From behind the moon boys' graves bleed endlessly; from photograph to browning photograph they blacken headlines, stranded outside of time at the story's frigid edge. Though they are long buried in French soil, we are still speaking of trenches, of who rose, who fell, who merely hung on. The morning drills secretly, like an element that absorbs. We are right back where we were before the world turned over, the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone are all that Sunday means. Their North was not 'The North that never was'. Artemis, protector of virgins, shovels up fresh pain with the newly-wed long-stemmed roses, pressing two worlds like a wedding kiss upon another Margaret: lip-Irish and an old family ring. It's like asking for grey when that colour is not recognised, or changes colour from friend to friend. I track the muse through subwoods, curse the roads, but cannot write the kiss.
Medbh McGuckian - 1950-
Painting by Moonlight
It was a bright inviting, freely formed, though I suppose it was I who brightened, with an internal scattering of light, as though weather maps were more real than the breath of autumn. The low colourfulness of the broken and dying leaves was no embrittlement to every decided colour on the sunlighted grass and the warm-hued wood of his door. But with the dust descending in the glaring white gap my backbone pulped and I closed up like a concertina. His tongue was hushed as Christ's lips or once-red grapes permitting each touch to spread only when the turn of the violet comes.