One Poem by Julie Field (aka Julie Goo)

Translated from the Irish by Sorcha de Brún.


Smithereens (2022)

This day, forever framed by briny gorse
A queerness hangs in the shoreline air
Looking back to Ballythaidhg and a summer day there

A speck of dust lived on the lens
A hard stare fixed on his face
Holidays once taken in this summer place

The story drip-told by the shore comes unexpected
Stones, white and grey, are carefully collected
Chewing on sand, there is much sweetness ingested

The other children, searching and playing
While my son, mouth dribbling,
Is silent, smart, alone, softly moaning.

A mother’s sorrow – her trial
Is the power of her own denial,
Refusing abnormality in the genes of the child

And as the sun is setting
The photograph of the day captures my thoughts
Orbiting the spheres of my mind as this life waxes and wanes

The thorned surround of my life, a chassis:
Reality bites.
Scratching, screaming out of this brackish carcass.


The original title of the poem in Irish is “Smidiríní.” Translated with permission of the author.


Julie Field (aka Julie Goo) is a renowned bilingual writer in Irish and English and a singer from Cork, Ireland. In great demand with Irish language and bilingual audiences, she has performed her rap and spoken word poetry extensively, both nationally and internationally. Field is the Winner of the Heart of Gort Slam in 2019, and her poetry collection Dána (Coiscéim) was published in 2021 to acclaim. She is a frequent collaborator with DJ Mike Millis, and their work can be heard here


Sorcha de Brúnis lecturer in Irish in the School of Irish, English and Communication in the University of Limerick, Ireland.  A recipient of the Foras na Gaeilge Award for fiction, the Máirtín Ó Cadhain Short Story Award and Oireachtas na Gaeilge literary awards, she has translated the work of numerous German poets to Irish for the Dánnerstag Irish-German poetry project.


Copyright @Julie Goo, 2022; translation copyright @Sorcha de Brún, 2023.


Published on November 21, 2023.


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