Showing posts from 2012

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

Something Marvellous

Every single Little and Seemingly Insignificant Observation Morphs and Transforms into Something Altogether Marvellous Under these Poetic circumstances.

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, Congratulations! I look forward to talking With you later.

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.

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.


Never more honest than in poetry, Lyrically undressing and revealing... Something. An idea. A moment. The ghost of a picture, The spirit of Something 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?

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ag Meabhrú

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


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.

Writer’s Block: Part Three

Seeking the capture Of those words That sum up in a  Moment’s glance The emotions and Sensations 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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!


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.


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.

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?

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 spa

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

From College, With Love

Three years ago on a day like this I Had enough free time to stare carelessly Out the window: a darkening blue sky, Puddles in the yard, swaying limbs of trees And other such mundane sights caught my eye, So, not being busy, I scribbled down Some words about the other lads, “the guys”, The princes, jesters, pretenders to crowns. Another restless, sunny afternoon Around the same time (or slightly later) I wrote about their messing up the room, Sighing that no group was esteemed greater. Three years, and three more summers and springs past, My dad was right: my best were with that class.

Uncertain in November

I sat down in a seat and sought Some comfort in its cushioned rest, About half-way above the ground Where people walk in by the door, And stared at leaves through blinded glass Against a backdrop of thick cloud, And leaves through an open fire-door, And extra, stacked-up, blue-backed chairs For those who may wander in late, The three hundred, or maybe more, Heads and shoulders glistening hair, While still seeking some comfort there, And numbed my ears to “last night” chat, To laughter and to scattered words, To beeping phones, to squeaks from floors, And to noises through open doors, But found no respite in that place, Nor comfort from places outside, It was not right to try to hide While failing to conceal my face.

Never More

Add the finished book to the shelf, The worn pink t-shirt to the pile, The old joke to the clichéd list, The name and number to the file. The purpose served: I was enlightened, Kept warm and comfortable in the cold, Kept amused and happy, briefly, Kept text-mementos of this story told. Read pages, chapters, epilogue, Played costumed actor to the world, Played jester in this tragic farce, Played final message-game with this girl.

Situation Critical

There’s something in the air, I can feel it, Something there That might suggest that A fight could be On the cards tonight. It’s not just me: I have seen the eyes Flicking round And darting down Like raindrops ashamed of their clouds: Static in the sky And tension in the atmosphere Building up. We could get thunder in here. Too many strangers With too little space, Exams and life’s stresses Worry every young face. The smallest noise Could be the trigger, For every big boy There’s another bigger, The walls are too close, The ceiling’s too low. To wait, to measure landed blows? Or to get out, escape, go?


Flowing from my fingertips Like flowers blooming in a bed, Calling bees and butterflies To bask in bright colours Or to cool in the darkness of shadows.
Courtesy of Cillian Keogh/Xtreme Graphics, and best viewed on

Upwardly Mobile

I remember that when I was younger I had in my possession a toy “tractor”, With two pedals (one to each side) And I think it was blue with a little black seat. I remember when it was wrapped In a big black plastic bag And dumped, shortly after my sister Learned how to walk unassisted; She may have tried to pedal it And she may have fallen off. Or worse. But these days, well she knows How to dress up sweetly for discos! And I am learning how to drive A dark blue car with three pedals, Three mirrors, a hand brake and a gear-stick (But with the same shaped steering wheel.) At least I cannot fall off of it…

Strange Daze

A single night of peaceful sleep Could cure me of what ails my mind. But as it is, it hurts to think And there’s too many answers I cannot find. I think in hurricanes and destruction. The sudden moments of respite Worry as much as the commotion, Whether I lie in darkness or walk in daylight.

A Note to a Critic

Is it your wish to see Feelings flow in fluid motion, Like the river Restricted by banks and walls And harnessed for greedy purposes? Or, like raindrops dripping On a window to a steady beat, Falling to the mossy concrete ground And turning to mud as they are tainted? Or perhaps controlled like an actor’s tears, Mere aesthetics for your enjoyment And lacking substance like mist in the headlights? Why should expression be reined in, Subjected to your suspect licence So that you can take pleasure from the Ornate niceties of lovely lyrics? The message is more important, That is the long and that is the short of it, Not to be limited by the length of lines To please a casual merchant of rhymes.

