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The world is busy

the 17th Century.

Time holds its breath.
Mountains gaze into the distance.

It is snowing
in China.

Ricci's European maps
delight the Chinese scholar

who notes" don't
have to leave your house

...yet you can have complete
knowledge of the world."

Here and now the world
shrinks to an Internet click.

A palace built
of memory.

I yawn and fall
asleep in the 20th Century

...waking up in
the 21st.
( for Junie )

Here, now
sister mine

in time

dead to this world

I offer you

my eyes
my ears

so that you can see...can hear
without fear of Death

always interrupting you.

Take this breath & live again.
I can see enough for two.



After the bus crash her soul walked home
limping awkwardly now

leaving a trail of footprints
leaking time like blood.



Often, I visit this moment
long gone

(that has never ceased to exist) .

I go to find my sister
calling her name

lost as she is in the middle
of this vast field

her blue dress a flower

at the very center of it.

Here, Death
does not know her

only I call her.

She carries me home
in a piggyback.

I fascinated with the freckle
under the shadow of a curl

where shoulder
meets neck.

I lost in her laughter.

Both of us escaping
Her Death.



Here, Death
itemises her.

The bruised breast.
The torn spleen.
The broken ribs.
The hemorrhaging.

Death, leaving
his mark

on this
human being.

Familiar with her.
Owning her.

Memory tiptoes
into Death's great palace

& steals back
a freckle

lost behind
a curl

& neck.

has no need

for it.
1d · 21

mountain tired
of its human name
throws off the words

like so much
tattered clothes
walks naked

into a sunset
becoming its own
"I am"

rain too
pays no attention to
the human sounds

reinvents  itself
every time it falls
"I the ever becoming!"

the sky laughs
as words stuck upon it
fall off

"I the great un-nameable!"
pinned down
by a puny words

the moon disdains
all attempts to trap
her in human language

"the great she
who is"

who do these
think they are

humans gasp
as the map

the mountain has left
of its own accord
the rain falls no more

and the sky
doesn't even
want to know

the map now
a blank
piece pf paper

the trees take
to the sky

great flocks of them
heading south

flying in a V formation
across a moon

the birds standing still
a forest of wings

a plantation of

when the mind is
twisted so

it's hard to tell
the woulds from the could bes

I  fall asleep
curled up in my uncle's lap

the magic of his words
winking like one cobweb to another

caught in
an early morning dew.

the bed was asleep
chairs just sat around
the door refused to budge

could not decide whether
it wanted to be open or...

earlier in the evening
the fire
had gone out

throwing casually
over its shoulder
"I may be...some time!"

the picture kept
going on about
being framed

"Not again!" sofa muttered
its usual
grumpy self

the elephant
in the room
nobody mentioned it

the elephant
was thinking "Now how
did I get into this?"
3d · 23

The liver
it should be said

was conspicuously
the worse for wear

whereas the brain
had remained curiously

young at heart

the same could not be
said for the heart

mostly eaten up
by the past.

There was no time
left in the body.

The soul could not
be found

which does not
necessarily mean

the dead poet
was soulless.

There remained one tear
not yet fallen

that had crystallised  
around a single memory.

The memory now
much decayed.

The body was
without truth.

There were dreams
to be found.

Wishes had congealed
around hope

and had calcified
on not being used.

There were still some
scattered thought

but it could not
be read.

The body showed
no signs of poems.

But the scar tissue
of writing

was more than

There were slight tears
perhaps caused by love

but this can only be

as they were riddled
by perhapses and maybes,

These poet types
are highly susceptible to such.


LLanod Yespmed
3d · 14

Your shoes
all stand together

lined up like a chorus line
in the bottom of your wardrobe.

These your “dancing”
these your “kiss me kiss me shoes”

these your plod around the house
“doin’ nuthin’ shoes”

these your “carefree
who gives “

The shoes
chatter amongst themselves

remembering all the different YOUs
you could be

Your dresses float above them
like dreams your shoes dreamed.

they will learn of your death

packed away
in black refuse sacks

beginning their new life
in a charity shop.

(What shall I sing.... . .sing me creation!)

And she sang to him.

And she sang of him.

She sang of the love she had created for them.

She used birds for words & the rain that had fallen.

She used flowers & tears & interwove them.

She used sighs & hours & the loneliness within them.

She used moonlight & pain & what remained

...when she was far from him.

She sang of a love that had dreamed of being

...& hadn’t yet awoken.

She sang of herself & called to him ....called to him.

And she sang of him.

And she sang to him.

She sang of the love ...that belonged to them.

She sealed it with tears & the fears of her heart


She sang him

5d · 43

she so beautiful
even music stops
to listen to her

the piano was angry
he tried to sooth the music
that kept biting at his fingers

each note...each note
the world fading away 'til there was only
the music alive in him

just him & the music now
sharing the same body
the music snatching at his soul

when the music left
it took time
to become human again

he sat with a cigarette
having a conversation
with the smoke

the music loved him
he tried
to love it back

oh William someone's
let the chickens out again
now it's begun to rain

so much depended upon
you not falling asleep
in front of the telly

beer in one hand
bowl of plums in the other
should have listened to mother

and you've gone and
painted the wheelbarrow
purple ****  you

and I've had enough of you
dancing  grotesquely
in the north room

happy genius of my household
ha...only good for
crockery throwing practice
Three of the famous WCW poems getting mangled in the machinery of my mind and coming out different in an alternate reality.

