Wednesday, December 28, 2016

An Owl in my head

An idea from the animals represented on the bicorns worn by felos at carnaval in Galicia.

‘There is an owl in my head’
said Joseph. ‘I am wise,
wisest of all creatures’.

‘There is a tiger in my head’
said Paul. ‘I am  fierce,
all creatures fear me’.

‘A stag in mine’
said Thomas. ‘ I am majestic,
admired by all’.

‘My head is empty’
said Jim. ‘a space
for all creatures to come and go.’

Friday, December 23, 2016

Never Dreaming of There Because

is where I am.
Always here,

Happy Christmas.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

How heavy is the weight of Vatican wealth?

Crosses in the cloakroom, please.

Were you going to write me a love-letter?

One of those  poems I come back to occasionally. It  changes each time:  the words, the  meaning and the atmosphere. Some poems defy you; that's good.

Were you going to write me a love-letter?

Did your fingers falter above the keys?
Was there the cacophony of grid-lock on the page,
lines of off-duty taxis:
words refusing to carry love?

At such a juncture, I, in the past, have let my fingers
tap-dance away from a love-letter,
tap a stammer,
morse to garble the unwritable truth.

Friday, December 16, 2016

What was the occasion?

It's 1908, Rathmines Town Hall is decked out in style. That July, the Summer Olympics were held in White City Stadium in White City, London.The Great Britain and Ireland team won 56 gold, 51 silver and 39 bronze medals. But I wonder can anyone explain why the Town Hall was wearing its finery?

Monday, December 12, 2016

Rag Trees

Rag trees are, of course, less common now. The faith that dressed them for centuries is in rapid decline. It's that fact that gives them a poignancy that's quite different to the  poignancy they had in their  heyday. Then it was sheer number of requests or appeals that hard-pressed believers had for the Almighty.

Rag Tree

A thousand dancers for Patrick’s stone eyes:


each one a soul treading thin air.

A thousand clamours for Patrick’s stone ears:


each petition a gutt'ring flare.

Friday, December 9, 2016

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.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


Gulls curdled out of the tide;
spume flew then settled.

I confessed at the top of my voice
to an ocean convulsed in its own troubles.

All of it disappeared in the spray and the tumult, 
then I sang.

And my voice danced away
over the strand.