Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Before The End

It is difficult for children to attend a dying relative. The quiet, patient listening does not come easily.The regret returns in adulthood; part of life.

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.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

We Protect The Innocent, Don't We?

We protect our children. If there is a risk to innocent lives we do not fire. Collateral damage in war our consideration for children based on their race or nationality? Is not the the destruction of their innocent lives the ultimate act of cruelty, of racism?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Contemplating Goya

Plate 36

(referring to plate 36 from THE DISASTERS OF WAR
 by Francisco Goya) 

Contemplating this corpse,
you lean back on your elbow. 

A heart not pumping,
blood not coursing. 

Is that not a corpse?
Is it not dead as a snail's shell? 

Your eyes fixed on his face;

There, that's where you recline;
beneath his composure  

trumping the handiwork
of the hangmen who thought, 

(as they always do),
that death was the final transaction.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Upcoming Events

Culture Night 2012 is Friday, 21st Septembers. I’m looking forward to reading poems from Above Ground Below Ground at Cruachán Aí Heritage Centre in Tulsk . Artist Elaine Leigh and I will present images and poems that relate to the Neolithic sites at Lough Crew in Meath, Brewell Hill and Killeen Cormac in Kildare, and the legends and myths associated with these sites. 

A body of work still in the making: the subject matter has fascinated Elaine for a number of years, I’ve only caught the bug this year, but I've been amazed at what it has taught me and at the dam-burst of ideas it has ignited, (those last few words seem to have escaped from a war comic c. 1965).

From  “ Above Ground Below Ground”

The sun enters the passage;
I meet him on my way;
he touches my head
like water. 

I emerge into day;
in the chamber
the sun dwells a moment
on my earlier impressions. 

I return after the day
to elaborate my carving,
my spirals,
my perpetual turning.

On Monday 24th, I’m in Mullingar for the launching of Mullingar Scribblers, Poems and Stories Volume 5.This fantastic writer’s group, the Mullingar Scribblers, who meet on Monday nights in the Annebrook Hotel have produced excellent writing for many years; I hope they get great support from everyone in Mullingar. I might also suggest that, if you are local and half interested in writing, you could do a lot worse than call into one of their sessions.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Explaining Our Madness

A friend, contemplating the various madnesses of humanity during the week, mentioned the irony of governments paying people to save lives and kill simultaneously; only doctors save lives one by one, soldiers kill in thousands.

There is a short period in childhood when these ironies are questioned, I think this is the only time in which we can save our children from what we've perpetuated. From Sunfire...

   Growing Up           

Shortly you will trace lines,
join the herds,
leave a trail among the trails
meandering over the hills. 

We are part of some eccentric’s
I wish I could tell you more,
my little love.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

First Film of Amazonian Tribe

Loggers threaten the existence of uncontacted Amazonian tribes by removing their living resources and space, introducing diseases and by violence. One of the great problems is convincing governments that these tribes actually exist; the film instances the activities of illegal Peruvian loggers being permitted by the Peruvian government. This moving clip from a BBC Survival documentary, made with the collaboration of the Brazilian Indian Affairs Dept shows the first footage of an uncontacted tribe and was made to convince the world that these tribes do indeed exist. Visit for more.