Frank Dullaghan


Frank Dullaghan is an Irish writer living in Dubai. Previously, Frank lived in the UK where he was a co-founder of the Essex Poetry Festival and editor of Seam Poetry Magazine. Frank’s poetry collections are – On the Back of the Wind, 2008, Enough Light to See the Dark, 2012, and The Same Roads Back, 2014 from Cinnamon Press. He has two collections of haiku published in the UK.

In Dubai, he has run workshops in poetry and short story writing in schools, university, and for various literary  groups. He is a member of the spoken word collectives Poeticians and Punch. In 2014 he was commissioned to act as the final translator for the poetry collection Flashes of Verse by HH Sheikh Mohammed, PM and Vice President of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.

Frank is also working on novels, short stories and short screen, radio and stage plays. His screenplay for the short film Melody featured in the best short films of the Dubai 48 hour Film competition in 2012 and won the audience award for best short film in the Mumbai Women’s international Film Festival. Frank is a poetry judge for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and regularly reviews books for Talking of Books on Dubai Eye radio.




Now everything has gone –

the moon with its cold music,
the slow white of the snow,
the small turning of the leaf in the dark,
the gate closing in on itself,
the dustbin with its fat laugh,
the buzz of the last van in the distance,
the distance,

There are books on the table,
all the pages torn.
The words have burned through the covers
and smolder on the floor.

Now everything has gone –

the trees with their tattered leaves,
the birds with their crooked smiles,
the sky that sat at the top of the steps,
the coin in the gutter,
the bicycle leaning on its shadow,
the horizon’s accident in the distance,
the distance,

See how the water calls.
There is such room under the waves.
You could go down into it like the sun
and never be cold again.

Now everything has gone –

the wall with its vertical pain,
the little hooks of the wind,
the rustle of children in the park,
the dark,
the road’s irresistible urge to travel,
the creak of the stars as they shift their geometry,
the galaxy,

Previously published in my collection On the Back of the Wind, Cinnamon Press 2008, UK



On This Dark Night

What small uncertainty triggered you afraid?
That dark stairwell that never was a thought,
possessed now with something close to dread
and nothing to tell what brought this all about.

It’s as if the shadows are woven in a braid
of darker stuff just there, as if it’s wrought
of something that was flesh but now, instead
of substance, an essence casting doubt

on all that’s solid, safe. Now the dead
are finding a way back to hand, to mouth –
whisper, touch. It matters not your creed.
Don’t unwrap the mirror from its cloth.

Previously published in my collection The Same Roads Back – Cinnamon Press 2014, UK



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