Joe Healy

Joe Healy is a resident of West Limerick in Ireland. Previous work has been published by Crannóg, Bare Hands, The Clare Champion, and in online literary journals The First Cut  and The Mystic Nebula. In 2010,

Joe featured in SEXTET (Revival, 2010), an anthology of six poets (see below). His work also appeared in Poetic Humour an anthology in support of the Cliona Ring Foundation.

As an active member of the Limerick Writers' Centre and the Listowel Writers' Group, Joe divides his time between the two and his poems appear regularly in Revival, the literary journal. Joe's first collection, Soft as Rainbow  was published in 2013 by Revival Press, Limerick.





I am a bridge, crossing a river and lake.
Its late Autumn, mist shrouds me.
I carry the living who love

and the souls of the dead.
From Old World to New
and sometimes – back again.

Souls stop at my traffic lights.
Red for hell, green for heaven.
Amber if they are undecided.

Those spirits hide in roadside trees that
arch in the middle. Haunted branches
touch, support each other like humans.

A couple approach, cross over me.
The woman has brown eyes, full of adventure.
Soon she will board the Spanish train.

The man has eyes of many colours.
He may not pass this way again so easily.
But he will dream and be grateful

that he has helped her cross.
It is a gatekeeper’s reward.
And like the undecided soul

He will wait - for Hallowe’en
when walls are paper thin
between each world once more.





When winter’s cloak has risen
Above the fields by the glen,
And a single bud has opened
Spring will start to care again.

For she fell in love with summer
With his long days and his wine
But he left her for the autumn winds
Rustling in the vine.

When morning fog has lifted
From the hills below the skies
It is the promise of a new day
When all our spirits rise.

We all have that special moment
When life just seems to say
Hold that baby, win that prize.
Get on your knees to pray.

For life has given me something
That nothing can deny. No pain,
Cruel lies or time - can take
A twinkle from your eye.

A single moment passing
In this lovely April day,
My love for you, like springtime
Will never, ever stray.






Give me a bridge
Made of rainbow
Arched, strong
A stream gently flowing.

On one side a baby
Gentle, in swaddling clothes
Smiling of course

Children playing by the water
Parents watching

A little road over the bridge
So that one day

We can be together.



They said...

"Soft as Rainbow" is Joe Healy's first book. A regular reader at the weekly White House Poetry Nights in Limerick city, he writes honestly of life as he has seen and lived it. "Soft as Rainbow" is a deeply felt book told in a simple, straightforward, accessible style. Congratulations, Joe. Take a bow!

- Gabriel Fitzmaurice (on Soft as Rainbow)


The tribute to a very short life which is the primary focus of this work will break readers' hearts, before they enter into the small farm, old village world whence Joe healy weaves revelatory poems that soothe and console while recording the eccentricities, rural lore and family histories that constitute the wide world of deep places.

- Louis Mulcahy (on Soft as Rainbow)



See also:

Bridget Wallace Louis Mulcahy Evelyn Casey John Pinschmidt

Sheila Fitzpatrick-O'Donnell  Christy O'Donnell