“They are dead”   –  Poem by Paul O’Mahony 


[If you can’t see the player below, click here]

They are dead

my verse is blank

my spirit violated

my heart hurt

my mind




What can my verse do?

What can my fingers do?

What can my flesh do?

What can the atoms and molecules of my shape do?


A lot …

a huge amount:

I can stand

in solidarity

I can hold out my hand

in love

I can be compassion.

There is a lot I can do

I am not helpless

in the face of massacre

I am not helpless.


Alongside the dead,

the dying

the injured

the frightened

I am not powerless

I can love

I can be kindly to others

I can be generous

I can be compassionate


Though my verse is blank


has no rhyme

though the rhythm be uneven

though the metre be hard to find

I am strong enough

I have the courage to be human

to be mixed-up

to have mixed feelings

to be at sixes and sevens

to be lost.

I have the power to find myself

I’ve done it before.

There have been other massacres

There have been other assassinations

My heart has been injured

my feelings hurt

I have been attacked

I have been close to death.

I have strength enough to be human with the people of Paris, the people of France the people of Europe, the people of the whole world

I have that strength

I have the strength to remember I am a human.

I may not have died in Paris

but my humanity has been disturbed

into life




Rest in peace.



This poem was first composed on the audio you can listen to above.

The photograph is of  “Peace for Paris”, an illustration by the French graphic designer Jean Jullien 

Published by

Paul O'Mahony

I'm Paul O'Mahony (Poet). On Twitter you can reach me @Omaniblog A father. I work as business storytelling consultant - Podcaster - Blogger - Live streamer via Periscope - Foodie - I love to connect with people. . Live in Glanmire, Cork Ireland Europe linkedin.com/in/paulhomahony

2 thoughts on ““They are dead”   –  Poem by Paul O’Mahony ”

  1. Love this:
    “I have strength enough to be human with the people of Paris, the people of France the people of Europe, the people of the whole world”

    I completely enjoy listening to you on periscope everyday. My smallest children now run when they hear your voice and love to join with me in listening.

    Your poetry on this blog is so compassionate and kind, just as you seem. Your gentleness, even when speaking of harsh things is one of my favorite traits of yours.

    By the way, my name rhymes with starry.

    Blessings and joy,
    Kahri (tweetkahri) from Oklahoma

    Liked by 1 person

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