Guest Poem by Rosemary Jenkinson

Rosemary Jenkinson is a playwright and short story writer from Belfast. She has published six collections of short stories and has a new collection, Love in the Time of Chaos, launched March 2023 from Arlen House. Her new play, Silent Trade, was produced in February at the Lyric Theatre by Kabosh. Rosemary was singled out by the Irish Times for 'an elegant wit, terrific characterisation and an absolute sense of her own particular Belfast.'

After Daniel McColgan’s Murder

His body lies on the pad
Under the ash, next to a blackthorn,
In the soft hollow of the devil’s punchbowl
(His dad says the devil only lurks in dark corners).
Ravens stalk his head
And tatted flowers creep round
The braeface of the caves
Where United Irishmen stashed dreams.
A heart-bitter witness to his own eyes,
He named McColgan’s killers.
‘Way on to bed,’ the peelers told him,
Overbowled by the whiskey on his tongue,
And said to come again tomorrow.
The back end of day the killers took him
From his terraced home
And heeled him off from Freedom’s Cap,
A living sacrifice to the truth.
They cowped him like the stone of kings,
The broken pelt hawked up
Where harebells sleep
And whin bushes whisper
That the tongue is the giver
Of life and death.