O’Leary’s Grave – Nessa O’Mahony

They’re reshooting the Rising
up at Collins Barracks.
White winnebagos line up,
Volunteers form an orderly queue
for the catering, Asgard safely
moored behind cordons.

They’ll get it in higher definition
this time,  take all the takes
they need, apply the make-up
to Pearse’s squint expertly,
photoshop Dev in
if the director requires.

Extras lounge about,
drift in and out of collonades,
wander further afield,
tall skinnies in hand.

But Croppy’s Acre is padlocked.
The Corpo turned the key
when the citizens started
bedding down there, sharing
sleeping bags and needles,
messing up the view.

Right now, two of them frisk a third
who hasn’t moved for hours:
still-life, ready
for his close-up.
Cut in to Romantic Ireland
blue-inked on his wrist.

Nessa O’Mahony is a Dublin-born poet. She has published four books of poetry – Bar Talk, appeared (1999), Trapping a Ghost (2005), In Sight of Home (2009) and Her Father’s Daughter, published by Salmon in September 2014.   Novelist Joseph O’Connor described In Sight of Home as ‘a moving, powerful and richly pleasurable read, audaciously imagined and achieved’ whilst poet Tess Gallagher said of Her Father’s Daughter that ‘words are her witching sticks and she employs them with beautiful, engaging intent, the better to make present what has preceded and what approaches.’ O’Mahony won the National Women’s Poetry Competition in 1997 and was shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Prize and Hennessy Literature Awards. She was awarded an Arts Council of Ireland literature bursary in 2004 and 2011.. She lives in Rathfarnham, Dublin, with her husband, the videographer, Peter Salisbury. 

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