the poetry that matters

Afric McGlinchey

Afric McGlinchey was born in Ireland and raised in Zimbabwe. She is this year’s Hennessy Award winner for emerging poetry. She won second place in the Chapter One poetry competition, (2010) and recently had poems commended in the Magma (UK) and Dromineer (Ireland) poetry competitions. She has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize this year. A number of other poems have been shortlisted. Her poems have been published in Southword, Moth, New Mirage, Poetry Ireland Review, Scottish Poetry Review, Tears in the Fence, Wordlegs, the SHOp, Magma, Acumen, Under the Radar, Scaldy Detail, Crannóg and other journals. Afric writes poetry reviews for Sabotage, is a book reviewer for the Irish Examiner and an online tutor at http://creativewriting.ie/online-writing-courses/

Her debut collection, The Lucky Star of Hidden Things, is forthcoming in May 2012 from Salmon. Afric lives in West Cork, Ireland.


mute as the wall,

four swings

into an envelope of light

which dissects glint and shadow

in the long neck of love where we play

breath and dash

thunder full

exploding maledictions

you reign in all the dark rooms of my fantasy

supersede every phantom lover in the longest night

hell’s leviathans may swallow their revenge

for a glimmer

i become whole with expectation;

rush, night; i am ready




(after Roethke)

fingers red to ruin day

dreams appear through slow eye

of mud-soft needle, signal swift

surprise, then sudden swiping swing

to a blue and blackened dog -cloud

pooled into a spreading lace,

blue-throated, long limbed tamarack

looms over lake, while sunset’s cleft

breaks the tide of evening

slow ache of bruising skin

muds you, cool and wavering

with hesitant hug of penitant

guilty of the silent crime

of biting cut and gloomy grin




eyes wide open

your wide-eyed lies are plums,

their purple plumes

smoke and mirrors in the sun –

suddenly I’m sane

not squeamish anymore

won’t go vertigo, wallow

in a sink-hole, sallow

and sunless

i’m revved as an engine;

even a smidgen of your sorrow

will be battered by a pair of drums

pounding a palindrome


on no



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                                                                                                      February 20, 2012