It’s not enough to care

It’s not enough to care:

thousands dead,

millions hurt,

angry Earth,

the rubble of unopened life,

a massacre,

a visit from Hell.

Two minutes is all it took

to bring the walls down,

to bury infants,

to suffocate sinners,

to exterminate, obliterate, create terror

without relief,

with overflowing coffins.

My mother’s heart attacked,

my father suffocated under dust,

there will be no recovery,

the Lion has died,

as if the goodness has been squashed out.

Let’s not forget the geckos, cats, dogs, goldfish, spiders – even the cockroaches and earthworms

– all creatures grand and precious –

I am Kahramanmaras, Malatya, Antakya, Gaziantep, Iskenderun, and Aleppo.

I am You.

Open the crossings,

let fuel in,

light the heaters,

let love flow across the border

between life and death.

Aid your sisters,

save your brothers,

dig your children out.

It’s not enough to care anymore.

The choice

Screen Shot 2019-04-21 at 18.59.41

“Take your choice.

We’ll strip you,

no matter what you choose.

Are you to be dragged through nettles for a thousand miles,

or to be pressed into gorse for a thousand hours?

Alternatively, you can confess your sins, now.”

The pilgrim smiled,

scratched his beard,

and smiled.

I confess that

I have sinned, uproariously,

I have basked in the glory of indecision,

I have procrastinated with aplomb.

I confess that,

in the face of pain,

in the armpit of shame,

in floods of indecency,

I have not made up my mind

about how to suffer.

Do with me as thou will’st.”

Diary note No 15 – A Social Audio Book Club

What’s the point of joining a book club?

Wouldn’t you be better spending your time writing a book?

What’s the point of talking, when you could be reading?


I invented an idea that’s new to me.

I thought:

How about an audio book club?

“How about a social audio book club, on LIMOR, not WhatsApp?

  • The Rick O’Shea Bookclub is online.
  • There are lots of face-to-face book clubs.

In the whole of human history, there has never been a social audio book club.

Daily Note No 7 : Surviving on Audio

I’m staying indoors as much as I can. This morning, I’ve been to Doctor Dara Byrne.

There is nothing to do for my health except keep hydrated.

If my phlegm turns from yellow to green, I now have a prescription for an antibiotic, Amoxicillin.

During the last 48 hours, I’ve recorded & shared audio* on LIMOR about

  • Praising Maria Popova’s new book “Figuring
  • Feeling miserable
  • Getting to see a doctor in Ireland
  • House-swapping for holidays

Recording audio keeps me going and seems to release some energy from a repository within.

(* I’ll put the audio here)


Diary note No 5 – THE INTERVIEW

The most satisfying work I’ve done recently is this INTERVIEW with my friend Ray Renati in Palo Alto, near San Francisco, California, USA.

It’s 92 minutes short.


First of a series of interviews with some of the most engaging people whom Paul O’Mahony, poet, knows.

Ray Renati is a professional actor, theatre director, podcaster, photographer, comedian, singer, father, dog-walker and more.  He lives in California, USA.

Paul & Ray met on social audio on the App Anchor, about three years ago.

The purpose of THE INTERVIEW is to introduce Ray Renati to people who don’t know him delve into the person Ray is and is becoming
(in 92 minutes)

THE INTERVIEW covers 8 topics:

Why do you live where you live?

Why do you do the work that you do? 

Why do you attract the people you attract?

Why are you so committed to the causes your espouse?

Quick questions: like “Ice cream or jam?  Reagan or Nixon?”

Why are you such a spiritual guy?

Why are you so keen to leave a legacy?

What question would you like to ask Paul O’Mahony?
You are welcome to contact Ray Renati by email at

Testing the embed code provided by AnchorFM

I’d prefer you to see a pretty audio player – though the sound quality is pure raw.

Here’s the best I can give you – because this is a site.

If only this was a site … things would look different & sound the same.

But – maybe your look would change the sound you hear?

David Gluckman, author, is here

His book is here.

‘On Woman’ by WB Yeats


MAY God be praised for woman
That gives up all her mind,
A man may find in no man
A friendship of her kind
That covers all he has brought
As with her flesh and bone,
Nor quarrels with a thought
Because it is not her own.
Though pedantry denies,
It’s plain the Bible means
That Solomon grew wise
While talking with his queens.
Yet never could, although
They say he counted grass,
Count all the praises due
When Sheba was his lass,
When she the iron wrought, or
When from the smithy fire
It shuddered in the water:
Harshness of their desire
That made them stretch and yawn,
pleasure that comes with sleep,
Shudder that made them one.
What else He give or keep
God grant me — no, not here,
For I am not so bold
To hope a thing so dear
Now I am growing old,
But when, if the tale’s true,
The Pestle of the moon
That pounds up all anew
Brings me to birth again —
To find what once I had
And know what once I have known,
Until I am driven mad,
Sleep driven from my bed.
By tenderness and care.
pity, an aching head,
Gnashing of teeth, despair;
And all because of some one
perverse creature of chance,
And live like Solomon
That Sheba led a dance.



