“Caviar” by Derek Coyle

Among the things I haven’t done,
to taste caviar

with a Russian Cossack
after a hot and sultry hunt

for wild boar. If I can find
a willing Russian Cossack.

Another thing I haven’t done
is visit the Taj Mahal,

but I imagine it too will be hot
and sticky, rather like the time

I climbed the Great Wall of China,
left behind by a middle-aged woman

and her daughter,
who ran on to watchtowers ahead,

while I considered this mighty feat
of human engineering, craftily

conquered by the Manchurians
bribing the guards, or just

by going around it, as they figured,
every wall has to end somewhere.

Still, of all the things I haven’t done yet,
to set-up house with another man,

a type of adult living
equal to the hunt for wild boar,

or the struggle to climb a wall
in circumstances equal to the famed

Swedish sauna. This is what,
since childhood, through adolescence,

I’ve dreamed of doing.


Derek Coyle has published poems in Irish PagesThe Texas Literary Review,The Honest UlstermanOrbisCuadrivioSkylight 47Assaracus, and The Stony Thursday Book. He has been shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Award. In 2012 he was a chosen poet for the Poetry Ireland ‘Introductions Series.’ He represented Ireland in an international residency in Tranås in Sweden, where he spent three weeks in the Kultivera institute in 2017.  He is a member of the Carlow Writers’ Co-Operative.