On Holiday

One hundred times ten miles from home, And then some more again. A weary face with desperate eyes Stares yet fails to recognise Its owner is not just lonely, but tired. Voices of friends never leave the Verge of his thoughts, Their faces flash before blue eyes On blinking screens of computers in the corner, Covered in shadow, Offering solace to the solitaire Who stands, then slumps, but always stares At their smiles so many miles away. He has been drained, just like the bottles Thrown in the bushes by the lake. Bring him back? Or let him cure his loneliness by leaving him alone? Is this a break from it all? An escape from the pressures? Being spared the responsibilities Of having all one could ever want? Friends, love, teams of players, Passionate devotion to one-another, All left behind. Sun, sea, sand and sadness Are the rewards of this one’s work, A reward that frees him from What he wants most. He had to leave what he did need.

To Sink or to Swim

Has the time come for breaking away? Can I no longer repeat and repeat? For nobody cares for what I have to say, As they nod along to the bass and the beat. There’s not but horizons of endless grey (That same old colour) and plodding of feet. No fun, no games, not safe even to play; Burst footballs cling to the sides of the street. So should I just give them all what they want? Dance to their tunes, do their drugs, wear a hood? Go out at night and take part in the hunt? Do all the things I said I never would? I have no intr’est in crossing that void. It’s by this and my friends that I am buoyed.

Answering Questions 3

I see the reflection Of a face in the window, The face of a young man. Does he know what lies before him? Here are his pens, There are his books, All together on the table, The cruel jigsaw of paper And ink and information. But can he see what is to come? He thinks he can. He thinks he knows it all, The patterns and tricks, practices and techniques. There’s a sudden glimmer in his eyes, A tired glint of something special That makes him reach for One of the pens. But still he is not sure. How can he be sure when Nothing in his life is certain? He thinks, But he just doesn’t know Because knowledge is terrifying And he hates feeling scared. And so he continues to stare At his own reflections, The transparent image of meditation, To keep his mind from Wondering back to that reality Where the only constant is never knowing enough.

Beauty and Horror

The greatest masterpiece in art’s history Lies hidden in a desert floor. The ages and the elements Have consumed it not, Yet both stand impenetrable Between those who search and its discovery. Cavernous dungeons, dark and menacing, Continue to hide their little treasure. Is it that the search is too perilous? Or would the discovery be more destructive Than the moments of creation Could ever have permitted be envisaged? Other entities lie concealed too, Deep beneath the sands, Beyond the fires and below The waters that run from time to time in secrecy. How can the masterpiece surface When its doing so could bring with it these other dangers? The world is not ready for the risk, Not prepared for the kinds of Beauty and horror that may Erupt from some volcano or Flow from the oases in twin torrents, And none proves brave enough to carry it forth.

Answering Questions 2

Quotation marks upon a page Written by a transparent pen That lends its final drops of ink And becomes useless, and so must be binned. Something from apparent nothing-ness! Forty percent ends forty days of barren-ness. Too harsh a word, those days were fun! But nothing new was written, done. Black-biro words did not suffice, Pages too short to be right. But oh! those days and wow, those nights! I throw the empty pen, it hits the bin, ends its life.

The Nightmare

Twisted pictures haunt your dreams, Nothing being what it seems, All’s too easy to predict Until that moment when it hits That something there is just not right And your body convulses in the night, Shocked at what its mind created, The images never anticipated. Sights and sounds spring from the darkness, The haunted, writhing, twisted darkness That with your mind is interwoven, Until you scream and you’re awoken To find you had not screamed at all, No rotting heads, no fatal fall, No house of hidden passageways, No woods, ditches or shallow graves. Just you, alone, in the dark, in bed, And terrifying spectres still fresh in your head, Reduced to a shaking, frightened child, Afraid of the dark and the big and the wild. You won’t go back to sleep lest you see it again, The vivid, grotesque, horrible, misshapen, That must symbolise evidence of some guilt; In this prison of conscience there’s no escape built.

Answering Questions 1

Become someone who you are not, Immerse yourself in story plots, Regurgitate just what they want So you won’t have to bear the brunt Of collapsing dreams: castle walls Tumbling like a waterfall Or burning like that midnight fire That never satisfied desire, Made you wish you could have more ('Though left you bolder than before) A boulder in a castle wall That from its hill will one day fall.

