From the Archives: Padraic Fiacc – Red Earth

First published in 1996 by Lagan Press, Red Earth collects poems written over four decades, draws on influences and concerns at the core of Fiacc’s aesthetic, the darker elements of Celtic mythology which seep easily into the vexed environment of a contemporary and troubled Ireland in poetry thoroughly informed by the artist’s awareness of European economy of expression.

Surprising, evocative, pungent and disconcerting, Red Earth exposes another deep dimension in this worrisome imagination, restoring a poet who has so often appeared out-of-kilter with the ethics of the time to the sombre mainstream of Irish verse.



The Hunted Lovers

In mild as a warm sea
A winter’s evening
Daymoons in a rainbow
A star through water
We wait the kick
Of morning light
On a lonely islet
To the green east
The wild gold garlic’s
Violet white Silvering
Our interrupted sleep.

Nightmare For Tyrants

Bare the bone to hang
A dog-bitten rag over
The gouged-out eye-stare

Press the rib down on
The hole in the bone
In the blood

Mutilate, behead, dismember,
Man the strange god, charge

Him head down
To a pool on stone
Run him through with iron, he

He the hero, he
The horror will
Stand up headless and
Fight on.

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