Friday Feature, Poem, Poetry

Friday Feature – Anne Walsh Donnelly

Today we feature the Fly On The Wall Poetry Press release ‘Odd as F*ck’! by Anne Walsh Donnelly which is available from today.

In this collection, the author loses, finds and redefines herself, in poems that are sometimes visceral and often humorous. She ultimately shows how meaningful life can become after a period of darkness and how transformative those experiences can be.

Anne Walsh Donnelly’s debut chapbook with FOTW Press ‘The Woman With An Owl Tattoo’ came 2nd at the International Poetry Book Awards 2020.

‘These are personal poems, where the reader shares with the poet a space as intimate as the conjugal bed. From the everyday idiom of housewives and farmers to the imagined voices of beasts and inanimate objects, Anne Walsh Donnelly captures the humour and pathos of real life with unique honesty.’ – Audrey Molloy, poet and author of Satyress

Anne Walsh Donnelly lives in the west of Ireland.  She writes poetry, prose and plays. She was shortlisted for the Hennessy/Irish Times New Irish Writing Award for her poetry in 2019 and selected for the Poetry Ireland Introduction Series. In 2020 she was awarded a Words Ireland Mentorship and a bursary from the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. She is the author of the poetry chapbook, “The Woman With An Owl Tattoo” (Fly On The Wall Poetry Press, 2019.) It was awarded second prize in the International Poetry Book Awards in 2020. 


‘Do you have any idea what a fabulous daughter you have?’
said the mouse, as I waded
through the mound of clothes on the bedroom floor.

‘I don’t know why you’re always giving out to her
for leaving half-full mugs of hot chocolate
on her dressing table. I’m rather partial to a sip
of cold, hot chocolate. And we do have a fine feast
on the scraps of blueberry muffins.

Though we might be getting a bit plump
from all the sugar. I was only saying to the wife
the other day that she might have to go on a diet.

We get great entertainment watching her do her make-up.
Do you realise what a talented artist she is?
All you seem to do is give out about the dirty towels
and make-up pads she leaves in the bathroom.

Though, I could make your hair stand on end
if I told you about the hour-long conversations
she has Facetiming her pals. Ah no,
couldn’t do that to her and you’re better off
not knowing anyway.

But tell me, who’s this Shane lad?
He seems to be popping up on her Snapchat a lot lately.
Sent her ten heart emojis yesterday.
And that wasn’t lipstick that was on her neck
after the disco last Saturday night either.’

‘I’m going to town to get a mouse trap later,’ I said.

‘Ah, you wouldn’t want to do that to the poor buck’s
willie. That’d break her heart altogether.’

How Did You Know?
For Hannah

‘Mam, don’t die on me while I’m gone.’
Your words octopus tentacles
that twist around my neural pathways.
Your father revs his van in the driveway.

I wave goodbye, shut the front door
slump to the hall floor. Octopus
releases its ink-black cloud,
blinds and chokes. Dark waters beckon.

I finger the note in my pocket,
dream of days I could swim with eels,
lounge on a lake’s bed,
and gaze up at earth’s ever-changing sky

no longer susceptible to its moods.
More of your words surface.
‘Mam, my life would be screwed if you died.’
I haul myself to the bathroom

shower my body, cry myself dry,
watch fire flames curl my note.
How did you know
I loved you too much
to screw up your life again?