Hazel Durham

Hazel Durham is a member of The Writers’ Room in Carlow College in Ireland. She has just completed an excellent, mentoring course with Arthur Broomfield. She has been writing poems since 2010, her poems have been published in Setu / Bilingual monthly journal. Hazel won The Inaugural Borris Focus Centre / Borris House Festival of Writing / Carlow County Library Literary Competition in 2019. She used to work in the horseracing industry for a number of years.

Freedom on Slievenamon

Would you know a nineteen-year-old girl peeping from the shadows of bird less skies,

noisy exhausts, a concrete choker adorning her pale neck? Now she lives wrapped under

Slievenamon’s watchful eyes that shine a light on every dark night, in this year her beloved

grandmother departed. She rides her horse up into the pine forest where the blue skies fade,

the earthly silence, the wood pigeons coo, a comfort like the tick tock of time. She has left 

behind her daily worship, a battle to not long for the rich aromas of roast beef and gravy or to

desire trifle and cream. She dismounts from her horse and leads it along the trail, the pine

needles crunch underneath her feet; the trees reach out their bare arms to her. She walks up

towards the open mountain of rocks and boulders strewn recklessly. Her volcano erupts, flames

of fire like an unruly snake twist down to the lowlands. A shroud of mist as her grandmother’s

soft face appears before her, she holds her hand and lifts her to the top of the universe. Trees,

wood pigeons, rocks and the sun join her up on this citadel of light.

No Need For An Introduction

A runaway train comes to a stop at Carlow Station. You are the first to feel the solid platform in

 the evening air. Full moon glows through a soft swirl of clouds. Your blue eyes dance with

 mine in the halls of romance, ghosts of the past. You roll out a red carpet as I quicken towards

 your tall physique, no need for an introduction. We are made from the same material, cut

 uneven, badly stitched as our frayed threads falls away to the dark earth. A horse with a white

 plume and a gold carriage awaits me / your silver Toyota Corolla 131, I dream big. You talk

 like you walk, the only man in the crowd. Your cattle, acres, barn and silage melt the snow on

 the Slieve Bloom Mountains with that view of your heartlands. In those years I was mucking

 out stables, riding horses, their movement a sweet lullaby. We had met in the desert of a cold

 climate but now we drive along country roads with hedges tumbling on either side. A stunning

 silence descends on my upside-down world. The Autumn leaves fall and gather in groups to

 chat, nature’s colourful mat of brown, russet, gold and yellow. Together we grow tall after

 Autumn’s fall.

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