Poetry | All Fools Day & Mischief by Frank Dullaghan

Ajar, Christian Mildh, 2012

Frank Dullaghan

All Fools Day & Mischief


All Fools Day

It’s an old joke –
send a fool on a fruitless errand –
a dozen cock eggs, a pound of elbow grease.

In the Public Advertiser, April 13th, 1769,
it is suggested that the idea
of sending a person on such an errand

was based on the dove
that Noah kept sending out to search for land.
Of course, one day the dove returned

with a green sprig in its beak,
its errand obviously fruitful.
I like to think this shows that sometimes the fool

may gain the upper hand, will return with a real
banana bender to curve our stick-straight fruit;
will find a quart of pigeon’s milk.

Surely, the world should belong to such fools
who can dream the impossible, and,
impossibly, make it happen.



I woke to the bark of a fox in my garden,
to the thought that someone had called me
from my locked front door.

I got up in the dark and went down.
A shiver of light gleamed from the half-charged
solar lamp on the sill, the living-room chairs

were ghosts of themselves.
Sometimes we are drawn like this,
as if into another place. The door glass was empty.

Better not to go out – there are times
when it’s too easy to cross into the other.
If I went, I felt, I might never come back.

The old country people at home in Ireland
knew about this. Some still do.
There are things you don’t chance.

Best to keep yourself safe, stay in when it’s dark.
We are not always called for our good.
There can be mischief about.


Frank Dullaghan is an Irish writer living in the UK. He has previously had work published in London Magazine and other quality journals, including Cyphers, New Welsh Reader, Poetry Wales, and Rattle. His most recent collection is ‘In the Coming of Winter’, Cinnamon Press, Sept 2021.

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