A poem for the poets. Listowel Writer’s Week 2022.

Writer’s Week was fun, and today was the last day, so misty grey weather could not deter me from cycling into town for an open mic. I did not realise it was a competition (I avoid them), but the rain was pelting down at that stage, and sure what else would you be doing on a drizzly Sunday afternoon?

It was a good decision to stay. I heard some wonderful words, shared one of my poems, and enjoyed coffee and chats afterwards with my friend, neighbour, and some Dublin visitors.

Himself had dinner ready when I got home, and as we ate he told me about the old fiddle he had been working on. It is all cracks and botched repair jobs, but still functional, still a thing of beauty and potential.

After dinner he tentatively prised the lid off to examine the interior. No doubt there will be some open heart surgery performed in the coming days.

As women, our hips are curved like the fiddle, and we carry a lot inside. I began thinking about the women who had shared their poems at today’s event, and how they all had a different story to share from their personal outlooks and experiences. We might try to fortify ourselves with different types of varnish in life, yet our hearts must become tarnished at times too: that is the natural way of things.

I thought about how the spirit remains strong, even as the body experiences wear and tear. How our energy waxes and wanes like the flow of music through every season, how brave it is to be honest in verse, and how healing it is to be heard…


Women ponder aloud in poetic verse

The audience pay attention

Laughs and philosophy please the crowd

But what matters is the intention

of the poet.

Perhaps ash trees influenced Klimt

When he painted the lovers kissin’?

One lady thought of wood beauty so wild

To embody the artist’s vision.

Another woman spoke about dancing

The chemistry, gamble, and shame

Excitement and music, courting and cha-cha,

Deciding to do it again….

Or not.

Of course there was sorrow

For life is a galaxy

Where all stars eventually die

We heard about shock and witnessed

a mother who spoke about suicide.

As for this rhyme it could keep going on

but I’m tired and couldn’t be arsed.

So thank you mná

Keep writing

Shine on

And celebrate when that ink sparks!

Kathryn Crowley.


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