Tuesday 29 November 2016


The skull lies desolate
on the bare mountain side.
Lying among rocks and stones
with a few accompanying bones.
Each day it decays as nature weathers
it and destroys all its form and substance
so that it wastes away and fades into the landscape.
If it had come to rest lower down the mountain
it would have sunk into the boggy peat moss
and risen with hair and hide intact with,
the cause of death discernible, with
its last meal of grass or rabbit
still there inside its stomach.
Preserved by nature.
Preserved or wasted.
It all depends on

where you fall.

First published in With Painted Words, September 2016


Saturday 26 November 2016

It’s said that you should remember your roots,
remember where you came from,
remember where you belong,
anchored by your long tap root.
But I have fibrous roots too,
growing out strongly from the main tap.
I have spread them out and
put them down in many places,
taken sustenance from them.
They’ve been part of my growth,
fed my main stem and it’s splits and branches.
I’ve branched out from them and belonged in them all,
all those places.
And some rootlets have broken free
and I’ve left them behind there
no longer belonging to me.
And I’ve left something of myself behind.
Would I find it if I returned?
I don’t think so.
But others may

Published in Reflection Wandrmag, Spirituality issue, November 2016


Thursday 24 November 2016

 The Funeral of Bosco Jones

Twenty years ago Bosco Jones died after a long and purposeful life.
His children, (long departed from their roots), returned.
“Don’t worry, Mum”, they said, “we’ll see to everything.
We’ll make all the necessary arrangements.”

They arranged a splendid funeral with a vicar and hymns and flowers.
A lot of people went, for Bosco had made an impact during his life.
They left the doors open so that all those outside could hear
And join in the proceedings.

There was nice churchy music and an atmosphere of peace and serenity.
The vicar began the service with a lot of talk of God and Mrs Jones stopped crying.
She started to look around her and take in the proceedings.
She seemed somewhat agitated and alarmed.

Then she stood up and shouted at the vicar, shaking her fist,
“I’m having none of this!” she cried,
“My Bosco didn’t believe in all this claptrap and nonsense!”
Some people cheered in agreement and she sat down again.

The vicar, a dedicated professional, began to continue the service.
Mrs Jones stood up and began to sing ‘The Internationale’.
Most people joined in and no one could hear the vicar
Who became very angry.

“It was a riot”, Nina said, with a wry smile.

When they had finished singing, they started to shout at the vicar.
He shouted back telling them that he was throwing them out 
And they were never to come into his church (or outside it) again.

Everyone cheered, but no one left and Bosco made his last journey
To the sounds of ‘Bandero Rosso’ and ‘Joe Hill’ sung very lustily,
Which he would have liked a lot.

“It was a riot”, Nina said, casting her eyes upwards.

Afterwards, they all enjoyed eating the food that the children had organised.
And drinking the drink and arguing and shouting at those
With whom they had political differences and at those 
With whom they were in complete agreement.

The vicar stopped by and apologised to Mrs Jones, who was very rude at first,
But then happy to sit down and explain her position
While he listened.

People still talk about the riot at the funeral of Bosco Jones

Published in Tell Tale Inklings, November 2016


Tuesday 22 November 2016


Blue skies, blue sea,
a day of sparkling sunshine,
with a shimmering horizon.
And then, out of this blue,
smiling sadly with your lovely blue eyes.

I knew you from the back, you said,
the cut of your hair, your bright blue mac.
I wanted to see your face again,
it’s only fair, you’ve seen mine.
You must have done,
me, being who I am.

I wanted to smell your clean hair smell.
So I took a chance, and here I am.
I wanted to 
abate the sadness.

I nodded. Yes. 
I know it’s true.
It’s all been said 
and we won’t be sad. 
No blue moods
on this bright blue day 
of smiling sunshine.

We’ll go together now, 
for now 
and be glad.
After all, 
one way or another, 
everything will end
in tears, I said,

So let’s take our now time
and chance the rest.

