Showing posts from June, 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.

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.