Emergence, a wreck?


Photo from one of Armagh’s cathedral sites. There are also some of John Hewitt’s words there, a more hopeful and generous perspective.

When I saw the title with South County
My mind reversed the words.
From a childhood place
I see Armagh, the county south
of my own county,
A place of orchards and apples.

Small hills topped by two cathedrals
Both called St. Patrick
Looking at each other across the town
Glaring rather. Or ignoring.
More, I am the high point here,
So long as I pretend you are not there.

Emergent intolerance and ignorance.
Trouble. I wish I saw a change.
I think I see the brittle ribs of hate
Slipped a little while under the sand.
The cathedrals on the hills still stand.
Waiting. Watching. Ignoring their arrogance.


When I write poetry I think I am often simply exercising “free association”. Is this is why prompts enable me to get around to it? The prompt on this occasion, here in USA, was in a “South County news report” with a headline “shipwreck buried under sand emerges on Charleston Beach”




Bees Know

Bees know

No-one told the bees to make honey
but they do.
No-one needs to know how the grass grows
but it does.
When the tree falls in the forest we do not hear
but fungi flourish
We have not asked the sun to rise and shine every time
Morning comes
In a darkened night we lift our eyes to the stars, or sleep
and dream.
Did you hear the rain pitter patter your window, or the wind’s rattle?
Planning permission not required.

Did you hear about the bananas? Dole’d to consumers faffing and Fyffing
Wanting golden skinned
Nations unfed while consumers led to love the bananas
not too soft or black
tons crated from plantations and tonnage tossing over seas,
Hands harvest the hands.
Fair trade or agribusiness. How do you know there are bananas
in your fridge?
Are you bananas? You forget the world will touch you with its gifts
Let your skin take it in
While the bees buzz on busy honey making.

No-one told you: you will get something for nothing every day
No-one told you: you will be born and grow
No-one told you love, or hate or fear or pride or joy
Let them come, as they will, as surely as the sun shines.
See what honey comes.

Inspired in part by ARTIST ROOMS, Joseph Beuys, A Language of Drawing, at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 30th July − 30th October 2016

From the Life of the Bees, Joseph Beuys.






A Freezing Sun

Light from the sun is free
It falls regardless of heed or gratitude
Finding its way to wood that once it grew.
Taking a pit-stop aloft on a cloud-driven day
As though alive, knowing, feeling
For once the earth needed its shaft rejected.

Don’t think that Earth replies.
Can’t you see me turning turning?
Daily means diurnal rise.
Not that I spin here yearning for your touch,
You are too hot. Intense. Too much.
I have another side that you can’t see
Called Dark. That too is free.
Within the dark black night away from sun
I dream. Time flies.

Quiet says sun.
Shooting a sunspot glare through upper atmosphere.
I dream too. Dreaming is not just for you.
Timeturned dull Earth, grounded Earth.
Revealing thoughts of deep dark zones I can’t conceive.
Setting, solidity, crystal, flint and quartz
Not here where plasma rules.
All roils. I dream of freezing.
Ice. Frost. The many million shapes of snowflakes
Slipping sideways in my morning rise.

Someday love

I met Jane, and Christine Chu, on Poetry 201. Now Christine has asked me to share my thoughts on “Love” with an axiom of ten lines, using four words in each sentence and each sentence to include the word “love”, and to give my favourite quote on love.

I feel an expectation.

Someday love

Love crosses swords
with love’s crazy words
Love’s duck in tennis.
Love to play cards
Get love in luck
Be unlucky in love.
Love your attention
Love you to mention
Let love be an action
The word’s just a fraction.

I do not have a favorite quote, too many to count on this subject. The following is the last verse of Mary Oliver’s “Someday”

Oh, love lay your hands on me again.
Some of the fruit ripens and is picked and is delicious.
Some of it falls and the ants are delighted.
Some of it hides under the snow and the famished deer are saved.

Facing the Future

Writing 201: Day 10: prompt, form and device are – Future, Sonnet, ChiasmusIMG_6021

Facing the Future

I thought I’d ask the sea to hear my story, bear my rhyme,
Take it as it comes, white caps crashing, splashing high,
Or merging, melding in smooth billowed joyousness,
No sea of tears to wallow in pettiness or bitterness.
The ocean has no time to hear self-pity,
Raging, calm, green-flickered, grey, or black,
Words fall unheard and all around the sound of ocean
Says: Hear my myriad magic voices. I don’t tell tales.

Breathless hush or rush of rage and storm tossed water,
East or West swirling dangerous quarreling harm.
Moon pulled tide will take all tales of difference
with indifference. Uncaring rise and fall and fall and rise.
Ocean bears me. Hears my myriad magic voices.
I don’t tell tales. I keep them deep in my forgetting.

I used some lines from a previous poem for this – a sort of long work in progress [After the Breakup]. I am happy to say I think this is much better. Hope you like it too.

Lament for Summer

Writing 210: Poetry. Today the word is Fog, make it an Elegy, and use metaphor.

Lament for Summer

Follow footprints in the snow where the dog has been playing.
Tugging on gloves, re-wrapping scarf over mouth.
Breath rising in clear air. Around the house corner on up the hill
Breath, breathe, heart beating comes to consciousness.
Each breath labours to hear its own continuance.
A cold body listens to its own work.IMG_6146
A dog happily muzzles snow for a buried toy.

Imagine a present only. No spring. No summer.
No hot sand flying under deep delving paws.
A dog’s life indeed.

Indoors, briefly blinded by steamed up lenses
The warm fug of radiant heat rising from the floor
Imagine summer. Strip off these boots and pants
Step out of thermals. Feel skin open to sunshine.
Champagne bubbles burst. Blurred vision, roof snow
flying west with the wind. Golden days are gone.
Happily make tea, mull over memories.

Follow my footprints where I have played
tugging heartsrings, re-telling stories.
It passes fast, indeed.

Poetry 201: Trust, Acrostic, Internal Rhyme

When Trust Has Value

Fear, for what it’s worth
Eventually I realise
All is not lost
Relatively speaking.
Trust seems harmless, even warm
Right. A good way to go
Under the umbrella of another
Safe and sound
Trusting, open to possibilities.

I waltz into the world
Taking niceness, talking schmaltz,
Immune to fear or falling
Slipping not on icy ground.
Alas as once poor Yorick found
Rude awakenings abound
Indeed if life were easy peasy
Simple trust is almost sleasy.
Kicks and brickbats, sticks and stones –

Trust is for the dreaded zones
Afar from warmth and love and light
Kindred spirits out of sight
Even if the way has danger
Risk seems lonesome. Every stranger
Is a monstrous ogre waiting,
Salivating. A trusty world is not a right.
Kindness give, defeat the flight.
See then I’ve earned my trust.

Fear Trust. It Is A Risk. Take Risks.