One Day To Wince

Would the dirty cloud hang there,

A little longer if I left?

And do you think that it can grow,

That the excerpts that escape the mass,

Making their way to other shores,

To talk about the debauched show,

Could also follow me,

Into my suitcase?

When I leave,

Will I think about the limpid air at home in China?

How many homes I have now!

The one that beams from afar, always,

Away from me or in costume,

Decked out in the finery,

I could never stand.


The cloud!

Do I love it?

Will I miss it?

Does death speak to me more than life?

My heart seems to clamber for some clutter,

Emotional and the extraneous things,

That would make me angry,

In the moment, scream.

My voice,

A whisper in a locked room,

Hopping against the walls,

And in that moment,

Brandishing vicious tiny limbs,

No man could ever fear.


Jenny’s Problem Is…

Jenny prods her dry, chapped lips, 

And thinks about who could want to kiss her, 

She lifts her skirt before the mirror, 

And thinks about the daring underwear, 

That could make up for what she lacks, 

In facial beauty. 

She skims her memory of other parties, 

In an attempt to analyse her ways, 

The old mistakes which she has made, 

For years and years and years. 

What fog of occurences, 

Leaving her confusion, 

To straddle on the evening, 

Already too far gone, 

Before she has even left the house. 

Her problem, she thinks, is…

Play Us Something Different Sam!

Sam plays a rhythm, 

On the upturned stone cauldron, 

That he bought on some lost weekend, 

In the tropics of South China. 

His rhythm is unsteady, 

But it is awful, with a blistering pace, 

Carries the air upon a slipstream, 

Moves the portraits on the walls, 

And hides useless reciepts, 

Where no one can observe

The gluttony of this house, 

Of those who claim occupancy.

I do enjoy these moments, 

They swell the communal pride, 

We are all in it together, 

The listening, 

His playing, 

The same outcome, 

We all nourish the self-same terror, 

But threaded through exotically.

The cauldron’s hollow basin hides tales, 

Of things we won’t ever understand. 

These moments are food,

For our meagre appetite, 

The one that feeds, 

On walks along tangled and outdated trails, 

On languages with beautiful sounds, 

On the smell of poison seeping through the air, 

And on the horror, 

The realisation of our fate, 

Which leads us, someday, away, 

Which leads all the way, 


Milton Lives Inside Of Me

Milton at the shop counter, 

Buying egg rolls for his lunch, 

Milton on the street corner, 

Walking low with that familiar hunch, 

Milton on the bench, 

Right outside my apartment’s door, 

All day all I can see is Milton, 

No-one else, 

Nothing more.

Just the memory of him, 

Intangible as when he died, 

Cold and unresponsive on his hospital bed, 

Now he walks,

And he is mobile,

And on the other side, 

Of my mind.

The difficult side that has no rules, 

Nor ways and means in which to talk

His presence always is an impediment.

Not a happy one, 

To have around,

This spectre. 

Unity At Last

When in China, 

While we’re altogether mixed, 

In the rugged mist, 

That spills out of the sky, 

Like grease layered on a clear complexion, 

We are all one, 

Betwixt by way of pollution, 

No Outsiders here, 


Here, we are all smokers. 

What A Nice Steady Pain

Fast though this slow pain swirls, 

In the inner gizzards, 

These well pruned measurements, 

The hedgerows that surround, 

And thus signify my person, 

My emotions obtrude but a little. 

This is not, 

After all, 

Anything like passion, 

This is curled up and feral, 


By the mind’s intent, 

When it wonders, 


As it longs to wander. 


Transcontinental gaping eyes, 

Across plenitudes of culture, 

The far reaches of my imagination met, 

On this tour, 

On the way back to the source. 

My quiet town shakes itself, 

Only when there is a bitter wind, 

And when the snow comes,

But once a year, 

Or the rain is spattered on startled faces. 

My lonely town, 

In the centre of one crooked island, 

Small and rocky,

All but uninhabitable, 

Is the centre of my world. 

Here in China,

Is every kind of vastness, 

Each climate takes a turn, 

But all the space in the world, 

Cannot converge to make, 

A chasm quite like that, 

Which exists at home in Cavan. 

Cry, I Don’t Care

She has a look on her face, 

Like a grey dawn intended for rain, 

I sit still like the limescaled statues, 

Solid and omniscient in these situations. 

The water will come, of course, 

And the waves will pulsate their threat. 

The walls, they always hold, 

The vat of tears run dry, 

And just some shallow puddles, 

Are left behind as evidence, 

Along with a silence filled with spirit and calm. 

Wise Turtle

The turtle stands in wait, 

Until he hands the parchment over, 

He says to Lucifer, 

You better not wait forever, 

Because land and things, 

Destroy your reign, 

The fleeting song, 

Is your everything. 

But your master yields a twanging bow, 

The timeless ever after, 

The singing arrow flies towards, 

That which evades your capture, 

For years and without time, 

You chase those speeding things,

Give it up, 

Forget your ghost, 

Go for what you could.

But the sum of it all, 

It is a blistering tune, 

The sound that fills every room,

What else can you hang,

Your own life on, 

If you succeed, 

In that one, evasive thing.

Da dum da dum da dum dum, 

Da dum da dum da dum dum,