Ann Egan; Fuamnach’s Pool

Etain Is Fuamnach’s Pool

Why do I feel around me

is turning into a lake

in this room of circles where

I, a guest am left all alone.


My eyes stay closed.

I barely breathe as shards

invisible as jealousy, crush me.

Light as butterfly’s wings,


powerful as silken bonds,

they bind me prisoner.

My heartbeat slows yet

I am flying moonwards.


All is spinning so fast,

I cannot look on its kind face,

nor delight in yellow folds

of smiles and welcomes.


Now I’m being flung about

like a hurt in the wind,

back to the clouds,

a dark one grasps me


in arms like tentacles

of disappearing threads.

They imprison me, then

throw me across the sky,


plunge me  to the shallows

of water I think is me –

my eyes, my heart, my head!

Earth, save me from me.


Fuamnach’s Pool

Logs burn so brightly,

hiss and spark their way.

Silver spruce are piled high,

flames fill their sorrow.


Footsteps, I see no being.

Some power clasps me.

I Etain, new wife of Midir,

I am water. Must I live so?


I pray I’ll float to a stream,

beg a wind to hurry me

to a good river’s heart, there

I’ll crave the gods within


to restore me to my form.

I hear the fall and sigh again,

timber is consumed by

red hungers of flame.


This room fills with heat,

water that is me, disappears,

I cannot grasp it to be still.

Changes from a silver self,


vanishes as warm dew

to the air, flees from me.

Flames crackle at me.

I bow to their words,


my head is water, barely.

Drop disappears by drop.

Soon silence of spent fire

will be my mind’s darkness.


I cannot find my way.

I must succumb for flames

drink water that I am.



Ann Egan, a multi-award winning Irish poet, has held many residencies in counties, hospitals, schools, secure residencies and prisons. Her books are:  Landing the Sea (Bradshaw Books); The Wren Women (Black Mountain Press);  Brigit of Kildare (Kildare Library and Arts Services) and Telling Time (Bradshaw Books).  She has edited more than twenty books including, ‘The Midlands Arts and Culture Review,’ 2010. She lives in County Kildare, Ireland. 

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