Am I the only one?


I was killed at school.

The bullets hit me somewhere

in the eye, ear, nose & throat,

maybe through my heart.

I didn’t feel a thing

pierce my umbilical pipeline.

I guess my mother’s blood gushed.

Maybe she hadn’t decided what she’d do with me.

All that ammunition …

Cartridges for crucifixions

Explosions of extreme unction

A Hell of Heaven

I imagine the bard broken.

I was gone within a heartbeat, snuffed out.

Was I the only one?


I was elected at home.

The votes cost me

a bank balance weighed with wishes.

I keep eyes, ears, nostrils, speeches primed.

I feel throbbing hearts,

invocations of investors …

shareholders sighing like furnace …

I am a political animal,

I stand to attention for the last post

in association with my brothers-in-arms,

with every voter who craves the right to shoot,

to the grave.

I’ve earned the money to pursue the sins of the Senate,

the hustings of the House.

I’ve paid the price

Am I the only one?


I am the gun that shot the child

in many places.

I have an owner.

A kind, gentle, considerate, generous, careful citizen.

An emotionally retarded, psychotic, neglected, deprived, abused, vengeful

collector of beauties.

My barrel gleams.

I am an automatic obliterator,

my owner is a dead shot,

proud, defender of the faith of our fathers,


lover of fire & brimstone.

I love my owner.

Am I the only one?


(17 February 2018 – in honour of 17 humans massacred in Florida – 14 students + 3 faculty members)

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



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.