Thursday, May 13, 2021

Love, In My Mouth


In My Mouth

Love, the word:

warm and rolling.

Itself brittle,

taut, wary.

I had it on a forceps;

it escaped.

Love, the word:

I swallowed it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Woman in a slant of sunlight.


Standing in a slant of sunlight,

silver glinting specks of dust,

fingering the links of the chain

about her neck and gazing, not 

seeing, into the blur of greenery, 

her garden. She knows part of

her life has slipped her; not beyond

sensing, but beyond experiencing.

She knows it was hers: some lost

opportunity, something lost from

her own realisation. And it is lost.

Now she must step out of her reverie,

return to her lesser self, trimmed

but, somehow, wiser.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Even when you get there, have you arrived?


If Happiness Has a Sound

It is a stream

running on its pebble bed;

exultation: a waterfall

diving off a cliff;

contentment: a river

strolling through the fields;

achievement: an ocean

hammering on its chest.

And still, the stream is starving,

the waterfall lost,

the river homeless

and the ocean despairing,

seeing the glimmer of the unattainable

on all its horizons.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021



Undulating radiance

away, out to the horizon;

five silhouettes

dancing in it:

a perfection, I believe;

I do believe that.

Beyond them, in that light,

things I wish I said,

long ago

before perfections dimmed;

and still,

still my love.............

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Remaining

This poem has been with me for years. It seems like its content to have an enduring relationship with passing time. The image goes back to the eighties; have I finished with it? Only time can tell.

The Remaining.

See the watch-maker’s face bulge

disappear and bulge in clock glass;

his eyepiece transporting him back

to the innards of Victorian time;

their cogs acting his age; he cupping them,

tiny bones; nudging them onward

to tick his seconds away, and all the time

skeletons, back to his fathers’ reign,

lining the shelves like sunken galleons,

insensible the endless drift of the years.

Monday, May 3, 2021


On the mossy floor beneath the trees,

anemones make a starry heaven;

how exhilarating it is to walk among the stars!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Poetry led me

By sheer coincidence I'm posting this on Poetry Day Ireland. I came across the quotation and felt I had something to say on the matter. The poem does, I think, speak the truth for some, but I would not disagree that poetry has, for many, a healing effect, and I think this has probably been particularly the case during the pandemic.

"poetry led me by the hand out of madness"

                                                                    Ann Sexton

So often, poetry starts a journey but does not arrive;

drops your hand somewhere out on the plain.

Sometimes, it leads through a series of holograms, pictures 

of a journey, then scampers off into a faraway dot.

Or insinuates that you are mad and it is the map

that will return you to yourself.

And sometimes it is the madness; so for your bearings,

keep note of the landscape passing.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021



From nails I hang,

abandoning my corpse like sloughed off skin.

From these four open corners my sprit flies

unfettered by earths’ directions.

Love defying hatred;

I give you the ladder of my bones.

Call me king,

only when I’ve given all for you.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Empty House


Walking through the house: a trespass.

Your order, comforts, colours;

your breath, but not your breathing.

Walking inside your head

with no permission; 

blundering into that unexpected museum-like staticity.

Walking in your space;

the ghost of you constantly passing

but the sunlight falling shadowless onto the floor.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Three Views of the Universe

(rewrite of a poem posted a few years back) 

Sitting on a park bench,

a pool of sunlight before me,

a cosmos of flies:

stars in Brownian motion.

City park at midnight:

moths in lamp-light

with the sudden brilliance of meteorites

streaking from invisibility to invisibility.

Evening sunlight,

a stream of molten silver;

a system of planets

carved into its limestone bed.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

And while it's still April,

here's some advice from Ogden Nash:

Always Marry An April Girl

Praise the spells and bless the charms,
I found April in my arms.
April golden, April cloudy,
Gracious, cruel, tender, rowdy;
April soft in flowered languor,
April cold with sudden anger,
Ever changing, ever true --
I love April, I love you.

which is really an excuse to consider

A Flea And A Fly In A Flue

A flea and a fly in a flue
Were imprisoned, so what could they do?
Said the fly, "let us flee!"
"Let us fly!" said the flea.
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

which is a good moment to consider again

What a Wonderful Bird the Frog Are

What a wonderful bird the frog are
When he stand he sit almost:
When he hop he fly almost.
He ain't got no sense hardly;
He ain't got no tail hardly either.
When he sit, he sit on what he ain't got almost. 

I tried to write something in similar vein:

The sidewinder snake
scribbles sssss in the sand;
spelling what she say
as she slithers away;
how smart is that?

Okay, I'm not Ogden Nash, not even anon.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Holbien: The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb


Ah, God in a box

no universe.

Male body in a coffin

crucified yesterday.

What is life, Lord;

what can we not see?

Sunday, April 18, 2021

A Pair Of Boots


Van Gogh 'A Pair of Boots'

Thrown there, a pair of boots,

well scuffed, parched;

a lolling tongue

thirsting for dubbin.

Laces trailing away

like wire after an escape;

the boots waiting,

endlessly patient.

Leather whose memories

are those of old hands,

who remember the stories

in their sleep.


Thursday, April 15, 2021



Danced a hornpipe on the stream

to its continuous applause.

60% water, the moon full,

I was, indeed, at the top of my form,

clicking the stones

and stomping up spray,

quavers and crotchets draining

from my heels;

and the rooks on the tops of the trees

were roaring me on, breaking into jigs

themselves, they were,

and the sky full of jingly silver

and shooting concertina notes.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Once, The Banshee River


The old men walk a circle from the home;

their old suits holding their bones together.

They stop at the bridge to inquire how life goes;

the river speaks differently to each, then slithers along.

Once, an old man lay down in middle of the road

just over the bridge and was killed almost instantly.

Old people see visions in rivers, they understand, walk on,

and maybe next day come back again to learn some more.

No one knows what he saw in the river, but no one doubts

that it was the river that directed him to his bed.