When my little one was a little one she had a toy wheelbarrow and she would dutifully put leaves into it and take her work very seriously. I would paint her wheelbarrow a different colour for about a week...sometimes just adding orange spots to a purple wheel barrow or a total change of colour or half and half. I told her the wheelbarrow couldn't make up its mind what colour to be until it finally settled on red...its original colour. it's good to know what colour wheelbarrow one is.

Oh my how red **** struts(thinks he's a sultan)    
striding in and out among his harem-scarum hens

talking to themselves
like some lost senile sentimental souls.

Foolish fowl!

They lay eggs for gentlemen
and kids on long hot summer holidays

they hide their eggs like broken hearts
like old love letter secrets

safe in unseen places.

But see Auntie Nellie *****-nilly as a fox
stalk the chickens and expose them

cruel as the NEWS OF THE WORLD.

See her raid the haystacks
(backseat of the old car)    
rain rusting machinery

her apron pregnant and precious with
the warm and brown gift of eggs.

Red **** crows loud against the morning marigolds
while children's voices babble sleepily into wide awakefulness

love letter secrets staining their lips
sad valentines for breakfast.

His hands(tobacco stained)    
twisted & gnarled

knotted like an alive piece of wood
scrawled gestures across my mind

as the sick calf bucked in his arms
& his quiet strength - calmed:

'Shhhhhh... shhhhhhh...****...****! '
he crooned

& the sound

And the veins(line vines)    
ran up & down his arms

pumping crude life like a sudden sketch
to suggest the gist of rather than

the meaning of things.

And he walked(& I ran)    
towards Granny's garden(like God tending Eden)    

& the gate(a little hoarse)sighed at his hand and

the leaves murmured
(like worshippers in a church congregation)    

& the sunlight genuflected through the trees
and the trees wore socks & apples.

A tablecloth was laid
on a loganberry bush.

And the young tree gave herself to him
broke tenderly in his hand

and, the knife whistled & whittled
& out of the branch came a man.

And he told me(& I believed him
'cos he was good as God & strong)    

that the little wooden man(the silent statue)    
had been waiting(all the time all ready made)    

waiting to be released
from his prison of wood.

'All things...'he whispered
'all things are waiting for you to call them.'

'Call them to come out...'
'Awake them...create them...! '

The rhododendrons were blue with amazement

-at this revelation
a dragonfly walked upon the water.

A butterfly became infatuated with a flower.


I watched as his hands talked...
...explaining things that could not be...said.

And he took my hand in his and I understood

flowed like a little stream
into his big river

felt God(close)    
near at hand


It's a young ghost I am.
New to this game.

I hear the living
talk of the dead.

And it's my name
they're saying.

"Donall Dempsey is.."

( Jaysus I never even
felt myself going )

. . .DEAD!"

Voices that
when I was alive

never had a good word
to say about me.

I blow their umbrellas
inside out.

Throw their hats
into the open grave.

"Dead!" they said and
isn't it all always

the same and I
the last one to be knowing.

"And what did the poor auld cratur
die of...if I might ask?"

Some sincere insincerity
added with great aplomb.

"Too much poetry
in the head it is said!"

an old rival snickers who
hated "my stuff" from the first.

"Ahhh the auld words will
always get ya in the end!"

This from someone who wouldn't
know a poem if it bit him on the ***.

"Ahhh sure...didn't I know him well!"
cries another who I never saw before.

Jumping on
the band wagon of my death.

"He was a gentleman
a real gentleman!"

They are really sticking
to the formula.

"A nicer man there never was!"
some mourner from another funeral weeps.

"Ahhh 'tis true
to be be sure!"

proclaims one who weeps
and eats the cold meats.

Only here for the beer
and the free feed.

"We'll never see his like again!"
someone snivels and then adds

"Thanks be
to God!"

And these tears?
Only their own fears!

"Sure amn't I only
the same age as himself?"

They too scared
their sell by date is due.

Death snickers . . ."I'll be
coming after you and you and you!"

"I got a ( cough cough)
the same old( cough cough)he had!"

"Was it that that took him!"
Someone trying to save going to the doctors.

"No, knocked down he was
and he outside his own front door!"

The blood still to be seen
outside No. 64.

Never saw Mr. Death coming
listening to the poem

that was inside
himself growing.

It's getting used I am
to the ghost  I've become.

I whisper words
into the auld deaf priest's ear.

"Well, I think I can speak
for all of us when I say

he's dead and gone and
good riddance to bad *******!"

He adds with fervour
"Praise be...praise be!"

The congregation laugh nervously.
It's exactly what they were thinking.

They stare about them as if
I might suddenly appear.

"Will you all rise now and
we'll sing hymn No. 63!"

But I have become the wind
running naked through a wheat field.

Tossing birds like words
up in the air.

I becoming
the poem of myself.

the ocean
throwing its voice

so that the shell could tell
of the great sea

within you
the ebb and flow of blood

as it travels through
and through you

touching the shores
of consciousness

you listening to nothing
but the sound of self

shell to shell hole
so that you realise you

are the roar
of an eternal ocean

you the master
of your own time

the thought that pulses
in the brain

that great galleon
of the mind

setting sail for the horizon
of who you are

the great continent of

the dandy lions
roar... "We're here!"
and so they are

see how they
surprise the grass
fill the children's eyes

my daughter's feet
run into their colour
a yellow of delight

they bring the Spring
the first feast
for bees

she adores the French
"dents des lions!"
giggles at "pissenlit!"

her father knew them when
he was as little as herself
the "Irish daisy"

hear her sing "dents-de-lions
en printemps
champs de jaune champs de jaune!"

we knock up a sign
"This lawn is reserved
for dandelions only!"

see how they change
from suns into moons
fragile as a wish

that one day she
would become
her self

her breath blowing time
away she now
the woman of today
May 18 · 34

old man
out walking
his shadow

young boy
taking his pet log
for a walk

a cloud
hamming it up
as Godzilla

ghost town
the only sound
a pub sign's creaking

she sneezes snot
wipes it on her sleeve
glad I'm wearing a mask

the sky
the colour of
a blackbird's song

Memory shapes that summer
in its own image

the long days of sun
forgetting the rainy ones.

