Dominic J. Sweeney

Understanding Columns

These columns have thundered on too long.

We find them braced among seaports
laid in provincial town centres
and crowned upon mountain scapes.

Scattered olive trees skew

time; locked on its circle.
Achieves only faint discolourations
barely erodes ridges and inconsequential decoration.

It’s beyond hope! you explain

these passing humans cast these structures
thieved view
leaving you

withhold this stone maze.

We reflect.

Do not care for these binding traditions
lofty honours

if lacking the strength to strike


Consider too
beautiful ruins once conquered

still crumble.

So gather.

Offerings of broken marble
and piece

what do they reveal in your open hands?



Dominic J. Sweeney is from Donegal, Ireland. Besides poetry, he enjoys a simple life of working in a Greek restaurant while learning the language at his own pace. He was most recently longlisted in the An Cúirt New Writing Prize 2023 and mentored by Grace Wilentz in collaboration with The Gallery Press.

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