Monday, July 30, 2012

The Charmer

Working in the same vein as a magician, with hope
To deceive and delight with the same stroke,
To entrance and to invite into a new dimension
Whomsoever finds themselves distracted
By the intricacies and the trickeries in the craft,

To conjure images and evoke emotions,
To hide what's sitting right before the eyes
Behind patterns of words, flicks of the wrist,
Telling whole stories while sending subtle hints,

Convincing one of truth in a false reality and
Another that what they see may yet become
Much more than how it first seems,

Balancing the weight of wisdom with the
Passionate unpredictability of unknown possibility,

Baring all to an audience that is almost blind,

To those who find it easier to question the art
Than to meditate on the meaning in its works,

Maintaining the illusion of control and confidence
While struggling to sate a torn, confused conscience.

Prism Don tSolas

A bhláith tar chugam
Is múin dom do rúin,

Tóg ó shuaimneas
Is ó shíocháin mé
Arís is go minic

Is taispeán dom
An spleodar agus
An spraoi atá le fáil
Sa neamhghnách,

San ildaite 's
Sa choimhthíoch,
Sa chathair seo
Atá úrnua dom shúile,

Las ionam an splanc
Nár dhóigh le tamall
Agus cuir tús le ré

Rómansúil gheal chorraitheach
Agus aontas breá taitneamhach.

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Timely Find

A pair of old love letters
Fell from the front pocket
Of my bag this afternoon
As I prepared to pack to move away,

Still folded as I'd left them
Over five and a half years ago,
Totally forgotten in the dust
And debris of everything since,

But still crisp and clear and
So full of feeling that I had
To catch my breath and stop myself
From cursing out loud in the name

Of every emotion I can imagine,
Her voice still full of life as I read her words,
Our unfulfilled promises flooding back
All together and then blurring before my eyes.

An Trua Is Mó

N'fheadar cén trua is mó, a stór,
Is muid ag dul ár mbealaí éagsúla,

An tuiscint go mbeidh mé brónach
I do dhiaidh fad is atáimid scartha

Nó an tost pianmhar seo, aineolas,
An cosc atá orm a choimeádann dúnta

Mo bhéal is nach ligeann dom
Mo scéal a insint duit i gceart,

An mearbhall searbhmhilis, masc sonais
Fad is a bhreathnaíonn tú orm

Agus súile chuig na flaithis nuair
A shiúlaim uait sa dorchadas.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Music Night In The Curragower

Sitting in a front row seat, 
Probably the best table in the house,
Trying to smile and sing along
To the band who stand so close,
And safely surrounded by friends,
Black velvet refreshment in a cool glass
Stains the wood by my right hand,
I watch the foam on the water pass
As it drifts over the falls and beyond,

But still not quite contented as 
I ponder the poetry of the music,
Wonder at the wisdom of the lyrics,
Long to stand at the centre of the song.
I day-dream of leading the chorus,
Stepping from the safety of my seat
And taking to front of the stage...
For that is where I want to be.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dancing Eyes

One of these days
I'll look you in the eye
And hold your gaze
And stop searching
The walls and floor
For words that will not come,
For the words that have
Evaded us for far too long.

For those are words
That we don't really need,
Not right away at least,
Just more distractions,
Just second thoughts
And barriers to actions,
The food for doubts
That make me look away...

One of these days
I'll step to close this space,
To meet your eyes and smile,
And bring your lips to mine.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Grá Rúnda

Ba bhreá liom gan 'bheith
Chomh aineolach is atáim
Ar scéalta ársa eipicí
Na laochra is a naimhde
A deirtear go mhaireadar
Sa tír seo fadó,

Go mbeadh tuiscint agam
Ar na n-aibhneacha 's na sléibhte,
Ar na n-oileáin 's na lochanna,
Ar turasanna thar na dtonnta,
Ar chogaí idir fórsaí
De bharr ghrá idir beirt nó triúir,

Ar an ngrá rúnda féin
Is ar chonas gurb fhéidir
É a rá is a scaoileadh
Nó é chrá is a éalú.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Delicate Fox

There is a simple kind of joy
In driving late at night
When all the roads are quiet
And the peace is rarely broken
And the darkness offers cover
For the wandering and prowling
Of the slight and delicate fox.

I see them sometimes
Gently pawing at the grass banks
Along the otherwise deserted tar
Or hunching low and slender
And rushing from the avenue
To hide in shadows around the estate,

But it pains me all too often
When I find in harsh daylight
The broken, dust-stained pieces
Of their once bright, fiery coats
Battered and abandoned on the roadside.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Pigeons

As the resident musician
Plays to the regular crowd
That fills the courtyard,
My companion's pointing finger
Draws my attention above
To a spot in the shadows

Where two pigeons sit, staring,
Trapped after the canopy
Was drawn to keep out the rain,
Perched on the speakers
And all the while observing
The unsuspecting dancers,

And after a few drinks
I let my mind wander,
Wondering if a similar vision
Inspired Poe or Hitchcock,
The power and horror
Of something so small,
The mundane put out of place
And into the darkness above.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Extras: Part 3

The simple wonders
Of artificial moustaches,
Powdered hair
In icing-sugar tubs,
A box of gels and razors
And a rainbow display of
Combs and scissors,
Brushes and sprays,
Brightly lit mirrors
And flowing dark aprons,

All the tools of transformation
At the hands of artists,
Experts in the preparation
Of groups raggle and eclectic
For careful placement
Side by side on screens
For education and entertainment.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Do Phóg, Mo Mhanna

Ba mhaith liom tú a phógadh arís,
A Aingil Dhuibh mo bhrionglóidí,
Is tú a tharraingt chugam
Chun go bhfaighfeá suaimhneas
Gar dom chliabhrach mar a tharla
Sé an t-aon oíche amháin sin,

Do ghruaigh mar bhlaincéad síoda
Dorcha ar mo ghualainn dheas
Is do leicne bánna chomh bog
Faoi bharra mo mhéaranna
Is gur mhothaigh mé mé fhéin
Ag titim i dtreo na n-aislingí

Agus eagla orm nach gcreidfí choíche
Mo chur síos ar d'áilleacht,
Macallaí ag teacht chugam ón tseanfhilíocht
Agus fonn orm tú féin is mise
A chur le chéile uair amháin eile,
Lá nó oíche, is anseo i bhfocla na síoraíochta.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Extras: Part 2

The fine young man
Was not impressed
To have his curls
Dark and a-tress
All cut away,
Severely dress
To suit the costume
And the set,

But those who saw
Him had to smile
For even though
Now ranked and filed,
His hair scattered
Along the tiles,
Comparing himself to
A Communion child,

He stood there then
A man of style
After his best cut
In a long, long while.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Extras: Part 1

The button-holes are worn
And the seem inside the leg
Is frayed and splayed out
Like the bobble of a woolly hat,
With a little safety pin hidden
In the waist-band just in hope
That it will look like it still fits,

On these old costume trousers
That by now, I'm sure, have seen
Too many scenes and rails and hangers,
Too many extras and actors
In period costumes under
Old-fashioned hair-styles and spot-lights,

But yet look perfect put together
With the right old shirt and jacket in
Weather typical of Ireland in any era.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Poem For C&H (teen discussion forum)

To C and H I make with haste to read of all and sundry,
This wondrous forum being home to great minds of the country,
In knowledge safe that here I'll find the widest range of discourse
Of quality that's praise-worthy and deserving of sweet verse.

A noble tale it is to tell of this fine forum's naissance,
Its seed the posts of dazzling folk, its water months of patience.
No text-speak blight could quell the roots, nor cynics wielding axes;
They scoffed that we, being but teens, could not produce strong branches.

