‘Encounters with a Hare’ and other poems by Aoife Reilly

Encounters with a Hare

A fighter with grace and fertility
magical helper in the unexpected
moment of my early morning
backyard smoke and scribbles.

I know it means something when we meet.
I wonder about your tunnel vision
if you see me, seeing you,
what you’re a sign of.

Will it rain, what’s the right action?
before I consult the cards you vanish
quick as a breath
over the stream and into the willow
leaving my destiny up to me.

Second coffee on the second day
we meet again
somehow I’m meddling in your world
but in the split second of
my mindless thoughts, your steady grace
our rhythms mingle

In the meadow sweetened hedgerow
I could be Alice or Artemis
and you the trickster
reminding me I’m sometimes more,
sometimes less than you

Whatever the sign
animal medicine startles me
into stretching time and gratitude
this everlasting game of hide and seek.



Swirls of starlings
absail between sun and moon
hurl themselves into a dance
through ghosts of trees
they go where they need to go.
winter shrouds

Long nights slide in
embers empty the land
dying woods wait for the earth to turn

In the betwixt and between
I am a still frame in the granite glow
and leaves are twisted silver songs

Stars gasp, turf smoke curls
Crisscrossing the place where love was exhausted
and blankets way down in the moment before light

Ready now, I follow the starlings and birth another year.


January Bliss

The women bathe
on diamond silver stone
no want for summer dream
or winter thought to dash
the hope of a splintered ash
gently nursing frozen water.

Nothing frayed or betrayed
my raven ally somersaulting over Burren
between valleys, a slice of stream
and fern cushioned wishes

No longing
but for the tree to find
the whoosh through western winds
and starling murmur,
offering rest to each fox mother.

All forgiven
in the new year’s gasp.
a splint of heaven
and a prayer to the ground,
reach in the cracks,
spirit found.



Ghost leaved poplars flicker
lighten my step
their jigsaw bark seeps with story
connective tissues and my muscles remember

In walking I shed old stories
I don’t even have to try
every beat I drop in a little more
bits fall to the road
gold wheat horizon and blood red poppies
bob the answers

Old demons raise up to test me
see if I’m willing to say goodbye
to the furrowed brows and wrinkled thoughts
time to sing out the sad lines

I imagine
what this place was like before us
if it was always rich and strange
would the sky still be sliced
with swallows and pinches of light

Evening settles into a blustery stretch of fire
a swirl of me and fifty mountains
the feeling of the beginning
the deliciousness of the moment
before the path owns you

I Want

That smile
not the jaw clenching “grand”
give me the real you
with a freezing Atlantic dive of pleasure

I’m not looking for that golden ticket to heaven
I want the cake, chocolate heavy
I want the sugar to stick to my lips
to drag me to my senses and like swans
we’ll fly the hell out of here to the free place
beyond “thanks” and “good”

Give me fresh south-westerlies,
five knots rising slowly
from my head to Malin head
from the base of my spine
to the edge
to the circus tigress, cage less
to the elephants bigger than the room

I want the dirt under my nails
to slide through slippery brown puddles
and mossy tumbling limestone
tripping me up til I remember myself
I want the tightrope joy of a fall
between docks and nettles

Give me that imperfect circle
the kink you can’t straighten out.

 © Aoife Reilly


aoife reillyAoife Reilly is living in County Galway and is originally from County Laois. She is a teacher and psychotherapist. She has been attending poetry workshops with Kevin Higgins at the Galway Art Centre since September 2013 and has read at open mike of the Over The Edge Series at Galway City Library.
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