Saturday, April 28, 2018


A word like a vision,
s slipping over the lips
like water over a weir.

Something lighter than a spacecraft
a fume
somehow escaping;

a small perfection,
fragment of renaissance art,
a sssssssssnip of eternity.


Trees keening winter nights away,
their wails woven into the wind;

heads of hair like seaweed taken from the strand,
flails knotted in insoluble puzzles.

Underground, roots twisting toward some source,
shaped by memory;

trees, like abandoned lovers,
scratching down the marble of night-time.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Above Ground Below Ground

Above ground
my limbs fan out,
carrying spoons
to fill with light.

You tear them up.

Below ground,
my roots fan out,
drinking straws
to suck in water.

You tear them up.

Without me
there is no life
or below ground;

and still you tear.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Piper's Music

The piper is a mythological entity, so, free from shackles, his significance is unlimited.

Now the piper plays the notes of earth:
the slow air of the soil settling beneath our feet,
the centuries that have run like water,
the season-spattered years of crying, laughter,
wars and famine;
the bones beneath us, the resurrected bones;
the notes of time long gone, times never been.

He plays the cycles of life and death, mountain to sea-bed,
flower to seed.
His notes are the snowfall of white-thorn in June,
flurries of its petals in January.
The air is an air long gone, still coming;
he plays it slow; too slow for running ears;
too low for ears never listening.

Sunday, April 8, 2018


In the bar in which they used to meet,
I see him, in what was their place;
eyes fixed on the floor-boards before him,
cigarette smoke dreaming upward.

And then I see her sinuously, in silver tresses,
climbing the light; her slender body uncurling
from his downturned head, and I understand,
she, a resurrected soul, is leaving him.

At One End Of A Bench.

At one end of a bench
an old man wearing Winter clothes
regards the fountains and Summer
through melt-water irises.

This man needs my ear to be a conch
so that he can call to the past down these auditory canals.
And when he calls, his wife and sons will resurrect,
return, reverse like filings into a family.

It is mid-morning in Stephen's Green;
the usual sounds: clacking fowl and fountain symphonies,
outside the thrash of traffic and voices.

In a moment:
two strangers on a bench are traveling backwards to Mayo;
elsewhere a beggar has recreated himself in a bank window
and somewhere, busy in a kitchen, a woman is conversing
though the voice that answers has not been heard for years.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


Strange to say, those memories are barely more than water now;
fluid, indistinct, and always rushing away from me;
that they were ever more is immaterial, I am not who I was.
I do, of course, acknowledge that you have been part of that change,
and for the good, I have not forgotten your part, and I am thankful.
But I have difficulty remembering you. Your face refuses to settle,
more or less as water spills, it refuses to fix in my mind;
your voice comes and goes, otherworldly and faint, like a signal on the shortwave.
More strikingly though, your spirit has become remote from me;
not by choice,  but with the passing of time, the mountain of featureless days
that I’ve kicked up behind me, the dust of accumulated years between us;
distance has anaesthetised me;  I no longer remember the feeling of you being here.