Beware 47 year old men


Beware 47 year old men

They drop like squashed flies
slowly recover into another guise
barely half the size

frail on their feet
after years of fierce pursuit, no heat,
cold comfort from their beat.

Beware 47 year old men

They’ve seen it all before
second and third hand, expecting to soar
past open doors

firm in their pride
locked into a harsh and bitter guide
anger waiting to ride.

Beware 47 year old men

who’ve worked hard
for the reward of a faceless guard
set against anything marred.

Those men fight with flawed spirits
bolstered up on rivets
held together for lovers’ visits.

Beware 47 year old men
I should know, should know again
and again how we topple then.

47 year old men, stand up
slow down and humbly sup,
gather your treasures before they leave the cup.

November 1997

Mysteries of the Universe



Mysteries of the Universe

Joyful Mysteries
Whose is the sweetest song?
What makes time tick?
When will insight beckon?
How does the Universe celebrate?
Where shall I find my better self?

Sorrowful Mysteries
How have  tears cleaned hungering hearts?
What will expire without experience?
What is hardship hiding from?
Who has evolved from sorrow?
When will my beginning end?

Glorious  Mysteries
How immense is the imagination of being?
How wide is the width of the world?
How real is the resurrection from eternity?
How long will happiness happen?
Where is my land of the living breath?

Only you


Only you

The weight of the raindrop that trickled
under my waterproof.

The shape of the arm of the snowflake that smashed into my left eye.

The arc of the rainbow that landed
on the dock of the Port of Cork.

The pixels of the iris by which I see
handwriting painted in my black Moleskine.

The taste of your nipple between my infant gums
the day we first met.

The pounding of your gait growing stronger in ears
listening to the “Mad World ” of Gary Jules.

Only you,

and you alone…

You don’t have to be loved

You don’t have to be loved.

You don’t have to be noticed.
You don’t have to have blood seeping from your heart,
arteries opened and veins cut.
You do not have to have a scowl on your face
for people to pay attention.
You don’t have to be dying
(or wanting to die)
for others to see.
You do not have to feel thorns
pressing into your head
for your lover to be uncomfortable enough
to stop and say to themselves

Are you OK?
What’s up?
You don’t look good to me.
Is anything the matter?
I wish you’d speak.
I am bothered,
it matters to me.”

You do not have to be silent
for your friend to say to you

What’s the matter?
You look rough.
You seem out of sorts?
You look awful.
What’s up?

You do not have to be loved.
You don’t have to run away.
You only have to let your body breathe.


Written after loving “Wild Geese
by my favourite living poet
Mary Oliver.

In Myrtleville one Sunday morning 


In Myrtleville one Sunday morning

Two men in green galoshes plodded thru blinding mud and glistening puddles as friesians foraged for food in a field by the sea.

Electrical wire carried current to discourage the herd from wandering.

The men got there and one changed the boundaries so the cows could eat tufts of grass.

Who doesn’t trundle through dung & slurry on a track to better pasture ?

Who doesn’t push towards others who scrabble for scarce supplies to keep them going until the weather turns and growth resumes.?

Who doesn’t hope for someone to move goalposts and let you stock up for the next bit of the journey from birth to dust?

It’s worth watching mud, cattle and men in sunlight – anytime.