Children

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[Image- painting – by Robbin T Milne – with permission]

Children

No matter how tall the leaves of grass grow,
the snow will fall again on the field.
The rabbits are running now,
nettles feasting on sunshine,
and the bees are minding their own business,
somewhere else.

No matter my friend has lost his friend,
there will be friends again.
There is a cancer in the fields,
long shadows over hedgerows,
birds I cannot name sing without melody,
and life growing underfoot.

How are the children now? Who are the authorities?
Are there any youngsters without tears flowing,
without tears repressed, stifled?
There are shards on the road, and dust,
buttercups and dock leaves,
foxgloves, and infants on the roads.

An iron gate opens,
an iron gate shuts,
a horse looking for attention,
a gray standing still,
maybe there are fresh eggs.
Why were the children born?

There is horseshit everywhere I look
Clean it up, someone – I’ve said enough.
God bless America,
The horses have bolted,
who’s in charge here?
The leaves of grass are growing,

whether we like it or not.

Born in Aleppo



Born in Aleppo 

I come from a small place in between Paris, Nice, and the Hinterland.

I was born in Aleppo. 

I had friends there. 

Some had shoes, 

others rice. 

I don’t know what most survived on.

I was talking to Charlie Hebdo.

He said  ‘you’ll have to laugh your way through all the hail,

you’ll die many times before Aleppo.’

I believed that line. 

There was always a cat,

somewhere,

ready to pounce  

with a hungry mouth.

Cats are drones. 

One of the girls lost her mother to a cat. 

We were all born in Aleppo. 

It’s as if we came from Africa 

drawn to die 

on the bank of the River of Martyrs

before the smiles reached us. 

I have to write something

That woman.

That pesky woman is my muse.

Until that man – that foolish clownish jester has collapsed on his own self-esteem…

Until everyone who eats with him is repulsed by his belching & farting…

Until all his children & wives & employees are sick of him…

Until there is a global alliance of USA Asia Australia Antartica Cork Canada Greenland Russia China Galway North Pole South & Middle America Mars Moon Cobblers Hairdressers Uncle Tom Cobley Walt Whitman Jesus Confucius Judas Mary Joseph Europe Kerry Cannes Curry Fish&Chips Pope Francis Rice Doonbeg and the Oscars …

Until he’s wet himself so many times White House cleaners go on strike for danger money…

Until the Fraud exposes himself as having had a transplant auto-generating intelligence…

Until that day and beyond – let us all follow him – and harass him into the sewer where he grew up and where he deserves a place in the Buffoons’ Hall of Fame.

Meanwhile – let’s all raise our glasses to that magnificent woman and her flying Twitter Machine.

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.

___________________

 

Irish Water

 

Irish Water
“Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.”

I ramble thirsty as a shroud
from pub to pub and by the riverside.
Paddy Power in sight,
sure I’m right tight
– a death to chasers coming.

(Fresh demand in post,
investment dear,
to plug the pipes that leak rainfall.)

In search of a drop
to quench the thirst
to wet my whistle,
cad a dhéanfaimid fasta gan báisteach
translated into water charge
hailstoning on showers.

(Taxpayers used to annexed wages,
consumers used to value added tax )
Now an extra fee,
you pay more for a slash
extra for a poo.

Water water,
never had so much
to squelch & welsh.
transparent pain, expensive rain,
we conserve you with pleasure,
and hurt pockets
where suffering’s egg is spermed:

I gamble boldly as a sect
that floats on high
o’re tombs of Micheál Kenny.
We Ourselves roll back the stone
and bury both alive
before the cock crows thrice.

As for the whiskey,
we drink it neat
until the Republic sings
the song of wandering Bacchus
from the ocean of the West.