And yet a garden grew and grew, being tended most ably
By three young mods who, from the sods, pruned weeds away most gayly.
To Piste, to JC and Squigloo, I bid thee raise thy glasses
And cheer in toast that we could boast such crafts-folk in our masses.

But hark! there is much more to say, there are more names and fables,
For here we see community beyond keyboards on tables,
Computer screens, laptops on knees, D4RK ONION may deem portals,
These looking-glasses, not for Alice, but for we young mortals.

From late in two thousand and eight and right up to this moment,
An oak has grown and banter flown, like rafts upon a current
To keep us bouyed, or over-joyed; whatever life throws at us
Can wash away or soundly stay like strong boards in a tree-house.

We've seen it all! Young Jizzler's call for MILFs to sate his urges!
Nialldeman's pleas for recipes for tea! The desperate virgins.
To monumental threads of lore, such topics had us thinking
As Life's hardships and politics and responsible drinking.

We've seen the "Sex Discussion Thread", a most successful mission,
"Here's One That I Made Earlier", kaleidoscopic vision,
The "Soundtrack To Your Angst", a many-spleandoured music medley,
And "What Do You Find Beautiful?" is always bleedin' deadly.

From Kate's bright cakes to ones we make in cups within three minutes,
To "b00bs!" at half four in the morning after too much Guinness.
From Midnight's car to me, the bard, to Deise_Monster's stalking
Of young hurlers and 1Direction, no end to the talking!

From challengemaster logging in to laugh with randylonghorn,
To Noel pretending he's a girl (don't say that you've not been warned!)
We've played at Ultimate Face-down and posted up the pictures,
We've had much fun and then lamented sleeping right through lectures.

The Den, with ever-changing name, somewhere 'tween Aaaarrrgghh and Yaaahh threads,
These bases always busy even when the rest may seem dead,
Debates on God, on pregnancy, and the financial crisis,
Pictures of dresses, drums and drink, complaining about the prices,

From early days and posters who, though no longer oft' seen here,
Impressions last of great chats past, foundations for the future,
Aisling(",), Mushy, Crumble Froo, phlegms, Cautioner and cHaTbOx,
They might pop by from time to time, though leemur has changed his spots!

When Dublin froze young Daysha rose to Keyboard Cat the slipping,
That city also venue to our first meet-up, day-tripping.
But Cavan, Cork and Galway too, and Donegal and Sligo,
Tipperary, Clare and Limerick, a Brummy Tom with banjo,

All places and locations become one when we do post here,
And twice we've celebrated with awards at end of the year.
With Jackobyte and Jumpguy, Aoibheann, Oopsy and Konata,
Davidius, Pygmalion, science, maths and data,

Fad and Craguls, Neon-Circles, extrasupervery,
Ultimate Chin and bythewoods, Jay P, sarcasticfairy,
Monzo, Arcade Panda, Sligo Brewer and degausser,
Almostnever, Namlub, unknown, DingosAteMyBaby,

Mavis Davis, Atavan-Halen and EuropeanSon,
Cows Go µ and Colm! too, but Hitlersson is gone,
There's Lawliet, there's SarahBeep! and IHeartChemistry same,
Agnostic Mantis, I Have Questions and Shacklebolt with new name,

Screaminmidget, conorstuff, Mollikins and YourTextHere too,
Banjo Fella and Flyswatter, seriousfizz and **Timbuk2**,
Ginja Ninja's modding now, and Almighty Cushion visits,
And if your name is not within apologies I missed it!

From books and 90s Babies and to nightclubs and being a genius,
From worst pain to guilty pleasures, we have all of this between us,
So join me, if you will, and celebrate the best of forums.
Cheers to this bizarrely named place! To Clearasil and Hormones!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Love Bites

I'm lying in bed and looking
At the marks on my arms,
The polka-dot pattern of
Four days old insect bites,

The likes of which I have not seen
Since after that infamous night
Almost two years ago when
We struggled to set up our tent
For the night at the end of
My friend's big back garden
Near the woods, without a light,
Swarmed by midges from the ditches,

Before the late evening heat
Faded and icy cold came in,
And I held you close at dawn
To try to stop you shivering,
And even though there is no mark
To show it I can still feel
Your soft cold cheek against mine
Long after we last embraced.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


I see bright purple flowers
Growing through the cracks
Of the wall along the river
By the road towards the bridge,

On that side of the water
Opposite this city centre
Underneath the hanging branches
Of the chestnuts near the benches

Where I used go to sit and think,
To pause and try to breathe in peace
While out for walks in fading evening
On the wall's safe side, behind the flowers.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lost In The Falls

I met a girl who said she liked
To sit and stare through windows

Just to watch the rain,
To see it drop, trickle and flow,

To pass away the hours
Thinking thoughts only she knows,

And I never thought to ask if ever
She looks above to see the rainbow.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

To Tea!

A careful first sip,
Gentle pursing of my lip,
Tasting the sweetness
On my tongue
But not taking
Too much too soon,

The hot cup held up
Just close enough
To wet the tip
Of my nose,
Exhalations steaming
Up from the surface,

I dry the drips
And let out a
Satisfied and smiling sigh
As soothing warmth
Spreads down my throat
And through my chest,

I sit back and
Slip deeper into the cushions,
Breathing slowly
As I drink.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Strange Reunion

It was certainly not what one
Would call a typical reunion,
Embracing in the dark outside
The hotel, hours after midnight,
Before strolling in to the residents bar.
You insisted on buying me a drink.

We thought of how long it had been.
Too long, we agreed through smiles,
You after an evening celebrating
And me after beer for one at home.
Blame absolved and inhibitions already
Bypassed with our conversation barely started,

Talk of all of our mistakes and old, yet
Still remembered desires to the fore,
No fear at all of bringing up
The way things were with us before,
I listened and let you tell me
Everything, all the details I had not known.

All was for sharing, every
Minor confession and every big deal,
Every part of you and me
As was practical in such strange
And coldly public circumstances,
Even allowing for the darkness and the hour.

What more is there to say about it now?
We each have plans in places far apart,
Each different dreams and ideas,
Though neither of us knows for sure, of course...
A strange reunion, yes, too long delayed.
But no mistake and no regrets, we'll say.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Move On

It would be
So much easier
To move on and
To forget the things
That happened
Between us
If your latest lover
Did not bring up
Your name
In conversation
And ask for
My opinion
Of you.

I still remember
The words I spoke,
The highs and lows
In those few
Short sentences,
The suggestion that
There may be wisdom
In avoiding one
Most beautiful
But who'd only
Break his heart.

It is too late now
To ask that I keep
My honesty
To myself,
Though now at least
You have
My side
To balance out
The story.

