My Musical Autobiography

In the beginning …

The start of my musical life – a series of monologues amplified by extracts from music that’s mattered to me
Life began in the 1960s

There’s more to the story …

There’s more to life than the Sixties

My parents helped make me …

The Classicals & the French

The people who have ideas

The people who have ideas
breathe, touch, imagine the best,
the same way eagles fly 
on air blown in streams that flow
over waterfalls, whirlpools, lakes – 
into backwaters,
into oceans.

The IDEAS I met
in the home The Quiet Man built
(alongside the Cross of Cong)
have all come
clad with strings and baggage,
stubble and eau de cologne
from Jo Malone.

A few carried by musical instruments,
some with a stoop,
the odd one with a straight back,
looking for company
and the like.

Ideas encased in characters:
Rewilding man
Heart with a fear of trusting others
Ireland’s first flow consultant
Multi-tasking woman
(who brushed her teeth
and spat into her handbag)

against the safety of closed paradigms
and spent minds

for alchemy
and epiphany

If it’s icy cold,
pee in your pants –
it’ll soon dry out
and keep you warm.

A splash of IDEATION on the road …
near the Hungry Monk.

Heretics listed:
Bureaucracy works
War eliminates fear 
Doing the shagging thing
Stop travelling
Make something useless

The green soup for lunch
began life as an idea
in the mind of a vegetable
(Civil Rights for Vegetables)
before you eat words for ingredients.

the best interruptions were ideas
that would not keep 
behind the Hedge

I have no idea

I have no idea
(a poem for CongRegation)

I’ve never given birth to an idea that floated
the wine I’ve drunk, the women I’ve loved,

all permeable membranes that leaked
all blocked arteries 

like clods of hair in a drain.
I’ve had multiple births from embryos implanted

like seeds, into my imagination.
I’m big into cultivation, gestation, articulation

and eradication.
There’s an earthworm casting in my brain.

I’m here to sing a song that longs for Cong.
You can’t go wrong among the throng 

where you belong
with your ideas on yellow leads and purple cows.

Compiling & Composing a New Poem

Imagine:  An old mature narrow pub in Ireland downtown Dublin in October 2018. on Monday 15 October 2018. An A5 notebook by Leuchturm1917.


2pm.  Because it’s there

The Palace Bar floorboards fair game for lunch
The Guinness there went down without protest
It was food for legs that traipsed from Abbey Street.
Refreshed the brain grown soggy with exhaustion
Oil to lubricate a head too heavy for its neck.
Down the throat between the teeth into the mouth
like a dive in the Atlantic 
after the sun set
between the teeth down the throat
a liquid lunch with a pen and notebook 
all for the sake of a man who never turned up
all for the sake of a story that
never came through the door

battle fatigues, a beard to stroke
bare arms, long hairs
an ear to scratch, Kindle to read
through black-rimmed glasses
he was bald enough for an
he lifted his pint with his right 

She came to take snaps off the street to take snaps
smiled with awe and appreciation
wanted to stay until the Bulgarian
signaled time to go.
another story the didn’t lift off.

a bird is known by its song
a man by his conversation 
Fleet St
The Palace Bar


For the sake of a story that never was told
for the sake of a stranger who never turned up
I walked in through the bar door
of the Palace Bar
I took to the stool
for the sake of a pint.
I drank till the porter stout was gone


Work (towards a poem) in progress

Imagine: The Republic of Work in Cork @ 12:49 on 18 October 2018

The Floorboards in the Palace Bar
are tight
No light for ghosts from The Irish
to leak through
on to a stool or two…




I drank coffee over bacon and cheese
writing autobiography,
as easy to swallow as Rapunzel and Guinness.

The woman in a cream suit
shook gold earrings and munched
waffles from Idaho
soaked in organic maple syrup
with her mouth open

reminded me of my mother,
Paul, close your mouth when you’re eating.

I read the wine list
in the mirror
behind my back.
That was as difficult to do
as swallowing cod liver oil neat.

How many autobiographies live unwritten
within this life,
under the surface,
scratching for release
from Purgatory?

Am I lost in Dante’s wood,
or sunshine?
Is this Idaho real,
or escaping on the page,
a fleeting fairy tale?

I couldn’t catch her name.

Irish leader greets the Pope

Greetings Francis,

Leader of the humble Roman clan,

Micheál D, Leader of the noble Irish clan

bids you come in peace.

May your visit transform you,

as the salmon transformed Mac Cumhaill

Your arrival has been expected,

as the swallows of summer

and the floods of winter.

We thank you for your prayers

We are grateful for your confession

as ever we are when a bold child seeks forgiveness.

We are moved by your contrition.

As you begged for mercy from survivors

we celebrated your sincerity.

We greet you with the proud heart of a wounded dog.

May your stay be sweet

May your sleep on sheets be bitter sweet

May you dream the dream of a injured stallion

that will never again win a race.

We offer you courage to change

the shape of your smile

the tone of your tongue

the breath of your benediction.

The noble Irish clan

so squashed and squandered

by scourge of Vatican

worships no more

at the feet of any vicar,

nor any bishop in sheep’s clothing.

We have made ready for you Franciscus

Ireland will have its way with you.

What news do you bring?

What song shall we sing?


Coffee with the Pope

I had coffee with the Pope today.

His was a flat white (as you’d expect),

mine was black as humour.

We broke croissants,

both wore sandals,

not a rosary beads between us.

The text on WhatsApp, I thought was a joke,

or Michael Kelly, The Irish Catholic,

flying a kite, ready to redact.

“Paul, forgive my intrusion,

I know you’re no longer one of the Faithful,

I heard you don’t believe.

But I’m in trouble surrounded by Followers

too holy for Salvation.

I need a youth to give it to me

between the eyes,

like David to Goliath.

When I land in Dublin Airport,

should I fall on my knees

and beg forgiveness?

Prostrate myself and be flayed?

Or surround the air with prayers ,

the yellow and white,

the Pioneer Pin,

the Crucifix?

Maybe a donkey to the Áras?”

Spilt coffee,

bags under his eyes, yellowed teeth, double chin,

coughing up phlegm.

“On Saturday, I’ll feel Ireland underfoot

Ivan the Terrible was born,

Nietzsche died, Armstrong too.

The Holy Trinity was confirmed,

Galileo showed us his telescope.

What have I to offer?”

A desperate man looking for lost family.


Cracked glass.

I hadn’t the heart to help him.