Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Balmy Day in July

On a balmy day in July,
I sat outside with a few tins,
watching wispy white clouds
alter shape, and the afternoon too
as, sooner than wished,
the sun moved westward.

And that was the day, missiles,
delivered by the US,
killed 56 civilians in Syria.

I suspect that none of those 56
considered that tax-payers,
in the country the sun was travelling to,
would pay for these products
and their delivery
from God’s round blue sky.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

"Never smile at a crocodile and never give Messi that much space"

Simile, hyperbole, metaphor, idiom: Ray Hudson should be mandatory on all ‘creative writing’ courses.

Messi scored the winner against Real Madrid last Sunday and Ray’s celebration was epic.

"The menacing man arrives and sinks his flaming spear into the hearts of Real Madrid ……………..born in the crossfire hurricane, and he is jumping jack flash right here.............. Messi, you could drop a Tarantula into his shorts and he'd still be cool………………… As cool as the seeds inside of a cucumber".

Earlier he described Messi ‘s finish as “cleaner than Neutrogena” and “ wonderful control. He tattoos the ball to his feet.”

Mind you it’s hard to beat some of the praise he has previously showered on Messi, here are a few more:

“Defenders try to follow him on Facebook and he comes out on Twitter.”
“He burgulates the defence. He violates the intrusion. And in football, it’s legal!”
“Messi needs help like a shark needs a dentist”


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The trees in the moonlight

The trees in the moonlight are silent,
and the trees in the pond are still.

If there is malice,
it is not here by the pond in the moonlight.
Neither violence
nor hatred
nor greed.
There are no prejudices here,
but, sadness, oh my God,
sadness fills the air with the voices of thousands
whose throats have been slit,

here, where the trees are silent in the moonlight
by the pond.

Friday, April 21, 2017

An Alternative Interpretation of Megalithic Art

There's been a lot of water collecting in this blog lately, but before pumping it dry, here's one more interpretation of the megalithic art at Loughcrew and and other megalithic sites in Ireland.

Conwell engraving: detail from Cairn L, Loughcrew c. 1870

Concentric rings,
raindrops’ pockmarks,
undulations,  zigzags.

Rivers teeming life and light  ̶̶
smithereens of sun,  
spicules of stars  ̶

we took them from the water,
embellished the stones,
so they would flow into the bodies of our dead,

who would run with the rivers,
live to be old as the earth
shine bright as the stars.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


On an evening
when apple was eating the worm,
tree grating the sun
with some clouds, dusty birds;
the green cloth
was spread to the orchard wall.

I watched bees collecting post
while cat was a tea cosy
with dozey trip-wire eyes.
Suddenly dog alarm in the hedge
comes bursting from the undergrowth:
big game hunter
and cat gone steeplejack.

Then dog winks
and we stretch out,
and I go back to being a microscope
eyeball deep in daisies.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Thinking out loud.............faking politicians

When we tolerate lies from those who lead, don't we cede all rights to principled government, not just for now, but for the foreseeable future. Encourage future contenders for leadership to be, not just lax in their accountability to their people, but to be downright fraudulent in their practices; whatever is self-serving. Our tenuous regard for the truth, so often highlighted in our treatment of whistle-blowers, will leave us open to forms of leadership normally associated with dictatorship.

Sure Sight

I see
your face

a desolate
your irises

the wash
of slivered
your smile

I know of
less trodden

I contract
to be
an explorer
in that universe.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Rivers run


Rivers run over the land:
slivered sky and light,
spindly bodies flowing,
fish and ripples one,

Clamouring in the high places,
lisping in the  low;
spry in youth,
sedate in old age;
always journeying to their end
to run again.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Looking at the detail

One of my favourite works of art, Mantegna’s extraordinary ‘Lamentation Over The Dead Christ’, is nearly too familiar. It would be easy to pan across the image and see much less than is there. Break it down to its detail and its brilliance is seen afresh.

It brings to mind the words of doubting Thomas “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Look at the torn flesh in the feet, the open gashes in the back of the hands; you could put your finger into them.

And when the resurrected Jesus appears to the apostles and says to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe”, he readily replies “My Lord and my God!”

This painting carries, magnificently, that strength to convince.