My little one asking
again and again

for "the puddle poem"
and so Christ

rising from the 7th Century
old Irish words

stands like her
barely five.

Blesses the puddles
He had made.

She blesses them the same
with great childish show.

Watches amazed as He
creates birds out of mud.

Sees them fly away
at the touch of his voice.

This her excuse
for the scattering of mud.

She sees herself
a Christ

and how words
can create birds

made of the mind
that fly beyond time.
If I was listening to Joyce she would come and listen to his Finnegans Wake with me...not the least put out by the difficulty and dexterity but the dance of sound even without meaning.

So that summer and I reading old Irish poems from a long ago that had long vanished she would pick up on that...loving the seventh century THE BOYHOOD OF CHRIST and how Christ and her could be the same grand age of barely five. And when she looked into the reflections in a mud puddle she could reenact the poem in her mind and be at one with Him in something she could understand. A Christ in a mud there was the Christ for her to be be a playmate with.

She also liked the baise fri tóin( slap on the ***)epigram AN INSULT from the ninth century amazed that there could be someone called anonymous and how some words could win you horses and some words win you...cows!

I hear
he won't give horses for poems.
He gives what his style allows:

But her great favourite was Pangur Bán with the cat and the monk getting along famously and to be content with each other and the work they had to do...the one chasing down words...the other...mice.

She also was a one for modern Irish-isms such as "Are ya stuck in a shuck( stuck in a ditch )purely for the sound of it and appreciated the sardonic phrase "I will...yea!" meaning "I won't no!"

And the phrase " Ahhh it will take donkey's years to do that" she always heard as "donkey's ears" and made her howl with laughter.


When He was barely five
Jesus, the Son of God,
blessed twelve water puddles
He moulded out of clay.

He made a dozen birds
-the kind we call the sparrow-
He made them on the Sabbath,
perfect, out of clay.

A Jew there criticized Him
-Jesus, the Son of God-
and to His father Joseph
took Him by the hand.

"Joseph, correct your son,
he has committed wrong.
He made clay shapes of birds
upon the Sabbath day.

Jesus clapped His palms,
His little voice was heard.
Before their eyes -a miracle-
the little birds flew off.

The sweet, beloved voice was heard
from the mouth of Jesus pure:
"So they will know who made you
off with you to your homes."

A man who was there told everyone
the wonderful affair
and overheard they all could hear
the singing of the birds.
( for Junie )

We grin & grimace
drop candle wax onto our fingertips

as the storm
rattles our window pane

angry that we won’t let it in.

All night  it rages
toppling chimney pots with a crash

smashing slates
it strips from rooftops

as we safe
giggle & peel off

our waxen

hold them
(tiny whirlpools)  
in our palms

those whorls of self
unique to each.

I wearing my sister’s

she... wearing mine.
May 16 · 43

Doesn't even know
another language exists

but he likes the sound
steals this "CIEL"

from a passing conversation
hoards such words...such sounds.

Loves their texture
their taste upon the tongue.

He thinks it says

Why the hell

Can't count for nuts
so doesn't even know

it's the alphabet's
12th letter.

But likes the fact that
he has 2 L's in his name.

And so he acquires
language in such

little broken bits
like this.

His dyslexia loves it
and that's enough for him.

He's fallen for
the letter L.

He's amazed when
in palm and psalm

it refuses to
speak up for itself.

Years later "CIEL" will
become the sky in French.

Well, well.."CIEL"
who would have thought it.

Even now his dyslexia
that magpie of the mind

will morph words
and shape shift sound.

His brain second guessing
what it's found.

So that passing in a car
the Clavadel Convalescence Home

you know the one
with the cow outside

in its pyjamas
and with a bandaged knee

becomes....the clavicle
in his warping mind.

And his head chants
"the clavicle...the clavicle

there's nothing like
the clavicle . . .

for extending the manubrium
of the sternum

and the acromion
of the scapula!"

And so Eliot's mystery cat
becomes a mash up with

filched medical

The dyslexia laughs
"That's my boy!"

Ah well
the English language

goes to L
in a handcart

and all's well
that ends well

even if
it isn't.

Me and that boy
I was and still am

in tandem to

both invent and
discover the sky

...découvrir le ciel

...inventer le ciel!

The death has been announced
of  Dónall Dempsey

after he had fallen
into an anagram machine.

Our hearts go out
to all the poems he left behind

and to those poems
he had yet to write.

It is claimed that his last words
were "Wow...the surreal is so real!"

Now that he has shock off
his mortal coil

he has become a nice man
and beloved by all

despite this not being
the situation when

he was amongst
the living.

Strange what
a little death can do.

He has said from
beyond the grave

that he intends to
continue to write

using an anagram
as his nom de plume

And so the poet
Desmond Palely

was born to
the world of words.

Critics have complained
that his more recent work

smacks of Dadaism
and has a strong Surrealist streak

not obvious in
his previous work.

Dempsey's debt to
Addy Nell poems -obvious.

This is his first
dead poem.


by Desmond Paley
( the artist formerly known
as  Dónall Dempsey)

Deny molds leap!
Deny mold pleas!
Deny.... old sample.