What Does It All Mean?

I don’t keep hidden diaries, I write my words for all to see. So take a look, devour me up, Drain the last drops from the cup. Sometimes I exaggerate importance, But I will not hide behind false pretences. If I don’t like something you do I’ll say so for the world to know. I have no favourite form or style, I play with techniques from while to while Just to prove I’m capable. Is it good? That is debatable. A self-important egoist Who sits and thinks and writes, insists He knows what he’s talking about, All the while still plagued with doubt. Too busy studying my peers To take the plunge and face some fears That for others have disappeared Through breaking rules in younger years. If I’m liked I do not know it. I feel a lonely, learning poet.

Different Rules for Different Fools

I will not stand idly by when One rule applies to that there boy, The hypocrite son of a hypocrite man, Whatever he wants to do he can. I will not agree To fraudulent policy Of making an example of One willing to stand straight up And voice opinion and be heard, when Others act like sheep in herds or Flock together like mute birds, Afraid to turn thoughts into words. They will pay appropriate price, Having lost their strongest voice, for Bowing down to this man’s boots and Being unwilling to leave the group To stand up for a friend in need (They needed me, these friends indeed) And accepting un-equal punishment, One boy’s truths equal this man’s dissent. Do not dare your feelings vent, Just stand idly by when The next one of you gets the door And welcome 1984.


Do not protest, it does not work, Find peace and let the issue pass. Yours is not to fight the system, Yours is not to rise against Them. Be a quiet, passive pawn who In false laws sees not the flaws, but Rather sits emotionless and Ignorant, lacks social conscience. Pity those who are not afraid To make a stand for their beliefs. You don’t suffer. Feel relief that You don’t care. You’re as good as dead.

Internally Over-reacting

Six years of silent screaming protest, So much time and contemplation, Fruitless, pointless contemplation, Raging against her domination, My thoughts a raging conflagration, Too angry for peaceful meditation, The nearing end no consolation. I dared to dream I was the best, Had plans of art, beautiful creation, Visions of nebulae and constellations, Wonder at life, determination To be no longer hidden in dark vegetation, Personal development and amelioration Would be the fruits of my dedication. But in grey I sit amongst the rest, Devoid of any inspiration, Furious at her accusations, Thinking about her emulation Of terrible leaders of totalitarian nations, This prestigious centre of education And its rules the sources of my vexation.

Middle of May, Midnight

There’s a pounding on my roof, The falling of the rain, Almost torrential in its ferocity, The sky unleashing its fury On an unsuspecting midnight suburb, Sending wave on wave of ice-cold water Down on the roofs. The houses, I’m sure, stand strong, Though I cannot see them tonight. No windows, no view, no chance to see this Spectacle, nor to marvel at the sight. I lie, instead, and marvel at the sound. Oh, batter the tiles, water the flowers, (the roses growing now in my garden) And let me listen to your real power That falls from the sky when most are asleep. Refresh the world and refresh me, my thoughts, Let them flow as right now you do just so. Then be that comforting sound that eases Me in the dark, the noise that brings me to Relax and forget all but that about Which I will soon dream. As I listen I remember one who Dreams a romantic dream of rain like this…

Empty Vessels

What causes their incessant talk, The gibberish and shouted words, The screams and noises from the back, This perpetual distraction? How can it be they need no peace, No quietness or moments of Precious silence in which to think Of consequences of actions? Why do they throw their tables and Move chairs from under those who sit, And constantly attempt to push Each other to wild reactions? Who is it that they think they are So that they are untouchable, And each a law unto himself, And exempt from regulation? Where can one go to escape them, And all they do and all they say, To hide one’s feelings with success, Put a mask over frustration? When, if ever, will they learn that Their behaviour has no reason, Make no progress, leads to nothing But one poet’s inspiration?

Front-Row Seat

It is too hot here, In the seat beside the window. The room, already devoid of bright life, Has been swept by lethargy, Numbed by the sun’s too-bright light. Shirts open, eyes close, Heads down, hands up to feebly shield the tired faces. It is quiet but For the shouting of the hurlers outside. Turn over sheets, click pens (tick), Remove jumpers to alleviate The sensation (tock) of being just too hot (tick) To care about anything but the heat (tock). Try to find a shadow and Try not to watch your watch, and wait, if you can, for the bell…

Thursday Afternoon, 2:00pm.

