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?

Friend.

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.

Figment.

Cracked glass.

I hadn’t the heart to help him.

The Pope is coming on the Joe Duffy Show

The Pope is coming on the Joe Duffy Show

Wherever the people are gathered, I want to be

However Irish men and Irish women care to listen,

I want to be

among those who have supported me

those who built my churches

my schools

my hospitals

my laundries

my graveyards.

I have prayers to make

on Joe Duffy,

Confessions to make

on TalkToJoe.

Contritions to express

on Liveline,

Penance to receive.

DIVINE HEADLINE

Will Joe take my call?

Hear my all?

At all?

Don’t I deserve to be heard?

Can you not stomach another apology?

Another stream of Vatican Vernacular Verbatim?

They call me Francis

I am not Franciscus

I am the Vatican

Institutional Man

I stand for the Vatican

I behave the Vatican Way

I did not write a letter

There was one on file

Rome designed the words for me to deliver.

Rome will be on Joe Duffy.

If Irish children, Irish women and Irish men

believe,

if you believe me, the Vatican, the Bishop of Rome.

Wherever the people are gathered,

I want your belief

Will you have me on the show?

Will your researchers prepare me?

Calm my nerves?

Steady my trembling tongue?

Joe@RTE.ie

I am the Holy See.

Condescending You, Condescending Me

I was on my way from life to death,

Crossing over from poverty,

Searching for what’s right for me.

It’s a mountain hard enough to climb,

A mountain hard enough to climb.

Condescending me,

Looking down on me,

From way up high on your pedestal.

You whispered to me ever so free,

You spoke to me ever so free,

with a smirk in your eyes

“You are a woman,

I see you can sing,

and you really can dance,

you even understand,

and you’ll improve

and you’ll grow up

and realise why I’m so wise.”

– With a smirk on your face

You put me in my place..

Condescending you,

condescending me.

I met you in the bar that night,

and in the club where we danced all right.

My hopes arose, I was aroused

by the look in your eyes

by the cut of your gib.

By your sighs,

you seemed ever so wise.

It was a shock, it was a rock,

It was demise,

I could see in your eyes.

“That’s good for a woman,

that’s good for a woman,

That’s ever so human.

I’m very impressed,

You’re not even stressed.”

Your tone was a knife,

it cut me apart

Your look was a spear

flung deep in my heart.

You woke me that night

Condescending me

Condescending you

From your mountain top,

to a weed below,

Condescending me

Condescending you.

I was on my way, from life to death,

crossing over from poverty,

searching for what’s right for me.

And it sure ain’t you,

And it sure ain’t you

Condescending you.

You can fuck yourself

You can fuck yourself

I’m looking after me

I’m looking after me.

I’m looking after me.

The Pope is almost here

These are fragments I’ve scribbled down while listening to the Irish national news today.

They came quickly from a fund of anger that festers within my body.

I’m sharing these phrases here in case I don’t sculpt them into verse soon. These are the exact words, warts and all.

The Pope is coming here

Defender of the Faith
God’s Vicar on Earth
Protector of priests
Conspiracy
Defender of pedophiles
rapists
Jesus Christ must be tossing in his grave
Confessor
Propagator of Untruths
Poser for the Poor
Prayers
Celebrator
Defender of Eucharist.

A chalice of putrid blood
the blood of people
abused
destroyed lives.
Destroyer of children
Leader of liars
Bishop of Rome
the central committee for the propagation of vice
7 deadly Sins
Mortal sins.

Salvation from prosecution

Infallible corruptor

The institution of Pope is here already in every parish + diocese

The silence of brother
the silence of priests, nuns
housekeepers
confession.

How shall the faithful welcome him?

longing, flags, reverence, prayers,
adoration

 

Moving

IMG_9960

Moving

(for BKB)

Our kitchen clock has ticked,
time to pack up,
time to clear out,
cardboard boxes,
still life on the living room floor.
A full-stop.
Another paragraph written.

This house has done its work.
Candles burnt.
We were here,
a joint composition,
major and minor keys,
melody,
atonality,
dissonance,
harmony.
Unfinished symphony.

More than poetry.
Infinity of haiku
silent rooms between
characters.
On this stage,
we voiced parts,
fashioned scripts,
co-authors.

I’ve written my way through this house,
stepped beyond the deck,
out into a backyard
to trees and stream
underneath snow.
(Memories in parentheses)
Our kitchen, hearth of home,
chairs, a shrunken table,
furniture that made space grow.

Chicken noodle soup from a can,
potato chips,
grapes,
milk from a carton,
silver spoons,
our last supper.
I don’t know where we’ll eat tomorrow.

Never known the next phrase,
the sentence to come,
the chapter after this,
the story’s conclusion.

Like a hummingbird’s nest,
where we eat, drink, love, grow, sing,
shall we weave together twigs,
plant fibers,
bits of larch leaves,
shall we thread spider silk to bind our nest
together
and anchor
to another forked branch.