Daniel Wade







A Golden Breeze


She is as a flag caught in a golden breeze

leading the phalanx with the glint of helm

or shield, the throb of crests at rosy ease.

In her I’ve read the iron rule of this realm

hoisting a silk-woven banner for her defiance

and, trusted to never let it touch profane soil,

keeping to the fruit of her aid and alliance.

The crown cracks in two, more or less royal,

but sodden in militia blood. Who was it

decided that milk-white skulls of a broken rank

pile up, vassal to canker along with knight?

Time shriveled her bones, frost drank

her mouthful of prayers, her embattled oath,

her legacy bent to the ashen undergrowth.




Sun King


Prancing through the Gardens of Versailles

You had a gangrenous Sun King to flatter and indulge,

His face oiled over every canvas of nobility,

Uprooted from the drab horizon, a constellation

Of canker sores speckling his face.

His was no commonwealth unshackled by treaties

Or crazed anthems, the punk-rock ferocity

Clanking behind a hedge maze.

Before sinking into sleep, he ordered his wig,

Which had been dusted in lavender, boiled

For lice, and his skull left to gather rust beneath

The summer rain’s rapid drape

As he dreamt of spiderweb cracks

Cutting through the Hall of Mirrors

Like a tooth of Leviathan,

Gnashing on the abyss as he swam for dryland.



Lion Country


He stood beside Michael Collins’ grave

wearing Raybans and a pinstripe suit

he wore only for funerals or court hearings,

and played ‘Lark in the Clear Air’

on his tin whistle in unrehearsed tribute.


The swarthy crosses of Glasnevin Cemetery

heard nothing, saw nothing, carried the makings

of silence for long enough ’til the supreme trumpet

wrenched the dead back from their repose.


But there were no trumpets for now,

just the tin whistle’s melodic squeal,

the exhaled sorrow and slender notes

billowing their way skyward.


Once, he’d have bartered with tempters,

haggled over ghoulish prices

and numbers just for the privilege

of stepping into Lion Country:


the river of arpeggios soaking the air

to a bodran’s throb,

blood seeping from the fault line in every rock,

ghost dancers thrashing on open ground,


caves where daylight was outlawed,

flowers scorched,

mountains burst asunder by rainfall,

tears drying up as he kept uncertain time.










Author Bio and headshot: Daniel Wade is a poet and playwright from Dublin, Ireland. His poetry has been published in journals and anthologies including Optic, Limerick Revival, Wordlegs, The Stony Thursday Book (ed. Paddy Bushe), HeadSpace Magazine, the Seven Towers 2014 Census, Bray Arts Journal, The Sea (charity anthology in aid of the RNLI), Sixteen Magazine, The Bogman’s Cannon, Iodine Poetry Journal, HeadStuff, Coast Monkey, FLAR 17, Tales From the Forest, and The Runt. In April 2015 he was the Hennessy New Irish Writing poetry winner, published in The Irish Times. In June 2015, his radio drama, The Outer Darkness, was broadcast on Dublin South FM. He has performed at festivals including Electric Picnic, Body and Soul, Noeliefest and the West Belfast Festival. His debut stage play ‘The Collector’ is set to be performed in The New Theatre, Dublin, in January 2017. 

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