[Moondance; Celebrating Creative Women] [Musings from the Universe]

Nuala Ní Chonchúir
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Émer wakes to the gabbling
of lake birds, pushing
her arms over her head
until her breasts are taut,
and her calves ache
with the stretch of flesh;
with a sigh she stands
to size up the day, and
seize it, before it passes.

They thought that one drink
would cause me to forget,
but I poured it away
before it reached my lips.
I still keep the whetstone
that sharpened the knives
that would have cut the
life from Fand, but she learned
to leave what wasn't hers
to whom it really belonged.

Fand reaches for her man
to stroke his downy back,
but finds an emptiness to
match the gap in the Mournes,
and a jolt of memory
that shakes her awake.
Fand, the pure and covetous,
she is the pearl of beauty,
the tear that covers the eye.

You wasted for a year
when the green-cloaked hag
said I wanted to lie with you;
long lying made you sick but
you came to me anyway,
the lusty hound who replaced
my love, but your wife knew
what is fresh grows stale,
so I let you go, and escaped
a death at her jealous hand.

* In Irish mythology Émer's husband, Cú Chulainn, was unfaithful to her with Fand. The druids gave Émer a drink to make her forget her jealousy.

[Click to see full sized image]
"Nebula" by Terri Austin Beech

Nuala Ní Chonchúir is originally from Dublin, Ireland, she now lives in Galway with her husband and son. She works in the library in the university and holds a Masters in translation and a Certificate in Women's Studies. Her work has been published in the Cúirt Journal, Poetry Ireland Review, The Shop, Electric Acorn and elsewhere. She is a founder member of Garters, a women's writing group in Galway. Favourite poets include Eavan Boland, Paul Muldoon and Paul Durcan, among many.

E-mail Nuala Ní Chonchúir at


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