Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Dog




A dog built around his snarling teeth   
demonstrates human instincts
when I cross his ground.
Glass stare, no, spikes from his face,
his crew cut spines speared,
snarl or smile, legs set in concrete:
stance consciousness.              
The considered setting of his growl:
natural resonance of nerves.
The chosen time for a step:
psychology of closing, removing space,
building a crescendo of presence.
Then the howling with muscle release:

snap of dogs, snap of men.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Final Breath
in memory of Pearse Hutchinson



In that last moment your breath halted in your mouth;
the  air teetered on your tongue; one last taste perhaps.

Death flew across the room, your eyes followed it,
leaving us, exiting through the walls.

Vivaldi played on,
emerged from behind  your troubled  breathing.

For that few moments,
baroque splendour  was your breath condensing around us.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Not normal



Outsider



I was born in a tree.

Before words rustled,
thoughts rustled.

Caught, netted in November; 
the leaves fallen,
I had my ten fingers fast around a branch. 

They felled the tree
rather than see me in it.

After that, they stuck their words into my mouth.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Where The Poetry Comes From




Fathomless blue;
Blue sky.

Two swallows proclaiming it
Are extravagant

Dancers in an empty ballroom.
A church bell chimes

Two, three, five o’clock;
No matter.

Tracing curves to unending time;
A route to south Africa ?

Fathomed true;
Blue sky.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Artur Widak Exhibition in Rathmines College's Culture Night Programme



Artur Widak  is a Polish photojournalist, currently based in Dublin. His striking images have been highly acclaimed and published internationally; publications include The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Independent (UK) and many more. This Friday, Sept 16th, Culture Night in Ireland, his moving and thought-provoking exhibition 'The Path to Freedom: pictures illustrating the journey refugees are taking from war-torn countries to Europe' can be seen in Rathmines Town Hall between 5 and 9pm.


Artur Widak and budding photographer
  

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Tide's High Blood Mark

  
                 (Before The Firing Squad)



Ready
           

            The sun's tide
            is licking me.

           

Aim


            In one eye-full I have examined every brick,
            seen the crack in that window,     
       `   the wasp on the flag
            and still felt the sun
            and heard the voice right down
            to a bubble on his vocal cords.                                        



Fire


            The sun travelled its 93 million miles.
            Threw my shadow against the bricks.
            My shadow stretched
            My shadow stretched
            My shadow stretched
            And the sun said
            That my shadow was as tall and slender
            As any wave that ever rose
            That ever rose out of the full tide
            Climbed and stretched its arms
            Over the bricks of this barracks wall.

Monday, September 5, 2016

A Culture Night Miscellany in Rathmines



I'm really looking forward to joining  Kevin Hora, Maggie Breheny and Anne Marie McGowan for A Culture Night Miscellany of poetry, music, story and song in Rathmines Town Hall on Friday, Sept. 16th. And it will be a particular pleasure to welcome fellow poet Jane Clarke to Rathmines College.

2016 has been a good year for Jane, but, then again, all the recent years  have been good for her. This year she was winner of the Hennessy Literary Award for Poetry and was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature 2016 Ondaatje Literary Award. Her first collection, The River, was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2015.  In  2014 she won the Listowel Writers' Week Poetry Collection Award, the 2014 Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition and was  shortlisted for the 2014 Hennessy Literary Awards, as she was in 2013. I don't have to, but maybe I'll stop there. Suffice it to say, she is a cut above........., but then, like myself, she does come from Roscommon.


Jane Clarke


Do we torture what we don't like the look of ?



Marine.


Prostrate on the beach,
a slop of sea pulse,
a glob black as chewed tobacco
fallen from the lip.


My mother said -
the sea is sick,
it's breath on the beach is bad
and its puke is scattered
all over the sand.


She said
all its pin points are boiling,
its stomach heaves;
that it will yellow our skin
if it gets half a chance.


Then this morning,
when something with small eyes
came out of the sea,
I pelted stones at it
till the tractor came.



Thursday, September 1, 2016

Old Man



The tyre hanging in the garden
is proof that children used to  play there;
but in the breeze it’s a shaking head.

Today snowflakes flying by
leave the sycamore white on its northern side.
The garden is still: no snowman, no footprints.

The tyre is an old man;
with an old voice, he explains:  
“I cannot remember names; truth is

I hung too close to the trunk to be of use;
the sycamore branches bolted upwards;
to this day they’ve never spread out.”  

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A poem with a Mantegna painting




The Lamentation over the Dead Chris

Mantegna, in his lifetime, was criticised for imitating sculpture: the loss of warmth that could be achieved in painting from real life. In the case of the dead Christ, however,  it is the marble of  the dead body that makes it perfect. The perspective draws more of your attention; then the suffering, fixed  stone-like in the image, fixes it in a similar way in your mind, and  it remains there: indestructible marble.

I am fascinated by the cold solidness of corpses; always drawn to run my fingertips down the cheek of a dead friend or loved one. The memory stays in my fingertips, and, somehow, it helps to know that the person is now changed to stone.

  

The Viewing.



Dead: the colour of old cream,
his eyes shuttered shut;
so neat, besuited and slim,
weight he lost dying.

They made a basket of his fingers
with a rosary spilling down;
everyone said he looked lovely
but then I touched his face
and it wasn’t him at all.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Goodnight to my wished for lover



Goodnight, 
goodnight.




̶.  I’d like to smash goodnight down onto your head
                
and with those stars write

love messages across your sky   ̶.




Goodnight.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Fire


A passion/a destruction. I am in a fire. I am the fire. 
It is a place. I am within it. 

It is a destruction. That will give.

The fire defines me. I give it coal. 
It gives me.

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Brief Note on an Imminent Famine.




Everyone here will starve:
each bone will be a stripe,
each hand a bowl,
each leg a stick.

Then there'll be the gluttony
of cameras:
our threadbare skin 
will be devoured,
our eyes exported
shining like pickles.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Snagging Memory



Before The End.

The bedside lamp shone
in the pool of her eye;
it made her teeth translucent,
runnelled her face.

Daylight and I were reluctant visitors;
the  room smelling of trapped breath,
sickness and decay made me anxious
that I might inhale her disease;

and all I loved gone,
all dwindled down to duty.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Fragile Nature

Interference.


A fish is dreaming,
elbow deep.

With my fingertip
I draw a herring-bone
across his heaven;
he bolts.

Now the lake dreams,
empty like a canyon.