Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Three Rings

"Roll up, roll up, fun and laughter,
Trumpety-trump, I'm the ringmaster.
Rabble-dabble, dinky-donk, twinkle-inkle-oo,
pow-doo-wow, kapow-kapow, jingle-jangle-joo.
If I talk for long enough and pause to purse my lips
you'll fall for all the glompy-gloop and all the tiggle-wig.
Inky-winky, topple-too, snupple-bupple-fabbing,
Misinformation, misdirection, misses always like my grabbing.
Danty-wanty, simper-so, deny, delete, decry,
rippy-nip, what I say goes, first I took their rights.
Cay-ka-cow and zoon-aray and twisty-twusty-tate,
When in doubt what next to say, stick to preaching hate.
Wishy-wash, hum-dum-dee-doo, disloyal traitor mayors.
It's all the Muslims' fault, you know, fadum-dum-ding-dong-dayers.
Build the wall, yaloo-long-lee, Mexicans repulse me,
throw the park rangers over it, tell-ton-tin-ton-tully.
Cha-cha-cha, twirly-whirl, I've such great attributes,
and qualities, all of the qualities, la-la-loopy-loop.
Roll up, roll up," the ringmaster sounds,
"This is my circus, we've got clowns."

(Explanation: I love Chicago, the musical. But, the track, 'Razzle Dazzle', one of my favourites, has been tainted since watching Donald Trump's campaign for and election to the US presidency. That line, "Give 'em the old three-ring circus..." has been on a loop in my head. "Three Rings" is a play on that line, Donald Trump's three marriages and the fact that, to me, he's in the centre of his own three-ring circus. The worse part of it is that Trump didn't have to razzle-dazzle anyone, he just spat bile all over people....and they voted for him. ).

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Rose Interest

Nettles and dock leaves circle my rose interest
until the prince will free the sleeping princess
and restore the realm.
Proof that the world provides freely in overwhelm
the weeds strive and vy for prime position,
to be the best.
Weeding conditions are truly a test:
My rambling royals are worth the shears-wielding
and the stings.
They bow in yielding thanks and duly swing
curtsies at the sun so I am decorated
for my valour.
Nature is breathtaking dressed in folded flowers
but she doesn't wear them every day,
as is the custom.
Results occur if I am wholly trustful
so it seems that the earth succumbs to me
after a little focus.
Or maybe it gives in as it does with the roses,
all things come at the right moment,
If the prince is not the one the sleeping princess
might choose to don an air of snooze
upon the kiss.
Those in our world who aim and miss
find themselves wronged due to a faulty song
they chanted.
No fairytale endings issue so they can't
trust that living a good life is a must
for a deal that's fair.
Nettles and docks are the least of their
distresses: No princes to free their princesses,
even in their dreams.
Proof that the world provides freely, unreasonably
with no just cause or thoughtful pause
for human lives.
My rose interest roots, grows, blooms, thrives
without, it seems, having to believe
in anything.

(Explanation: Just ramblings! (This poem may or may not be finished). I get the idea behind positive thinking, that it leads to positive outcomes. But, a glance at the news on any given day has me wondering how any of it could be true. For example, it can't be reasoned that the Syrian people collectively forgot to think positively.)

Saturday, 24 December 2016


Surrender your grasp, whatever your cause,
on the future and past, for the sake of a pause.
We've closed the gates, the keys are hung up,
there's no early or late but there's more than enough.
There's a meaning, a meeting, a moreness, a mist
on streaming and reading that already exists.
The latch is on, the curtains are drawn
and the same old songs herald the dawn.
"...not even a mouse..." echoes around,
if we had hatches on our house they'd be battened down.
The fire's blazing, the washing is dry,
the children are gazing for clues in the sky.
There's a feeling, a freeing, a focus, a fizz
on dreaming and healing and those that we miss.
Whether you are inclined or firmly against,
there's finally time to finally rest.
This moment's the truth, whatever you know,
we've nothing to do and nowhere to go.
It's the privilege of biding shrouded in peace,
while others are stifled by siege without cease.
There's a greening, a greeting, a gallop, a gliss
on scheming and reaching the ultimate pitch.
The time will progress, wherever you are,
and I mean to spend it counting my stars.
For the sake of a pause, on the future and past,
whatever your cause, surrender your grasp.

Thursday, 1 December 2016


January is very strong,
yet even it cannot last long.

The season's weather turns from black,
a white endeavour sees Winter pass.

