michael davitt

Life’s A Birch!

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The poetry & music of the Trees with Linda Pastan, Lloyd Schwartz, Ben Howard & Paulo Nutini.





WestWords Perfect Pair 14.07.2014

Irish language poet, reporter and editor Michael Davitt was born in Cork in 1950.   He worked as a reporter and presenter at RTE in the 80s and in 1994, he won the Butler Prize for Literature. Some of his dual-language collections include Selected Poems / Rogha Dánta and The Oomph of Quicksilver. He died in Sligo in 2005.  In light of current events in the middle-east I feel this poem is timely, highly emotive and unflinchingly honest.  This is:

O My Two Palestinians

by Michael Davitt

(18/9/82, having watched a news report

on the massacre of Palestinians in Beirut )

I pushed open the door
enough to let light from the landing
on them:

blankets kicked off
they lay askew
as they had fallen:

her nightgown tossed above her buttocks
blood on her lace knickers,
from a gap in the back of her head

her chicken brain retched on the pillow,
intestines slithered from his belly
like seaweed off a rock.

liver-soiled sheets,
one raised bloodsmeared hand.
O my two Palestinians rotting in the central heat.

Ó Mo Bheirt Phailistíneach

Bhrúigh mé an doras
oiread a ligfeadh solas cheann an staighre
orthu isteach:

na héadaí leapa caite díobh acu
iad ina luí sceabhach
mar a thiteadar:

a gúna oíche caite aníos thar a mása
fuil ar a brístín lása,
as scailp i gcúl a cinn

a hinchinn sicín ag aiseag ar an bpiliúr,
putóg ag úscadh as a bholgsan
mar fheamainn ar charraig,

ae ar bhraillín,
leathlámh fhuilthéachta in airde.
Ó mo bheirt Phailistíneach ag lobhadh sa teas lárnach.