Dolmens played
"Do!" Emlyn pleads.

Addy Nell poems

Del madly opens
"Almonds deeply...almonds... yelped!

- dense Lloyd map

Demons LP  -Delay!

Doll Mandy...pees.
Many dolls... peed.

Doll's ependyma
dopa end smelly.

Monday spelled -
medleys Poland

"**** Polly seed!"
DNA mopeds yell.

Doped man yells
"Many doped ells!"

Famous poet and critic Ray Pool
observes candidly

"This new nonsense makes
utter nonsense of his old nonsense!"

Heather Moulson is quick
to point out

"Now that he is dead, Dempsey's
interest in a doll's neuroregeneration

may result in many dolls
coming to life and enjoying

normal humans pastimes
like peeing and buying

the Demons long awaited
long playing 45."

But wait...breaking news!
Dempsey has been spat out

of the fatal
anagram machine.

And is now as alive
as he ever was!

We now take back
all the nice things we said

about him
in his obit.

I heard the silence
creep into the room

hush even the candle
so that it stuttered out

until the room
was a solid block of silence

even my mind
was silent

every thought
frozen  in place.

My voice now
a ghost.

Then the snow entered
through an open door

stood upon the weathered
Welcome mat

before tentatively
tip-toeing across the floor

it sat upon a chair
mimicking being human.

I let it find
its way

laughed as it laid
the table

with a cloth
of quiet white

the ruined cottage
greeting the snow as guest

hardly recognising
this human intruder

amazed at so much
left still in place

memories swept
into a corner

trapped in stone.

I relight the left over

place it in what
used to be a window.

The long dead
gathered around

its flame
the past flickering

into being.
May 15 · 25

The day she went
out of our lives

I offered her a sweet.

'Thanks love, I'll eat it
later on the bus.'

She snaps it shut in her little red purse.

I still feel my hand  letting go of her hand
see for the last time her never-again-seen face.

Only the little red purse returns
out of its mouth…Death laughs

in blood besprinkled glass
some small change…the never eaten sweet.

For years it lives behind the wind-up clock
in my mother's bedroom

scaring me each time I have to pass
and it sees me     and laughs.

My little brother not even born then when...
jumps up & down playing alone

all by himself
in a world of his own.

He is both good guy & bad guy
falling down dead on the bed

as a quick spat out shot
ricochets & agggh...gits him!

Even by 7
killing yourself is a tiring business.

He stops. Rests.

...rummages around among
my mother's artifacts.

His little inquiring mind
snaps open the little red purse.

Death laughs(but he not knowing)  
is immune to it.

He sees the white wrapped death sweet
almost glowing against the red.

He sees it...eats it.

The Past has been
eaten by the Present.

Unaware of what he has done
(Death defeated)  

he flings himself on the bed once again
pretending he is dead

sunlight streams through the glass
holds him gently in its hand

this the living child
Death dead at last.
May 14 · 31

Our words wounded
by the wind.

The storm tearing our sentences

scattering them here and there
every now and then

a noun
makes it through

or an adjectival clause
- a strong verb.

We only know
we talk but hear


We give up.

This incenses the wind who
lashes our faces

with our hair
but do we care.

The wind unable
to blow the kiss away.

You know that thing that
you go upstairs to get

something or
other but

you can't remember
for the life of you

what it was and
then you go back down

and then remember it
and come back up only

to forget it
yet again?

I don't
do that!

I get stuck halfway up
wondering what and who

I am and
if I have a name

and what in
hell it is.

Or when the kettle boils
( I always watch it )

I put it in the fridge
and shout out loud.

"Now where in damnation
it could go I only

had it in my hand
a moment ago."

Or try to pour tea
into an upside down cup

and wonder why
the tea refuses to go

into the cup
what on earth.

Or I keep saying
the same lines

from some cartoon
I have forgotten

"Stop shaking your eyes
at me will ya!"

Oh and what's
the other oh yes

"Stop sawing
the table!"

It's like a day time
television show

"Hello and welcome to

The canned laughter
of reality.

My brain is digging
an escape tunnel

trying to get out
of my head.

I nearly remembered
my name then it was

on the tip of
my tongue but now

. . .it's gone.
( In memory of my Aunt Peggy )

the candle carves
your face
out of the dark

you waver
with its flicker
become a mask

I watch your words
float across the space
between us

I see every syllable
all your pauses
you each and every punctuation

you recite
with an American accent

I try to pull you
out of the dark
of the past

but this is all
memory will allow
of you

I say your name
to make you more real
"Peggy...Peggy!" I call to you

now far away
from that lost day
your daughter's love

reminds me of
who you were
to me

your Chicagoan voice
telling me: "Gee....
you've got curls like a girl's!"
May 12 · 31

all that Paris is!

The myth..the magic
the music of being.

Sunlight sifting
through summer leaves.

The dazzled waters
of a morning.

A forgotten orange
on a cobbled street.

Chitter-chatter of
passing Parisians.

A flock of
human birds.

A look-alike Plastic Bertrand
busks Ça Plane Pour Moi!

A crumbling wall shouts
in a strong graffiti voice

"Laisse tomber
c'est pas grave!"

Et dans
Jardin les Tuileries

Madame's tone
scolds and cajoles

en dedans en dehors!

sous-sus Suzanne!"

Little children
the puppets of her voice

balance on
their too spindly legs.

Old man lost
in his Tai Chi

grasps sparrow's tail
smiles to his secret self.

These and so much more
grace notes to our loving.

We the present lovers
of lovers gone before

stretching back into time
the ghosts of kisses.

We embody all
that love has been.