But I'd rather not
Think at all
About you
Any more.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Críoch An Chiúnais

D'fhanthas im' thost go ró-fhada,
Osnaí á ligeant uaim
Nuair a bhuaileadh smaointí mé
Seachas dánta a scríobh
Nó óráid a rá,

An teannas ag méadú
Sna ghualainne orm
Seachas mo chorp a chur
Ag croitheadh nó mo
Chroí ag buaileadh le gliondar,

Leathannaigh folmha bánna
Snug idir a gclúdaigh
Seachas marcanna phinn
Scaipthe ina scrapanna
Ar urlár an tseomra,

Ar eagla gurb i laige
A thit mo ghuth,
Go dtí gur sháraigh mé
An t-uaigneas i m'intinn
Is thógas ón scabbard mo chlaíomh.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Note To S. (A Friend)

I thought of you this afternoon,
Memories triggered by a song
That used to be your favourite
And one of several that I'm sure
I heard for the first time
In your kitchen or bedroom,
Part of the soundtrack to our
Adventures and experience,

From sleeping over with the lads
And watching films we didn't understand,
Sharing plates of sausages
In the morning before a match,
To cycling around the estates
Figuring out how to talk to girls,
Asking the DJ for goth metal
And the pop and soda local disco,

Or weekend afternoons at the
Internet café in town and
Hours wasted on teen chat-rooms,
To forums and the friends miles away
Planning parties and eventually
Travelling half-way up the country
To spend time with those strange
And beautiful people you introduced to me,

From gigs and that one festival
With cider and sour apple liqueur,
To nights we stayed up talking late
And drinking silly measures of Jager,
The hook-ups and the breaks-ups
With all the drama and secrets
Of a badly written teenage soap-opera,
Pretty characters included,

And even after you left Limerick,
Gradually returning home less and less,
You started writing and I read
And was prompted to follow suit,
The pair of us depressed in different places,
You planning to travel the world
While I just tried to traverse
The tangled paths inside my head,

Even though I only see you now
And then at scattered points
Across the busy calendar,
I still remember with a smile the fun
We've shared throughout the years,
I think of sad times not mentioned here,
I think of you, my friend, these afternoons
When listening to our old favourite tunes.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ag Staidéir San Oigheann

Cúis ioróine is ea é domsa,
Fear gan creideamh is mé
Anseo trí lá i ndiaidh
Domhnach Cásca,
Go mothaim go bhfuilim faoi ghlas
In Ifreann éigin ar domhan
Sa leabharlann seo gan tost,

Na diabhail go léir im thimpeall
Ag spalpadh bladhmanna cainte
Is ag ligint pléascanna uathu
Gach aon uair a bhogtar leathannach
Is pé ama a osclaítear mála,
Is gan aon aingeal coimhdeachta
Chun suaimhneas a chothú.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Just Coffee And A Chat

Ah, Café On The Row.
It's been a while.
I've been here only once
In two years,
Twice if sitting outside
With a smoking friend
Counts as a visit.

Today's too wet and grey
For taking chairs outside,
And neither of us smokes,
So sitting in the warmth
And colour inside suits us.
It hasn't changed at all,
Our old favourite place,

Parisian aspirations in the décor
More than in the menu,
Although the brie goes well
With Limerick ham and
Red onion marmalade,
And a garnish of
Bitter-sweet memories.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pub Poetry

This pen and note-book combo
Is about as out of place
In here tonight as any
Artist's tools could ever be,
The order of these lines and
Careful placing of this ink
At odds with groups hap-hazard
Between tables and the bar,

And yet as I sit writing,
Avoiding parties, dance and smiles,
These words come to me through the noise
And pen meets paper easily.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Basking In the Madness

Basking in the madness
Of a bar at midnight,
Band in full swing for the
Four hen parties in the one place,
A camera flashing every moment
In one corner or another,
Everyone a star aglow,

Posing for the local paper,
Table reservations for the VIPs,
Shots and cocktails over-flowing,
Shouting orders though the din,
Singing along with the favourites,
They shuffle and sway off the beat,
Basking in the madness.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Your Brilliance

I can't write proper poems to you yet.
I do not have the words,
The years, the wisdom,
The grim experience.
This absolute finality
Is such that I have not
Within my mind or heart
The reason nor the wish
To accept that you are gone.

Years ago your smile was my delight
And I kept a picture of
Your stunning eyes.
Such eyes will never smile again,
And only memories and pictures
Hold your brilliance within.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cast Yourself Adrift

I keep trying to shut you out, dear girl,
And yet you try again to slink back in
With softly spoken words and messages
And hints of thoughts of times best left behind.

I feel stronger when I don't reminisce
About the nights when we first danced and kissed,
Sleep better when you are not on my mind.

What might have been I'd rather not imagine.
I'd sooner tell you let your sails unfurl
So you might drift away and not be missed.

But, such a thing to say would be unkind,

And so the dark and winding passages
Are still haunted by pictures of your face
And bitter memories of your embrace.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Where I Lie

Waking for the fifth time
In one morning
With all sense of order


In fretful thoughts
Of missed appointments
And all the scattered


Of dreams and faces
Still imagined in
Clothes piled


Around bags and shoes
And books and glasses
About the bed where I


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Odd Directions

I fall in love
Every time
I take the bus,

Watching these
Beautiful strangers
Stroll on
Or depart,

And find myself torn
In odd directions

Between old-fashioned notions
Of gentlemanly courting,

Liberal dreams
Of free loving

And instinct
Compounded by
The shuddering seats.

Friday, June 29, 2012

View From A Train Window

Ivy-strangled trees,
Patches of thistle,
Tire-tracks in the mud
On tractor-land,
Calves learning to run,
Old horses tethered
To older out-houses,
Gaps in the corrugated
Roofs above mossy walls,
Ditches dry
After a sunny week,
Empty barns
And rusting gates,
Bare boughs between
Harvest-ready conifers,
Gravel patches and
Piles of stone chippings,
Fallow fields,
Unsteady fences,
Rolling hills,
A flapping hooded crow,
Sheep resting together,
White blossoms
Over yellow bushes,
Felled logs and
Chopped branches stacked high,
All beyond these shuddering windows,
All beneath this grey March sky.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cumann Rúnda

Do cheapas gur tháinís
Ar aon chúis amháin,
An t-aon fáth gur thugas
An cuireadh sin duit,
Is an bheirt againn éirithe
Roimh solas na maidine,
Drúcht ar an bhféar cosúl
Le filíocht ársa,
Nochta gan moill
Ach fós féin cúthail,
Cinnte ach foighneach
Inár gcumann rúnda
Go dtí go d'oir cúrsaí
Dúinn i gceart
Is do chaitheamar tamall
Gan aird ar an gclog,
Agus mé fós ag smaoineamh
Nach raibh ar d'intinn
Ach an méid binn céanna
Is a bhí im cheann féin.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


These descriptions of life,
Of incidents and adventures,
Of people and surroundings,
With all the assumed significance
In the incidental details,
Arranged in tidy order
To counter-balance the
Sensation of border-line chaos,

Lie somewhere in between
Such various extremes
As epics, fairy-tales,
Soap opera and satire,
And it's often as much
A challenge to tell which is which
As it is to see them happen
In the first person.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Different Kind of Sadness

The problem is not darkness.
I enjoy the dark,
And I can see the elegance
In a raven's proud black head,
Can sense the mystery
Of the shadows and
Walk the roads nocturnally
Without a fearful thought.

Nor is it a coldness.
I do not shiver.
The cold can call for romance
If it prompts a pair's embrace,
Ice can sooth or remedy
The aches of tired limbs,
A chill wind on a body
Is a thrill more than a pain.

This is a different kind of sadness.
There is no joy in it,
Unwelcome, arriving unannounced,
It smoulders dully, never sparking,
Lingering persistently,
A drain on energy and hope and strength,
Neither cold nor dark, but lonely,
A fear of healing touch and company.

