Aoife Reilly: Bypassed & The Blue Bicycle



We shot some black and white:

fields to be forgotten

hideouts in hazel glades

scabby knees and binoculars

we were tomboys equipped

with notions of eternity

like magpies followed

our silver through clumps

and roots up to the stars

yielding to kestrels and silver birch shedding

til tar divided us

poured stretch marks over our time

to the zoom of Exit Seven.

We would freeze it all in 10mm,

measure the length of a day

against feathers collected and barbed wired cuts

every stitch filthy from no good shenanigans


We are with the badgers now

scuttling across motorways

determined to travel

our ancestral pathways

succumbing to the simple idea; home.

Knowing we are changed by places

as much as they are changed by us


The Blue Bicycle

Nothing has guided me through life

like my blue bicycle

teaching me about the edge

how to fall off the map and into nettles

my eight year old wails

where I heard the first sound

of my own cry,

realised the world is not flat.


Since then I’ve pedalled in and

out of disasters

learned about the farthest reaches

fields beyond the fields,

great downhills, no hands,

secret hideouts within

and without.


We still follow midsummer across the fields

watch the clouds throw themselves

over our long shadows,

freewheel through winking poppies,

seeds bursting

til the horizon swings around to meet us

and the revolutions of humming things

remind me how everything

goes back to the beginning.



Aoife Reilly is a primary teacher and psychotherapist living in Co. Galway, Ireland. She attends poetry workshops at the Galway Arts Centre with Kevin Higgins. Her poems have been published in Crannóg, Skylight 47, The Ogham Stone (U.L. Literary and Arts Journal,), Ropes, The Galway Review, A New Ulster, The Lake, in other on-line magazines and on the Poethead website. She was a featured reader at the Over The Edge Series in Galway City Library in 2015. Aoife was short listed for the Doolin Poetry Prize 2015 and long listed for the 2015 Over The Edge New Writer of the Year award. She was selected to read at the Cúirt International Literature Festival as part of Cúirt 2016/ Over The Edge New Irish Writing.

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