My poems are about things like grief, family, redemption, love, revolution, vision - the age old themes, done my way. I'm one of the best known contemporary irish poets, have won many awards, & regularly appear on/in national media
Handwritten version of any of selection below is 50 euro - bound to rise in value as time goes by. Frame it for your own wall or buy it for a poetry loving friend or friend in need of poetry.
As well as a nice gift for you or friend, you'll be directly supporting the work of an independent, grassroots irish artist - for which eternal gratitude! If you have enjoyed any of the work I distribute for free all year round, this is a chance to show appreciation! Below is a selection of ten poems to choose from for your gift.
CHOOSE YOUR GIFT POEM FROM SELECTION BELOW
The Four Honesties
The honesty of wind: everything must whistle by, everything must blow.
The honesty of sea: everything must churn, everything must flow.
The honesty of sun: everything must feed the fire, everything must glow.
The honesty of earth: everything must go to seed, everything must sow.
I am Salmon
I am Salmon.
I am Salmon in a poisoned stream,
trying to heal myself
upriver like you.
Part healed and part poisoned then,
and part-poisoning too.
Explanations of War
See all those bright lights whizzing around in the sky-
They are only the stars throwing a party.
And the shaking you feel beneath you,
The shaking that jars your teeth and your bones-
That is only the way the earth dances.
And the bangs and roars, the cracks and blasts and booms-
These are only the sounds of little spirits tuning their instruments.
And the horrible wailing that rises and falls, rises and falls above the buildings-
That is only the rooftops shrieking their envy that they cannot fly off.
And the high fires that climb above the rooftops-
These are the rejoicing souls of our city flying to heaven.
And the black clouds of smoke blotting the beautiful woman of the moon-
These are our dark acts evaporating.
And you my child, lying still in my arms,
Lying stiff as a mould of ancient clay,
You my child, you are only sleeping.
For the Tuam Babies
Nameless in life
we died without names
because without a name
we couldn’t live
and without a life
we couldn’t die
and if we didn’t die
we weren’t killed
and if we weren’t killed
no-one killed us
and if no-one killed us
there are no killers
and if there are no killers
then no-one can lie
about the lives
we didn’t live
and the deaths
we didn’t die
At Oscar Wilde’s Grave
Who stole the angel’s glory?
Still, you’ve got the rarest grave in Pére Lachaise,
Granite teeming with lipstick kisses,
A shoal of petals in a mountain lake,
A cloud burst of tropical fish,
And taped to a withering rose there’s a note:
Thank you for teaching me that I was good.
I kiss the teacher too,
For you are more than welcome
To the imprint of my gaping mouth
If I can stay awhile in reverence
To watch my wet gift fading,
November sun licking my lips.
Migrants March, Genoa, July 19, 2001
After the warm embrace
of a cheerful revolutionary monk
I get to chatting in some kind of pidgin
to an Iraqi man who has pedalled
all the way here from Paris on a rickshaw.
‘Cead Mile Failte’, our ten word Italian lexicon,
my leaving cert pass French,
salut, comment tu apples?
The universal bits of English
like ‘War’ and ‘McDonalds’.
our conversation’s broken up
by the roar that meets a band of Kurds arriving
in Piazza del Kennedy
behind the yellow banner of the PKK.
And then eighty cyclists hooting and whooping in from Berlin.
The slogans surging up the back
of fifty thousand throats
to greet them in our provisional republic.
A- Anti- Anti-capitalista.
Un altro mondo é possible.
Noi siamo tutti clandestini.
A language we all understand.
Is there any such thing as Ireland?
To a ghost
Why should you,
who had no shield,
stand guard for me?
How would you cleanse,
when you never got
a leg up from the muck ?
What kind of guide would you make,
who stumbled one-eyed
in the half-light all her life?
And why should you forgive,
who never had
a decent shot at sin?
It's too stupid even to talk to you.
You do not listen.
You are not there.
Not a look out perching on my shoulder.
No becalming whispers
in my sleepless midnight ear.
Your only haunting is
that permeates the air
though I can find no answer
will never tell.
For what, ghost,
do you come here?
For what, my angel, did you live?
Post Natal Ward, Holles Street
Here at the end of a billion year voyage of drudge
and trumping ridiculous odds
touch remains the cleanest kind of knowledge.
The only law is shamelessness.
Here mouths remake their promise
as the standards of the heart,
every utterance amazes,
each tiny cry is the aboriginal of language.
Tears are a global alphabet of blood.
Milk a miracle of opulence,
and the currency of love.
Only the walls I'd nail as stately hypocrites
that scold CLEAN HANDS SAVE LIVES;
when what can be told
is only a mist of moving bulks,
Dominic Street, A Recipe.
To make a beach
where there is only worn out grass
you need a lot of cider going around.
You need a cast of galloping three to nine year olds.
You need the male chest and the Chinese alphabet.
You need the sun.
You need the drone of various miniature engines.
You need two lads leaning on the railings
who can no longer speak
and have lost the fear of drowning.
Passing by in the haze
You need yourself
Still wet with the belief
that beyond the light splintering on broken glass
and beneath the busted footpaths
there are seabirds,
Lost Tribe of the Wicklow Mountains
I believe in them, so they do exist.
In the Wicklow Mountains
It is easier to hide than you think.
In sunless crevices.
In densest rhododendroned foliage.
On slopes of fluttering shadow and scree.
Nothing I know of, apart from these lines,
Speaks of this tribe.
They might be waifs that escaped from
They might be vagrants who dropped
out of ballads and poems.
They might be rebels
Who outran the redcoats
Until the redcoats dissolved.
They might be ravers and Wiccans
who squat in high ruins
holding thousand day hooleys,
cavorting in roofless great halls.
They might change into foxes in moonlight
And paw through the motorway snow
To scavenge the exurban dustbins.
But, sincerely, this tribe has no patterns.
It fits no descriptions.
Nothing about it – beyond its certain existence – translates:
The tribe is my credo.
Strong is my faith.
Strong is my beat.
Strong is my magic.
Strong is my want
& wanting, I rise till
I’m vanishing with them,
Spinning in to a mist
Where I’ll never be spotted
It’s so righteous to stray.
It’s so good to abandon.
It’s so just to ascend
With the lost and forgotten
To summits the rooted
cannot even Imagine.