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"MY 1692 OR MY 1773?"

a group of ghosts standing around
the room chatting pretending to be
sheet-covered-furniture at the human step

the human pops his head in
seeing only sheet-covered-furniture
the ghosts hold their breath

the human shivers
his echoing down the hall
"I hate it when they do that!" said a young ghost

an old ghost who had
pretended to be a sofa smiled
"Oh, you get used to that!"

"I find the living tend to
drain one's energy somewhat!"
remarked an even old ghost

outside a car
took itself off
the ghosts all visibly relaxed

the chit-chat resumed
"Now, I consider 1692
to be my finest haunting!"

"Oh no no dear!"
remarks the ghost's wife
"Your 1773 was so much your best!"

outside the car
has returned
the ghost hunters pile out
Looked up to your atmosphere
Saw a little girl with wings
Painting the sky with the
Brushing them up
And letting them flow
Like she did
With her mommy's hair
No camera can capture what we are gifted to see with our eyes and imagination. What do you see in the clouds
I yearned for a garden
So I purchased a field
Planted seeds with hope
And anticipated the yield
My garden grew
Rich and green
An opulent crop
Surpassing what I dreamed
My garden was so fruitful
I had so much to spare
So I gave and I gave and I gave
I gave until nothing was there
I gave so much, I had to borrow
From another’s crop
So I could maintain the giving
And filling up others cups

But the harvest dried
All I had was gone
And those I’d given to
Had all withdrawn
Winter arrived
I considered the sum
I had thrown feasts
And received only crumbs
I had moved mountains
Spending more than I had to spend
I did this for love
I did this for love of my friends
But in giving I forgot the Giver
He who gave first to me
He Who laid down His life for His friends
The Shepherd who sacrificed Himself for the sheep
He who gave the field
He who made it grow
He who brought the rain
And multiplied what I’d sown
I did it wrong, pouring out to these who consume, but don’t stay
Now only for Him, the Giver of givers
He has given me more than I could ever repay

Last night
I missed you so much

that I made love
to your nightdress


now your nightdress
hides from me

slinks under covers
and pillows

avoids my eyes.

I can't take
another night

without you.

Your nightie
can't take another night

with me.

I am holding
your dresses

threatening them with


if they make one
false move.

The rest of your clothes
tremble in the wardrobe

...come back to me.


Ahhh back in the day when poetry was the new rock'n'roll and we sold poetry in broadsheets from pub to pub and all piled into an auld van and headed down the highway to the southern counties and turn up at a local radio station and proclaim ourselves in poetry so that that night people would be enticed into readings at arts centres and the like...those be de days. A mechanic who" didn't give a toss about poetry" and underneath a car tinkering with its thingymabob heard me reading my "nightdress poem" on the radio and came along to hear me read it...he was very put out when I didn't and then I had to read it then and there on the pavement and he went away satisfied. One of my best performances and one of my best audiences.

This must be '84 or'85 as in '86 I took the boat to Land of the Angles and ensconced me self there for the better or the worst of it.

the lightness
of your footstep
as you hurried to me

in the slowly setting
concrete you didn’t see

holds your fleeting love
your footsteps greedy for me

paying no attention
to the world

only knowing that
in a few footsteps more
you would be precious

and adored for who you are
your footsteps
still exist

echoing inside my tears
as I put my next step
inside yours

and the snow
the other footsteps up


My little girl forever running to me and delighted that daddy is home. Footpath? What footpath!

In the Tales of the Boyhood of Fionn, that Irish icon of long ago legend and myth, there is an interesting debate among Fionn and his friends as to what was the finest music in the world:
“Tell us that,” said Fionn turning to Osin.
“The cuckoo calling from the tree that is highest in the hedge,” cried his merry son.
“A good sound,” said Fionn. “And you, Oscar,” he asked, “what is to your mind the finest of music?”
“The top of music is the ring of a spear on a shield,” cried the stout lad.
“It is a good sound,” said Fionn.
And the other champions told their delight; the belling of a stag across water, the baying of a tuneful pack heard in the distance, the song of a lark, the laugh of a gleeful girl, or the whisper of a moved one.
“They are good sounds all,” said Fionn.
“Tell us, chief,” one ventured, “what you think?”
“The music of what happens,”
said great Fionn,
“that is the finest music in the world.”

And so as it happens is the music of my little daughter back from shopping with her Mammy and running to hug me...and not letting a new laid path stop her...her footsteps slowing down until I pluck her from there and hoist her in the air. Her little kisses and joy the only music in all my world. Could any man be richer than I with the music of what happens.

I a...

covered in glorious glitter
smelling strongly of PVA glue

sticking to my cheek


& covered in blueorange
yellowred feathers

a bubble
recently blown

perched upon
my nose

I...still....half coma...tose

tiny bubbles travel
amongst my curls

as through
a bigger bubble brightly

nestling neatly
over my right eye

I observe
my tiny daughter

purse her lips
& kiss

more bubbles
into being.

“Till...y! ”

I force my lips
(still frozen in sleep)

to some
how speak:

“ ”

(even my syntax and sentence structuring is shot)

She smiles sweetly: “I’m
...pretty-ing you! ”


I first read this on an open stage with a gig that had little spark. I didn't think it went down well and was talking of dropping it but a woman with many kids told me that I couldn't. It rang true for her and all her girls so I kept it in the set. It is now a firm favourite and one of my favourite poems to perform. I never tire of it and just love doing it.

the books chat to each other
but at the footstep of a human
the all shut up at once

once the human is gone
all the books
have a good laugh amongst themselves

they do not see me
I the locked-in-human( by mistake )
see them in their natural state
That weekend something softened in me,
I felt a wholesomeness I'd almost forgotten.

During the car journey we spoke of things so
relaxed yet deeply. During a communal dinner
I noticed us reciprocally glancing away from one
and other, sharing a mischievous, concealed smile.
The next morning those juicy 90's tunes blared from
your car stereo along the back roads,
The four of us in tune.

After that we messaged occasionally.
One of these exchanges inspired me to recover my intention
and believe once again.

This month I felt the ground beneath me,
To stoke the fires of my soul.

The clay of my body softens, I am malleable
in my genuine desire to be with them.
♑︎ and behold
I grasped the nettle
and was not stung.
( for Rexanne )

The tree
lifted its arms

to the sky
and prayed for hours.

It offered up
all its leaves

that lay at its feet
like a woman

stepping out of
a yellow dress

birds came and sang
in all its branches

as if they were leaves
of living song.

As we left
it wore a sunset

and the birds
had become

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