Sunday, May 25, 2008


The sun disrobes and folds the day
With care upon the bedroom chair.
Against the dark’ning sky, a sparrow
Arrows homeward down the narrow
Laneway, to the beech tree, where
The bony branches gently sway,
Grinning in the twilit sheen.
I wait beside the creeping lawn,
The torch grasped tight in whitened fingers,
As teasing dusk demurely lingers
O’er my garden. Foul deeds spawn
Great wrath in deities serene.
The hoe leans ‘gainst the shed door, which
Is comforting. I snap the switch.

Like black torpedoes frozen in
A brooding sea of sharp-shorn green,
A score of deadly slugs, or more,
Lie targetting the flower-bed shore
With murd’rous minds, caught in between
The flimsy blades, unsure and thin.
I glance across to where my plants
Sport jagged holes like windows smashed
By mindless thugs.The hour is near.
A loving god invokes no fear.
Clothes unrented, teeth ungnashed,
Fools smirk at happy circumstance.
As Newton postulated, so
I righteously take up the hoe.

The voice

With great passion, you deny me,
When the man with clipboard calls,
While the cord with which you tie me
Cuts a channel in my wrist.
With coarse bandages I’m muzzled
Deep within these cobwebbed halls,
And your voice is low and puzzled
When he asks if I exist.

Confined within this attic
In the echo of the storm,
You can hear my voice, erratic
‘Mong the murmur of the stones.
And you find my smile unnerving
(For there’s no hope of reform)
And I gaze out, undeserving
Of your disapproving tones.

But sometimes when you are dreaming
Or you’ve gone out for the night,
Through the trap-door I come streaming
And inhale the buoyant air.
In the darkness, hear me snigger
With a serpentine delight,
Growing bolder, growing bigger
When I know that you’re not there.

Then I dance the dance of ages,
Unfettered, unrestrained,
Unconfined to rusting cages,
I can stretch my withered limbs.
Whirling round now, unencumbered,
My mobility regained,
For too long, my dear, I’ve slumbered
To your dull and dreary hymns.

Then I hear a car door slamming
Or the light snaps on upstairs
And I know your fierce god-damning
Means your fist is firmly flexed.
So I flee back to your attic
And your glum and nervous prayers,
And I’ll stay there, mute and static,
Till the next time, till the next…

Sunday, May 11, 2008


The jet black sun squats down upon
The troubled waters in the bay,
As each point of the pentagon
Shrugs nervously and turns away.
Toothpaste words shout loud the pain
On smuggled mugs. The silent screams
Drop hard, like stained, sand-laden rain,
Narration of forgotten dreams.
Soon, all the world is spattered by
These droplets thick that so besmirch
The windows of both state and church,
Refracting light from sea and sky.
One day, says Travis, real rain
Will wash away each fractured stain.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Garden birds

In early April, nuts and seeds
Are set out for the final time.
The bush on which the sparrow feeds
Is now sufficient for its needs,
And lusty nature’s in her prime.

I’m spared the traipsing to the shed
O’er crispy grass stuck hard by frost
To make sure that the birds are fed
With fat balls and hard crusts of bread
Obtained at very little cost.

And though they now no longer come
In flurries of fast-beating wings.
It comforts me to know that some
Still flutter by to find a crumb
And listen how the blackbird sings.


Whence one time they fled with dread
And blackened tongues and sunken eyes
In search of just a crust of bread
That beckoned in the western skies,

Now, they return, replete with words
And cheeks that bulge with metaphors
And adjectives that flit like birds
From em’rald grass to budding spores.

Oh Strokestown, verdant and serene,
How silent sits thy bitter past
Beneath the tended sod so green,
Now free from scorn and pain at last.