Monday, June 25, 2012

To My New Notebook

Hello, my brand new notebook,
You new confidant of mine,
The vessel for my verses,
For my musings and my rhymes,
Repository for rhetoric,
Lamentations and lines,
Journal for my journeys,
Log of lyrics and of times
When talking is no option
And I've no choice but to find
An artful outlet for these
Things that play upon my mind,
The bitter and the beautiful,
The cruel and the kind,
They'll all be yours, my notebook,
Safe within your leather binds.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hello, Stranger

She's a picture of confidence
In tight jeans and
A bright red coat
With her hair tied back
So as not to hide her face,
Jaw tight and lips pursed
As she holds up a magazine,
Reading it at shoulder height
With a slight hint of a smile,
One of only a small number
Of lone travellers
On a train of twos and threes,
Four rows ahead and
Facing back towards me
On the opposite side
Of the pale carriage,
And I'm sure she knows
I'm staring out the window
So as not to meet her gaze.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fools On Pedestals

Men often write of inner strife
Or lament their private torment,
Exaggerate and overstate
Their sense of self-importance,
Put pretty fools on pedestals
And trample dirt on angels,
Find treasure plucked from rubbish
And throw gold and jewels in ditches,
As flawed, as dumb, as over-awed,
As blind, as deaf, as fooled
As any other who would chance
And risk their peace for romance.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Solitary Sensuality

It is the middle of the night
And once again I fantasise
And re-imagine some perfect
Combination of conquests,
For want of a much better word,
Amongst other things, spurred
Into solitary but no less fulfilling
Sensuality, visions briefly thrilling
A mind and hands distracted
From more poetic actions,

Before a swift return to clarity,
To brutal euphoric honesty.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Fair Maiden, Poetry

I find myself at desk with pen
And sudden urge to write again,
With mind to irrigate a soil
Left barren for more urgent toil.

This craft or pastime, once my strength,
Neglected now for such a length
Of time that I had grown unused
To crafting simple pleasure produce.

I stressed too much the use of words
And phrases, images and sounds
To please sterner critics rather
Than liberate my caged soul.

It matters not that I propose
To vary simple and verbose,
Nor that I sometimes rhyme my verse
Or mix the rambling with the terse.

To frolic with Simplicity,
Yet hold hands with Complexity,
Is not an infidelity
To my fair maiden, Poetry.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This Bind That Snakes

I made a vow,
I will not break it.
What you feel now,
You'll have to shake it.
You ask me how,
I tell you fake it.
Your face pleads, oh!
I must forsake it.

What you want,
We can never make it.
I tell you we can't,
Do not mistake it.
I must be distant.
Your heart might ache, it
Cracks and fragments,
But I can take it.

Now cut me out,
Don't hesitate, it
Must be drowned,
This passion naked,
Have no doubts,
This bind that snakes, it
Would bring nought
But pain in the wake of it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


You came to me on a Saturday
Like my first temptation
In the desert,
Offering yourself
To one whose only faith
Is in his friends
And in himself to do no harm,
And out of fear of guilt
I could not let myself
Partake in that which would
Have quenched my thirst,
A cold rejection you despaired
As your very first.
I sent you home and went away
Not knowing when we'd meet again,
Nor when I had become so loyal
To he who would have been heartbroken.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Because I Can't Admit I Miss You

I ask you for your news sometimes just so
I can tell you about what troubles me.
A cowardly thing to do, yes, I know,
A selfish ploy, and I wish I could be
Honest and say it is to you I go
Before all other friends whom I could see,
But since we've been apart it's strange to show
That side that thinks of us in unity.

I turn to you with all these tales of woe,
Sometimes wishing to evoke memory
Of days before our passion fell so low
And you and I were happier as we,
Before drama and conflict were in vogue,
When sharing everything came easily.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Something Marvellous

Every single
Little and

Morphs and
Transforms into

Under these
Poetic circumstances.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Note to Aoibheann

I couldn't hear you clearly
When I called you.
You know well how my phone is
Somewhat broken.
Too many times it's fallen or
I've dropped it
So it punishes me now with
Failing volume.

We looked at better models on
The shop-shelves
As we strolled through town today
Before my bus.
You said you'd buy a new one
Soon to suit me,
But only once you'd found a job
To fund it.

I think it was good news you had
To tell me,
And I'm sorry that I could not
Hear you clearly.
If it was news of work,
I look forward to talking
With you later.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Death and Life On The Bus

If this bus was to crash today, right now,
The driver breaking the speed limit
To overtake a cattle truck,
And if all of us within,
We the passengers,
Were tossed and thrown like broken glass
Between the seats and bags
And through the windows into fields,
The radio vainly wailing
Last year's biggest hits and static,
The clouds above too perfectly passionless
To feign pathetic fallacy,

Then all else in my life
Would lose its grip
Of overwhelming and
Exaggerated significance,
And the drama and battles
And quizzes and college
Be forgot,
And I would only cling to life.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Piece of You.

Moments melt away
And half-remembered
Times blend
And interfere with
My tearlessness
As I pass a spot
Where we stopped
To say goodnight
After our first kiss.
The bind of now
Breaks and blurs
And nearly six years
Converge under a street-light.
We're hugging
And we're not
And never again.

The tears melt away
As I leave the spot
Where we stopped.
The binds of then
Weave and sooth,
Bring me peace.

A piece of you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Never more honest than in poetry,
Lyrically undressing and revealing...
An idea.
A moment.
The ghost of a picture,
The spirit of
That may never have happened
But might sound lovely?
The novel threads of an
Emperor of folly?
The reflections of a man,
Of an artist,
Of a fairground mirror?
Or could it be the genuine
Truth of the matter?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Harshest Drop Of All

You can set a safety net
Some way below
The thrill of the tight-rope
Or the exhilarating trapeze,
And although you may be caught
The first few times
That you should fall
From such remarkable heights
There is no guarantee
That the binds will hold.

And some day you may topple
Or be dropped,
A little stumble or
Hands too slow to clasp,
And that net which you set
May tear and break,
And you may find that it
Had all along
Been set too high
With still a steeper drop below,

And that the small and
Oft' survived mistakes
Had built up too much strain
In frail supports,
Too many tests this
Net was forced to face,
Too high you set your
Hope and expectations,
And little can prepare you
For the harshest drop of all.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Mothaím fuinneamh ionam inniu,
fuinneamh neirbhíseach an dalta
ar lá roimh spriocdháta
is gan an obair a bheith déanta.

Ritheann na huaireanta ina nóiméid
agus chreidfeá go bhfuil gach doras
á dhúnadh go róluath.

Bagraíonn oíche gan chodladh mé
le meangadh gránna dorcha.

Aoibhinn laethanta deiridh mo bheatha mar scoláire.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Smiling At It All

Evening twilight hazes in upstairs
On the corner at the back end
Of the gay bar in town.
I wear my new pink t-shirt,
Reference literature and fine wines
And polish the fingerprints from the glass
Of a friend's newly cut photo frames
For a Gay Pride Week exhibition,

And the greatest surprise is not my
Location or the situation
But rather a Breakfast At Tiffany's poster,
Holly Golightly smiling at it all,
An image I've grown to know so well
From ex-girlfriends' bedroom walls.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


We have broken the ice,
And what remains to be seen
Is how far we will fall.
The instant and overwhelming rush,
Gravity's cold slap to the face
Followed by a sweet embrace,
Drunk, of course,
Me torn between sinking and
Floating in emotions
And confusions
And everyone else's business,
It surprises us,
And I can't tell in the dark
If those glistening blue eyes
Are the oceans or the skies.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Entire World Without

I sit with my back to the window
And the entire world without,
Temptations of flowers and mountains,
The call of woods
And rivers and oceans,
Stone circles,
Forts in the rocks,
Ancient domains,
Abandoned dwellings,
Restored glories,
Churches and graves,
Ruins and shipwrecks,
Halls and corridors,
Clouds and rainbows,
Pools and pillars,
Subterranean limestone
and acid formations,
Bones and fossils,
Prints and paintings,

From flint to teflon,
Thread to broadband,
Trails to roads,
Signs and words,
Symbols in space,
Design and accident
and mystery,
Potential and possibility,
Answers and more questions.

