News of the World

News of the World – Poem

Francis Harvey

Time had beached him like a stranded whale on

the bleak shores of a big brass bed. The past

sang to him: the sea in a shell. I was

his lookout at the window of the upstairs

room. He’d cup his hand round his ear when I’d

call out to him how many cows Stinson

was grazing on the long acre now. I’d

listen to news of a world he knew long

before I knew there was a world to know.

And so it would go on, with him left high

and dry and out of his element by

the tide and me all eyes for the eyes that

always seemed to be looking beyond me

at things I’d never be able to see.

Francis Harvey was born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, and has lived in County Donegal for most of his life. In 1989 he was awarded 1000 [pounds sterling] for his poem “Heron” in The Guardian (London) and World Wildlife Fund Poetry Competition; in 1990 he won a Peterloo Poets Prize; in 1990 he was a prizewinner in the Cardiff International Poetry Competition, and in 1991 he was the recipient of an Arts Council Bursary. In 1993 his play, “Looking at Ben Bolben” was a prizewinner in the Mobil Oil Ireland Playwriting Competition. His second collection, “The Rainmakers” was published by Gallery last year and launched at the Patrick McGill Summer School in Glenties.3

COPYRIGHT 1997 Fairleigh Dickinson University

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group