Light


Black shoulders, white earphones,
she sits on a wooden stool
in the ‘Internet Centre of Excellence’
on Winthrop Street.

Blends into a smartphone,
consuming power,
hooked,
like my dad consumed TV,
sat by his books
in Fort Mary.

Her fingers fit for a keyboard,
carrying a library
in the pocket
of bleached blue jeans,
sipping water
from a SuperValu plastic bottle.

Frank O’Mahony smoked a pipe
in a drawing room,
sat in an armchair covered in faded flowers,
never blotting a book, straining a spine,
creasing a corner, ripping a leaf.
Father sold books.

Eyes glued to screens,
consuming stories,
liquid crystal married to tubular light,
pathways to wider worlds.

They both wore brown shoes.

Eulogy for our mum

Our mother doesn’t believe in death
Our grandma doesn’t believe in death
Our great grandmother doesn’t believe in death.
Even after everyone knows she’s passed away
she doesn’t believe in death.

She believes in sign-posts
and the sort of markers that say
you’ve entered a new townland.

Our mum believes in evolution and re-cycling
and believes she’s back with the love of her life
the man she married for thirty years
her husband forever.

Our mum believes in the journey
The journey with people, the journey for people,
the good life.

Our mum is …
Our mum was ready.
Oh, she told her family a long time ago
that she was ready.

She lived her day-to-day with love
as generously as any creature.
She reached out to the widest family of humanity
and she believes that’s the only way to live up,
to live the good life.

Our mum doesn’t believe in death
she believes in Resurrection,
forgiving.

She believes she’s moved on
her work on Earth is done
her work among us is the best she could do.

Our mum believes she’s no saint
she has sinned
she’s made her peace
she is forgiven.

Our mum is in love
a love deeper that the lover who feels
they’ve found the one they were meant to find.

Our mum doesn’t only believe in God
our mum knows her God is love
and love endures for ever.

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.

Poetry: “We played hide-and-seek on holidays”

I would close my eyes at evening,
the breeze would slip away
to another appointment.

I would count the lights go down,
cover my head from stars,
let the moon keep watch.

I would draw back shutters at dawn,
go search for the wind
outside

A mosaic of pale stone
ferociously pushing heat into my face,
a frog fixed in the pond with fierce eyeballs.

I would look behind corners of brilliant white
across luscious grass blades, erect, unmoving,
plumbago petals still under cork oaks,

palms hanging arced in the oven.
I would look and look,
until both eyelids would give in,

and call out to the wind:
You have won, Unfound One
You are master of this game.

A man I looked at twice

A man I looked at twice

I saw a man that reminded me of another,
grey bristles conjured up a face
I’d forgotten.

The forgotten put me in mind of the father
I’d lost, and that deathbed
brought back to life

the mother of my best friend
as she lay wasting
and the nurse checked the cathedra

made in a country where I’d visited
the Pied Piper’s adopted home
and fell asleep

in a single bed over which a portrait
of Saint Aloysius hung, next to the holy water font
replenished by an unknown agency.

 

___________________

Note:

I self-published the first version of this poem on my blog in January 2006 

 

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