Poetry Blast: Lani O'Hanlon

It's Cherry Blossom season here in D.C., so we are delighted to share Lani O'Hanlon's poem Cherry Blossoms. It's a touching, short work about growing older, memories, and happiness among the Cherry Blossom trees.

Lani O’ Hanlon is a writer, poet, dancer, movement therapist, co-creator and author of ‘Dancing the Rainbow' Mercier Press ’07.  With a family background in Theatre and Performance she has a lifetime's experience and training in the Creative Arts. She has worked as an Arts Facilitator/Director Internationally, as a Director/ Teacher/Trainer in Movement and Dance, and as a Creative Writing Facilitator with Co. Dublin VEC,  Co. Waterford Arts Office, and on the annual Molly Keane Writers' Retreat in Ardmore.

She is currently working on her debut poetry collection, and studying for an MA in Creative Writing with Lancaster University. Her poetry, short stories, life-writing and short fiction have been published, received and been short-listed for numerous awards including 'The William Allingham Award' and Galway’s 'Over the Edge New Writer of the Year’. She was awarded the Tyrone Guthrie Bursary in 2009, 2013, 2014; the Writer’s Mentoring Scheme with Grace Wells 2011-2012, by Co. Waterford Arts Office, and received an Artlinks Bursary in 2013. Her poetry has appeared most recently in 'Southword Literary Journal' and 'The Stinging Fly'.


Cherry Blossoms


Barefoot, I walk to the hen house,

Lift the door, reach

Into a sanctuary of straw,

Find the egg warm in the cup of my hand.


The new hen still cuckling,

I drop the egg into a pot of water,

butter toast, measure time.


Everything stops as I eat,

My stale thoughts and musty breath,


And I remember

Ellie Byrne and me

Looking up through cherry blossoms

At stars and the young night,


Our warm round bellies,

Before the eggs began to fall.


Lani O’Hanlon