Tuesday, May 21, 2024

An Almost True Story by Oliver Kleyer

Taking a morning walk
Through the rainy streets of Dublin,
I ran into an old gaeilgeoir,
who gave me a nearly toothless smile.
Poking the mouthpiece of his pipe between my ribs,
he asked me: „Cad a deaifa leis na
riatais atà ag troid i gcoinne na
dífhostaí ochta? Sílim gur chaill siad…

Being unable to either get a word in sideways
or to understand his rant, I nodded here and there,
smiling, not wanting to be impolite.
But if it hadn’t been for Anna Livia Plurabelle,
I probably would still be standing there,
listening to a hard luck story I don’t understand.
She suddenly appeared, flapping her wings,
pushing me towards Half Penny bridge, telling
the surprised gaeilgeoir:
Is oth liom do mhiadha chloisteail.
Ná bac leis an dorchadas. Beid túna leigheas.

Never mind the darkness. You will be healed.


Oliver Kleyer is a teacher and poet from Northern Germany. He teaches German as a Second Language in a refugee camp. He writes in Geman and English. His works have appeared in 101 Words, The Creative Zine and Bubble as well as in anthologies like FromOneLine to another or Dadakuku 1.