Sunday, November 30, 2014


He, who covered my body

with snail-trails,

whose hands were wrack

swept over my skin,

kisses on my back

a colony of shell fish.


He, who would have crossed a mountain range

for an hour between my thighs

now crawls over me

with wizened passion.

Gutted of love,

he comes clawing,


and insults me with lies

that have made greater pincers 

of his mouth than his hands.


What does he see in me?


Meat to excite him,

his groper's desires,

even his fingertips betray him.

But no more,

the erotic becomes ugly,

decrepit manoeuvres disconnected

from their original meanings;

the touches stain you.


I have watched him slither from my gaze

a thousand times a night 

while slipping the word love 

from his vocabulary;

watched him develop this communication

of knives and forks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Nothing Learned, No Enlightenment.

The strength of Goya’s contempt is palpable in his ‘The Disasters of War’ and ‘Los Caprichos’. 
The absence of humanity, not just in war, but in society, particularly the institutions of society is still as plain today. Plainly visible to all, except it would seem, the leaders of society, (or how brazenly they portray themselves oblivious). Rife in Ireland now, in Europe, the U.S., despite the never-ending rhetoric; rife everywhere corridors of power exist.
Nothing learned, no enlightenment, and apparently no wish for enlightenment.

These and many more short videos on the works of famous artists can be found at

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

In Memory of my Mother

It's hard to explain why I find it hard to write about my mother. Is there nothing to be said about the love and care she lavished on me and my siblings, or do I think the role of mother is so humdrum that I  cannot find a poetic lift in it; is it that that role is so intermeshed in my life that I cannot separate the threads, or  have I not got the words nor art to match the love? Whatever it is, these six lines are all I've managed to date.
           In Memory of my Mother

She was
Two cups of flour resourceful
Plumb-line straight
Three sides of a triangle logical

Rain-coat wise

Five woollen blankets caring.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Among the blocks of the establishment
a flawless rise bolted your trust; 

success was cement,
all loose notions were pebble-dashed.  

Now you revise:
the establishment, its self-righteous system:  

how many bodies like you
have fallen from the sides to point the pyramid?  

And how many times did you skate over principles,
that I remember, you once held dearly? 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Leering Masks and Nightmares

from Felos ainda serra

Tonight my sleep was restless.
I could not stand: undulating feet.
Nor clutch my mother’s face: tidal.
Nor shut out burgeoning masks.
Sleep could not be thrown  over
those leers:
too thin its cover.
Struggled under thin sleep,
a geyser of worries.
Dangled naked,
joggled by jets, gratuitous jibes.
Gas jets and phlegmatic one-way mirrors;
there was nothing else but are walls.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

David Bowie's new video

Now this I like. I don't often do music promotion, but 'Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)', the new single from David Bowie's upcoming greatest hits album, 'Nothing has Changed', is my idea of class. 

Have a listen; it's definitely not targeted at the commercial end, but  the video and musical arrangement are fantastic, and I think the air and words, as he sings it, lodge in the corners of the brain, like a particularly successful poem .


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Did you dress up for Halloween

My answer is  always no. It must go back to my childhood, maybe Halloween scares; I’ve never been fond of fancy dress and masks. They make me uneasy, and I don’t particularly like not being able to see faces.
The poems below are from ‘Felos aínda serra’ (AMASTRA-N-GALAR, 2004), and were inspired by photographs of felos ,  carnaval maskers ,taken by Emilio Araúxo in Galicia.
The chapbook, with wonderful illustrations by Charlie Cullen,is one of a series penned by poets from around the world. It consists of 10 short poems translated into Galician, my English originals are  below each. The whole publication can be viewed at ; the others in the series are also available for viewing, see . Great credit and congratulations are due to Emilio for publishing these very attractive booklets, and making them available to all.

  In the holes.
  Eyes watching you.” 

  I see them.
  In the holes.


He lifted his hand to his mask;
his hand: skin and knuckles and frailty. 

Someone humorously put frailty into the face;
The hand magnifies it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Language of Love: Tips from Old Masters

It’s fair to say they don’t write poems like they used to, love poems in particular. The days of unfazed openness in regard to sexuality are well gone. Who now would write a poem entitled ‘Upon The Nipples Of Julia's Breast’?
The 17th century poet, Robert Herrick, was a clergy-man and bachelor who said a lot more than his prayers.  
Upon The Nipples Of Julia's Breast 
Have ye beheld (with much delight)
A red rose peeping through a white?
Or else a cherry (double graced)
Within a lily? Centre placed?
Or ever marked the pretty beam
A strawberry shows half drowned in cream?
Or seen rich rubies blushing through
A pure smooth pearl, and orient too?
So like to this, nay all the rest,
Is each neat niplet of her breast.  

John Donne, one of the greatest English poets, matches Herrick with this title

"On a Flea on his Mistress’s Bosom", and starts,  

“MADAM, that flea which crept between your breasts 
I envied, that there he should make his rest; 
The little creature’s fortune was so good 
That angels feed not on so precious food.”

I particularly  like his poetic take on the modern ‘get your kit off’;

from  "Elegies XX. To his Mistress Going to Bed" 

“ Off with that girdle, like heaven’s zone glittering,
But a far fairer world encompassing. 
Unpin that spangled breast-plate, which you wear,
That th’ eyes of busy fools may be stopp’d there. 
Unlace yourself…………………………….”

and from  “Elegy XVIII: Love’s Progress”: 

"Her swelling lips; to which when we are come,
 We anchor there, and think ourselves at home,
 For they seem all: there sirens’ songs, and there
 Wise Delphic oracles do fill the ear;
 There in a creek where chosen pearls do swell,
 The remora, her cleaving tongue doth dwell.
 These, and the glorious promontory, her chin
 O’erpast; and the strait Hellespont between
 The Sestos and Abydos of her breasts,
 (Not of two lovers, but two loves the nests)
 Succeeds a boundless sea, but that thine eye
 Some island moles may scattered there descry;
 And sailing towards her India, in that way
 Shall at her fair Atlantic navel stay;
 Though thence the current be thy pilot made,
 Yet ere thou be where thou wouldst be embayed,
 Thou shalt upon another forest set,
 Where some do shipwreck, and no further get.
 When thou art there, consider what this chase
 Misspent by thy beginning at the face."

Holy moly!