Category Archives: Poems

For Sean, on His 26th Birthday

shoulders

The windows are open;
Air from the garden
Will freshen your room.

A hurricane brought you
And took you away:
You are part of its force.

The shoreline before me
Recedes and advances;
My boat is becalmed. Continue reading

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Filed under Biography, Blogging, Ireland, Memories, Philosophy of life, Poems, Religion, Stories

One More

A song based on an old poem of mine.

Time for one more,
Eyes are bright;
Wonder what’s
In store tonight

Told me often
That she might
Sail the coffin
To the light. Continue reading

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Filed under Death, Ireland, Poems

Holiday in Ireland: August 2016

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On Tuesday we found ourselves at Lissadell House, the ancestral home of the Gore-Booth family, six years after we first visited it and Co. Sligo. Back then we went to see and hear Leonard Cohen; this time the house itself – famous for its connection with Constance Markievicz (née Gore-Booth) and W.B. Yeats – was the attraction. We looked out at the rain through the windows of which Yeats wrote (and Cohen recited):

The light of evening, Lissadell,
Great windows open to the south,
Two girls in silk kimonos, both
Beautiful, one a gazelle.
(from ‘In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markievicz’)

There’s an extensive and excellent Easter 1916 exhibition in Lissadell at present, including a lot of Markievicz paraphernalia. There is also a wealth of material related to Yeats and his brother, the prolific painter Jack B. Yeats. Continue reading

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Filed under Ireland, Literature, Memories, Poems, Politics

Poem for Lara, 10

A poem that Michael Hartnett wrote for his daughter, Lara, when she was ten years old.

An ash-tree on fire
the hair of your head
coaxing larks
with your sweet voice
in the green grass,
a crowd of daisies
playing with you
a crowd of rabbits
dancing with you
the blackbird
with its gold bill
is a jewel for you
the goldfinch
with its sweetness
is your music.
You are perfume,
you are honey, a wild strawberry:
even the bees think you
a flower in the field.
Little queen of the land of books,
may you always be thus
may you ever be free
from sorrow-chains.

Here’s my blessing for you, girl,
and it is no petty grace –
may you have the beauty of your mother’s soul
and the beauty of her face.

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Filed under Ireland, Literature, Poems

A rhyme for ‘orange’

‘Orange’ is a famously difficult word to rhyme. Here’s an effort I came up with some years ago (it needs to be read quite quickly!).

Down in Spain I was eating an orange
By myself when a certain foreign
Gentleman came up and said
‘I’ll give you money if you shoot me dead’.

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Filed under Humour, Poems

A piku

Today is Pi Day, apparently. In honour of the occasion I have written a piku: instructions given here.

Can I form
A verse extolling in supple words pi’s weird, redolent,
Enigmatic quality? Certainly, but it may collapse.

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Filed under Literature, Poems

49 old haiku

1
For my just reward
I am liable to seek
A share of the day

2
If it is found that
No share is to be given
I shall not take long

3
I shall fly upwards
In the wake of a magpie
And the form of wind

4
Hoping hence to gain
Entirely deservedly
What is for the best
Continue reading

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Filed under Poems