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Presidency poem

Filleadh ar an gCathair
Anocht ag filleadh dom
blaisim allas na cathrach faram.
Deas liom a taiseacht.
Preabann an Aimsir Láithreach
gan aire ó gach balla
i mbrothall an tráthnóna.
Admhaím go músclaíonn
gás sceite
sceitimíní ionam.
Is fíor nach gcítear
luí na gréine
i bhfairsing’ spéire:
cacann an oíche
idir fhoirgnimh arda
gan rabhadh;
ach lasann soilse neon
cúinní coimhthíocha mo chroí.
Faoiseamh a gheobhadsa
ar mo ghrianán gealaí,
mo chluas le hamhrán tráchta.
Citybound
Returning tonight
I can taste the city’s sweat
around me.
I like its sweetness.
The Present Tense bounces
recklessly off walls
in the heat of the afternoon.
I admit toxic fumes
intoxicate me.
Although you don’t see
the setting sun here
in the vast expanse of sky
Night plunges
between tall buildings
without warning.
but neon lights light up
the foreign corners of my heart.
Faoiseamha gheobhadsa*
on a moonlit ledge
my ear tuned to traffic’s song. 


*Faoiseamha gheobhadsa’ is the title of a poem by MáirtínÓ Direáinin which he describes the respite he feels upon returning to his island home of InisMór.

Trans: AilbheNíGhearbhuigh