All of this beyond a window,
A barrier of glass and my back towards it.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


D’fhéachas amach tríd an bhfuinneog inniu
is do chonac draíocht an earraigh
mar dhea is gur phléasc na crainn thar oíche
mar fhéileacán ag éalú ó chrysalis.

Déantar dearmad ar a bhfoirmeacha loma creatlacha,
bindealán bog mín glas ar gach cnámh anois,
agus titeann an chéad chith Aibreáin
ag múchadh thart na páirceanna théis coicís geal te.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Imirteas Focal

Seolann muid teachtaireachtaí
Trasna na tíre,
Lán de leideanna agus
Abairtí leath-ráite,
Ag imirt chluiche
Gan teangabháil,
Ag brath ar fhocail
Seachas ar úsáid teangacha,
Íomhánna inár n-aigne,
Aislingí nua-aimseartha
Nach bhfoilseofar d’éinne,
Agus guí uaim
Nach mbeimid scartha
Mar seo go deo.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Challenges

There was a time when I'd romanticise
The mud, the rain, the hours of running,
The effort, the passion and sacrifice,
The drawn games, painful defeats, sweet winning,
Arriving home exhausted all those nights,
Going without sleep for morning training,
The challenges, the teamwork and the fights,
Home or away, walking or miles of driving,

Til this year and it changed and wasn't fun,
And things that once came easy all went wrong,
Encouragement drowned out behind complaint,
Those once our guiding lights no longer shone.

Next week two more will follow those who went
Through airport gates to lands of brighter suns.

Monday, June 4, 2012


I hide a smile and
pretend to play cool
as a pretty girl
with hair and lips like
Molly Ringwald in
her teenage heyday
shyly turns away,
my gaze having met
her passing stare.

Two girls at
a nearby table
laugh at a pigeon
strutting too close
to their legs,
and this time
I cannot help
but let a playful smirk
light up my face.

The unfamiliar faces
no longer make me nervous,
now as pieces in a game,
a chess of confidence.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I sit with my back to the window
And the entire world without,
Temptations of flowers and mountains,
The call of woods
And rivers and oceans,
Stone circles,
Forts in the rocks,
Ancient domains,
Abandoned dwellings,
Restored glories,
Churches and graves,
Ruins and shipwrecks,
Halls and corridors,
Clouds and rainbows,
Pools and pillars,
Subterranean limestone
and acid formations,
Bones and fossils,
Prints and paintings,

From flint to teflon,
Thread to broadband,
Trails to roads,
Signs and words,
Symbols in space,
Design and accident
and mystery,
Potential and possibility,
Answers and more questions.

All of this beyond a window,
A barrier of glass and my back towards it.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Just Passing By

I saw her on O'Connell Street on Wednesday,
Chatting with her parents,
Standing near a restaurant door;
One of the finer establishments, of course.

I was driving and I had the window down,
Warmer than expected
For a mid-October's eve,
But could not stop with the lights' signal green.

And whether this be proven a misfortune
Or some kind of luck
Matters little either way;
Two years between us, there's little left to say.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Late To Meet

Tea for one
And my phone
On the table,
I flick through photos
On my digital camera
As an excuse
To keep my head down
And avoid eye-contact.

I try not to show
Traces of displeasure,
As a younger me once would,
At news of
A friend's late night
Of drinking too much
And being late to meet
As a result.

The tea is hot and sweet,
The pictures colourful,
And for a change
It is not raining in Limerick.
Johnny Cash sings of ghost riders
As the sun breaks through
The cloudy sky,
And slowly I relax.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

First Poem In Memory of Roe

I spent ten minutes
in the bus station
deleting the old
text messages from
the week when she died
and up until the
time of her funeral.

I don't have too much
by which to remember her
left with me now,
imagination and
memory intertwined
in a strange and painful
romance long finished.

There's still the stuffed bear,
the shared photographs,
the simple recipe for
garlic mayonnaise,
the inscribed black
leather notebook to fill with
"all your wonderful poetry",

And a slowly mending broken heart.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cló Dubh

Feicim m’ainm i gcló dubh na hirise
agus saothar simplí os a cionn
agus is beag nach n-aithním é
mar mo scríbhneoireacht féin.

Tá sé chomh fada sin ón lá
ar a scríobhadh iad go bhfuil siad ina
seasamh romham ina n-íomhánna scamallacha
ar nós scátháin bhréagaigh nó griangraf gan flash.

Mé féin atá iontu, tá a fhios agam,
sa tslí chéanna go bhfuil píosaí díom
sna pictiúir a thógas agus mé im gharsún;
an duine céanna, ach roimh fhorbairt phearsan.

Ach, ah, táim ródháiríre!
Táim bródúil astu, déanta na fírinne.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Soicindí Idir Titim Bháistí

Im shuí i seomra ciúin dorcha,
le peann im lámh,
is fón im phóca,
agus brón laistigh i ndiaidh mo ghrá.

Lasmuigh, tá balla liath
le duilleoga glasa,
ag rince trí na poill,
agus bláthanna beaga de chuile dhath.

Sa seomra, níl faic chun m’aird a thógáil,
seachas leathanach folamh bán
a chuireann i m’aigne íomhá
dem chailín féin is í cois trá,

ag baint taitnimh as an ngrian chéanna
a bhfeicim go hannamh, ach i rith cuairte
nuair a éiríonn an bháisteach róthuirseach chun titim
is imíonn na scamaill ar shosanna beaga.

Coimeádaim im cheann a súile gorma,
chomh geal is soiléir
leis an bhfarraige faoin spéir,
sna soicindí idir titim bháistí.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Neart Stoirme

Ba mhaith liom
an tintreach
a thógáil ón spéir
is a chur ar pháipéar
leis an bpeann im lámh.
A fuinneamh
ag rith trí mo chorp
is trí mo chroí,
is an toirneach dorcha
a scread óm bhéal
le neart na stoirme seo
i lár an tsamhraidh.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pictiúr de Thinneas Ghrá

Feicim aghaidheanna dathúla,
Radharcanna áille i súile,
Cósúil le réaltaí ós mo chomhair
Nó le daifidil i nDeireadh Fomhair.

Ní féidir liom casadh timpeall gan titim glan i ngrá,
Mé cósúil le beach ag eitilt i ngáirdín lán le bláth’
Faoi draíocht na háilleachta, mar i mbrionglóid le spéirmhná,
Mo chroí ag bualadh níos taipiúla, gan trácht ar bhrón nó ar chrá.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ag Meabhrú

Súile dúnta ar feadh tamaill,
Ciúnas beagnach iomlán timpeall,
Mise suite i lár teampaill,
Fadhbanna seolta lasmuigh den imeall.



Ní raibh sé chomh héasca le dubh agus bán;
Sna pictiúir a chruthaigh siad ba dhian an dúshlán,
Cé go raibh samplaí foirfe ar scáileán
Chun iad a spreagadh, mar Muse ag tús dáin.

Do bhí orthu dreapadh thar bhalla an leadráin,
Billeoga folamha a líonadh le dath amháin,
Éalú ón mbogha báistí gan aon ghearán;
Ní raibh sé chomh héasca le dubh agus bán.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fading Out

A window slightly opened wheezes wind;
My private screaming chorus of night’s storm.

The sky pauses to whimper like a pup.

It howls, then pounds again with bitter force,
A crescendo, the apex of a wave
Comes crashing down like rock-spray by the shore.

My door protests and rattles in its frame.

Then silence tip-toes in on creaking floor-boards.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Writer’s Block: Part Three

Seeking the capture
Of those words
That sum up in a 
Moment’s glance
The emotions and
Of just one instant
Can pose a
Challenge the equal
Of scaling
The sheerest face  of
A mountain.

