Paul Kiernan

Pine Row Issue No. 5 Summer 2022 - Featured Poet

Dreaming of the Highlands

The wind off Storm King has laid it almost bare,

Driving the leaves into surrender.

Soon the snow will fall and the roads will be difficult,

The airports cold and unwelcoming.

Still, I’m restless to travel back.

Daydreams come over me unexpectedly

And I hear the runners of the iceboats clattering

As they race against each other by the point,

I can see the skaters, the young lovers

Around their barrel fires at night.

I dream of the kills and the old Dutch towns.

And always the river, the river that flows both ways.

Our loved ones there in ancient graves

Still exist for us if only in our memories.

But of our missing years,

What can be remembered or retold?

Let’s let them go and no regrets

But vow to let not one more follow.

Whatever is complacent, whatever obstacles impede,

Love is a relentless engine that never stops

Ardent to this end that when Spring breaks this year

We’ll be together in the Highlands

When the ice flows melt away

Sitting at the docks we once knew

Watching the tugs and barges,

Travel up and down under a bedlam of gulls.

Day and night I dream about it,

Together again in the Highlands beside our river,

The river that flows both ways,

As past and present do.

Interview with Paul Kiernan

by Pine Row Editorial Board

What is your favorite quote, any source?

My favorite quote is from Rumi:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing

and rightdoing there is a field.

I'll meet you there.

What book is currently on your nightstand?

Book currently on my table: Sister My Life by Pasternak

Advice to someone just starting to write poetry?

Read the best poets and don't get discouraged by rejections.

Paul Kiernan is a retired engineer now living on the Gulf Coast of southwest Florida.