Monday, May 27, 2019

Trócaire/Poetry Ireland 2019 Poetry Competition

I was thrilled to be a runner-up in the Trócaire/Poetry Ireland  2019 Poetry Competition last week in the National Library of Ireland.  The theme was land is life and the inspiration for my poem was the Maynooth University Library Ken Saro-Wiwa Archive.  You can see some images from the archive here.
A book of poems from the competition will be available shortly.
Shell-Shocked Land
Birdsong dies in poisoned skies,
blowouts shatter pipelines, etch toxic wounds on soft skin.
Drills punch holes in ancient earth,
extract oil,

Pipelines and pumps crisscross villages.
Protest cries drowned by thump of heavy booted soldiers,
they stomp on crops, shatter canoes, homes and lives.

In air conditioned corporate boardrooms,
suited men in swivel chairs sip ice-cubed filtered water,
study  rising oil prices, zig-zag green and orange graphs,
deny their destruction of the Niger Delta.

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