To find them is to
Stand atop
A summit and gaze
In awe at
One’s own achievement,
And tremble
At the thought of the 
Steep descent.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Castlegregory With...

“The mist on the hills is so pretty!”
She smiled as she exclaimed,
While I controlled the car out of Tralee
To Castlegregory for what would
Prove to be our first and
Only night away together.

I could only glance a moment
Through the rain-obscured window
At the veil that softly fell
From sun-kissed clouds and caressed
The rocks and grass along the hills
About the road.

Sixty seconds later, another mile
Behind us, we sang along to music
And I put on sunglasses to pose
For a picture as she played games
With a camera. Thoughts turned to dinner
As evening approached.

* * *

At ten o’clock we stood and watched
As the sun seemed to melt
Into the cliffs over the sea,
An orb of golden peach.
It faded as the night drew in,
The end of something beautiful.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Morning of the Disco

The simplicity of an empty hall,
Music sounding sweetly from two speakers,
Two friends with books and one with the paper
And nothing but poetry pressing me
Combine for peaceful relaxation and
A moment more calm than the blue June sky.

And then it’s lost. Gone, perhaps forever.
The music drowned out, paper rustled shut.
Authority’s footsteps pound to the door,
Pause... then pace around the hall, echoing
The message of jobs to be completed.
I rise to seek scissors and tape-measure.

We cut black sheets to cover the windows.
Blue skies are lost to a hall of shadows.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

En Attendant Killian

It’s funny how a mind can work
At quarter past one, after midnight,
When the only things
To busy the eyes are a silent guitar,
A pile of unsorted underwear,
Two poorly-hung shirts
And a companion whose mysterious writing
Keeps light streaming from a lofty bulb
To seizure-bind the occasional
Furious moth at our black window.

I summon a pen from the floor
To dirty a blank page with blue scribbles,
Trying to take the whole room in;
The pink walls and brown door,
The bed-clothes a mix of sea colours,
The three different patterns in the carpets,
My empty water-bottle and half-full bag of biscuits.
And then my friend’s feet touch the floor.
He stands to quench the light,
And the wait for slumber ceases.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I told that bold story again.
I tried my best to tell it well,
Although I’m sure by now I must be
Leaving out some of the details.

The names and places were still there,
As were the most important points
From this story-teller’s unique
And, doubtless, biased point of view.

I kept no secrets from the tale,
No tear too insignificant
Nor act of selfishness beyond
The boundaries of shame, regret.

* * *

I rarely ponder the idea
Of whether others tell it too,
From very different points of view,
And what they might say now, and how.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Goalkeeper: Part 6

I haven’t seen much of the Goalkeeper
In recent weeks. He showed up for a while
In August, promising to be the one
On whom the team could rely for success.

He got the usual mixed reactions
From the gang, at first, but slowly trust and
Greater expectation became rewards
For proof that he still had gifts to offer.

His face became more rare a sight after
Mid-September, and now he treads neither
Grass nor astro-turf, keeping clean his gloves
And boots. I wish they were not so spotless.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Pretender

The opaque glass of a closed shop window
Acts as camouflage behind his dark shirt,
The crisp, ironed edges of which belie
The truth of his softness underneath it.
He is cold. The hair of his hand stands up,
Exposed fingers clasping a plastic bag,
And he shivers away the second last
Saturday night of August, standing there.

This waiting game, prelude to the first act,
Ends as a familiar car pulls close and
He pretends the lift does nothing to raise
His spirits, the cold of the night hidden
By his cool exterior and denied
With half a smile. He warms up as they drive.

Later, under lights, he is the centre
Of attention, mysterious, with one
Eye hidden by a sharply tilted hat,
Sparkling ear-ring and bright white tie, flashing
A smile at anyone who meets his gaze,
Teasing them by dancing from their contact.

With some comfort from this costume, he can
Fool watching eyes with an illusion of
Self-confidence, almost convince himself
That all is well, that it will be okay...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sad Thoughts of Home

It’s not so far from Shannonside to this
Hotel off Princess Street in Manchester
That memories of People’s Park (first kiss!)
Or Bedford Row and lunchtime shared with her
Cannot slip into mind unheralded
And like clouds above the river shadows spread.

And though in Dooradoyle we walked through mist,
And countless strolls down Henry Street now blur,
I cannot help but pause to reminisce
Of feeding swans at Howley’s Quay, full sure
That many such bright days still lay ahead.
Alas, that proved a fortune poorly read.

On O’Connell Street we’ll rendezvous no more.
I pine and gaze at the hotel-room floor...

To James, After Your Birthday

The much maligned and fabled
Morning after such a fine
Old evening and night of
Celebration hit us hard.

We rose for tea and coffee,
Sat around your kitchen table
With our buttered toast and
Clouded memories and bashful smiles.

The freshness of that Sunday
In September, after rain,
And the glowing green horizon
Soothed our tired eyes and heads.

We spoke of songs and drinking,
Of games and broken glasses,
Of comforts and of cures that
Conjured images of childhood,

Then toasted you and yours with
Empty vessels, croaking, hoarse
And happy notes in voices
Of those glad to be your friends.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Best Wishes

If one, by chance, should come to read
Some sample of my poetry,
I wish that there-in they will find
The work of a creative mind.

I wish to them that it be known,
Whether through image, sound or tone,
That I have always sought out new
Vehicles for my point of view.

I do not seek celebrity;
Just that these scribbles may be seen
And valued by a friendly eye
That finds wherein these words truths lie.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

After Reading

What thoughts are these
That come to me
In my first tongue
After so long
A wait without?

It must now be
Two months times three
Since, right or wrong,
For poem or song,
My pen I’ve sought.

I’ll not complain.
Words come again!

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Force of habit turns my face 
To look towards your house 
Each and every time I pass 
Along this avenue. 
Today I can surmise from here 
That you're not home 
On this occasion, 
But other days I see 
An open doorway and 
Remember silly childhood games 
And even later summer days 
Of chatting till the stars came out 
And we had to go indoors, 
Back to different homes, of course. 

Our last real conversation 
Seven four summers ago now, 
But still we always smile 
Or say hello or wave from cars, 
Then look away again 
And journey on. 
I shyly bow my head 
And think of how I used to be, 
Wonder if there was ever a moment 
When you felt the same as me... 

Then I feel habit's hold relinquish. 
I smile at the thought of someone new. 
I've grown out of that dream-like wish, 
Those naive visions of me and you.

Friday, May 11, 2012


There is no evil in simple lyric,
Nor laziness nor cheating short-cut,
When there-in may be found
A moment’s sudden glimpse
Of something special
That might evade a mind or hand
More tasked with frill or fancy.

And, but for the saving chance
Of right fist clasping
And a leading on a dance a nearby pen,
Scraps of empty paper would
So, barren, remain
And for time uncountable
Exist devoid of art.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Among My Souvenirs

When our attic was converted
From pull-down ladder and
The occasional torch-lit cobweb
To make a bedroom for my brother,
A space of shelf was kept, a little alcove,
In which to store some books or other treasures.

But my brother kept his room, the one downstairs,
And so I took this new top-floor abode,
The room that fit two beds, en suite and shower,
The one built around the chimney, with an alcove.

At first it served its purpose well, this shelf:
I kept books and pens and other trinkets there.
But as time and holidays passed by
It soon was lost beneath piled-up sweet-wrappers.

When pressed I do clean it from time to time,
And after a while I had it more neatly ordered:
Photo albums took the place of empty cartons,
A shoebox added to hold old notes on paper.