February, March and April,
come to stay but aren't able.

The season's weather turns from white,
a flash of yellow means Spring has died.

May, June and then July,
determined but must still decline.

The season's weather turns from yellow,
the browns together let Summer go.

August, September and October,
settle in and then they're over.

The season's weather turns from browns,
the blackness severs Autumn's bounds.

The last few sparks fleet with November
and, on the mark, it is December.

Each season born and then departed,
as quickly gone as it was started.
It's all pretend, a thin veneer,
it starts again, another year.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

The Sun Way

Fire and life, fire and life,
night is day and day is night.
Ritual traced, rites observed,
gifts to the kith of the other world,
eat and feast, pick and preserve,
vigil in place, time and words.
Night is day and day is night,
fire and life, fire and life.

Centre of the sun,
and the centre of the earth:
Autumn equinox,
dark and light of equal worth.

Forsake the old, hail the new
burn from the night through the morning dew.
Kindle and quench, then kindle again,
souls to their homes on the druids' spell.
Knocking on doors, hands outstretched,
keepers of the flames, diviners to be fed.
Harvest staples gathered, give the seers feed,
apples, brack and berries, Colcannon, nuts and seeds.
Sustain them so they work the night
suppressing calls or knocks of fright
from evil púca and the like
that near your brood or domicile.
A wailer in a gown, a bean sí screech
on this, Samhain, the Celtic feast.

A stock still sun,
midwinter has appeared:
Solstice night has begun,
the longest of the year.

Watch for the snake and eye the badger's set,
hope for the rain and make up Brigid's bed.
Don't forget the birch wand, she must cast her spell,
walk the sun way around the holy well.
Offer up a coin or a liquid contribution
to usher in new growth.
Secure blessed absolution
by bringing sacred water home.
Lay the table for the imminent promise
of the season's truest prophet.
Shoots burst forth, once again a novice
in the hands of fertility's White Goddess,
Blossoms out of bulbs, lambs in the fields,
on this, Imbolc, the Celtic feast.

Centre of the sun
and the centre of the earth;
Spring equinox comes,
dark and light of equal worth.

From Uisneach, let the trails ablaze
to every single pasture passage.
Tandem fires and gifts to praise
the beasts that prey on cattle.
Decorate the hawthorn and other thorny trees
and make up yellow bouquets
to ward off the old aos sí
for an auspicious May.
Let luck run from the highest rock
for ultimate crop fruition,
for safe and healthy grass livestock
and clement, clear conditions.
Protect every drill, every fruit and every leaf,
on this, Bealtaine, the Celtic feast.

A stock still sun,
midsummer has appeared;
Solstice day has begun
the longest of the year.

Bilberries and funeral play,
climb right up Croagh Patrick.
Marriages for a year and a day,
sever or take your chances.
Harvest time, let's celebrate
while we have the light.
Around again, the holy wells,
Tailtiú's death is our birthright.
Feed on what she made to yielding
from her clearing paths for seeding.
As she fostered so did those succeeding
and Setanta comes into our reading.
From Lugh's arm, the corn bequeathed,
on this, Lughnasa, the Celtic Feast.

Centre of the sun,
and the centre of the earth:
Autumn equinox,
dark and light of equal worth.

Fire and life, fire and life,
night is day and day is night.
Ritual traced, rites observed,
gifts to the kith of the other world,
eat and feast, pick and preserve,
vigil in place, time and words.
Night is day and day is night,
fire and life, fire and life.

(Explanation: Happy Celtic New Year! The start of the new year was, traditionally in Ireland, marked by Samhain on 1st November. I hear the meteorologists on radio and TV have moved Ireland's seasons on a month. I get it: That puts us in line with the UK and it makes much more sense in terms of the weather. However, I mark the seasons the old way and I like to give a nod to the even older ways too).

