Attracta Fahy’s background is Nursing/Social Care. She works as a Psychotherapist, lives in Co.Galway, and has three children. She completed her MA in Writing NUIG in 2017, and participates in Over The Edge poetry workshops. Her poems have been published in Bold Italic, Live Encounters, Banshee, Poetry Ireland Review, Poethead, Orbis, The Curlew, Impspired, Honest Ulsterman, The Blue Nib, Elixir, Ink Sweat & Tears, and several other journals at home and abroad.
She was the October winner in Irish Times; New Irish Writing 2019, has been nominated for a Pushcart prize, included in Anthologies; Impspired, The Blue Nib, Avalanche, and Of Mouth Northern Women’s Writings, nominated for Best of the Web 2019, shortlisted for 2018 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year, and long listed for 2019, shortlisted for Allingham Poetry Prize 2019. She was a featured reader at the January Over The Edge Open Reading in Galway City Library. Her debut chapbook Dinner in the Fields was published in March‘20 by Fly on the Wall Poetry.
The Swifts Are Early, The Swallows Are Back
I woke to a racket, as they renovate their nests
on my roof. Spring steals in, a stream of light
over my kitchen, the first morning I’ve not lit
the stove. Glass facets on suncatchers flash indigo,
yellow and orange rainbows across my wall.
Outside the tree sparrow sings, a wren gives it all, hops
about with a twig in its mouth, others in song, chirping
him on as he builds his home. I hear a thrush tweet as I peep
out the window, afraid to open my door, in case they fly.
Everyone is talking about the birds,
say they are louder. But it’s that they’re not competing
with noise anymore. This is how it was before all this,
before we’d forgotten. I hear sand martins have arrived
in the east, puffins back on the cliffs.
A grey wagtail, its yellow belly, blue tit, its soft lime down,
chaffinch, greenfinch, male, female move back and forth,
feeder to hawthorn. Birds have conflict too, a great tit pecks
at the glass door, fighting his own reflection.
Further down gulls have broadened their horizon,
moved up from the lake, two fields away a whole other
community of water birds negotiate territory. Herd immunity
here too– a magpie watches, I keep my eye,
just as with the plants; contain creepers, protect
march marigold, white wood anemone.
It’s all about pruning.
I taste the day, taste fear in the air, the earth has been begging
us to stop, now everything still, we have time to hear.
In my garden nothing new, except what I knew, Pluto,
Jupiter, Saturn, eclipsed the sun, astrologists say this is a Tower
moment, the return of light has begun.
We are all stretching our hands across borders, gasping for air.
Perhaps we will know something of what love is now,
as our fingers reach to sky, loved ones die in absence
of our tender care, buried without funeral, and we are forced
to store our dead in large refrigerators,
send them into mass graves to protect ourselves.
This is my home for today.
And the birds keep singing at my door.
We Must Rush To Love
It was only when I fell apart I could hear a voice speak In my dreams The world’s soul is dying We must rush to love Like wild orchids spread seed
After Charles Bukowski If you are going to try, go all the way, do it, do it, do it, do it, and I did. I went all the way down to five and a half stone, doing it. All the way to bone, shedding my body, ultimately yours, stamps, stickers, imprints, impressions, what to be, who not to be. I sunk into the deep, took my anger, its sword of discernment, love, a lantern to light shadowy guts. In this body, bind and wound were one, like ivy clings to trees, all bound in hunger. Everybody became everybody’s shadow. I sunk into death, its bloodied waters, insatiable starvation in protest wanted more, and more, to be less, and less, and less again. A world with blinded eyes refused. I smashed their convex image, turned the stone which formed these bones, the murky underworld, shady maggots, snails, and ants, coiled in dark. I clawed my way up from there.