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By David Wheatley

Writing in Poetry assessment Roddy Lumsden stumbled on reason to compliment David Wheatley’s ‘wilfully notable shape and rampaging vocabulary’, whereas within the TLS Peter studying recommended his technical assets as ‘an unobtrusive excitement to read’. A Nest at the Waves, taking its identify from the folks trust that petrels lay their eggs at sea, ruminates on topics of commute, leave-taking and displacement. From his local County Wicklow in terms of East Yorkshire the place he lives, the poems hint an arc of tours, genuine or imagined, to Australia, Africa and Antarctica. Migrant employees, migrating birds and nomadic tribes enact whatever of the drama of the place domestic should be. From shamanism to the lives of saints, responses to the Donegal gaeltacht and homages to musical heroes (Brad Mehldau, Ali Farka Touré), David Wheatley’s curious, wide-ranging and now frequently open-ended verse supplies grounds for Maria Johnston’s statement within the Dublin overview of Books that ‘the feel of danger in Wheatley’s paintings turns out limitless’.

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--

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He prepared his breast By an ochre That none would see his blood. Any day now would be good to die. In the Moon Of the Leaves Falling, I had just taken a bite out of the Moon and pushed the plate Of the world away. Someone was asking for six troopers Who had lain down One after another To drink a shrieking river. In the Moon Of the Trees Popping, two snails Glittered over a dead Indian. I realized that if his brothers Could be persuaded to lie still, One beside the other Right across the Great Plains, Then perhaps something of this original Beauty would be retained.

For even then she believed herself Native soil enough for herself, Though already she would rise Only as night was falling, quietly Lifting the single milkbottle That had stood on her step since morning, The top repeatedly Punctured by a thirsting bird. ELIZABETH The birds begin as an isolated shower Over the next county, their slow waltz Swerving as if to avoid something Every so often, getting thin As it slants, making straight for Us over your father’s darkening fields, Till their barely visible wings Remember themselves, they are climbing again.

The orange and lemon groves, the olives, Are wicked for this purity of light. In a while now we will go ashore, to Mouse Island. The light is failing. Our mouths are numb with aniseed, Her little breasts are sour as Jeanne Duval’s. And darknesses weigh down further the burgeoning trees Where she kneels in her skimpy dress To gather armful after armful. Nuzzling the deep blues, the purples. Spitting the stars. II When Oisin came back to Ireland After three hundred years On one of those enchanted islands Somewhere in the Western Seas, He thought nothing of dismounting From his enchanted steed To be one again with the mountains, The bogs and the little fields.

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