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.

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.


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


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?

I am the Holy See.




(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,
Unfinished symphony.

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

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,
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
and anchor
to another forked branch.

Song Lyrics

Electrifying you

I slept thru every dream with a moonbeam in my ear

And every time that Venus cried the lightening hit my side

You were my lover thru the night though you were out of sight

Behind the mind

Electrifying you

Electrifying you

Behind the blind

You were sleeping on the beach, you were buried in the sand

And every time that Venus cried, I swore I knew you sighed.

You were a better lover then, I want you back again.

Behind the blind

Electrifying you

Electrifying you

Behind the mind

I climbed a mountain high,

with your breath blown in my ear,

And every time you slipped away, I tore a thread and say.

You were a sleeping lover bee, you burnt my spirit free

Behind the mind

Behind the blind

Electrifying you

Electrifying you