‘Essence’ by Kate Dempsey


Do you get that smell? Sweet sour hops drift upwind,
mists ripple the Liffey, ghost the quays,
ruffle three buskers on O’Connell Street.
Beshoff’s chip papers batter takeaway lattes.
There’s fresh oranges on Mary Street,
fresh words, fresh sprayed on concrete walls.
Port containers sigh out in a diesel cloud;
sea-salty air sloshes a swill of spills in gutters.
The brutal stink of bins in puddled alleys
mingles with stale heat stealing from pub doors,
the flare of matches, a cigarette catches
and someone somewhere soothes a honey saxophone.
Essence is © Kate Dempsey, published in The Space Between (Doire Press, 2015)

KATE DEMPSEY is from Coventry and studied Physics at Oxford University. She lived and worked in the UK, Nijmegen, The Netherlands and Albuquerque, New Mexico before settling in Ireland. She has lived in Maynooth, County Kildare with her family for more than twenty years. Prizes for her writing include The Plough Prize, Cecil Day Lewis Award, shortlisting for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award for both Poetry and Fiction and two commendations for the Patrick Kavanagh Award. She was nominated for the Forward Prize and selected to read for Poetry Ireland Introductions. She runs the Poetry Divas, a collective of women poets who blur the wobbly boundary between page and stage at events and festivals all over Ireland. The Space Between is her debut full-length poetry collection.(Doire Press)

The Space Between
Emerging Writer

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