A row of cases on the middle shelf
Displays my medals, fruit of matches won,
Above some scattered public-transport tickets
Kept from different places where I’ve gone.

There’s an old lamp of my Nana’s (with a new bulb)
And still a place for books (both read and not),
A packet of “Love Hearts” sweets (never opened)
From a youth club party otherwise forgot,

A collection of old copybooks kept
After four successive summers in
The Gaeltacht, the contact details of “friends”
Not seen once since still held safely within,

Souvenirs, each holding close-to-equal parts
Within my head’s swirling thoughts and
Memories valued in my heart,
Like fields divided on a hillside
Round the castle on that island,
A microcosm of early manhood.


Hours wasted watching football,
At least from the view of a
Worrying mother’s eyes;
The chance to pass copious
Minutes on virtual games
Or to ignore the salty
Smell of a fried lunch Dad cooked
For ten more minutes in bed;
Nights spent drinking in bars or,
Closer, the house of a friend,
Or even sleeping early
For a Sunday morning match,
Or romantically sipping
Shared mugs of hot chocolate with
Someone special and a hug,

Or shivering in the early hours,
Chasing the words to capture a day.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Always Thought It Was Perfect…

Beyond a branch of black bog oak and close
Beside the boundary hedge, before the
Fenced-off greenhouse and rows of cultured
Beds, there stood my cousin’s “tree house”, a
Little room on stilts of clean-cut timber
With two ladders for entry and a slide.
The slide, the part I always found most fun,
But was centre of attention when a splinter
Caught, sorely, in another cousin’s leg
As she stopped smiling midway down the slide,
The scene of the great drama on the day
A shot rabbit was resurrected and
Leapt into a dirty run, avoiding
The stew-pot and defying my uncle’s gun.

The rope ladder, the greatest challenge set
Before this child who formed a fear of heights,
Led to a trap-door underneath the room
That rose above the level of the house,
A bungalow before later conversion,
Where turf-fire and recipes with garlic
Left impressions that to this day still stand out.
There was the damp day when my cousin just
For fun put my favourite teddy out of reach
Between the branches of a garden tree,
And got me into trouble when I cried
And reacted by shouting loud bold names,
But also home-made ice cream from the freezer
Near bottles of home-made wine kept in the shed.

Then one year, without warning, came the sight
Of the garden without the tree-house in it,
But still I loved the thought of going there.
There was the chance to play rounders, three-on-
Three, with my cousin and younger brother,
Or to hunt rabbits in surrounding fields,
But refuse my only offer at a shot,
The same field where, at three or four years old,
My boots sank ’til I got stuck in the mud
And, left alone, I waited in the cold
Until my cousin’s warning reached my Mam,
And they came out to help me back indoors,
The same field where, at least ten years thereafter,
I swore I saw the lights of a U.F.O,

And then the year of the big barbecue
In memory of my late Grandfather,
Where it transpired that I’d become the tallest
Of all the men-folk on my mother’s side
When all of us lined up to pose for pictures,
Before somebody put some logs to fire
And the adults sang ’til that burned to cinder.
And the first time that I ever, without
Stopping, ran four solid miles beside my
Uncle along the road and across both
Grass and bog to gravel by the lake where
He went swimming and I tried to catch my
Breath, before we got picked up by car, driven
Back to a house that soon after was sold.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Issues of Editions

Esoteric ramblings and
The in-jokes of strangers.
Treatises on life.
Comments on holidays
Shared by two or three.

Is this how we present
Our craft, risking the danger
That verbose lines might
Cause readers’ eyes to stray?
Is this how poems should be?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Performance: On The Rocks (acoustic)

As promised, a performance of the poem posted last night.

On the Rocks

Sitting here, sitting right here where you left me
On the rocks, and staring out to sea,
And I’m lying, I’m lying through my teeth,
And hoping that you’ll come back and 
take that seat next to me,
. .I close my eyes and no surprise
. .I’m still a lonely sight when I look again.

And there’s the beach, stretching out beside me
And the wind chopping up the waves
And it’s blowing, it’s blowing in my face,
The grains of sand stick to the tears
that run along my cheeks,
. .I close my eyes and no surprise
. .I’m still a lonely sight when I look again.

Oh and it’s stinging, and like mud the rumours fly,
Like catapults the mouths around us work in overdrive,
And these words stick close to both our hearts
But cannot hurt as much as
time together come to pass,
. .I close my eyes and no surprise
. .I’m still a lonely sight when I look again.

Because I’m sitting, sitting right here
On the rocks, and staring out to sea
With my knees tucked between my arms
To fill the space that was your place
before I broke your heart,
To fill the space that was your place
Before I had to go and break your heart.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

October 31st

Explosions of noise and light disturb this
Cold and foggy October night when all
Should be peaceful and quiet, under shawl
Of soft and gently falling winter mist.

The sudden bursts of sparks and smoke, then howls
Of laughter, echo round the mist-soaked road
As hooded figures abide by the code
To strike, slither away and slyly prowl
Round shadowed corners on this special date,
This hallowed meeting of all things pagan
And marketed modern public playpen
For youths routinely loitering, out late.

This is the night where ancient rituals
Are usurped by lesser pack animals.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Inis Oírr, One Wednesday Night

The sea by starlight to my left
Rolls softly in and slips back out,
Binds in spell my ears while dark eyes search
The sand for the least pot-holed way.
So grand yet scarcely seen, other than
Some distant yellow-bordered waves
Of colour borrowed from the
Late night streetlights on the mainland,
As slipping feet traverse the sand
And carry a most distracted mind
In unaccompanied steps past
The Lifeguard’s empty, bolted hut
In the direction of a house
That’s long forgotten as a home,
A fact belied by a child’s abandoned
And slightly rusted bicycle
Which lies in the dry grass between
The house and its surrounding rocks…

The beach lies back behind me now,
But still it glistens in little arcs
And crescent shapes of light along
The shore, and my path leads up-hill
Towards a graveyard that by day
Delivers spectacular views of life
And is the perfect spot in which to sit
And watch the sun melt into waves
As stars come out to welcome night.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Analyse This

Different and distinct speak voices three:
The first seems a dark prophet of despair,
The next foretells of brighter, things more fair,
Third philosophises on what it sees.

And yet it’s in one mind that dwell the three,
Just as countless others abide in there,
It being both a warm and shadowed lair,
Like birds and worms atop or ’neath a tree.

It’s from a single fountain that these three
Have sprung with misty rainbows in the air,
Have trickled dirt and such malignance where
A strong new river makes its way to sea.

An entity of complex composition
Brings both bloom and weeds into fruition.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

As You Wish

I send you words, my love, I send you lists
Of flattery and charm, little messages
Of the kind that, were they weapons, would sit
In pride at the centre of the arsenal
And strike with awe a common musketeer.

And yet they do not suffice. No list would, 
Or could, do justice, braced even with a 
Phalanx of superlatives in any
Attempt to capture your beauty’s description.

This mighty pen has long been short of words,
And I feared a fall upon a lesser sword,
So please accept this page of simple print
For love, not fancy words, created it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


If all the earth should turn to dust,
The oceans hardened clay,
The sky as dark as clouded dusk
Come middle of the day,
If all creatures should cease to walk,
The birds all flown away,
No longer people left to talk
Nor words to lead them stray,

There’d be none left to ponder on,
Remembering the flames,
What could have caused so great a fire
Or how floodwaters came
To scourge both branch and snow-white bone,
To level hills to plane,
To crumble all from step to spire
And wash whate’er remained.

If all the earth should turn to dust,
And oceans hardened clay,
There’d be none left to ponder on
This final end of days.