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Royal Index

My sister is our executrix, what a fancy appellation.
Presumably, there will soon be a suitable replacement.
Still we hear the terms landlord and landlady
when owner and proprietor are in use already.
I heard a man on the radio reject 'postman' by a reporter.
He said, "it's not used anymore, I'm a postal worker."
Only right and only fair, I totally agree
and happily embrace this new gender neutrality.
No more usherettes, no more comediennes,
no more farmerettes and no more chairwomen.
Long gone is the stewardess, barmaids can't be hired,
all actors now the actresses, firefighters fight the fires.
But, please, keep the royal index; indulge my daughters' world,
there's nothing like a princess for my two little girls.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Fleshy Pound

No more double Irish,
we're big on moral ground.
So modern now, and stylish,
our book-keeping is sound.
Our Revenue Commissioners
will actively chase down
our neighbours, friends and relatives
for every fleshy pound.
This is a great little country
to do your business in;
we're hardcore loophole junkies
and we're not short of plebians.
We've taxed our average Paddys
so they dismay at being employed.
Sit down there now, be happy,
pick the taxes to avoid.
Just relax, we're here for you,
you're our priority.
Sure, isn't it a solemn truth
about the apple and the tree?
We look the other way
to any fraudulent intent
and when it's time to pay
you can throw us a few cent.
We stand tall for equality,
but, don't worry yourself,
you're more equal, we'll agree,
than anybody else.
Come in, come in and fáilte,
marauder, raider, pirate.
We want you to exploit us,
use the tredecuple Irish.

(Explanation: *facepalm*. More information here.)

Monday, 1 August 2016

Sundays Then

Sundays then were slow, the sounds were ritual.
Mikey at the radio, Nell starting the soup.
We wake with sore heads and secrets solemnly sworn,
jokes that only we can get and orange blazers thrown
in the corner for the next weekend.
We look older in shoulder pads, or we think they fool the doormen.
Orange juice and peach schnapps, Abrakebabra for something in a bun.
Olive at the juke box taps Independent Love Song.
We know everyone in town, or we imagine that part.
Payphones are dialled around, the numbers off by heart.
Comps and dating at The Queen's Old Castle.
So begins the waiting for the night to happen.
The usual fight in sway outside Burgerland,
a salutational wave from one in the fighting act.
See?, Didn't I say we weren't short of contacts!
The heron on the fountain perches on the top-tier seat
and So Long Marianne trills from the busker on Prince's Street.
Saturday replaced by another morning after.
We wake late but in time for the starter,
always creamy soup on a well-laid table.
Mikey with his pipe and tunes,
Nell dressed up under her apron.
Sundays then in Mount Pleasant Avenue.

(Explanation: Very happy memories flooded back to me recently when I reconnected with an old friend. Olive Staunton and I were primary and secondary school friends. There were a few years when I imagine her mother wondered if they'd ever see a Sunday again that didn't involve me waking up in their house. My aim for my household would be to reach the hospitality heights of the Stauntons' but I'd settle for getting half-way there.)

Friday, 1 July 2016

Flowers Low

The iris opened wide that day, her plaited petals freed.
The lilacs had declined to stay, the lupins gone to seed.
She looked 'round for her floret mate but one nod from the rose
told her of a tragic fate in spite of love and growth.
Had she been aware of the sad news she'd have opted to keep shut;
She had no choice but to bloom as the orange blossom must.
Green as far as she could see, life bursting out with living
because the grasses and the trees couldn't break their rhythm.
She envied so her sisters' standards, sleeping, dreaming, curled;
wrapped up tightly in their flags while she flaunted hers unfurled.
The crysanthemums stood tall together and resolved to hold their stance,
inspiring clumps of heather to mark the date with dance.
The dog daisies shone their light to honour the deceased,
and no others, still to be untied, sobbed louder than the lilies.
The chive scapes were mortified; they wished to dull their purple heads,
and the hydrangea's blushing sepals cried that they offered their regrets.
The rose hung her flowers low so the iris turned her blades.
Both, just like any rainbow, all the stronger for the rain.

The garden's moral compass had yet to wave in style
but the gladioli felt the loss of one of their own kind.

Before the season perished, before the month had even changed,
they'd be seen paying their respects where the tulip bulbs were laid.

(Explanation: On 12th June 2016, a tragedy occurred at Pulse Nightclub, Orlando, Florida in the US, where a shooting left fifty people dead. Jo Cox was tragically shot and stabbed to death on 16th June in England, UK. And yet another tragedy, yet another shooting, on 28th June, left  more than 40 people dead at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, Turkey.) 

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Dry Land

At the end of the rains we took our places
seemingly irreverent to the near sacred
act of being outside for pleasure.
The children, kneeling to plant sticks and feathers,
discarded their hats on dry land.
I sat as if this was normal weather
and forgot all that had passed.

Room for their assertions and their lightning feet
so they seemed muffled on being freed
from the incessant indoors for months on end.
As they retraced the paths and bends
I didn't know who they were,
indeed they didn't know themselves,
and at last it was time to remember.