Saturday 31 March 2018

Still on the subject of Writer's Block

Exercise 2 from yesterday's lucky find is to take 5 objects
and see what happens when you put them together.
I looked about me and picked out:

a black woollen shawl
a purple beanie bear
a straw summer hat
a hot water bottle
and a striped hat box

The result is...A bit bleak ...but I am a great believer in the power of  poetic catharsis

These days you wrap yourself up
in a black woollen shawl
hot water bottle at your back
and lie prostrate on a faded couch dreaming
of better days

Of purple beanie bears and red bicycles and pink roller skates
Of Connemara ponies' manes she used to plait for shows
Of yellow straw hats and Summer Fests she attended
And striped hat boxes for weddings and Ladies Days
Of events that now elude her

Friday 30 March 2018

Writer's Block

For days now I've been scouring library bookshelves for a book on poetry prompts, given that my well is dry. Temporarily I hope.
I happily chanced upon the link below and tried an exercise for writer's block. Try it and see where it takes you.
If nothing else I see it as a poetry gym session.

Yellow sunshine streams across the sand
And they called it yellow mellow
On a rose wood table shadows gather in the corners of a tin box
Tears bubble like water droplets from a steaming kettle
It isn't a leaning filing cabinet you see
So what is it?
God is great
Hope shapes everything we see and do
And where it is absent, there is grief.

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Cat Tails

Cat Tails

The last I saw of you
You were chasing flies beside the blackberry bush.
Then, in the flash of a tail

You were patrolling the neighbouring fence opposite.
I was mentally extolling the virtues of cat speed and agility,
Watching your progress towards the fox-hole in the back flower bed,

Remembering how you used to slip through this same slatted fence
Avoiding unnecessary circum-perambulation.
I considered again your widening girth

And the possible purchase of satiety food
When I spotted you, still chasing flies beside the blackberry bush.
Double take. Not you.

Your mirror image. And given the uncertainty
Of your origins, possibly
Your Ma or Da, big brother or sister.

In a leap you squared up to each other, black tails flag-bearing.
You on the lower ground, your blue neck ribbon attesting
Your advantage in this terrain.

But when your mirror image sprang
You retreated with a yelp in your step
Towards me, and the open back porch door.

Saturday 17 March 2018

On Reading William Trevor

Reading William Trevor
and always grappling with the endings.
Trickster conclusions.
Did she or didn't she?
Was he or not?
Ambiguity the trademark
of his craft.
And yet touching home.
Bounden duty and faith - his themes.
"The engagement that weathered the delay."
And details withheld
Or frugally proffered.

Star Dust!

From the Sick Bed

The Sick Bed

Your feet create shadows on the bed
seen at this angle, rumpled
by your night's turning.
Pillows aschew. Books upended.
Clothes- wreckage -strewn.
The hot water bottle cold.
And even your hand dragging
a shadow with it as you write this.
Potions and rubs and tablets your daily fare.
And outside- Snow and Silence and Spring suspended.

Mother's Day

About a week late for Mother's day.


We circled you like electrons
straying from their nucleus
orbiting their little sun.
Your force field kept us in check.
We felt your presence
even in your absence
And though you are gone we still do.

Saturday 3 March 2018



Lenten Resolutions

The bitter taste of black tea
and smell of char-dried toast
and hushed morning walks to Mass
in the silence of a winter dawn
Her by your side, headscarf aschew
The moment pregnant with petitions
falling stars exploding in your head
Lenten resolutions- your plenary indulgence
to a clean swept pallet of soul.

Friday 2 March 2018

Morality Fable.

I recently had one off the dreaded "worst nightmares "of any parent visited upon me.  
The poem is for my son- by way of a Morality Fable.......

Last Word on the Subject
for E

When you imbibe of too much spirit
Wine, whiskey or Captain Morgan
Your judgement is impaired

When you decide which route to take home
by bus, taxi or Shank's mare
Your judgement is impaired

When you engage with those who loiter
With intent at street corners
Your judgement is impaired

You will say the wrong thing
Or do the wrong thing because
Your judgement is impaired

And they have been waiting
For anyone to do or say anything
With judgement impaired

You will hit the deck, your face smashed
Your nose broken, your brain jolted
Because your judgement is impaired

And you will be lucky if you can stand up again
You will be lucky if your CT scan is clear
You will be lucky if your judgement is not impaired