Published in Spillwords, November 2016


Sunday 20 November 2016

Home Coming
I think that today
will be my home coming day.
The day I’ve been waiting for,
when I’ll come back.
to where I came from.
to here where I belong.
Even though,
I was never here before,
never in this place,
never with this person.
I know I’m home.
I can feel it.
And know I will stay
and that it
and you
will stay
with me.
I must go outside sometimes,
leave sometimes,
of course I must.
But I’m floating free
and I will take it all with me.
It has become
part of my being,
so I can’t move away.
Can’t separate us.
This place and this person,
have engulfed me.
Surrounded me in sweetness
and brought me back
from wherever I was,
Brought me home,
made me complete,
but still free floating,
carrying them with me
It’s the day I’ve been waiting for.

First published in Silver Birch Press, I Am Waiting series March 2015

Saturday 19 November 2016

Picture of Maud

I had a sister once.
Her name was Maud.
She never grew old,
never even grew up.

My father cried..

I never knew her,
never even knew of her.
But I know now.
I have a photograph
so I can see her,
picture her as she was.
And I won’t forget that
I had a sister once.
Her name was Maud.

First published in Silver Birch Press' 'Prized' Series, November 2016


Friday 18 November 2016


So many new warriors
grown from the seeds

planted by the invaders 
sent by the money men,
the arms traders,
the super ego-ed politicians.
So many dead warriors
lying whole or in pieces,
destroyed by the invaders
sent by the money men,
the arms traders,
the super ego-ed politicians.
Dead warriors.
Soon to be transformed,
transformed into butterflies,
according to the Mayans who knew
about transformations - and about warriors.
Butterflies with the souls of the dead warriors.
Butterflies that can fly across continents,
cross oceans and borders.
There are no barriers for butterflies.
And they are experts in transformation,
experts in disguise.
They will consume them,
the money men, the arms traders,
the super ego-ed politicians.
Will worm their way inside them,
infest them and destroy them all,
Yes, they should beware the butterflies
with the souls of dead warriors
and the memories of slaughter.
They carry karma with them.

Published in Cana de Resistencia issue 2, 2016

First published in Ealain, Karma Issue

Monday 14 November 2016

Behind the Mask

Will I ever see
the man behind the mask?
I think I can 
through the eye slits,
when they are open.
Eyes are revealing, after all,
and difficult to hide.
Maybe they’ll tell me enough,
tell me all I need
to know.
So I will have no urge
to peel off the mask,
to tear it away from the skin
It would be too painful, anyway.
Too raw,
for both
of us
and would leave behind a soreness
that would not heal.
And still
not all would be revealed

by the exposure.

Saudade Issue 2, 2016


Friday 11 November 2016

Frogs That Can Fly

Three rooks flew over loudly
The frogs below were intrigued.
“How do we fly?”, they croaked
in reply.
“How do we fly?”
“How do we swim?”
croaked the rooks in response.
“If you fall from the sky
we’ll teach you to swim,”
leaping so high the frogs croaked
in reply.
“ So tell us, please, won’t you,
how do we fly?”

First published in Zombie Logic Review

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Mr Taylor

Probably a polar bear was not a good choice
for my first attempt at whittling. 
A hamster would have been simpler
and avoided the multiple leg fractures..
“Don’t worry girl, no problem”, Mr Taylor said,
when I showed it to him.
“Leave it to me. 
Bit o plastic wood, 
That’ll soon sort it”
and it did.
The tail was more challenging.
But all was not lost, just the tail,
and I managed to convince the Examiner
that polar bears don’t have tails.
Maybe they don’t.
I’m no expert.
I progressed slowly, and probably 
a rocking elephant was not the best choice
for my Final Piece.
There was a lot to cut out,
a lot of curvy bits.
The huge electric saw bench
loomed ominously in the corner.
“Don’t you go near that, girl”
cried Mr Taylor if I glanced in it’s direction.
“Here, give it here, 
Leave it to me. 
There you are.
Now just a bit o plastic wood...”
And then disaster!
Someone stole the rockers.
Who the fuck would steal my rockers?
They never rocked very well,
but even so, they were better than nothing.
And Mr Taylor was hard pressed 
to make new ones 
in time for the exam,
even with multiple,
“No problem, don’t worry, girl”s, 
I was concerned.
But in the end
we both passed.

