3 Poems by DS Maolalai


Dollymount Strand.


the best thing – the city
swings inwards, sea
a swelling belly
disgorging itself of seaweed, wrack
and whales from every storm. off east
you see britain
or imagine it,
and sometimes
only the haze of other countries
you would some day like
to see – we share sandwiches, wine
and beercans cooled in rockpools. trade cigarettes with strangers
and drop ashed cotton
to blow into the dunes. northward
howth burns blue
with stacked driftwood
and south dun laoghaire shines like lighthouses
and imagined wealth. it’s been so long
since I’ve lived near the sea – I love it.
walking barefoot, holding my shoes
and tasting sand. salt air
cold and toothsome,
snacks, and the sky open,
filled and brimming with birds.






Everyone out, and flowers.


taking corners
without slowing, moving
like a swinging
pendulum, or like being
a bat, flying
toward buildings
and turning at full speed. biking home
in hot summer
while kids cross the road
and men in vans
play loud music
and lean through open
windows. it’s a joy;
everyone out,
and flowers. cans by the canal.
girls in dresses
smoking cigarettes
rolled up
at 4pm.






A naturally skinny man.


I remember
this prof we had
in college. he taught poetry
and was a poet himself, though I never read
his stuff. Ger Dawes – tiresome old rabbit. and my biggest impression
leaving his lectures
as a 20 y/o
was that a naturally skinny man
should be careful
never to get fat. for him, it lived in his throat.
thin arms, thin legs,
a chest like a bottle
and the expanding neck
of a bullfrog. 

but anyway; I remember, this lecture
he did on his own
poetry – the balls
that takes. all these kids listening embarrassed
as finally
the passion came over. there was one with capitals
he wrote, young as we were
then, and the words –
he really
yelled them. yeah; imagine the balls
and the passion – I hate to think
that at 60
I’ll be so passionate
about what I’m doing


DS Maolalai has been nominated for Best of the Web and twice for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016) and “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019)

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