Showing posts from March, 2012

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.

Petrifying Perplexities

To whom or what should I address My private moments of distress? Will it suffice to write them down, The words that reflect my being down? Or should I look towards someone older For comforting hand upon my shoulder? And, if not, why cannot I try To upon my friends, instead, rely? White lines filled with black, or blue, Have thus far helped me to pull through And put into clearer perspective That dark, malevolent collective Of sights and sounds and sounds and sights, This mix of horror and delight. But sense of it I can make not, The twists and holes in this sad tale’s plot. So where for reason can one look? What expert’s insight, film or book Can explain away the tragedies? What pattern, which factor can’t we see? Perpetual twilight, opaque windows, Endless darkness. What else? Who knows? I still cannot make sense of it While here, again, I think and sit. I know where to find my pen, I know now how to release. But them? The marionettes, dolls, mannequins Whose names will line tomor

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.

Golden Rose

I want to gaze into beautiful eyes, Gently stroke back hair from a soft-skinned face, Listen to deep thoughts before sharing mine, And hear quiet breathing while the world waits. I want not to worry about the time, Or what will happen if stupid mistakes Leave needing to pause doing this a while And watch opportunity go to waste. I want to lie down and relax beside The one who can make a far-away place Feel like home (although I’ve to travel miles) One I see only on rare, special days. Upon violet bed a golden rose Gave me her bracelet. Where I go, she goes.

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?

Bygone Days

No more do the boys walk up the slope Like triumphant soldiers returning o’er the hills. No more do their bikes charge through the alley, No glorious riders on their steeds. No more do they engage in war On the green grass where football was their combat. No more do their voices echo through these roads As they did in our younger days when, innocent, We were learning the ancient history of the world And out-growing happy tales of bygone days When the heroic warriors were always right. With its new high fences and it’s spying eyes, This place is more of a fortress than ever. Alas, it is a stronghold that has forsaken Its own young men, and the young friends Of these young men, and the Girls who were as princesses to them. It is almost paranoia personified, this place, One steep descent is the only way in and One steep ascent is the only way out, And you are always, always watched And you are never, ever welcome. Here they reject all who may come in, Prison-like in guarding the one safe

Going to Kildare

I sat with you and held you close, feeling Tired but also feeling something which had Long been absent, something which, while vaguely Familiar, felt wonderfully new. I was shameless (and you told me so!) but That didn’t matter, it was fun and it Felt good and it felt right because we so Strongly needed each other’s presence. I should have slept but I preferred to sit And see your eyes light up when you smiled, and The four hours flew by so fast because time Flies when you’re having fun. I tried at times to watch the world go by Outside the bus window, but found that you Were more beautiful a sight than any We left behind, trapped beyond the window. * * * I held your hand, you held mine too and smiled, We laughed about our escapades which had Taken us pleasantly by surprise and We looked forward to the party that night.

Walking Home

Keep your eyes to the ground As you walk down this road. Do not look up to see Whom it is that you pass. Stay to the edge of this wet path, Balance o’er the precipice, the puddles, To avoid the shadowy faces. Avert your gaze and stare at The light reflecting on the grass, The muddy grass in which you walk. Gangs like ghostly monks gather at corners, And you must decide if it is safe there, To walk there or to run away. The hidden faces, the howling voices, Silence, then a crescendo as you pass. Keep your head bowed as you pass the crowd, for You are pathetic as you walk alone, Afraid, in your sad, solitary state. Scrape your arm against the dirty wall and Do not react when you are forced into The wet hedges, flaking paint on fences. Sigh as you stand at your front door, Then close it quickly behind you.

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.

The Goalkeeper: Part Three

For those who may be wondering, Here’s a note on goalkeeping. It may not seem special to you, But it’s a lot more than just something I do. It is what I can do that few others can, An intrinsic part of who I am. It is one of the things for which I am known, An area of skill in which I have grown. It is my source of inspiration, Joy, delight, pain, frustration. It is soaring through the air, With the sun in your eyes and the wind in your hair. It is stopping those spectacular shots Just as everyone thinks that all has been lost. It is throwing yourself in the sand and the mud And getting straight back up with knees covered in blood. It is watching, studying everything, And knowing how to stop anything. It is being the one who stands out For diving, screaming, having to shout. It is running to catch the speeding ball, And directing your team with a knowing call. It is being the underdog in penalties, The hero after the narrowest victories. It is being the resort, The first in the lis

Free French Class, First of February

I sit and stare at the sky, And the things in it, And the things that stand so sharply out against it. Bare branches, black against the bare white canvass of clouds, Reach out in every direction from a tree. They reach out, but they never catch hold Of anything but the cold brick wall. There are no birds on the bare tree, just as There is no blue in the cloud-blanketed sky. All is dirty white or dull grey, And the skeletal black branches. Brightness, too bright to bear, shines out from Behind the basketball hoop That we may never, ever use. The sun’s rays leave a silver glow on charcoal-coloured Tiles, silver rays that sting my eyes And make the black bent branches even blacker by contrast. Dusty grey sand covers our “proud” pitch, The pitch whose grass was so pristine just Last spring that we could not even step upon it. The grass by the window is still thick and green, But lies in the shadow of the cold brick wall And is useless to us. More shadows stalk across the black tar macadam

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.