Sarah Clancy

Sarah Clancy

Sarah Clancy is a poet from Galway, Ireland. Her last two collections of poetry are ‘Thanks for Nothing, Hippies' and ‘The Truth and Other Stories’ published by Salmon Poetry. In 2015 she was named the Bogman's Cannon People's Poet.

Gulf Scream
Thursday, 28 April 2016 10:35

What a Bomb Hits

Published in Poetry

What A Bomb Hits

Feel the dead heat of the quietening street,
see the early evening houses and the shutters
on the shops. Look at the row of highrise balconies
with their Aloe Vera plants.
See this door and behind it the tile-floored hallway?
Look at the outdoor shoes abandoned carelessly
by going-about-their-business feet?
Look in here and see shelves full of books
and the loose skinned hands
that choose one, thumb it and put it back?
Hear the sigh as someone older sits down
and now the tell-tale evenness of breath
that tells you sleep is near. Shhh now, come in here-
see the saucepans, turmeric, ginger, onions
and the glistening guts of something?
See the strong backed person cooking?
Her flush blood-orange cheeks?
Over here- see the empty good room?
With photos of the girl’s first day at school
her plump-armed prize for maths,
see her seven year-old gaptooth grin?
And now in the bathroom this very minute
see her neck nape exposed and older
as she kneels beside the bath,
see the henna swirl maroonish in the water
then disappear, see the soles of her bare feet,
see her calf muscles curve and how her skirt
is caught in behind her knees?
From the street below, listen to the overheating engine
of her teenage brother’s car as he tries to park it
see his sinewy biceps strain while he reverses inexpertly
his slim thighs pressed against the seat, see
on his unlined forehead the freshness
of glistening beads of sweat, now watch him slam the car door
and turn this way while the lazy street cat looks
at him unimpressed before settling back to lick itself,
then freeze all this and think of it
blown to smithereens
this,
all this,
is what a bomb hits.

Demo outside the GPO, Dublin, 2016
Saturday, 19 March 2016 20:15

Cherishing for beginners

Published in Poetry

Cherishing for Beginners

'The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally....... '
- The Proclamation of the Irish Republic, 1916

Cherish the meek
cherish the ranchers
cherish the guards
cherish the bankers
cherish the virgins
then ride them and cherish their sisters,
cherish tax exiles and entrepreneurs
cherish the rewards of intergenerational privilege
or if that's too hard for beginners
sure cherish the Rose of Tralee for starters,
cherish the goal and the point and the foul
cherish the priest's dirty sheets
but not the woman who washes them,
don't mention her
or what she might need,
go on and cherish the IFSC
and its type of laundries-
those ones are fine, they are grand sure.
Cherish Them.

Cherish the men
because they couldn’t help it
if the women and girls went and fell pregnant,
cherish the foetus, the heartbeat,
but not the person it's in
then cherish the small graves
in their undisclosed wastelands
cherish the shovels
and boot soles that dug them-
let there be no doubt about it-
Yes We Can!
cherish the children
if they're from the right class
aren’t travelling people
and are not for god’s sake
seeking asylum,
don't forget too that we must
cherish the mute
and cherish the sheepish
but hate those in need,
worship Fr Peter McVerry himself,
go ahead make him an icon
but don’t hear what he’s saying
about anything.

Cherish the poor
for how you can use them
to frighten those who are just one rung above
cherish the people
who learned early and often
what happens to those
with big mouths,
cherish your local TDs,
and the crowd in Listowel
who didn't care that he raped her
sure wasn't he one of their own?
Yea cherish the rapist,
why don't you?

Cherish the golf course
and its sprinklers
sure Irish Water will save us
cherish piece work and internships,
and zero hour contracts
aren't you lucky you have a job at all?
Do you not remember the coffin ships
and are you not grateful?
Yea cherish your own exploitation
cherish the school board,
for our lack of gay teachers,
cherish women's place in the home
then cut their allowances,
sure they don’t deserve them
having all of those children
repeat after me- Cherish Privatisation;
and if you don't then you better learn
to cherish the knock on your door
in the morning.
Consider this a warning.

Cherish Dev and Pearse
and blood sacrifice
but don't mention James Connolly
who said until Ireland's women are free
none of us will be, most of all though
cherish outsourcing and remember
your call is important,
you too will be cherished equally
if you can afford it
as soon as an operator
becomes available
which may well take
another hundred years.

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