild whitethorn,
holding in, keeping out. A pheasant
explodes from its lair,
cracks a decade’s silence
and guides the eye to new horizons.
Mike Gallagher was born on Achill Island, Co. Mayo, Ireland, but now resides in Lyreacrompane, Co. Kerry, having previously worked in London for 40 years.His poetry, stories, songs and haiku have been published in Ireland, throughout Europe and in America, Canada, Japan, India,Thailand, Nepal and Australia. His haiku have been translated into Croatian, Japanese and Dutch. He won the Eigse Michael Hartnett viva voce contest in 2010; was shortlisted for the Hennessy Award in 2011 and won the Desmond O’Grady International Poetry competition in 2012. He is the editor of thefirstcut, an online literary journal at: http://issuu.com/thefirstcut