I rose from the dead
We’d all love to rise from the dead
and snatch a second chance
from the teeth of history.
Which of you would refuse resurrection
and leave the stones in place
until the winter breaks?
My death was cold
and stank of feces
left by swallows fit to glide away.
I never knew how long my death would last
until I rose again from the jaws of a mystery made
before the stars exploded
and the universe was saved.
I did two things at work,
And were those things any good?
They gave me company.
Not being anything,
nor holding water,
cleaned out of grit,
a lonely man fears he has nothing
and never really had
anything to show for himself.
[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.
To write a poem now
To write a poem now
fingers all too stale,
Unused soul went to sleep,
Christ rose from the dead,
threw off sheets drenched in blood,
woke up, pushed the stone back
so light and birdsong dawned,
his dream made flesh,
traces linger instead,
as if painted over.
Jesus wrote his poem
on the road to Emmaus,
recovered from Gethsemane.
The words even ascended into Heaven
and were repeated.
To write a poem now…
the least I could do.
I wrote this in 2011 – shortly after I recovered from a long bout of depression. I began it in Ely near Cambridge UK, & finished the first draft in my local much-loved haunt Cafe Beva, Glanmire, Co Cork.
I’ve lost my love for you,
forgotten your name
among so many others.
Are you worth remembering?
Do you matter at all
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.
I wish for Plenty:
manna, songs, dancing, smiles
gin, tonic, lime – even porter and champagne
especially the hugs of others
warm hearths for my belly
I wish for nothing less than a place at the next resurrection.
(I found no seat at the last supper.)
What I’m greedy for now lies beyond
nights of sleep, hummingbirds, smoked salmon, diamonds.
Tis daylight peace without end.
(It is a blessing to want.)
My longing rose from the dead on Monday evening
not long after a shrink spilled her seed on fertile ground
and stones moved in concert.
I wish I knew the secret of how to sow miracles
the way a spirit splits and multiplies
the rising of the sun.
(At least I remember her name.)
There’s nothing like a breath drawn up an elephant’s trunk
nothing like the atmosphere of air
Lazarus found out – and so did I.
Maybe I’ll remember how to wish next time round the mulberry
– trees breathe, leaves bud again.
There’s plenty to be found.