Jamie O’Halloran

Farmhouse in Provence, 1888, Vincent van Gogh


Firm hush of the hay shed where slices of light limit the rain
—It holds a thick quiet. I tell my partner this is where
I’ll meditate, without candle or burning incense—
What dung-bound scent could be more worthy to offer
Than this once-field folded into flakes trussed with orange
Twine into bales stacked three high? Nourishing shelter
You are, a soft grotto, a grassy shrine without distraction.
The storm-fast river and jackdaws are unheard here. As children,
When we played sardines, that backward hide and seek, I would
Choose a closet shelved with out of season wool. The light
Wept in under the door. It was safe as our held breath.

If our seekers had been diverted,
How long would we have kept our silence?

Jamie O’Halloran was born on Long Island, New York and raised there, in New Orleans and in Seattle where she received her B.A. In English and M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. Her poems appear most recently in Crannóg, The Honest Ulsterman and Spillway. Her poetry reviews can be found in Litpub and The Tueplo Quarterly. She won the Ann Stanford Prize for Poetry, among other awards, and is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. She lives in the Connemara region in the West of Ireland.

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Spring 2021