I kiss you
in best Bogey style

"At least
we'ill always have

'Ça plane pour moi,
moi, moi, moi, moi,

ça plane pour moi

. . .Paris!"
The title comes of course from the Plastic Bertrand faux punk hit back in the days of '77 and full of crazy lyrics and mad energy. it is a French idiomatic expression which is best translated as "everything's going well for me" (literally: "it is gliding/sliding for me") or indeed " I like it!".
(in memory of my mother Ita)

“If you fall
off that wall

& break both
your legs

...don’t come
running to me! ”

Could never understand
my Mam’s mind

& how it

One moment
she 'had half a mind

to come up there
&' get me off that wall.

Then she 'was in two minds
about' whether to tell me to stop.

“Go ahead...go ahead
& **** yourself

...see if I care! ”

“I’m warning you child
if you fall off that wall

& ****

I’ll personally
come up there

& **** ya myself
so I will! ”

I used to watch the words
climbing out of her mouth

& fly around the room

looking for a place to land
in my mind.

Never cared
whether she gave out.

I just loved
everything she said

the music of her
& how

she made the words

I came down
and kissed her

kissed her worry away.

'I'm sorry Mam'
I told her.

And she cried.

I lick her lifeline
"Oh I can see you are
going to have a wet wet life!"

she watches the tip of
my tongue crawl along her heart line
"You will have many many kisses!"

she sips her fine wine
sweet onions

all I say
comes true right away
guess I got it right

cute girl from
Walla-Wall sleeping
just up against the Pacific Ocean

"Shhhh..!" says the Pacific Ocean
as it watches over
her sleep

I place DayGlo stars
on all her extremities
she becomes her own constellation

the constellation of
the Girl From Walla-Walla
being looked after by a specific Ocean

the waves call to her
but she's lost inside a dream

"Are you really a real Walla-Wallan?"
I ask of her
"Yep!" she grins "I'm the real thing!"

"The only Walla-Wallan
I knew before I knew you
was a girl in a book!"

I turn the snow-dome
up-side d-own
watch it snow forever

I remember her
letter telling me
of a snowstorm she once knew

"I took a little of the snowstorm
put it in the fridge so
it could melt in July."

"The snow storm had never met
a July before
so this was its big chance!"

"When the left-over snowstorm
finally got to meet its July
it cried itself into oblivion!"

" . ." her letter
pauses for ever
outside snow falls now
( for Heather Moulson )

The cat comes in
the window.

the door.

Even if the door is open
she will disdain it as

a useless
human invention.

She insists on staring
through the latticed pane

hypnotising whoever is within
"Open...purr..the window!"

Window is for stealing through
cat believes.

And so, a mirror
will be fatally injured

Cat startled gazes at
nine fragmented cats

who stare  blindly

This crucifix thing is also
an annoying symbol

that deserves
a swipe or two

un-nailed now
by slight of claw

until the long suffering Christ
fins Himself hanging upside now

by just the nails
in his feet

as if he were a reflection
of His previous self.

The nails in feet
can no longer hold the Saviour

and he plunges to the black and white
linoed floor...another  broken thing.

"Pah!" spits the cat.
"Religion...don't start me!"

She cleans a paw

"I who have been
worshipped and adored

through ages past
laugh at this newfangled belief.

We smile to see her
chase the clockwork mouse

amazed the toy
is not scared.

She catches it...releases it.
Re-catches it.

It has been her first time
on this our little blue planet

and she has enjoyed her journey
around our local star.

But now she commands
with most regal purr

"Ok human servant
you may feed me!"

"Mmmm ...miaou!"
says Mia in perfect French.
May 9 · 32

I was born in
the middle of the 20th Century.

It was the only life
I knew.

A newly minted time
that had no end.

Now I find the 20th Century
is moving out on me.

Leaving me
to get my self.

People have vanished.
Homes are no more.
Lovers long gone.

The young boy I was
no longer exists.

I have become this stranger
that the mirror insists I am.

"Look..!" says the 20th Century
"I'll put in a good word for you

with the 21st when
it I can do!"

And so I kiss you in
the 20th Century and then

a second later
in the 21st Century.

The 20th Century already
smelling of mothballs

hanging in History's

It is curiously flat and
has lost its 3-D ness.

"Look..!" says the 21st Century
"...if you are going to be

like that
there's the door!"

Ahhh Death that
final exit lit up

in neon

I take a tentative
step towards the door.

Reach for the handle
and. . .

She undid her dress
( I mesmerised )

button by

I who had never
seen or even imagined

a naked or in this case
half naked woman.

She pulled her dress down
to her navel

imprisoning her

A real life Venus
de Milo.

Or a ship's figurehead
breasting the waves.

"Well, Julien...go on..or
are you only going to look!"

I too lost in
the magnificence of the moment.

She leant forward
placed her breast in my palm.

It was then I was
made a man.

All during the war
I carried

the feel of it

the heft of its beauty
in my mind.

Her breast
my talisman.

The memory of it
my lucky charm.

Keeping me safe
from all harm.

Even when my hand
was blown off

I could still
feel it.

When I returned
minus the hand

she couldn't accept it
the stump made her sick.

Left me for an American G.I.
with all of his hands.

Said he was from

where ever that was
or was it really a place?

I stupidly took him on
fought him for her.

He had a good right hand.
I on the other hand had not.

I had a glass jaw.

She screaming:  "Get out...get out!"
He screaming: "*** out...*** out!"

I got out.
No never...married.

I still live in that moment
she undressed.

Made me a man.
Made me a better man

than I ever was.

She a widow now.
10 kids.

Survived a war.
Lost a woman.

