Showing posts from April, 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.


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.