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16 October 2014
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Niall McGrath
Niall McGrath

Niall McGrath writes from experiences and his background living in rural County Antrim. He also explores an interest in the transcendental, especially from a Vaisnaivist perspective. His work has been widely published internationally, with his most recent published collection being Treasures of the Unconscious (Scotus Press, Dublin, 2009).

Orange by Niall McGrath

He would not seem out of place in Oxford Street
or Soho Square, dancing with his mates,
finger cymbals tinging, drum beating out
the rhythm of mantras as they process in rain.
This is not cosmopolitan London: this is rural Ulster.
I am tying twine, closing a field gate,
scraping muck off my boots on the tractor footplate,
double-blink to see the shaven head,
saffron robes, sandals as he marches casually
down the brae towards the bus stop.
He must be a guest speaker
at the evangelical retreat in the late Wesley’s yard:
skinheads shaking as he recommends celibacy,
heckling when he patiently offers respect,
turning the other cheek.
I sink the throttle, disregard the sadhu’s presence.

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Elegy for the black hill

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