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A well-used shed in County Cork

When she moved in, baggage crammed

with nick-knacks, clothes, jewellery

and several hundred compact discs --

soundscapes from exes now released,

I knew I had to mark out ground

before the suggested flower beds,

patio and orchard spread,

engulfing my neglected patch.

I built a shed, facing the sea

made from macrocarpa planks

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This field is required

where I could sit into the night,

and as the laptop's whirring fan

accompanied my dancing hands,

write convoluted streams of thought,

then on the window's morning dew

draw stick-men dancing in the sun.

When she moved in there was a troupe

of women who'd come round for tea

they'd lay out blankets on the lawn

repair the world all afternoon,

correct the errant ways of man

with cake and Latinate discussion.

And so it was when she moved in,

the shed complete, I moved out

into a world of woodlice, dust

and corrugations dripping rain,

where tools are hung and slowly rust,

and sideways glances shuttered out.

Here, flies and spiders share the best

laid schemes of men and nesting mice,

even the neighbour's cat it seems

enjoys the hissing iron stove.

I sit interred and contemplate

my sacred cave where silence reigns

now comfortable enough to be,

a hunting lodge; a lover's grave.


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