Donny O'Rourke

Donny O'Rourke is one of the poets we chose to feature for National Poetry Day 2008.

Cover of 'One Light Burning'

Donny O'Rourke was born in Port Glasgow. He is a poet, film-maker, journalist, and broadcaster. He is also the author and editor of more than a dozen books, including 'Dream state: the new Scottish poets' (1994).

These poems are from 'One Light Burning', published by Bonny Day. The pamphlet features images by printmaker Harry Magee.


There never was dark

There never was dark like the black
   of the blitz
What refuge is tin from direct hits?

No basement or shelter can keep out the
   the dread
Widow's weeds on each window —
   curtains for the dead …

We'll draw mourning's drapes when
   we've won never fear
The first light's come on, soon they'll
   sound the 'all clear'

Greenock and Clydebank won't make
   Glasgow doubt …
Though all over Europe the lights
   have gone out!




Sleep my wee one safe from harm
Cherished by the night-light's charm
Dreamland isn't far awy
Neither's Daddy: and he'll stay
With laughter, love and lullabyes

Until his dearie shuts her eyes

Until his dearie shuts her eyes

Soon, moon and sun and she must rise
If before then chanced to stir
Shadows shouldn't frighten her
All night long this lamp will shine
Brightly, bonny bairn of mine


National Poetry Day 2008


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