Anne Coutlee

Samhain 2015: Creative writing, The Robin, A Warm Welcome and Samhain

Samhain Group: Front Row L to R; Terry McDonagh, poet, Mary McCombs, Anne Coutlee and Marlene O'Connor. Back Row L to R. Pat Mongan, Anne McCarthy, Arts Office, Mayo CoCo and Tony Candon, Manager, NMI - Country Life.
Photographer: Henry Wills.
Ann Coutlee reading her work at the launch of the project
Paul Sherwood


A robin alighted on her mother’s coffin

All eyes were drawn to that bright spot

As the priest’s words drifted

On the chilly January wind


Two robins appeared in the garden

After her father died

Now she talks to every robin she sees

And thinks of those birds

That came before


A warm welcome

With cattle safely stowed in the barn,

John enters the warm kitchen.

The family gathers around the festive, candle-lit table, waiting to begin,

an empty place set for those gone before. 

Light from the open door briefly illuminates the yard,

as John calls out to welcome the dead ones in. 



Open the door

To mischievous figures

Calling for food and coins

In masks of cloth

Faces hidden

Like the linen shrouds

That cover our dead

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