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Moyra Donaldson
Moyra Donaldson

Moyra Donaldson was born and brought up in County Down. She has published five previous collections, including a Selected Poems in 2013. Her poetry has won a number of awards, including the Allingham Award, the National Women’s Poetry Competition and the Cuirt New Writing Award. She has received four awards from the Arts Council NI, most recently, the Artist Career Enhancement Award. Her poems have been anthologised and have featured on BBC Radio and television, including the Channel 4 production, Poems to Fall in Love With.

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Moyra Donaldson Poetry

Poems from The Goose Tree by Moyra Donaldson (Liberties Press - April 2014)







I’m in the M&S café, talking to the dead,
putting my point across over a skinny latte,
carrying on the sort of one-sided conversation

that the dead are expert in,
refusing to refute or affirm.


I knew a woman who used language as a knife
to cut love’s tongue out, to leave love speechless
except in the bloody bag of its own heart.

Love driven to madness by the pain of silence
is a beast in a cage, a flail to the back, an avalanche.


I’m spending a lot of time on my own
in these tissue-thin days of scrivener
and manuscript and which is which.

This time I’m saying nothing,
keeping right out of it.





No Domestic Goddess



I’ve no desire to make chutney
or learn how to crochet,
or veil myself to keep bees.

Don’t want to bake cupcakes,
sew my own dresses, or handcraft
Christmas decorations;

it’s cobwebs festoon my ceilings.
Food tastes best when someone else
has cooked it. I haven’t ironed since 1999.

I grow no useful stuff: no carrots,
turnips or potatoes. I plant blowsy,
gladioli, fuchsia, amaryllis, rose.

I prefer not to be responsible for anything,
though I like to scatter seed for birds
who come (and sing) and go to suit themselves.


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