We blamed a ghost, today, For the opening of our classroom door. It was really the wind, Of course, blowing through the broken window, The great, mysterious, Empty space at the end of our corridor. The rain flowed right through and The wind blew in too, opening our door. How did the window break? Will we just blame that too on the ghost who, We liked to joke, opened The door of our classroom this afternoon?

5 Haiku

1. A summer sunset At the end February… Then a winter’s night. 2. Embrace your talents. Do not hide them from the world. But do not show off! 3. Orange, fuchsia, red, Amber, black, yellow, pink, gold. A spectrum of fire. 4. Oh, the scary scenes! Bizarre hallucinations! Dreaming as I sleep… 5. Lying in the dark. Nothing to do but think, write. A sleepy poet…

Writer’s Block: Part Two

What have I to stay that I have not said Before, at some other time or place? And How should the ideas, which, in my head, Keep me awake late at night and demand So much painful attention, how should they Be put on paper in such as fashion As to avoid making a reader say “This guy is too pretentious”, and challenge, Instead, one to think. Have I lost my touch? Have I exhausted all my avenues? Could I, in nine months, have written too much? Did I really have a touch I could lose? I have written sonnets, haikus, free verse. In just half an hour I’ve written these words.

Not Back Yet…

I sat and waited for just over half An hour. Then I was called in for my Last x-ray, the moment of truth. At last. “It’s not the left one, it is the right one.” So I stood still, didn’t move at all, while The little light turned off and the machine Buzzed, and then “click!” I was finished in there. So I walked back out through the heavy doors With their ‘Do Not Leave Open’ fire warnings And notices that mobile phones must be Switched off. Unused. Just like me for the last Nine and a half weeks. Nine and a half weeks… Then back along the blue-centred floor, the Corridor lined with prints by some artists Whose names I had not the time to find out. Back along the tiles, the mats for wiping Shoes on by the entrance to Outpatients. Then more sitting and more waiting with a Television in the corner, volume Tuned down too low for me to hear what was Being said by the news readers, not that I really had any real interest. Then five minutes later and I was in The office of one of the doctors

The Come Back

He stands, keen-eyed, surveying the scene, Although powerless to intervene. His eyes, they take in everything. But he is still, like an eagle with a broken wing. Once magnificent in flight, He, for now, stands to the side Of what should be his hunting ground And analyses every sound, Every movement, every breeze. His concentration is the key To his failure or his success, And to becoming (again) the best. Every factor in account, He turns away to think about How the one time he got it wrong Incapacitated him so long That he had to study again Techniques he’d known for over ten Good years of knowing how to do Just anything he’d needed to. Running on a moonlit road, His movements now no longer slowed, He knows his strength is coming back And very soon he’ll wear the black Adornment of his place again And be part of the team again And hear them shout his name again And fly, soar like an eagle again.

A Note to Eamon

It doesn’t get much better than what we had, My friend. Perfection cannot be manufactured, But when we were all put together The combination was perfect. Together we made music. Music, the food of the soul. Together we made that. We did with so little effort What has evaded so many Great people throughout the years: We made people, many people, happy. Whatever may happen, Always remember that we were great. We were great friends. We were great entertainers. We had our own little great escapes. We won our own great little victories. Neither of us really got the girl, But we (for a while) were on top of the world. Never forget those three weeks. Never forget the things we did. Because, My friend, It doesn’t get much better than what we had.

Second Last Sunday in June (up at the Castle)

Above them all he sat, A special part of the group, but at the same time Completely separate, standing out. They were his, he was theirs. He could, literally, make them sing to his tune As he sat up high On his very own seat And played the music he enjoyed so much Because he knew they loved it too. He was at once both king and minstrel. He looked down over them and the island, His people and his island, From his high seat. They, comfortable together as one audience, Looked up to him and They saw him as their entertainer, And he entertained with majesty. All smiled. All sang. All were enraptured, Under his spell just as he was under theirs. All doubts, all fears, all cares Were melted by the June sun And carried away on the soft sweet summer’s sea breeze. And then he sang too, from up on His little perch, his piece of rock, his high throne. He gave them words, and they gave him back a chorus. They were united by the music, the magic, As the breeze glided along the un-cut grass And th

Not Really Lonely

I have nobody to whom I can send Messages, or whom I can ask to meet With me for a few hours at the weekend. I have no secret, hidden or discreet Relationships with any local girls, Or a long-distance lover somewhere else. Just solitary games, musings with words, Working on poetry, testing myself. Reading and writing are no substitute For the companionship of a lover, This fact I’m sure one cannot refute. Although, from some I am yet to recover. So while I’m (for the time being) alone, I know that love will always come and go.

