Jean Kavanagh


When it was over and that great wave
broke the shores of their disobedience

caused their doubts to seep into
the neon where they moved

with indulgent cocktails, always
generating more of what became

necessity, bathed in dust and sweat,
dripping with the blood, backhanded

dagger, beneath the folds of something
velvet and obscured, some real jewel

they held aloft as proof of worth
as they gathered for the murder

done on their behalf, removed so far
they built a city on the stains

to justify their treason to
the earth and sky, they stood calling

out their mantra, as if enough
to make it manifest, the pretty

bows they tied their motives to,
all in the name of…

Now, the waters melt away
the ink on floating papers,

documents and treaties, laws
they never meant to keep.





Jean Kavanagh is originally from Dublin and now living in Lahinch, Co. Clare. She co-founded The Cascades writing group in Ennistymon in 2001. In 2009, her work was published in the anthology, Lady Gregory’s Townhouse. She has read her poetry at Clifden Arts Week and National Poetry Day events in County Clare.