We are unable to display your institutional affiliation without JavaScript turned on.
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Find using OpenURL

The Mare Spikes a Glassy Loch, and: The Animal Room, and: Ghosts

From: Éire-Ireland
Volume 48, Issue 3&4, Fall/Winter 2013
pp. 310-312 | 10.1353/eir.2013.0025

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

The Mare

spikes a glassy
and then
she crashes
into it

hot-blooded and
entirely live,
the crack of thunder
in her ears


with knees
lashed eyes
the mare
spikes a glassy

her mind
conceives forever

But Skies Pass,

the hoof-browned waters
and the mare sets
foot, foot
foot, foot
this crumpled mirror—

on your nelly, sir!—

and is gone like a bullet
across the moor,
sweat rivering her pelt

The mare, the chill loch waters

The Animal Room

Kingdom: Animalia; Phylum: Chordata; Class: Mammalia; Order; Carnivora; Family: Canidae; Tribe: Vulpini. Latterly an inhabitant of cities, the fox failed quickly, like the carrier pigeon. Last known sighting: Glasgow, 2023. Entry into the ‘red’ list for species threatened with extinction, 2021. Ate rats, rabbits, and chickens. Hunted for centuries by farmers, the fox became a popular figure in the urban centres, where it gained shelter and could sometimes be tamed. Here is a photograph of one begging in a TESCO car-park (location un-named). This one’s stealing food from a plate. See the cheeky glint in his eye? The shift from a culture of blame to a culture of acceptance came late; experts speculate that, had it changed sooner, they might have survived. Hit the button, and watch the fox’s tail light up, revealing it to this house-wife: she is afraid it is going to enter the house and savage her children. She’s carrying a mobile phone. In myth, the fox was a trickster; also a familiar and a messenger to the gods. You have ten minutes to write a poem. The buzzer will let you know when it’s time to move on.


As lines are steered through language,
and feet tread rooms
though we cannot hear their bitter patter,
and we follow the tracks of tyres
through mist-thrown fields
to the rushes at the water’s edge
which won’t, to human eyes,
separate themselves from their reflections,
cross-hatching like the shades
that muster a single hue,
somebody is surely steering you,
riderless thoroughbred pinned
to open air above the wall,
on out into the lake’s electric blue.

Miriam Gamble  

Miriam Gamble was born in 1980 and grew up in Belfast. Her first collection, The Squirrels Are Dead, was published by Bloodaxe in 2010 and won a Somerset Maugham Award; her second, Pirate Music, is forthcoming in 2014. She teaches Creative Writing by Online Learning at the University of Edinburgh.

Copyright © 2013 Irish American Cultural Institute
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Miriam Gamble. "The Mare Spikes a Glassy Loch, and: The Animal Room, and: Ghosts." Éire-Ireland 48.3 (2013): 310-312. Project MUSE. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Gamble, M.(2013). The Mare Spikes a Glassy Loch, and: The Animal Room, and: Ghosts. Éire-Ireland 48(3), 310-312. Irish-American Cultural Institute. Retrieved November 11, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Miriam Gamble. "The Mare Spikes a Glassy Loch, and: The Animal Room, and: Ghosts." Éire-Ireland 48, no. 3 (2013): 310-312. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed November 11, 2013).
T1 - The Mare Spikes a Glassy Loch, and: The Animal Room, and: Ghosts
A1 - Miriam Gamble
JF - Éire-Ireland
VL - 48
IS - 3
SP - 310
EP - 312
PY - 2013
PB - Irish-American Cultural Institute
SN - 1550-5162
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/eire-ireland/v048/48.3-4.gamble.html
N1 - Volume 48, Issue 3&4, Fall/Winter 2013
ER -


You must be logged in through an institution that subscribes to this journal or book to access the full text.


Shibboleth authentication is only available to registered institutions.

Project MUSE

For subscribing associations only.

Research Areas


  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access