Poems published in Anthologies

Reflecting the Rising
© Orla Grant-Donoghue

Was it needless death after all?
When even young children had to die
and nobody dared look parents in the eye.
Did Dublin have to crumble and fall
for Ireland to be free? Or did we aim too high?
Was it needless death after all?
Hidden stories at this time we recall
shattered dreams adrift, memories lie
hidden as we take time to say goodbye.
Was it needless death after all?

The Arrest
(After a painting of the same title by Kathleen Fox in 1916)
© Orla Grant-Donoghue

Second in command, Constance led
Irish troops at St Stephen’s Green
Nobody there to intervene
They held fast, not one fled.

She fought until the last day
Her nights in argument
Never one to be content
until all Ireland had their say.

Smoke swirled in cold air
Rifles towards grey skies
Did they know more would die?
That nothing in this rising would be fair.

Dublin crumbled, many lay dead
Ireland free their one request
A crowd gathered at her arrest
“I am ready,” was all she said.

Salvador Dali’s Down the Rabbit Hole
© Orla Grant-Donoghue

Act 1: Faint Hues
Blue tint of falling tears
soak the canvas in muddy blue.

Burnt orange of earth
mixes with white,
Unsure of what to become.

Like shadows made by an unseen hand,
Faint pencil lines reveal form
where all is in the eye of beholders.

Act 2: The Curtain Draws

Earth flies past,
A rabbit leaps,
a little girl falls
and down
to a place where there’s no light.

Her breath slows,
She casts her dreams into the wide open,
blinks and stares,
waiting to be lit by magic.

Act 3: A New World
Nothing makes sense in
this dream-like world
Where rabbits talk and
mushrooms beckon.

The little girl skips along,
Her breath slows,
Her heart beat quickens.
She grows,
She shrinks.


© Orla Grant-Donoghue

I glimpse her vibrant winter coat as she stands at the Red Line
For a tram that will arrive in three minutes time.

Decades ago, a woman in a different shaded coat waits
For the 77 bus that’s often late.

Around their feet, a biting wind swirls the same
They glance towards the mountains from whence it came.

The modern traveller finds a seat in the warm tram
Clutching her shopping, feeling a wave of calm.

The passenger from the grey, distant past is chilled to the bone.
Decides shopping must wait and heads home.

They’ll never be able to meet for a walk
Around the shops in the Square, have coffee. Talk.

They might have been friends. Shared hopes. Dreams.
Bought clothes, make-up. The latest face creams.

Alas, they’re both rooted in their own place and time,
Unable to cross paths, without help from Einstein.