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"BEWARE THE DONALL DEMPSEY MY SON!"

The frog slid slowly down
my throat.

It's legs sticking out of
my mouth...still kicking.

The world was running away
into the final darkness.

My eyes were robbed
of trees and sun.

The day being stolen
from me.

"Death by frog!"
How unlikely a dying.

The bullies were all
short-trousered lads like me

sculpted from the sunlight
of 1963.

Then either the frog gave
a desperate last minute kick

or I silently yelled
and expelled

friend frog who
having escaped death by swallowing

hopped it
lost itself in the long grass.

Perhaps the horrible tale
of down-the-gullet

is told still to its descendants
far removed from that sunny day.

"Better watch out..." Mamma Frog
would make her voice shiver

making her tiddlers tremble
with trepidation

"...or the Donall Dempsey
will get you!"

*

I was having a bad day....nothing going my way....but still Kim Moore  managed to wring this out of me in her wonderful writing workshop. She applied a Chinese burn to my mind and out popped this in a seven and a half minute sprint of the mind. I was halfways through reliving the trauma of a frog being shoved down my throat to gales of laughter when I suddenly thought "What about the poor frog? How did he cope?"

What did he tell the other frogs and how in the world of frogs it became the tallest of tall tales and my name entered the lexicon of frog horror stories that have been passed down through generations of frog families despite being the innocent victim! All the frog heard in its terrification was my name
chanted over and over again in great grievous glee "Ha ha ha...Donall Dempsey!"  Me and friend frog were in this tormenting together. But despite all this my name has gone down in frog history as if I were a Grendel or a Grendel's mother or a Jabberwocky. Just say Donall Dempsey and see what the reaction is...faster than a Basho plop and splash
A STITCH IN TIME

Memory passes through
the eye of the needle.

I purse my lips
coat the thread with spit.

One eye closed.
One eye open.

Pass it like a baton
to my mother

sewing on
a loose button.

The needle
a little silver fish

dashes in and out
a frayed shirt cuff/

I walk down a street
in New York

as memory
whisks me back

to an Irish kitchen
a kettle whistling

and my mother cursing
"Ahhh son can you thread that for me!"
BEING TOLD

leaves are the tree's feathers
birds are the sky's fishes
so my three year old informs me

*

She my mentor teaching me her world.
Q...E. . .D!

He attaches himself to...
...the end of the queue.

A number.
Number 19 to be precise.

Just another unknown human
in its chain.

All these separate consciousnesses
held together by the queue's formality.

Now shuffling slowly now
fastly now

not going anywhere at all.

We inch to the teller
who controls our time.

But ha!
( No! Not our minds! )

Each of us ennui'd
in our own particular way

our thoughts roaming
free.

One recites Hopkins
to himself.

Another juggles the ingredients
of that night's dinner.

Yet another and yet
another

thinking nothing
( nothing at all )

able to shut down the mind
to suit the body's function.

This, thing that is
us

a human charm bracelet
a walking collection of various DNA

our being threaded through
the eye of the moment

like so much human
( that word again )thread

sewing this
time together

when

the man behind the man
in front of him

clasps the stranger's waist
firmly in both hands and

suddenly sings:
"deda deda deda DA!
deda deda deda DA!
deda DA DA!
deda DA DA!"

Now, one after
the other after

the other
strangers throwing

off their strangeness

all grabbing waists
legs kicked to first

one side then
the other

all congaing
just for that one

glorious moment
of togetherness

before becoming( once
again )isolated beings

but this time
united by

joy
&
laughter.
"SPRING IS HERE, I HEAR. . ."

I carry the sky
across the street

stumble under
its weight.

Now I carry the buildings
and finally some trees and a dog.

The dog barks
at itself.

I look like a mirror
with legs.

A mirror walking
down the street.

We, dance partners
it & I.

I all huff & puff
the mirror calm as anything.

The edges of the mirror
bite deep into my palms.

I am tired of carrying the sky
place it against a red-bricked wall.

Finally the mirror
half cracked at the top

has time to
reflect upon its new home.

I have saved it from a fate worse than
a skip.

It gives my little room
an extra dimension.

A room that isn't
there that I am

always walking in
( ouch! )to.

Sometimes I talk to
the me in the other room.

I paint my room bright
bright yellow

fill it with jonquils
and daffodils.

A red skirting board
runs around the room.

The flowers rejoice.
Spring, it appears, is: here.

There is no you nor
ever will be  - again.

I sit with my reflection.
Both of us say nothing.

We have nothing
to say.
JUST IS

A bird sings
the morning into being.

The sky itself seems
to emerge note by note

from its tiny throat
as if it sings sunlight.

A bud opens colouring the air
with the scent  of itself.

The grass laughs with delight
in all its thousand green voices.

My naked feet
stepping through its words.

A flock of dandelions
alights about my toes.

Sunlight becomes the world.

“I am the here and now!”
it announces.

Season's greetings.
Sap rises without a second thought.

It just - "is."

A feather flutters as I watch time pass
amongst the garden's trees.

Wondering what bird owned this
balanced upon my palm

it takes to the air
as if it were the bird itself.

A feathered fractal.

A sudden gust blows a rook off course.
It stands its ground upon the air

returning to where it was before
the wind played its practical joke.

Oh how the other rooks chuckle.

A cloud does an impression
of Merlin the Magician.

Then impersonates itself
being a cloud again.

A lark skates upon a sky
as if it were the bluest  thinnest ice

that it may fall through
into some other dimension.

A butterfly half drunk on flight
pretending to be a flower...flying.

A willow bows to me. I bow to it.
Humbled by its grandeur.

I, the least needed here.
All this would happen without my mind.

My eyes given the privilege of such seeing.
I, a mere observer

trapping in words
what can not be trapped in words.

Time drifts and I am left
with all this beauty

the beauty
just in being.
"RIP IT UP AND START AGAIN!"

My mind poses
or rather

adopts a posture
for the camera.

Even imagines
the legendary dicky bird.

But in the finished photograph
the mind is nowhere

to be seen
only the usual

camel-faced fellow
smiling( if one could call it that )

the usual quota of two
sticky out ears

an enlarged proboscis
that no body could

ever be
proud of.

The mind like Jesus:
. . .wept!

So, this( ye Gods! )
is how I appear

to the outside
world...no...nO!

No use crying over
spilled orange juice.

"Well, rip it up and start again!"
the mind sings to itself.

"Yeah rip it up and
start again!"
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