Maeve O’Sullivan is a Dublin-based member of Bodhicharya Ireland. In Wasp on the Prayer Flag, O’Sullivan’s fifth collection with Alba Publishing, the years 2018-2021 are chroniced in the forms of haiku and senryu verse. The three sections, Seasons, Sequences and Senryu, bring to the reader Maeve’s lucid observations of life in Ireland and abroad. This latest edition is both an insightful and a rich addition to her previous publicatons.
From the back page of Wasp on the Prayer Flag
Maeve O’Sullivan has an unerring gift for rendering momentary experience – outdoors among weather, flora and fauna, or just pottering at home – into memorable, often beautiful haiku or amusing senryu.
These meditative haiku discover magnificence in the everyday. Alert to how birds, plants and insects revel in weather and the seasons, they connect our human world with the cosmos, and the natural world with the timeless.
Catherine Phil MacCarthy
Wasp on the Prayer Flag is an excellent poetic guidebook for Maeve O’Sullivan’s native Ireland and places beyond.
The final senryu ends in a consummate and optimistic note. Here is Pandemic, the last Senryu sequence in the book. Some of the senryu were previously published in Many Roads for Bodhicharya.
empty city street
they walk hand in gloved hand
two young men
in separate trees
a pair of magpies
a pair of collared doves
bored with lockdown
I wear sandals in which
I travelled the world
a doubling of deaths the clematis buds fatter
my friend tells me more
about his cousin’s passing –
wasp on the prayer flag
no human hugs
for seven weeks –
this silver birch will do
lifting of lockdown first glimpse of Dublin Bay
The easiest way for anyone to get a copy of the book is to visit O’Sullivan’s website. 30% of all profits from sales go to charity partners Asral Mongolia, an NGO whose aim is to eradicate poverty and to support children and their mothers in Mongolia. Since publication costs of Wasp have now been covered, that means that 30% of sales now go directly to the charity.
Maeve O’Sullivan’s poetry and haikai have been widely published, anthologised, awarded and translated. She is the author of five collections from Alba Publishing. Maeve is a founder member of the Hibernian Poetry Workshop, and a member of the Irish Writers’ Centre and the British Haiku Society. She also leads workshops in haiku, and reviews for various journals. www.maeveosullivan.com