Wish I...wish I
May 8 · 53

I chase
the thought

only to see it
yet again...escape.

Dissolve back into
the nothing it came from.

My poetic footsteps
echoing in the attic of my mind.

Like trying to grasp
a ghost that laughs.

Language playing
hide and seek.

I, a bounty
hunter now

hunting down
a meaning

prepared to show it
no mercy.

the word panics.

"Well, punk..."
I tell it


"Do y feel lucky...
well do ya punk?"

The word eyes me
as I eye it

as if we are
in a Spaghetti  Western.

That chant of...
"we shall fight...we shall fight"

and that lonesome
Leone whistle.

"Do ya feel lucky enough
punk to be in a poem?"

I spit the phrase out
it pings in the spittoon.

The word tries to make good
its escape

but I imprison it
on the page

with an angry
clack of a typewritten

full stop
"Aghhhh ya got me!"

the word gasps
with its over the top act.

"Thanks fella!"
I smirk.

"That will be
the title."
When writer's block strikes then use writer's block itself to defeat it and write a poem about being not able to write a poem. That will teach it to come around here and tie up my head in knots!
May 7 · 48

Your hair
(fine as a baby’s fine)      

so soft

your hair
falls asleep

before the rest
of you.

Your hair
dreams of being


The rest of you
follows suit

& soon

all of you
is sleeping.

Your hair
dreaming of my hands.

Your body
dreaming of my hands.

Dream & Reality

he was a prince
good as any to be got
in a fairy story book

you couldn't have
written a better man
eyes like emeralds

she was a princess
although to be fair...a frog
beautiful as any green ever seen

it was their greenness
which drew them together
as well as their Irish-ness

"He is just so...ribbit ribbit!"
he blushed
to hear her say so

"****..!" she croaked
"It's just difficult to find
the right human words!"

she told him if
married they were to be
all would be change and change about

she wore his ring
in her bottom lip
he her heart's "...ribbit!"

she tried to brush up
on the lingo
Human for Frogs

come the wedding day
all was not
as it was before

he had been transformed
into the handsomest

and so they live
happy as a story
that needs no book

too busy loving
to be worried
about its telling

why the change
in the how it goes
from the what went before

that's easy to tell
I live under the spell
of a lively little girl

with eyes so so green
and who as it happens
just adores...frogs
May 6 · 33

she paddled in the chitchat
suddenly surprised
to find herself in deep water

she fitted herself
into the conversation
like an ugly sister into a glass shoe

she conducted him
around herself
as if she were a museum

she talked about herself
as if she were chapter headings
in a history book

she felt like an actress
in a play other than
the one she should have been in

the stopped( ha h.... )laughter
running madly
about inside her

her strangeness stretched
all the way to the end of the room
her . .horizon

"I'm learning to be
for your kiss!"

"Ahhh...that kiss
I think I need
a bit more practice!"

the unopened weeks
lay ahead of her
she longed to be them

"Love all!"
she grabbed him by his whatnots
"Advantage ***** please!"

Oh you were so

I hardly heard you
tiptoe silently in

settle yourself
amongst the strings

talking to me
now in cello
now in violin

the heartbeat of a drum

the exchange of laughter
between glockenspiel & xylophone

making a point
with either

the tiny ******
of a triangle

or the crash of a symbol.

I listen to you talk
to me in music

the candlelight
grows dim & then

as softly as you came

you leave


(fluttering against
the windowpane) .

I feel you leave
leave before the movement ends

in the silence of my memory

me nearly


that you've died

listening on
until the end

as the music

May 5 · 101

I walk through
the 16th century

passing on into

the 17th without
even knowing I had

done so and here
are Dutch people

staring at me
wondering where I've come from.

I look into their eyes
long dead by now

their painted faces
gazing out of golden frames

windows into
all that's passed.

Trying to remember
Rembrandt saying

'"...the light from other's

And here is Saskia
still asleep in a few brushstrokes.

I tiptoe away
an intruder into

their long ago lives
different yet the same

as mine
The Jewish Bride sad

to see me go
back into the bustle

of Spring
in the Amsterdam of now.
May 4 · 25

"Friend...friend!" the German cried

( he could have been my twin )

I paused - then plunged the bayonet in

he stared into my eyes

clutched the bayonet

with bleeding hands

"Die you ****** die!"

I swore at him

"Friend..." he said "Friend"

and every night

for over forty years

I **** him again and again
May 4 · 38

( The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can't.)   -  Christopher Paolini

there sits the sea
as impassive as history
drawing the line at an horizon

a red motorboat
cuts like a tailor's scissors
the blue silk of its waters

there sits the sea
as implacable as history
doling out the present moment

time is a thing
that makes the seagulls laugh
a human illusion

there sits the sea
tamed to a postcard
nobody knows  what it is thinking
May 3 · 32

The mind is like a sponge
absorbing the spilt ketchup

of the moment gone
horribly wrong.

Or if one were
to rub two atoms together

they would burst
instantly into a poem.


Words go to jail if
they fail to capture

the state of mind
of the person who

believed writing was merely
putting pen to paper.

The writing untangles itself
and word for word reenters

the tip of
the pen.

The brain is made from
papier mache

but can be cast in bronze
or set in stone.

Some people don't even know
they are host to a brain.

A man whose name escapes
me now

but was an anagram
for toilets

cried that he could connect
"nothing with nothing."

I envied him and
was jealous of his seeing.

**** my doppelgänger who
autocorrects everything I

(dognapper leg
engorged palp
glopped anger
"Grapple Ogden!")

have strived to
manifest here.

I am an atom short
of a universe.


