Saturday, October 13, 2018

Blue-veined old hands :

I never saw them coming
till they were spread bleak
as the limbs of Winter trees
across vacant heavens.

When I said I loved you
I whacked at the wall
with a stick of oar weed
picked off the strand.

Cantankerous old fool :
never saw him coming
till words I spat out
fell like lightning turned
to twigs of rotten wood.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

New Poem

I have set myself up to write a poem
and am sitting set before the screen

Saturday, October 6, 2018


Mosaic of sunlight,
gold and russet leaves;
becalmed now in memory loss.

A moment: another leaf
with a sound that was not heard.

That pile of shed leaves growing;
the heartbreak:
soon the maple will be bare.

Monday, October 1, 2018

The Stars

The stars are tossed across the drumlins of the sky.
I am looking to see the road you’ve taken
And I think I see it and I think I see you
And I think you are singing Bring back my Bonnie
And I think you are laughing, and looking back
Over your shoulder.  Yes I think you are.
And now I am singing, we’re all singing
Bring back my Bonnie and the road is getting longer
Behind us and you are handing back sweets and I ‘m smiling
And you sing Ten Green Bottles we  all sing
Between the rolling fields of night and then
You have rounded some bend and are singing
But smaller and smaller and smaller and and I cannot see
just the stars.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Once by the Sea

Once I sat by the sea around midnight
with too much drink in my gut,
watching the play of tide and moonlight
crash into a crescent of land;
the rhythm of the waves hitting my oozy brain
like ‘This is Your Life’.

I stayed there to discover what it was telling me;
to distil a loneliness
that would inform me about myself.
The light and sound and smell of the sea and shore,
the darkness behind me, the round sky,
and myself tight as a nut at its centre.

I stayed there long enough to imagine myself lonely,
confirm my right to be on those stirring stones,
to be clear sighted beyond sight,
to implicate the world, the universe, and yourselves
in the unhappiness of my moment;
and I was intensely happy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Slow-Moving Clouds

Slow moving clouds never ran away with love,
but left lovers dreaming in their wake.
The sky is where the hearts of lovers roam,
since the earth is not big enough for their dreams.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The baby in the tree

It's surprising where ideas come from. There  was a white carrier bag snagged high in a tree on Leinster Road.

         The baby in the tree

The baby in the tree
is screaming.

High above the pathway
near the black tips
of the sycamore branches
he is gaping,
white membraned luminous.

How did he get there?

He blew there in the wind;
it took him
like a flag from his cot
till he was stretched
across the boughs
like the wings of a bat.

And who sees him?

I do;
all his hopeless writhing,
too high for the passerby.
And his screams:
too high,
too high for the passerby.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The “Incredible Unsung Success”

Success was assured with the billions of dollars
I collected from my legions of followers.

And knowing there’d be tremendous amounts of water
I came totally prepared, in fact, did more than I ought ter.

At a photo-call that came from my own tremendous idea,
I kick-started the relief-effort for Hurricane Maria,

a performance par-excellence  ̶  let there be no disavowals  ̶
I still admire myself lobbing those paper towels.

Friday, September 14, 2018

When you pass

written with Karen McManus in mind.

When you pass,

cups miss mouths,
ladders slip,
buckets crash down,

cars veer,
cyclists swerve,
drunkards sober up,

poles and policemen collide,
business men miss kerbs,
schoolboys drool.

Me? I’m just your wing mirror,
enjoying the devastation
behind you.

Monday, September 10, 2018

In that love

Love made us lighter than air;
we careered, wheeled and banked
above the town.
Curved like quarter moons,
we fitted into each other precisely,
loved each other beyond norms;
freed ourselves.

In that love nothing hurts;
in that love all is healing;

in that love.

Friday, September 7, 2018


These jets Thrill,
the notes Sear.

Arc of teeth
Bite my ears,

bleach the Sickles

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Dum te dum te dum

In glorious Technicolor, breathtaking Cinemascope, magnificent
dum te dum te dum te dum stereophonic surround sound, Michael
lying on corrugated roof watching for Germans or Indians
crawling on their bellies through the tall grass of Glynn’s garden.
Eyes, pillbox slits. Sharp blades of grass quivering in June breeze;
or infiltrating dogs, enemies. Sounds, rustlings in the heat haze,
above the undergrowth, flicker in his eyes; sweeps the sweat
from his forehead beneath a blazing noon sun; endlessly patience,
tripwire-finger on trigger. It was the time of get that woman back
into the wagon, but Michael skipped last night’s soppy love scene
and is now the last one, the only one, still alive to defend O’Dea’s.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Failing Light

In the failing light of a November evening,
kicking through the rotting leaves on a suburban path,
I remember you, digging the garden ridges, shaking out
the groundsel, tossing the stones under the hedge.

Great events in your kingdom were scurryings in the grass,
a thrush feeding on a worm, raindrops falling from the apple trees.
Far from inspectors and reports, you held sway over
the straightening of ridges, regiments of onions and lettuces.

With each passing year, you are buried deeper beneath memory,
becoming ever more intangible, like these rotting leaves
that leave only their scent hanging in the dank November air;
after all this time, you have become more like a conversation
                                                                               I wanted to have.

Sunday, August 26, 2018


My voice into the nowhere
Tailed off;
It almost reversed.

I looked there;
my nerve failed,
so I left.

That darkness
Hangs tauntingly over me;
It is my failure.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Broken Bells of St Mary's

Saint Mary's church, Lubeck, Palm Sunday 1942.

The bells of the Marienkirche, still lying where they fell

Filled with air,
the bells floated
like dandelion seeds,
sycamore seeds;
like thistle.

Like the bells,
the bombs fell
like dandelion seeds,

And soon enough 
all was quiet:
bombs,  bells,
who used to pray there.