An Irish Genocide (49)


In the corridors of lapsed time-
yesterday’s whispers

pressed against windows
yearning for their maker’s ears.
For they were lost
on the polished ceramic,
-lost too on the parquet,
where knees ached and
bled on polishing duties


Lost in the secret private prayers

of the frightened mothers,

in tearful genuflection to that order

of insensitivity.


And as the cold painful

winds of life roar through,

Why can I hear your cry-

above decades of indifference ?
Your collective tiny heart beats
thump the sky above,
unsettling unmarked graves

and septic hovels, in your death.


Unacceptable, unforgivable!

Who put you there and why?

Might we plant
some snowdrops,
not necessarily ordered
in a row,
but a random scattering
throughout the front lawns,

tarmac or creaking pavements.

Lest we all don’t know!

As a small visual reminder

when each pearl white candle
stands up in gentle spring glow;

This should never have happened

and will never happen again.

All about Saint Patrick

All about Saint Patrick

Across the green, the drummer’s drum
and children cheer the engine’s hum
as floats row-in, they all have come,
to the Saint Patrick’s Day parade.

While flags they wave, a sea of green
beyond these eye’s, horizon’s screen,
uncovered corners, diaspora’s keen
to colour this charade.

Beyond what was, once simple lore
defined our culture and so much more
times knock upon a different door,
and I a riled-up renegade.

Now far away on different soil
my heart’s mistrust still on the boil,
you made me so, I learned to toil
for riches to be made.

And still it burns within my soul;
How keepers watched our empty goal,
Did nothing for us on the dole,
more cuts from sceptic’s blade.

Saint Patrick! Snakes’ still slither here
massaging figures over beer,
It’s time for change, I smell it near,
our dues are overpaid.

No more, no more of sheep on floor
or talk behind a sound proof door
hear the thousands, feel their roar,
next Saint Patrick’s day parade.

I raise a glass to those away,
in hope someday they’ll get to lay
on Eire’s grass before they grey,
Lament on lemonade.



On the boards, clatter a beat by shoe
Hands down by side, head up true.
To the music of a whistled tune-
And dulcet tones of a lilting croon.

Timed clapping hands and dancing knee
A smiling face for all to see.
The rush of chant, a yelp of joy-
Great fun and cráic for girl and boy;

Just time to catch a breath.

Clasping hands to dance around-
Eyes looking down on spinning ground;
Break away in rhythmic glide,
Each body tuned in potent stride.

All beating hearts in proud attire
Upon the flesh, they’re to admire.
For lips to speak in ears that wait
Of those, that looked, and danced so great.

And time to catch a breath.

As the beautiful goes away (45)


Firmly connected to my
mood swing state;
the music and the wild calls
of nature shall return-
beyond the stained
glass interface of piety
and finely posed reverence,
that once glared heavily upon me,
a crucifixion; by my mortal ways.

I saw those titled ghosts
holding seminars in the sky,
above their station, those
who broke children-
and their children
unnamed in sad finality.

And I, looked into their
once mortal eyes,
their aloof ‘angelic’ throats-
Spurting words of such importance
I’ll never relate to.

Where did their hypocrisy store
enough wax
to burn an honest flame?
No light for the ordinary sod,
grafter and reaper of hardship
-real as hell it was and is.

I learned to step across that,
like the old worn thresholds
to the dripping gold
of the Italian way-
for we’re not mirrors
of our brothers.

I felt a moment once though-
in a voice I understood,
humble and uncomplicated
at Bellagio by the lake
as reflective water’s rippled
toward Antigonish,
lapping back in time.

And while the cries of a boy
ran the aisles, along columns
to the frescos on the roof,
a man asked for the child
to be beside him, for the prayers.
I could sense his happiness
in the divinity of the silence,
at peace with something greater.

Might there be a miracle
witnessed in life’s learning’s?

What subjective serenity.

The caribou and dulcimer
are still now,
as the Nova Scotia night
mood corridors
for dancing lightshows
from the heavens,
as weaving calming colours

As the beautiful goes away

By the Coastline (40)


This wretched trench
where I stand,
damp and unamused.
A stall of circumstance
and complacency
sets out to pickle me,
akin to a mysterious bog find.
Penetrating bone-chill cold
and tetsy fly bitten agitation,
it is what it is.
How I see it now.
This once brief gratification
has left in other poems,
delusional words of life balance
and needy recognition.
Full stop.

I’ll have some salted bloodiness
and head filled manic surges
of wave slapping interaction
to knock me to the ground
or split my tears in half.

