After Sunday

‘It’s hard

to start…’


After Sunday

A roll of the dice 

A cut of the cards


Night and Day

rolled into one

Background & Hinterland.

Did Elvis chant

‘Let’s Strip You Bare’?

Music & Musaque 

‘ Where have all the jute-boxes gone?’


What’s your poison?

Your cocktail?

Your justification?

To be sure,

none of us expected you to order

“Massacre on the Rocks”.

No parrot sang

“Pretty Polly

Off your trolly

No folly

Pretty Polly


Police officer


Local government employee

A couple of Canadians

With his fiancé 

A very good mother

Heavy-duty mechanic apprentice

Maple Ridge

Big Sandy







Pompeii on the Strip


‘I won’t be right

until I’ve written 

– even then

I won’t be right.

I lost my heart in Vegas



Nobody but you

There are too many bloody good people around
They make me sick with their good intentions
Puke with Generosity
Retch with Universal Love
Angels cast in vomit.

Too many spirits carry the burden of pain
– as if one snake’s venom was bedfellow
to a reptilian Collective Conscience.
Give me the fiery “Go fuck your trouble

Stop feeling for me.
Cut out the empathy surrogacy.
Drown in your trade-marked tears.
Do something for yourself.
Go walk your own mile.

Go be nobody but you.
Isn’t it hard enough to live one life

than to be mother to another?

So many good people

Twas a bitter night,
earthworms driven deep,
swifts and swallows flown from sight,
few nuts laid to sleep.

On the road well-trudged
shoes sliding behind,
crowds into my face misjudged,
to their rhythm blind.

An all-weather pitch,
hummingbirds and rats,
a carpet woven eldritch,
oodles of green hats.

Twas a spark, a flame,
kindling wood for home
way beyond a trace of shame,
whispering coxcomb.

Too many good people
abroad with wisdom,
blessed good loving people
mend sorrow’s kingdom.

Waiting for something to happen 

Waiting for something to happen 

that isn’t 


waiting for something 

that Godot 


Waiting for someone

to hiccup 

more than me.

You see

waiting is (a) creating




Not Farting But Founding… 



The rain fall?

The toilet flush?

The doorbell ring?


The jackdaw land?

The chicken lay?

A pony snort?


That fish spawn?

This hiccup die?

Her tongue melt?

Her wit end?

Her scream echo?


Friday follow?

The poet’s grip falter?

Your journey age?


The albatross be called Wisdom?

My hummingbird depart?

My sign language strike a chord?

Your fingernails warm?

Waiting for something to happen…

A story take on a character?

This ceremony embrace your destiny?

My watch tick?

Tim Miller wake in time 

to catch Godot working?


Waiting for something to happen. 

Ages Apart 

Ages Apart

I was talking to Pytheas of Massilia on Friday.

He was still in the grip of a cold he caught

returning from Thule.

Twas as if the world’s oldest albatross

– whom some call Wisdom –

sang with a bee hummingbird

that fled Cuba from Irma to Cork.

Such was the storm song …

such the Artic bass …

My Greek lapsed as I left the Parthenon,

his Irish, foreign, tinged with Scots Gallic,


We stuck to sign language,

ice on his fingernails.

I put that down to the disgrace

that few believed his stories.

Wrapped in song,

building melody

on staves of flesh,

major and minor,

there was little between us.




Two men with hearts

dependant on blood

lightly to coagulate

in hurricanes predicted to return

(and persist).


I must tell Tim Miller

Pytheas read his poem

in the Shetlands,

despite the middle-aged ‘stupidity’

never learned from pilgrims.

Smiles we made over gin and tonic,

over ice.

We called our chorus

Brothers from Earth’

We are brothers from Earth,

conceived in shadows’ stage,

conjoined and free in birth,

alive in every age.

Death & Life matter to people who read poetry

A new poetry collection by Paul O’Mahony will be out in time for Xmas.

(Big secret) He has a publisher.

I discovered Paul has a problem he hasn’t solved.

He’s composed the poems.

He’s even compiled a short-list of poems, from which he’ll select no more than 40 (next week).

The trouble is he doesn’t have a title – and “Selected Works” won’t do.

I asked Paul What’s in a title?”

“A theme – and an invitation. The theme determines which poems make it into the book – and how the poems are clustered.”

“For example?”

“‘Rage’ by my friend Patrick Stack [published by Revival Press] suggests you’re offered pretty strong emotions in every poem. But the title doesn’t reveal the poems are about survival of darkness within.

Rage could be about 

the loss of friends and would-be lovers

madness & beauty


or abuse

or something.

The poet used the title to help him decide the order of the poems.”

I asked Paul

 “How is the title an invitation?”

“Only certain people are invited to the book. Not everyone’s invited by ‘Rage’ – the blurb on the back puts many people off. That way the book appeals to a select group of people who don’t fear to buy & read ‘Rage’ – and welcome ‘Rage’ into life.”

 I couldn’t resist asking the obvious question  What’s the name of your next poetry book?”

“That’s the death and life of me.  I can’t decide.  I’m stuck in mixed feelings. It better be better than the last one.”

“Oh… What was the name of your last book?

“Irish Epic Poem in 33 Cantos – wasn’t that a stupid title? Thank goodness my mother bought so many copies.”

I didn’t believe him, couldn’t solve his problem, left him looking blank and wondered which book I’d read next –  ‘Rage’ or ‘Irish Epic Poem’?

If you have any suggestions for Paul, I’m sure he’d gift you a copy if the book sells well.