You stab me with your eyes

You strip my face away

You cut my mind asunder

and I am bleeding

all over the pillowcase

all down your rosy cheeks.

You’ve had your way with me

and next I’ll lose the ties

that bound us from the start

that calmed my fragile heart

that taught me we were one

so none could come between us

And I am waking

It is the dawning


– the age of reality

After the concession

After the concession

A black bird sits on a telephone line,

suspended between wooden poles

aged by water.

This is no day for tears,

no moment for regrets,

no time for tearing-out hair.

There are other black birds

and a seagull catching light

over the Northside.

There is a hill to descend

a twisting road

past cars

and fading disintegrating leaves.

There’s even sun in my eyes.

It’s easier to say nothing,

to notice the knot,

to register the wish

to lock the toilet door

and simply sit.

Oh yes, there’s reason to be thoughtful,

there’s always reason to reflect,

looking at clouds heavy with mist.

There’s always a will to inaction,

a will to ossify.

Black bird statues

behind a crooked spire,

the one with the lightening rod on top.

The off-licence shut,

the graffiti craves attention,

I see Aer Lingus was looking for my vote

‘smart makes the right choice

for Stateside flights this winter’.

The wounded leopard must go back for more food,

the thirsting camel must trek on,

the beehive must protect and cherish

and guard their queen,

even when forced to swarm.

This is no day for tears,

it’s a day my mother did her best to prepare me for,

and my father knew would come.

Remember Job is more than one man,

and black birds are ever present

whenever there’s a breath to be drawn.



Oscar Wilde ‘The Ballad Of Reading Gaol’ on UK National Poetry Day [31 minutes]


For years I’ve wanted to read “The Ballad of Reading Gaol“.

On National Poetry Day in UK (6 October 2016) –  I did it.


10 years ago …

[I don’t want to give you the impression I’m depressed now – so I better let you know I wrote this 10 years ago.]



There is a black blob of ink on my paper
and no amount of dipping the pen
will tidy the stain.

There was an inkwell sunk into my desk
and I used to gather a load of liquid
to decorate the page.

As the tool for writing became a fountain
and I learned to collect my ammunition
leaks came and pus dribbled.

This pool is drawning me down into its depth
and I’m too heavy to float in filth.
I need a good clean.

A note to my mother – August 2006

Dear Mum

If I simply say ‘you’re the best mum I’ve ever had‘,
you’ll know I’m in touch with previous lives.

But you’ll deserve it – because you brought us up
to think and duel with words, and look beyond

to the next time when I shouldn’t be late, or break
House Rules, lest you and I would give and take

for hours and hours – so I would learn and yearn
to be my own person – as is your way.

“Lost Love” – poem by Paul O’Mahony


Lost Love

I’ve lost my love for you,

forgotten your name

among so many others.


Are you worth remembering?

Do you matter at all

any more?


Will you ever return,

re-emerge like hibernator?

Are you buried forever underground?


Could it be your disappearance

isn’t even noticed

and no tears shed for you?


The good of you fallen,

sieved like flour and icing sugar,

leaving only useless lumps?


Your name a melted hailstone,

gone from sight,



Pray surface in your own time,

lost love loved again

even if you’ve forgotten my old name.

Strangle Bukowski – poem by Paul O’Mahony

Will someone please strangle Bukowski

A disgraceful man

not worthy of the name Charles

He farts his syllables

belches his words

vomits his phrases

– his sentences smell

like festering fish

As for his verse

it’s worse.

When did Mewkowski last rhyme?

When did he not spew  out his truth

as if it was personal?

If caustic Charlie didn’t drink sour milk

sucked from his Mother Nature

the inhuman race

would have no warlike bastards

inciting us all to spill blood

from eructive orifices.


the barely sane Bukowski

keeps my bad breath moving mindfully

in and out

in and out

through gaps between teeth

filled originally by a dumb dentist

married to his drill

addicted to screwing

holes he amalgamed.

Father, father

who will rid me of this

treacherous gurgitator

sent from that inner being

Steve Jobs

tried to connect with

on his ashram

in smelly feet.


pastiche is the sincerest form of flattery

Will someone please strangle Bukowski?