Current Zine

Natural colour.

picking out apples,
oranges, pears –
I like pears, take
some time –
and carrots, no
tomatoes, plenty of
potatoes. the open-air
stoneybatter fruit
and vegetable market
spits health on the street
like a crack in a rain gutter,
and sunlight lands on it
in the same sort of way.
I put things in bags,
looking at the boxes
with the same deliberation
I’d use choosing keys
on a keyboard. beside me
a woman faces backward,
more interested in artist oils
and homemade coloured
handcrafts. before me
falls natural colour,
just how it comes up
from the earth.

The diggers one sunday

someone recognises
my brother – in college
he used to bartend. now
we take a quick skin off
of each of our guinnesses
and lean with our backs
against windowsills,
boarded up, facing
the green, like a line of kids
sat on a pavement,
each eating ice-cream
some hot july day.

These evenings

I love it: these evenings
coming out of the office
into the baldonnell business
park, a mask of the sunshine
which ages the pavement
like a grandparent’s faded
framed photograph,
like print in a second-
hand book; burning out
colour and leaving
a toneless aridity, as if
the world suddenly
were half of an egg timer
after you’ve finished your
eggs. and the grass
is dry yellow, the leaves
on the shrubbery (chosen
for hardiness) the colour
of the end of a cigarette.
and I want a cigarette
but I don’t have one
on me. and I don’t really
in my bones want one,
but the air makes me think
that I do.


it’s not I don’t like it
but it’s not like a city to me.

maybe just it’s the times.
maybe the city – I’m not in New York,

I admit, but I don’t think of cities
as brassy – they shuffle piano
notation, I think. though
I’m not a composer, and he

was American – and New York
is quite different to Dublin. still –

“blue” does seem right.
so does “rhapsody”. just the blue
is a midnight and not
like the city. and the rhapsody more
like a man on his back
on a hillside, and drunk

with a revolver.

and shooting at stars.

November 23rd

the leaves come apart
like an out of date cheque
and a letter
and an envelope, left
in a half-
open desk-
drawer, under
hot pipe

Something soft.

the night is blue, not black
although yellow in places
and sometimes with orange
like autumn’s come under the door
while we were playing cards in the kitchen
and knocked on the backs of our heads;
an old yellow sock
filled with broken stones
and seashells.

and the women who walk up and down
the long footpaths
are just beginning to put their coats back on
and the rain on the tarmac
makes the sound of traffic
seem dim and far away
and the sound of people talking to each-other, too,
and the other night-time movements, life
like something so beautiful
and candlelit and soft.

DS Maolalai has received eleven nominations for Best of the Net and seven for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in three collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016), “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019) and “Noble Rot” (Turas Press, 2022)