Jean Atkin

Jean Atkin is a poet & writer in education & the community. She has won the Torbay Open Poetry Prize and the Ravenglass Poetry Press Competition, among others. Her first full collection Not Lost Since Last Time is published by Oversteps Books.

The Children of Lir

His hands were folded. He seemed
to be waiting. I saw him lower
his eyes to earth
as I landed, a brother at each wing tip.
Behind us the sea lough tolled with the bell.
When it had stopped, he spoke.
I remember the coarseness of his robe,
his mudstained feet. His voice was narrow
as reeds. Rain fell.
We heard him out.
I searched my brothers’ eyes: and then
we spread our wings. I felt the loosening
of flight feathers, saw them fall;
I watched smooth plumage snow
from thinning bones.
I folded, for the first time, shriven fingers
and with my stranger’s hand I touched – and found
skin slack on flesh and desert dry.
My hair curved round me
long and faint and grey.
White down fanned to ground.
Shameless, my favourite brother stood
and stared into the sky. I saw him lank
and naked.
His eyes filled. I took his hand.
The monk prayed. Rain fell.

Jean Atkin

Poem published: Poetry Ireland Review 106 (2012)

Not Lost Since Last Time, 2013, Oversteps Books, 978-1-906856-3-8-0, £8
The Dark Farms, 2012, Roncadora Press, 978-0-9571994-2-2, £9
Lost at Sea, 2011, Roncadora Press, 978-0-9535804-6-0, £10
The Treeless Region, 2010, Ravenglass Poetry Press, 978-0956539502, £4.99

Jean Atkin website

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