Monday, April 30, 2012

An Early Return

There it is, although not lovely,
An odour that I recognise:
The smell of the college toilets, cleaned,
And polished empty corridors
Beyond Reception’s brand new coat
Of virgin blue and white.

New front doors and some fresh paint put in,
Just in time for a new semester to begin,
And yet it feels about the same,
Despite the shorter list of names
Outside the oil-thirsty door
Of the exam-hall on the second floor.

It feels about the same, and yet,
While climbing the century-old steps,
I also sense a change, a bit
More certainty in my footsteps.
The walls are still as broad, the ceilings high,
The people praise a trinity in the sky,
And though at most an inch is all I’ve grown,
Between these walls I’m ready to hold my own.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Café on the Row

A friend comes here to sit and smoke
And watch people pass by,
To blow dark rings and sip hot drinks
Under the Limerick sky,

While girls stroll past with shopping bags
Proclaiming to all eyes
The brand names and the sources of
Their latest must-have buys,

While mothers fail to match their children’s
Wonder and surprise
Upon seeing Richard Harris
In his royal statued guise,

While sunrays flash on windows
Of the opposite high-rise,
And pigeons bob their heads at crumbs,
The rain-washed walkway dries,

While couples snack on sweet desserts
And share their secret smiles,
Oblivious in a café’s corner
To all but each other’s eyes.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Some Day We Have To Share This Sight Together

You cannot walk these roads with me tonight,
And tomorrow morning feels too far away,
And so, instead, I force my hands to write
A pale impression of the Milky Way.

Every star that can be viewed by mortal sight
Carries over Moher’s cliffs and waves
A lonely message that I hope just might
Redeem my absence over summer days.

And if a man had wings to give him flight
I’d take a leap from castle walls to say
That Heaven’s quilt of jewels holds no light
To match the diamonds in your smiling face.

I promise that this sight we’ll one day share
As an embracing, starlight-gazing pair.

Friday, April 27, 2012


My spring is coming late,
With the first turf-fire’s scent
Heralding winter on the wind.
But still I sense a change,
A time of flower or bloom,
Warm and sure of self despite
Not knowing exactly what’s to come.

And so, as if ’twere random seeds
I’d thrown to carry on the breeze,
To land and grow in chances unforeseen,
So forth erupt new visions, thoughts and dreams
To decorate these pages that were clean.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Escapist’s Woods

The soothing scent of conifers
And the aroma of cut grass
Haze slowly by, with dragonflies
Like winged rainbows or oil stains,
And twitters fly from hidden birds
In bushes bearing yellow bloom
’Neath rustling leaves as in a rush
The breeze plays branches like ocean waves.

An edge of broken rock protrudes
Its dirty point from underfoot
And prods into a booted heel
As clouds erupt from dusty path,
While daisies bend their sunshine heads
Away from shadows under leaves
And a beetle flutters emerald wings
But keeps its stroll along the track.

A single drop of water drips
To run along its streamy way
From blossomed branch to sweating brow,
Past a blinking eye and down his cheek,
Until it rests into his neck
Amongst his lightly sprouting stubble
And dries above his open collar
In setting orange evening heat.

He stands with chest half-bathed in light,
The other half, with right arm bare,
Shivers a little, under shadow,
And hairs stand up to catch warm air.
Alone in the woods, he flicks a hand
To ward a midge-swarm from his face,
And gently steps o’er moss and mushrooms,
Between cool boughs and into peace.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Lá cosúil le haon cheann eile
ab ea an lá sin i ndáiríre,
An ghrian ag taitneamh i rith na maidine
is an bháisteach ag titim um thráthnóna,
Agus corp dearg eile ar thaobh an bhóthair
Cosúil le duilleog nó píosa páipéir.

Bhíodh páistí ag imirt le bréagáin, liathróidí,
agus Spin FM ag seinm do na mílte déagóirí,
Amhránaí ag insint faoina gcuid brionglóidí,
is línte á chóipeáil ag foghlaimeoirí,
Agus glao práinneach curtha ar na Gardaí
Is amadáin ar an idirlíon ag lorg an Army.

Bhíodh fir is mná ag siopadóireacht,
muirníní ag pógadh, caillte ina n-áilleacht,
Bachlóga glasa sna crinn, mar ba chóir san earrach,
is gach uile rud nádúrtha, faic as an ngnách,
Seachas scéal uafásach pléascach
Ar an Nuacht ag a sé a chlog.


Cheap mé, ní h-ea, bhí mé cinnte
Go raibh ár ngrá róchumhachtach,
Gur rud láidir ab ea é,
Rud a raibh gan locht.

Bhí tréimhsí ama againn
Lán le spraoi is gliondar croí,
Ní raibh faic chomh hálainn nó chomh haoibhinn
Ná sise 's mise le chéile inár luí.

Ach bhí dorchadas éigin i bhfolach,
Olcas a d'fhanadh i gcónaí i gciúnas,
Rud a bhí ann ón dtosach,
Is sa deireadh a chur stop lenár n-áthas.

Monday, April 23, 2012

An Cailín Eile

Shiúil mé go mall léi,
Mo chosa san uisce
Is a cosa ar an ngaineamh,
An gaoth fhuar ag séideadh
Díreach i m'aghaidh is í
Ag gáire faoin ngrian 'bhí ag taitneamh.

Ba mise a laoch
Agus sise faoi dhraíocht
Ar feadh dhá sheachtain tar éis mhí an Mheithimh.
Ach briseadh a croí nuair
A chuala sí faoi mo chuid bréige
Is an cleas a bhí mé tar éis a dhéanamh.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Closing Time

The nightclub undimmed all its lights
At half past two and sent us packing,
Allowing only time to search for coats
And exclamations of another job well done;
Another personal best for which prevention,
The next step, would out-weigh cure.

Then eight diverged to five and three
Outside the shining kebab shop door,
Allowing time for smiles, mischievous grins
And exclamations from a Donor-virgin’s lips;
Add a new favourite to the menu list!
Then back outside into the rain

To search after the other five
And make up eight for the wet walk home.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

En Route to the College Library

A draft refreshes the corridor
As right foot follows left
Up a quintet of sticky steps,
And the steady tap of pacing shoes
Beyond, behind a corner passed,
Makes naked the fact
That here one cannot truly be alone.

And yet the goal is not,
As would be expected,
Company or chat,
But rather just to make the door
Before I’m forced to clear my throat.

I am cold.
My wallet, rasping open, echoes
The curse of lonely Velcro,
And a battered crow on a pike
Pecks at my shoulder-blade and back-
My wet umbrella screeched
As it was bagged, hastily closed.

A song from memory soothes me
As the fake plastic roof
Plays bubble-wrap to over-excited wind and rain,
And the draft sends waking shivers
Through an embarrassing hole in my jeans
As I side-step through one door
And stride toward the next.

Friday, April 20, 2012

For Seán and the Girls

The lit face of my phone declares
The time be five to one (at night),
White digits shining out against
A picture taken upstairs here,
A photo of two faces forcing
Smiles from tired eyes and cheeks,
But with arms tight round each other
So that chancers will not interfere!

There’s a clear view out the window
Of passing taxis and parked cars
With dipped headlights reflecting on
The drizzle-puddled path and road.
I slowly rise to turn and check
The dance-floor still holds signs of life,
Bowed heads dancing under coloured
Bulbs and lasers, sparkling balls.

I sit again and raise an arm
To hug the shoulders of a friend.
We each reach for a glass and laugh;
His knowing wink shrugs off my hand,
The window view obscured by now
By both my picture-girl and his.
We slowly rise: unsteady feet!
And ’neath the lights we join our muses.