Yet another "thing" brought forth from me by or rather cast out of me by the wonderful Kim Moore at her Cheltenham Poetry Festival writing workshop. Don't even ask! It was to get us to write and write I did and came up! Jaysus!

It was a 7min. exercise...just write with no taking the pen off the paper hence when I stalled I started anagraming the word doppelgänger in order to keep the words coming. And as it was my doppelgänger who was shapeshifting all I was saying I thought it was only poetic justice that doppelgänger itself should be the word to get anagramed...serve it ****** well right.
May 3 · 29

year in year out
the marble angel
clocked into the graveyard

same old job
looking sorrowful for the dead
in clement or inclement weather

the constant
human crying
getting on her nerves

human life so fragile
as Heaven calls them
the great here and gone

but the forgetting
the worse to bear
no one remembers who's buried there

a century old cold
an icicle
hanging from a nose

half chipped away
a lichen

so minus an arm
left with a broken wing
the angel makes good her escape

rising up into the air
the marble heavy upon her
taking to the Christmas sky

getting in
her blinded eyes

only to find
Heaven was
no longer there

closed for repairs
due to a lack of

the dawn
of a new century
seeing her

broken by
the graveyard wall
praying to herself

I take up
my stick &

back into my past.

Planting the countryside
of my youth

with each step
the years falling away.

The young me unfolds
into being.

The flag of self unfurls
snaps into the lost moment.

My shadow strides
ahead of me

impatient with this
flesh and blood man.

My shadow stops
waits for me to

catch up
catch my breath.

He stares at me
with broken dandelion eyes

a green milk bottle top
mimics a nose

a leaf acted
as a smile.

I laugh at this me
created by chance

and happenstance
step once more

into my shadow's footsteps
let it lead the way.

A tree which had been
there since I had been three

sarcastically remarks" "Oh, is it
yer self that' it?"

"It is!" says I
addressing the sky

spread before me
a vast blue field.

Furze blazes
with yellow.

Horses turn to
the gallops.

The sudden thunder of hooves
jockeying with laughter.

I left here to
make something of myself.

I, then...a nervous nobody
returning now

a mere nothing
a success only at failure.

I recite Hopkins
to a straying sheep.

The sheep suspiciously
regards this poet

hitting his stride now
"Nothing is so..."

The sheep coughs.

"... beautiful as

I tell a passing cloud
who is in too much of a hurry.

The poet's proud words
falling by the wayside

as me-then and
the me of now

stroll down
(cane nonchalantly in hand)
memory lane.

The Future hiding just

up around the


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 descendents
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 Christmas
with the Thames

almost freezing, then
thawing & then again

the London of 1598

under a quietness
of snow

that hides the world
from itself

as some Elizabetheans
go to steal

a theatre
silent now for a brace of years

frozen by bitter

The playhouse dismantled
bit by bit

so that when it rises
it will become in time

The Globe
this wooden O.

Will turns his face
up to the stars

at this theatre theft

snowflakes settling
upon his eyelids

remembering when
he was all of 7

and the Christian tales
told in stained glass

are shattered
for their sins

now only white light
is to be

let in

picking up a shard
of the ****** Mary

here a fragment of
St. George.

He sticks out his tongue
tastes the snow

knows that
all things change to

begin again.

He laughs.

The ****** Mary's smile
still clasped in his hand.



The 'theft" of their former theatre,The Theatre, which dismantled would become the famous wooden O. And Will watching( possibly ) when all of seven. . .the stained glass windows of his 'right goodly chapel" been smashed by a glazier who was paid 23 shillings and 8 pence for his smashing. These two images are what burned on in my mind.

I have often stood in that chapel and seen what remains of the whitewashed paintings now brought back to life. His dad had to order this whitewashing months before Will was born but by 7 Will could have been witness to the death of the coloured glass and all that was to be beheld there.

So this Midsummer's Day madness of 1571 really stated with me and forced the poem upon me.

"Popery may creep in at a glass window as well as at a door" as one William Prynne put it. The English Reformation going about its daily task to the dismay of the common folk who had to put up with the religion changing hands and changing hands yet again all in the little time of just over a quarter of a century.

Being a great lover of stained glass and its beauty this was what got me the most!

The title is from Will's Sonnet no. 5:

Those Hours that with gentle work did frame

"Beauty o'er --snowed, and bareness everywhere.
Then were not summer's distillation left
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass, "


The 'theft" of their former theatre,The Theatre, which dismantled would become the famous wooden O. And Will watching( possibly ) when all of seven. . .the stained glass windows of his 'right goodly chapel" been smashed by a glazier who was paid 23 shillings and 8 pence for his smashing. These two images are what burned on in my mind.

I have often stood in that chapel and seen what remains of the whitewashed paintings now brought back to life. His dad had to order this whitewashing months before Will was born but by 7 Will could have been witness to the death of the coloured glass and all that was to be beheld there.

So this Midsummer's Day madness of 1571 really stated with me and forced the poem upon me.

"Popery may creep in at a glass window as well as at a door" as one William Prynne put it. The English Reformation going about its daily task to the dismay of the common folk who had to put up with the religion changing hands and changing hands yet again all in the little time of just over a quarter of a century.

Being a great lover of stained glass and its beauty this was what got me the most!

The title is from Will's Sonnet no. 5:

Those Hours that with gentle work did frame

"Beauty o'er --snowed, and bareness everywhere.
Then were not summer's distillation left
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass, "
Apr 30 · 42

Sweeney goes down
on one knee

gathers the ball
safely to himself

before releasing to
the foot of Dwyer.

"Dinger!" he yelps
with pin point accuaracy .

