Posts By Sarah Clancy

repeal8t

Women, This State Hates Us.

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&white&
or cead mile failte, are you here for the torture?
&white&
In case you had managed to misremember
how much our country hates us
along comes another woman needing shelter;
because someone transgressed against her
she needs help from us, just for the moment
until all this is behind her,
and do we make her welcome?
Does she get the help she needs? Ah
you know the answer: does she hell-
this country hates the likes of her
this country rapes the likes of her,
we will leave her with her bodily integrity in tatters
while psychiatrists fight it out about her psyche
and noone will ask her opinion
on what’s to be done with her
she is not considered sentient
and our state penetrates her
over and over and over-
&white&
this woman will be incorporated as evidence
in a poisonous debate that skims over how
very many ways the state we’ve built
is willing to degrade us, she will get a code name
and become a touchstone, something (not someone)
that we can talk about in concerned tones
on Marion Finucane and we will shake our heads
and say it’s clear now that our state hates us
as if we hadn’t always known it
as if we haven’t always felt it
as if it hasn’t been the subtext of our paths
through life to womanhood-
&white&
men friends it’s clear now too,
that if you are so inclined you could rape us,
and in all but a few cases you’d serve no sentence
not only that lads but here in our little Ireland
you could impregnate us, force a conception
that we played no part in, then you could
sit back and wait for our institutions
to force motherhood upon us
and they’ll do it- they’ve proved it
even if they have to perforate our mouths with tubes
and force feed us, even if they have to sedate us
then slice our wombs open with surgical knives,
they can and obviously will do it
and deep down we always knew this:
we knew Savita Halappanavar
we knew the Kerry Babies
we knew of lonely deaths on wet nights in Granard
and the A,B, C, and X cases
&white&
and the fortunate amongst us,
the ones with resources know what ferry terminals
look like at night time and how much it costs
to raise a child in all sorts of currencies,
we know whether we are or are not up for it
there should be no shame in that but here, well,
we must keep it secret because of how much
our state hates us, when we make love
we take the risk of ending up in hospital
in a country where if you’re a pregnant woman
‘state care’ is an oxymoron, it’s a shame to say
that as long as we have the capacity
to bear children, Ireland is not a safe place for us;
women, rise up, this country hates us
it’s long past time we changed it
enough is way too much this time.
&white&
&white&
Referendum now – repeal the 8th Amendment.

Sarah Clancy

Image from a video of a protest which took place on Wednesday the 20th of August at the Spire in O’Connell St, Dublin. Courtesy of USI and Paula Geraghty.

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GB

and yet /we must live/ in these times

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and yet /we must live/ in these times

In the housing office the woman says
if I need a house that I’ll have to tell the council
I’m homeless  or else bunk in with my parents
and I feel  the heat of tears in my eyes and let me tell you
it’s not sadness I’m feeling it’s anger;
after all of my years insisting that no one
will ever call me victim in they come
and do it from a whole different angle I didn’t see coming
and they call it helping,
these are the times that I live in
still paying the tail end of my mortgage
with no home to show for it
and I wonder what I’ve absorbed that means
even with all of my theories, my politics
this, the oldest human endeavour;
seeking out shelter
has become shame-filled
and on my way down through town
Rosaleen asks for a fiver, I give it
it’s easier to offer than to ask I reckon
she says I am beautiful showing the limits
of her English vocabulary, I am not
what I am is damaged and raging,
on days like this I seek the sea out and breath it,
or I’ll write love poems to someone
and you what do you do to get through it?

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1

Sponsor This Poem Or I’ll Kick Your Head In

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I won’t name the entity that’s colonising creativity
except to say that it has been turfed off the sportsfield
for low tackles and foul behaviour already, you will find it in
a million spewed up burgers on our city pavements
and it was there while a thousand boy racers
had single vehicle collisions and left their mothers crying
it stood and watched wife beatings, gay bashings, street violence
it leered at women with their skirts askew in doorways
it sat at the cliffs while friends of mine jumped off them
and quicker than you can say tax-payer- funded
public- service- broadcasting it mixed with pills and sadness
in lonely apartments and killed people, worse it appeased
our post colonial state so much that we can’t mount
even a strongly worded letter and now in the last bastion
where people can create something, in one last Arena
of no profit ventures ,in a refuge of free breathing, seeing
and of open fulfilling disagreements It has the nerve to ask
if it could be allowed to enter, it says it’s at our service,
but to be honest I doubt it. Sponsor this poem or I’ll bottle ya.

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The Kindest Revolution?

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A review of Ghost Estate by William Wall, Published by Salmon Poetry 2011 ‘…& are we supposed to sympathise when the gentry find themselves in the same boat or plane as everyone else?’ From ‘Job…

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