Or that quiet tranquillity
to warm my belly of a gentle evening,
as I float in a daze.
Or to greet some like-minded kindness,
maybe throw some idle rhyme off,
skimming on the water top.

Then go sit bollock naked
in the remoteness of Connemara
and forget who the hell it is I am,
stuffed full of stupid stuff.
I’ll shred the decades there,
flame them, send them off and
reclaim a replenished self.

Rinsed in the gift of the ocean,
smoothing away the jagged demon stones
so that I’ll cut no more.
Then toss me onto the dunes of Wexford
on my journey back around
on the tall ship of reason,
circumnavigating home coastline
fills these lungs with satisfaction.
Always the longing dog

for the fairground of the sea

The girl and the goose


She sat on the bottom step
dressed in her Sunday best
a beautiful yellow summer dress
her golden hair tied up
with the softest pink ribbon.

Waiting, knowing the goose would appear
from around the side of the house,
in a waddling strut of business.
With her hands on her hips
‘took flight’ with a babbling
of rather important words,
none of which the goose understood.

It was more the language
of the eyes, as her head bobbed up and down
and from side to side.
Clearly a message in the making,
that goose had committed
a rather inexcusable crime.

And Madame was setting
things right, pointing to the pond
at the bottom of the garden.
But! If only goose could get a word in edgeways,
Well; if only goose could talk!

She would give her account,
for it wasn’t her who…
never mind; guilty by association
in this fowl world.
Knowing geese love fallen
apples, scattered by the pond.
It so happened, that she
in all innocence was around the back,
with those disastrous ducks
in the vegetable patch.

Against the setting sun

100_9349We hung out in the trees
our limbs on theirs,
now resting in the moment
from such laughter without cares,
adventurous and big eyed
notions for the water and the sky
everything to be discovered
within life’s boisterous joy.

Yes, a most perfect photograph
against a late evening sun,
forms of happy silhouettes,
bows, sun hats, pigtails one:
boys in britches, always braced-
to plunge into our Plato’s lake
sending splashes to the stars,
reminder of what tears forsake.

And I wonder on those precious times,
sat around the majestic oak,
reflections now for older eyes
and whispers of when we spoke.
If when you read this,
I hope you’re in your prime
and have wide-eyed carefree notions,
and are a child of mine.

A field full of sunflowers


Where I danced to the Music
of the ‘Parting glass’,
saw ten thousand sunflowers bowing
as the summer’s sun departed,
felt the gentle night air bellow
at the ankles of an aging man
alone in the awkwardness of knowing
enough and nothing all at once.

The spectacular and mundane
not the same now, beyond
the scalded thoughts of midday’s heat
-succumbed to irritating ways.
I’ll have to force some goodness back
thrust it into my heart, deep;
and think of Mary Oliver’s sunflowers,
how she brought to life their beauty.

Remember tantalising descriptive verse
and rhetoric of Pasodoble dance,
a matador with a fearsome appetite.
Ripping at the gums of words,
examining the teeth of the subject,
bite and intent stand the test
of erosionary scrutiny and mouthiness.

The souring in the pit of my stomach-
that bilious of regret, self-consuming,
dissipates; like the angry storm of the mind.
As the sleepy sunflower’s heads relax,
draw breath down through each tall stem
into the root beginning, into the earth.
I am but a sunflower of habit
in a field of many, life abundant
of the moment, transient in the sun’s journey.

By their mothers side

Quiet now
gentle be this day for you
in the white-set
final resting place.

One, two, three
precious ones,
by a mother’s side,
beyond that ugly
fierce atrocious act
where love lays like a gutter word
turned on its head
by a murdering butcher.

There is no other name,
no ambivalence,
damn media subvention
dress and lift on high
such pedigree class
on hallowed ground.

No matter what, it’s done
they are gone,
like a seven day wonder can go,
saturated with the dark things
of moving onto the next story.
That smudge on innocent canvas’
shadows haunting days
in hedgerows harbouring sorrow.

I am full now, gathered up

My unclothed back
due south,
a sunflower
on August’s last
before the turn
of summer memories.
A chill feeling
calls the warm names
of sand, tan, beer,
early morning walks
music by the pool
sunsets for romantics
and poetic dribble.

I am full now, gathered up.
October on the hills
looking at December
you were home once more
the laughter and the craíc,
cake, the best cake
by the glowing coals
with a glass or two
of Tullamore Dew
and a song
about chestnuts roasting.
Our children
always our children
I think of more
much more,
on bikes, in trees
of life, working
recounting, counting
days and weeks
months and years
decades and half centuries
quarters too.
And I will go asleep now, gathered up.