"The drb sustains a level of commentary on Irish and international matters that no other journal in Ireland and few elsewhere can reach. It deserves all the support that can be given it." X
Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

Playing the Octopus

Mary O'Malley
Carcanet Press
Playing the Octopus


The Rat

I am hunted, hated, feared. They
revile my children Set cats and
small dogs To torture me. I too
am born. I too live and do little
harm. I only eat what is left.
They hate me because I am the
late-night traffic In their sleeping

I am a child of the river And lake. Not
even the monk Gave me one good
deed. He let the otter rescue The holy
psalter for Ronan. I could have done

They sent me out among the junkies
And rubbish sacks, into the gaol cells
I will be here when the seas rise
And cover their carcasses.
There will be ravens feasting
On the next hill. Hating. Still hating.

I wanted none of it, their curses Or
their rows, or their bloody gods.