top of page
Image by Stéphane Juban


with the martello journal


by nathanael o'reilly

for jessica traynor


Treeless grassed hills
divided by drystone walls,
sculpted by salted winds.
Slate-roofed cottages
scattered across landscape.
Sheep huddling beside
hedgerows in the drizzle.

The logs in the fireplace
spit and crackle. Flames
ebb, rise on wind
gusting down the chimney.
Heat emanates from the hearth,
defrosts farmer’s fingers
fresh from feeding cattle.

An elderly man stands,
broad back to the window,
gnarled hands spread
above the orange flames,
bent forward at the hips,
drawn towards warmth
in late-January darkness.

Nathanael O’Reilly is an Irish-Australian poet. His books include Boulevard, (Un)belonging, Preparations for Departure and Distance. His poetry, published in fourteen countries, appears in journals and anthologies including Anthropocene, Bealtaine, Cordite, The Elevation Review, Mascara, New World Writing, Skylight 47, Westerly and Wisconsin Review. He is the poetry editor for Antipodes: A Global Journal of Australian/New Zealand Literature.

bottom of page