A Poem by Fr Hugh O’Donnell

Sunset at Lissadell

Fr Hugh O’Donnell is a poet and ministers with the Salesian community in the parish of Sean McDermott Street in Dublin. He shares the following poem with us:


for Teresa and Maurice

Three fields away, you say, you can see something

as Maurice whips out binoculars then spreads

and tightens the legs of the telescope –

‘it’s them alright,

could be 300 stretched across the field feeding’.

From the hide we gaze out, awaiting our turn to see

close up their black and white bodies against the green.

‘And when will they rise up together and return home

to the island?’ you ask,

‘against what tincture of dusk?’ Suddenly a buzzard

sweeps over and they startle and scatter

in a great uproar about the sky. As we might do

if we knew how to raise ourselves out of the habitual,

offer something like a cry to the sunset before it dies.