June – Jaki McCarrick

In a good year it pricks up its ears to our expectations
and recollections as children and makes delivery of a great
ease: a cargo of thirty days, smooth as honey and as gold.
A ripening fruit of a month; yet with its half-swallowed
memory of winter is still a little jejune. All apparent
even-keelness, it recalls to me the Ionian sea
around a small Greek island that I passed one time
on the ferry from Brindisi to Patras. I awoke at dawn
on deck as the remaining freight of backpackers slept
about the corners and sheltered parts of the ship.
I watched as we scissored the sea from an ancient rock
where Odysseus or Byron might have docked and saw
how portentous a calm sea looked. June is like that in a way.
Kookier than July, more at sixes and sevens than May.


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Jaki McCarrick is an award-winning writer of plays, poetry and fiction. She won the 2010 Papatango New Writing Prize for her play Leopoldville, and her most recent play, Belfast Girls, developed at the National Theatre London, was shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the 2014 BBC Tony Doyle Award. Belfast Girls premiered in Chicago in May 2015 to much critical acclaim and has since been performed all over the US, Canada and is to premiere in Australia in May 2018. Winner of the inaugural John Lennon Poetry Competition, Jaki has also had poems published in numerous journals including Ambit, Poetry Ireland Review, Irish Pages, Blackbox Manifold etc. She won the 2010 Wasafiri Prize for Short Fiction and her debut story collection, The Scattering (Seren Books) was shortlisted for the 2014 Edge Hill Prize. Jaki was recently longlisted for the inaugural Irish Fiction Laureate and is currently editing her first novel and a second collection of short stories.


Image: Katarzyna Tyl

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