A broken-window wind. | DS Maolalai

Image: Thom Masat

A broken-window wind.

a broken-
window wind
and these flutters
of unsettled
pushing elbows
through shelves
in a second-
hand bookshop.

pages flutter wildly,
falling wide open –
flags flying to signal
all nations.

DS Maolalai (he/him) has been described by one editor as “a cosmopolitan poet” and by another as “prolific, bordering on incontinent”. His poetry has received eleven nominations for Best of the Net and eight for the Pushcart Prize, and has been released in three collections; “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016), “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019) and “Noble Rot” (Turas Press, 2022)

Fiddle with the left hand | D.S. Maolalai

Image: Steven Johnson

a sketch of the 12
bar blues, approximate
C major, central
and key. now
I play occasionally

in passing at a party –
my close friends onto
my limited repertoire
but acquaintances somewhat
impressed. especially
since it seems
I can improvise;
just fiddle it a little
with the left hand
over pentatonic
scales. that’s how
you do it – learn
how to play
like it’s nothing. be casual –
order in spanish
and in french when you all
go on holiday. know

how to wire
a plug at the table. how to drive
cars manual. spell
certain words. play
a little piano. how
to write a poem
about doing
other things.

DS Maolalai (he/him) has been nominated eight times for Best of the Net and five times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016) and “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019)

the insomnia – d.s. maolalai

the snore
came suddenly
like dynamite
popping in a cave.
he woke to the sound,
shocked out of sleep,
and lay there
listening to his heartbeat
and wondering
if the roof had fallen
and were the children
alright in their beds.
the next one
from the pillow next to him
and minutes later.
it seemed
each night
that behind her face
was a lamp-post,
with occasional


DS Maolalai is a poet from Ireland who has been writing and publishing poetry for almost 10 years. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 by the Encircle Press. He has been nominated for Best of the Web and twice for the Pushcart Prize.