Deeply fascinated with the sea, Daniel’s poetry interrogates themes of voyaging, homecoming and the urgent role played by the ocean in much of Ireland’s historical and contemporary struggles, as well as the far-ranging legacies of exploration, boat-building, shipwreck and rescue operations. Many of Daniel’s poems are featured in a monthly column entitled ‘Poems from the Coast,’ which was written in conjunction with Coast Monkey, Ireland’s premier maritime and coastal heritage website.
FLARE is a narrowsheet of poetry published quarterly in Dublin, edited by poet and performer Eamon Mag Uidir. It is launched at the Sunflower Sessions readings in Dublin, a monthly open mic held on the last Wednesday of each month wherein writers and poets gather to read their work aloud before an audience in the Beerhouse pub on Capel Street.
The National Concert Hall Inner Voices Concert is a yearly showcase wherein members of staff take to the stage and demonstrate their musical prowess, whether it be in the classical, jazz or rock genres. The concert took place in the NCH's newly-furbished upstairs venue known as the Studio, which was also the venue wherein 'Embers and Earth' was launched.
As a member of FOH (Front-of-House), I performed my poem 'Colossi', the first track off the 'Embers and Earth' album, with musical accompaniment. The musicians I performed with included Paul Wade on piano (and composer of 'Colossi'), Jim Tate on bass (who also appeared on the album) and Daire Cavanagh on trumpet.
The concert took place on August 22nd, 2017.
The sun turns its attention on them in the morning.
You watch from Killiney Hill’s leafy altitude -
Reefs crouching in their grassless splendour.
Nothing rests beyond them
Except the waves’ limpid collision, and Dalkey
Island, becalmed like a green leviathan.
The final landmark for Irish reprobates:
A portly Martello, east-facing stonework,
Breakwater, a goshawk in angry flight, swivel guns,
The Irish Sea baring itself to your sight.
Yachts frolic on the water in frilled regatta.
Nature’s masonry -
Bone and hemp, rag and iron collar, grab your eye,
A dank dissuasion. The immeasurable sea
Does not care for maritime laws
to be set in stone or coral.
Neither wind nor sun touches your hair.
You know by now that all storms
Have their own colour: russet forest fire,
Swarthy torrents, cyclones caught in brunette
Seizure. A mutineer has no colour, though;
Just his gibbet‘s rusty steel, leaden
As an anchor, bones buffed with tar, a freshwater
Drum roll drilling his ear, breezes stirring
His slack feet to dance a sly hornpipe.
The crows’ hungry glee flaps through the dark.
Dusk kisses the tidal face. Sandbanks hide their spite.
The moon is a crooked beacon, the seaweed a snare.
Hard-nosed trawlers cruise the inlet,
The rope’s tightened groan tilts over the surface.
From the pier, men cast lines for codling and dogfish.
Skeleton of Hibernia, sleep now in the sea that
Won’t remember you. No life-raft or seiner
Shall berth in you. The cove is perfect for
Salting away our swag, our shameful plunder.
Whose laughter bleeds the shoal?
What unfound element longs to join fire, soil,
Wind, the sea itself, in their undying vandalism?