Kevin McManus

Kevin McManus is a writer and poet from Western Ireland. He has published six novels so far and has also compiled a collection of poems and short stories that he plans to publish shortly.  He works as a secondary school teacher in County Leitrim.

Bolted Doors

Behind rusted, bolted and stiff iron locks, a day of no great consequence has emerged
A bleak January hour travelling over a well-trodden path on wet and rushy ground,
Upon a dusky black thorn branch a glass crystal water drop, that hangs and falls to earth
Nothing to penetrate the silence, nature is still at rest,
 
Looking forward now, not backwards to reach out and grasp,
To stretch out fingers to elongate the senses,
To find what you are looking for
To put your finger on it, to have it on the tip of your tongue
 
A sense of belonging, there is enchantment all around
But we have lost our way, it has been misplaced, hidden and buried
We are goaded with feelings, fleeting visions and momentary preambles into the radiance
Through sight and sound, breeze and chill, taste and smell
The senses are opened and hunger for more
They haunt us and push us headlong through a perplexing crusade
To hold and comprehend those fleeting moments
That can’t be held, that float from us like a breath

On Garadice Shore

Going over old ground passed the church.
Under the low Winter sun towards the shoreline,
The green mossed stone and the bare black branches
 
At years end, time passed.
Lucid thoughts that pierce through the empty spaces
These things will stay with you.
 
A bell rings across the lake,
calling patrons to prayer,
to try and make sense of self,
to be rooted to this old ground on a lake shore

Solstice, the Feast of the Risen Sun

                                     I
The shortest day, the darkness before the dawn.
Celebrating light in the blackness of mid-Winter,
For the ancients a time of cold and hunger
The rebirth of Mithra, the old sun is dead the new one is rising
Its power will grow stronger now with each passing day
Our forefathers marked this day well with their earth mounds
Which captured the blessed light and warmed the womb of the frozen Earth
 
                                      II
Bringing the evergreen inside a symbol that Spring will return,
the fire of the Yule log to sanctify the dying year.
Odin’s nocturnal flights.
The slaughter of the animals for the Winter Feast
To keep up the strength for the harshest months yet to come.
Before the green shoots of life break through the cold ground once more
The cycle continues, the wheel keeps turning.

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