He looked up through the green tinted light towards the sky and began to drift

When darkness encroaches
And chaos and panic beckon
With long white fingers,
That is when I take up my pen

And lay thought upon word,
And word in book,
And book on heart.

These brief flashes
Of a light so pallid and grey
Die in the laugh tracks
Of a normalised life.

They aren’t who I am,
But they can begin to tell
Of who I long to be
Or who I dread to become.

140406 Poem favoured

The Poem
– Leonard Cohen

I heard of a man
who says words so beautifully
that if he only speaks their name
women give themselves to him.

If I am dumb beside your body
while silence blossoms like tumours on our lips
it is because I hear a man climb the stairs
and clear his throat outside our door.

The Spector had a heart shaped hole in her just waiting to be pasted over.

You can tell it’s a good song
When you slow down
So you don’t make it home
Before it’s over.

Select weaknesses in me
Set fire to my brain
And spiderweb around my heart.

I hold the glass up to my eye
But I can’t tell whether it’s
Too full or too empty.
For certain, it’s draining fast.

The piano may not be firewood
But it sets a merry blaze.
And the cloth rests over my face,
Over my eyelids,
Like a hood.

If everyone knows it’s going to hurt,
Then why wasn’t I expecting it?
One day I turned around
And realised I was fucked

And there’s nothing I can do about it
Except take the clock off the wall
And set about winding it back again.
Right back to the beginning.

This is how it starts

The letters you sent me,
on the handmade note paper,
are like little pieces of you
that I can carry around with me.

On the bus, I can
reach in my pocket
and touch you.

I read them in the evening,
before I go to sleep
and think of what you might be getting up to.

Wondering if
you are awake
reading bits of me too.
Committing them to memory.

Minefields Ahead

I want to write
of your gentle, sloping smile
but it’s not there again.

I want to tell of your
fingertips and your heartbeat
and of your turning, twisting words
to strangers on the
other side of the planet
but the truth is
I am lost.
None of these things
belong to me now.
They have fled like
children from the dark.

And now even the elements
I had longed to forget:
your holding hands,
your callous caress of his shoulder,
and the three words you whispered,
on the cusp of sleep
on a bus just outside of Mulranny, Co Mayo,
that I almost never knew,

I pull at the strands of them
as they unravel in my hands.
And there’s nothing there
to replace them,
save for intolerably intoxicated nights
and cringing, broken embraces
and the darkness.
The indefinable and indefinite darkness
that I dread.


You spread out
your hand on a piece of paper.
I remember it was yellow
legal paper actually,
the sort that’s too thin
and you can see right through.

“Are you watching?”
your smile said.
And taking some odd felt tip pen
you traced it out

Passing it then
to me
“Something to remember me by”
your eyes said.
“Not to worry,
I’ll be back”
your lips lied.

And I appreciate the sentiment
I really do,
but in the end
I am left here alone,
and in the end
it was only ever sentiment.

Go to the movies and cry your eyes out

Life is just
a series of photos
skitting past in front of my eyes.

Some of them are in black and white.
Some of them aren’t very focused.
Some of them are like incomplete drawings,
with the upturned corner of somebody’s mouth
or half of a dark grey eye.
The memories flick past like a cartoon
drawn by some crazy kid
and held together by an old blue rubber band.
They trick
my mind into them,
pulling it along like an unruly pup
on a leash.

The colours are often very real,
too true and they burn
the backs of my retinas
Some are more sober with
shadings of grays and browns.

I tried some of those
old school 3D glasses,
with the plastic lenses
to see if they could make some
sense in it all but they
just highlighted all the
mistakes in each piece
and all the
lines connecting us all.

My life is just
a series of photos
flying past in front of my eyes.
And your face
seems to keep coming out.

Homage to Edward Lear

long ago
I met a girl on a beach,
on a small island
where the Bongs grow
tall and proud,
and she had,
as I recall, 
just finished swimming.
Her eyes were an unusual green
and she talked to me in a quiet voice
all the while nibbling gently
on a pea pod.
Above her naval and
slightly to the left
she had a tattoo of a rather 
incredulous looking owl 
which I noticed but tried to ignore.
And as we walked up to
the small beach house 
that I hadn’t noticed before
a cat came out to great us,
or maybe just her because as she
picked it up
it gave me a flash of teeth and a steely gaze
before settling down around her shoulders, 
its tail tracing out the line of her jaw,
its eyes glaring out from behind the waterfall of her hair.
Inside she set about preparing a meal
of honey glazed pork mince
thick with fat,
which we ate with more of those 
vaguely minty peas.
We drank and i felt my tongue melt and slide away from me.
The next thing I knew 
my hair was coming out in clumps and the girl,
her breasts were heaving free in the moonlight.
The sand was white and her skin was white and the moon was white and ghostly
but the sea was a black and evil and I had to get away from it
for fear it would swallow me whole,
and when she started talking about marriage I felt sick
and I told her so.
We returned to her shack and I
strummed at an old guitar that had washed up on the shore,
loose Nick Drake songs, while she danced
swirling around the small room with abandon.
And I knew I loved her then
but also that I wouldn’t always
so later, when she breathed softly and soundly into her folded arms,
I snuck away to the hills 
with naught but a few silent tears
that sparkled and danced
by the light of the moon,
the moon,
the moon, 
that danced by the light of the moon.