Martin Luther King

January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

I wish that I could sing
a song so strong
your dream would seemGcPwvo98NRgoMKk1ndyLpeyJ

to have returned to life
on streets
where blackbirds thrill
and arms are bent
against the ring of a call to prayer.

You sit on the right side of an angel’s wing

You rise with horned larks
across farmlands, prairies, deserts, and golf courses.

I have a song
that waits to be sung
the day a choir is born
surrounded by mixed fruits,
blackcurrants, redberries, dark chocolates, and meringues.

Martin Luther King
you’ve never slept,
always an eye forever,
a tooth ready for the call,
ready for the Promised Land.

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,

guttural.

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.

Harmony.

Ceremony.

Destiny.


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.

This is pure cliché

This is pure cliché,

dappled wicker,

stone lit, shadows firm,

warmth of evening song,

comings and goings,

Spanish movements through the bar,

Bombay going down,

Schweppes on ice,

already a little pissed

– Martini Basarana Tanqueray

Ballantines Bacardi Beefeater

Zoco Drambuie Calisay

100 Pipers Ron Barcelo

Jack Daniels Cointreau –

even the Cutty Sark is too much

now company’s gone

and “Prohibido Fumar” reigns

supreme behind the counter

– what price a coffee now?

 

 

[Galicia August 2010]

Song of my Butterfly 

Song of my Butterfly

No one heard the song of the butterfly, not even my mother, my brothers, nor the dog-walker who strode by our garden and allowed his Bernese Mountain Dog to pee all over my butterfly’s buddleia. 

No one noticed the sigh of my Painted Lady as she mated with the neighbour’s Painted Man – not even my wife, nor our local parish priest who discouraged kissing on Sundays.

No one found the egg the butterfly laid on the hollyhock that grew from the seed that fell from the beak of my favourite thrush until the caterpillar consumed her shell and was seduced by one of the red hot pokers. 

No one cried tears for the butterfly – not even a plain Painted Lady that flapped its wings in Cork and caused a Great Wall in China to collapse. 

If only one person knew the song of my butterfly in time to sing a lullaby that echoed from sky to sky, we might have paid more attention to biosciences. We might have been saved from the consequences. 

Mysteries of the Universe

 

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Mysteries of the Universe

Joyful Mysteries
Whose is the sweetest song?
What makes time tick?
When will insight beckon?
How does the Universe celebrate?
Where shall I find my better self?

Sorrowful Mysteries
How have  tears cleaned hungering hearts?
What will expire without experience?
What is hardship hiding from?
Who has evolved from sorrow?
When will my beginning end?

Glorious  Mysteries
How immense is the imagination of being?
How wide is the width of the world?
How real is the resurrection from eternity?
How long will happiness happen?
Where is my land of the living breath?

Avoid conversations

Conversations are dangerous:more people have been injured during conversations than in all human wars.Conversations kill: more relationships are put to death during conversations than during all the songs ever sung by all the women. Avoid conversations like the plague: too many conversations hurt like earthquakes hurt. If you find a conversation friendly, remember pearls and oysters.



Avoid Conversations

Conversations are dangerous:

more people have been injured during conversations

than in all human wars.

Conversations kill:

more relationships are put to death during conversations

than during all the songs ever sung

by all the women.

Avoid conversations like the plague:

too many conversations hurt

like earthquakes hurt.

If you find a conversation friendly,

remember pearls

and

oysters