First published in Algebra of Owls, November 2016


Sunday 6 November 2016

Death at Work

Such a terrible thing,
to go to work and not come home.
To put yourself in danger,
risk a fall or an infection
just to do your job, earn your bread
without hurting anyone.
An accident happened
or someone was negligent.
So much grief unheard
except by those close.
Personal grief staying personal.
Maybe some were heros,
maybe not. 
Some good, some less so.
Just people.

Soldiers though, they are always heros,
especially when dead.
Those sent out to kill for the politicians
and the generals.
It's automatic, goes with the territory,
whoever's territory it is.
Heros when they kill the other guys.
Heros again when the other guys kill them.
Murdered heros the courts say now,
unlawfully killed
killed by criminals who should be brought to justice.
Not corporate manslaughter to be forgotten.
Criminals or someone else's heros.
Depends on your territory.

Caja de Resistencia. Revista de Poesía crítica, Issue 2, November 2016


Friday 4 November 2016

Who Am I
When did I last know who I am?
I wonder if it when I was a child,
when I made up stories 
from my imagination.
Was I separate then
from the imaginary children
with imaginary parents
and imaginary friends.
where my story began
and where I ended.
I don’t remember.
Perhaps the story ended before I began.
Perhaps the two began together.
Perhaps they may end together,
or eternally
I cannot say.
I never could.
Did I ever know who I am?

First published in Literary Yard, October 2016

Thursday 3 November 2016

    Angels Wings

I am pondering the nature of 
angels wings.
Fluttery things.
like powdery moths
or butterflies, 
fluttering by.
Or, feathered like a bird's.
Made to hover and soar.
To glide on the thermals,
higher and higher,

Not tight skin and bone
like bat's 
or scaly like dragon's.
Long before the birds 
and the flutterbies.
But, after than the angels,
later than those fluttery things.

So did the feathers come first
and fall to earth
becoming scales
on the way down.
How far did they fall
before they left heaven 
and hit the ground flying
to metamorphose
and make a scaly shell
of skin ready to burst
and open dustily. 
Scaled like moths
in clouds
of dust

Not so different then
in the scales of things,
those powdered creatures
those fluttery things,
those angels wings.


Wednesday 2 November 2016

The Stack of Stones

The stack of flat stones
was piled much higher once.
It formed a rough stairway
all the way to heaven,
till someone took it down
to pave their patio.


Tuesday 1 November 2016

            The Grapes

The pub on the corner was known as ‘The Grapes’.
I used to go there a lifetime ago, with one friend or another. 
It was my local, my space, my place, friendly and safe.
I had no money, just bought a half now and then.
I was not a good customer, I remember.

The people in there were smiley and friendly.
They showed me the special knock, I can still remember.
It allowed me in at any time of the day or night 
without any hassle or hanging about,
even though, I was not a good customer.

I remember the old woman dressed in a shapeless coat, 
and always wearing a head scarf. She sat in the corner 
with her glass of mild or Guinness placed firmly
on one of Peter Kavanagh’s special tables.
Yes, I remember her. She was a character.

I remember that snug with the dark scenes
painted on the walls and the shapes of music  
hanging from the ceilings above the special tables.
The old woman was also a fixture, special like the tables.
I must have known her. She was a character.

The men were talking and laughing, doing deals, maybe.
She watched but said little to them, though they were friendly.
Pimps and gangsters, I was told later. 
But they told me the special knock so I could go in any time.
Just for a chat and a joke, which were free, no pressure.

The name has changed now, but the snug looks the same.
The special tables, the wall paintings still are there.
The fiddles and guitars and trumpets still hang.
It’s no longer my space, not really, only remembered. 
And no special knock is needed now.

The old woman has gone, like the pimps and gangsters.
No one remembers her. No one knows her.
I must have known her though, for a time.
I remember, she was a character.

First published in Literary Yard, October 2016