Just the Beginning

Hidden by the fence and grass, The boys began to smoke and drink. Upon their fun no-one would trespass. Only of fun did they think. The sky was still blue and clear, The August evening still young. Each had a drink of his favourite beer And waited for more to come… Walking from the local shop Were three more boys with bags in hand. Beside them a car came to a stop: Driving was the youngest’s dad. The older pair walked away, Leaving him with the drink to fend For himself. He thought of what to say, And decided: “Blame a friend.” * * * The dad knocks at a front door And his son’s friend’s mother answers. He tells her the tale that his son swore. Angry, her heart beats faster… Six miles away, unbeknownst, A young prodigy is training. He kicks the football wide of the posts, But hears no-one complaining. … Back at his door, in panic, His mother searches for car-keys. His brother cycles through the traffic Searching the locality. The grass and fence now hide none, The circle of trees v

Wear Your Uniform. Just Your Uniform.

His frozen corpse lay still in the white snow outside the school, his tackies, his t-shirt and his hoodie confiscated. The ice has taken over outside, just as the icy witch has taken over everything inside the school. Temperature at minus two that day, too cold to go out in just a jumper and shirt. He had been sent home barefoot, but locked out. “He deliberately took no notice of basic school policy.” His bracelets and wristbands and ‘cellular telephone’ on her desk, his friends in detention after “breaking acceptable computer user policy.” She cannot be challenged. She is omnipotent. She is omniscient. She is omnipresent. Do not break her rules. Even on a very cold day.

Return Journey From Tralee

Solitary souls in a speeding tin can, Together but alone at the mercy of a man Who sits at the front with a wheel in his hand And drives from town to town with every day a different band Of wanderers and strangers and people seeking friends Who look to the time when their journeys will end. Most of them go alone in this moving box to spend Their time and money in different towns, before leaving again. Each has a different mission or a purpose in their mind Or even just some place they must escape or leave behind For a day or a few hours, any little while. A rolling ship on wheels is for these ones a place to hide. In the corner at the back, with his phone between his knees, Sits a young man on his own texting the girl of his dreams. His fingers slip and shoulders shake as he realises she Can never really be his own, in spite of subtle pleas Hidden in his messages and disguised by his skill With words. He solemnly accepts that this girl never will (or probably ever did) feel the same w

Winning the Ball

They were just two little words, significant only for a moment to my friend, who uttered them. But such honest appreciation, such gratitude was in his voice that I am still struck deeply in times when I remember, reminisce about how close we were as a team in games, in battle, in action. Never before had I felt emotion so strong in a team-mate’s response to my shouting. Momentarily there was a peace, a calmness on the field. The ball was cleared to safety. My friend, the team’s full-back, had overcome a great challenge. He had had to push beyond what he thought he could do. Only he could have done it. But for an instant, both of us, we knew he did not do it alone. I had shouted, encouraged. He had fallen away, lost faith in his own abilities. He had given up, trailing his opponent by yards. “Go on, you can do it!” He heard my call, and then he did do it. He actually did it. For half a moment he could feel like a Hero. When he said “Thank you”, I felt like one too.

The Wall

Cupboards full of skeletons, Words potentially too painful to put on paper, The things I know have been both the cause of great pain in the past and the fuel for what will be more great pain when the time comes to pass whereby I cannot keep them to myself, or those upon whom my knowledge is based eventually shatter and fall apart. From histories, to the mysteries of my peers’ Saturday nights and evenings behind fences with cans and bottles and papers and lighters, or what they did in shops (in vain) to save money for more cans and bottles, I know damning and damaging things. I am not alone in all of this knowledge, but I alone have been enlightened as to the dangers of what they do, and the tragedy of what others have done before. Some say that ignorance is bliss, but I say that knowledge is power. With great power comes great responsibility. Am I responsible in my way of hiding knowledge? The boys behind bushes and bars are irresponsible in their ignorance. O I have stories to be