"Thanks Ger!"
Dinger smirks as he chips

the ball over his own
and the defender's head

on the proverbial sixpence.

Dinger Dwyer
scorches down the left wing.

Then stops...lays back
at an angle of say 43 degrees.

Impossible to prove
without a protractor

in order to create the cross
that will arrive to me...Dempsey

in exactly say
another 7.7 seconds.

"Dinger!Dinger!Dinger!" I yell
like a little bell on legs.

"Ok memory...
can we stop it there?"

"Sure boss!"
Memory complies.

Time stops.
Enabling us to see Dinger

leap from his body
and run to where

he expects to place
the ball ...right...there

He draws an X
on the air

just like the Spot
the Ball competitions.

He has already chiselled
the ballistic progress of the ball

upon this summer evening
clear as a diagram.

Dinger then runs back
to his slanted body and

pops back into
his self again.

"Ok Memory you can
roll it from there!"

We gasp at
the perfect parabola of the pass.

I am not where
I should be.

Both the Murphy boys
have manged to turn me.

So that now I am
running backwards to

the waiting cross
"Blast. . .!" I am

not going to get
on the end of it.

No magnificent right footer.
No ****** brilliant header.

So I fling myself
straight up in the air

settle there as if I were
reclining on an invisible chaise lounge.

And: almost casually
indeed elegantly

raise a lazy right leg
going for the overhead

bicycle kick
that usually has me

fall flat on face
or ouch ****.

Shaking my skeleton
to the core.

I have the physics
of it down pat.

Even the quantum uncertainty
I only laugh at.

I am a human

"Only connect!"
Foster whispers in my ear.

Time. Now.

I with all the time
in the world

****** into this
one second.

This second of all

The ball whistles
past Mike Murphy's left ear.

A real stinger.
I thank God for a Dinger.

It rockets between
the jumpers and schoolbag goalposts.

Rolls all the way
past the Power Station and beyond

to Sgt. Major Dwyer's plot
who stops  foot on a *****'s lug.

Chases away
a persistent wasp.

My mother across the road
at No. 31 O' Higgins Road

lulls her newest newborn
lullabies him in his pram.

This is the only time
I will ever be

morphing  into my hero

Denis Law.
I now a Law unto my self.

I and my icon
blending into one.

The one armed raised salute
fingers gripping the cuff of the shirt

all the better to wipe
the snotty nose.

It seems as if
it couldn't have

been any other way
than this.

The Sweeney/Dwyer/Dempsey magic.
We the small Gods of this little time

that exist now
only in my mind.

Shakespeare is going mad
in the commentary box

his voice echoing in so
many wireless sets

the Bard's spittle
flecking the mic.

"How now, my hearts?"
Shakespeare searches for the words.

"Did you never see
the picture of we three."

an adagio

the room

careful not to
wake the sleeping

of the dead

their lives
trapped behind glass

amongst vast fields
of wallpaper violets

stopping to

the singular

of the rose

in its chipped

of the garden
where it was born

curtains led
by a breeze

into their dance
gazing upon the green

that unfurls
about the house

the music
wounded now

by a tear
that grown upon

her cheek
note by note

a woman staring into space

the cat asleep
upon her toes

the music retreating
back into the mahogany cabinet

curling itself
into its circle

a whirlpool of black

the music
lost in the silence

only its breathing
audible now

in the runoff

the needle returning
to its proper place

with a click
the last light

stealing across
the lawn

All afternoon the ghost
of a daytime moon

follows us

wondering what
us humans get up to?

Sark unfolds itself
treasure by treasure

delighting in itself
and we in it.

The sun
immerses itself in a sea.

We watch its ablutions.

And now the Plough
hangs in the sky

poised in pristine

as if each star could be
plucked from its constellation

taken home
in the mind.

The moon guarding the house.

The sleepers dreaming.

a butterfly
leads the way into town

old woman
in the middle of the road
arms outstretched

"Isn't great to be
able to walk in the middle
with no cars at all!"

she speaks too soon
a jogger pants by
jostles her

he all dark shades
plugged into
a different reality

his music leaks out
the eye of the tiger
following him

he spins her 'round
her cane goes flying
she topples...totters

now in these Covid times
joggers are the danger
I sidestep one...sidestep another

the old lady
equilibrium recovered
shouts after him

in her best
Dr. John Cooper Clarke
"Health fanatics they make me sick!"

I laugh I
didn't think she
had it in her

we make our way
up the hill together
promising we will

the next
****** ******
Apr 28 · 55

"PING!" goes the microwave.
"PING!" goes the yet-again-Internet.

The Lady of Shallot
deletes Lancelot

from her facebook

She pokes Tennyson but Tennyson
doesn't like to be poked.

The world and its shadows
stream through her BT provider.

A post informs her that
"Popty Ping!" is Welsh

for microwave.
She clicks Like.

Doesn't remember when she
last interfaced with the real

the big bad world

that huffs and puffs
outside the frosted glass.

She posts a new status:
"Agoraphobics are people too!"

What was Tennyson thinking of?
She didn't ask to be created!

A woman made from "words
words...words. . .words!"

"The curse has come upon me!"
She has run out of Lil-Lets.

"Chop shallots & simmer
lightly in butter, then. . ."

the Youtube video
instructs her.

She finishes yet another
bottle of cheap plonk.

It's so hard to be
a fictional character

in a modern world
that's gone digital.

She thinks of Googling herself
but then thinks twice of it.

She falls asleep on the couch.

The cat perches on top of her head.

In her dream she is
forever floating...floating

"On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky"

It's always the same dream.
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