Still Twenty.

featured in the poetry forum June 30, 2021  :: 0 comments

When we get together I am twenty years
Old again and laughing.
We are sat in an Irish pub on North End
Road drinking
Pints of strong lager and cheap Whiskey
Our eyes propped open by the braless girls
Who had shoehorned
Their bodies into tight-fitting fabrics.
The come ons, the chat ups,
Slap downs and put downs so cruel then,
So funny now.
And the old boy alone in a corner of the bar
Searching for adventure
In a half-consumed pint of Guinness.
Neither you nor I
Imagining that he might be our mirror image
In years to come.
And as the night grew old and the music louder
The whole pub sang along,
Proud and drunk, to the words of Molly Malone,
The Fields of Athenry.
And the old boy tapped the table with yellow
Drum stick fingers
Playing with a smile on the foaming lips of
A tepid pint.
And now here we are together again, drinking
Good wine and a fine single malt,
forty years later and I am still twenty years old
And laughing.

editors note:

Turning our twenties to twenty-turned again. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum September 27, 2020  :: 0 comments

Tonight rain is in the trees desperately seeking
Refuge from its own carnage.
In the wood under canvas I listen between sodden
Decibels of wind
Hearing a leaf shuffling on a branch, the crisp
Sharp snap of a twig,
The owl yawning flexing her talons.

A frisson of something more than excitement,
Something less elemental,
More other worldly than the rain itself.
An awakening, an awareness,
A sudden alertness and I am an old dog with hackles
Raised, my bark superficial,
Waiting for the intruder who may never come.

Outside, a fusion of fire and rain, the night limps
Between trees, the campfire flame flickers,
Hisses, an angry serpent staggering through drifts
Of damp ash three inches deep.
I excavate the canvas, burrow deeper into its offering,
A snug, safer occupation of the womb.
The well-nourished, fleshy fetus of arousal.

editors note:

An outdoor experience brought into the wondering womb. – mh clay

Stand Off

featured in the poetry forum July 15, 2019  :: 0 comments

At first it is inconsequential and I pay it little attention.
Something more aroused than a whisper,
But much less defined than a whimper, a sound
In an embryonic state,
A decibel searching for identity.
My approach is casual, silent, but as soon as I
Touch the gate the sound is born,
Comes to life swelling like an organ in an
Empty church.
And I imagine that just around the corner there is
A rib cage rattling, a chest heaving, a larynx bulging.

From its bark alone I can tell the dog is big,
Instinctively I step back
As the shape of the sound rips up the yard, a big bull head,
Cropped ears and docked tail hurls itself at the gate.
In the stand-off that follows
It regurgitates old anger, regards me with contempt,
Openly mocking my cowardice.
Stares me down, issuing me with a challenge,
A challenge I simply cannot accept.

editors note:

During these dog days, hold the gate between you and the bite. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 23, 2018  :: 0 comments

Most days she imagines the broom
Is a pen,
The lino floor a blank page begging
To be filled,
And most days she fills the vacant
Space with words
She has constructed from dust and the
Left over feelings of motherhood.
Not the long drawn out words of the
Oxford English dictionary
But the short blunt industrial words
Of her youth.
And now and again she wonders what
It would be like to be heard,
To be listened to, her innermost thoughts
Acquiring a voice
That could rise above the bombastic roar
Of the vacuum cleaner,
Negating the monotony of the washing
Machine and it’s
Seemingly endless wash rinse cycle
Of all her days.
She replaces the broom with a mop
The damp head
Swiping away the words the space so
Brazenly craved
And at mid day every day she opens
The first bottle
And for a short while the clock calls time
On her drudgery.

editors note:

If she can’t speak, the bottle (and the bard) will speak for her. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum October 10, 2017  :: 0 comments

I watch closely as she deconstructs
Her smile,
A grimace earned the hard way.
Eyes flaunting naked
Lips lisping words that pop and fizz
Dissolving their meaning.
I watch closely as her hands tremble
In the pockets of her soul
And her emotions gather pace
Like a tube train
Hurtling towards tunnels of spite
And bitterness and hate,
Whole sentences
Tangled around the root of her tongue
The lines of construction.
Word after word without foundation
In a myriad of confusion.
She pauses
To gather the words around her,
Each one the keeper of another’s
And I watch as she drags them
Kicking and screaming to the edge
Where, like forlorn birds,
They concede their habitats
To the deforestation of her mind.

editors note:

These days, it’s all reduced to scream on screen. Swipe right. (We welcome Dennis to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum June 9, 2017  :: 0 comments

Her laughter is feral
Undignified convulsions of disgruntled humour
As she searches for herself
In the contents of a glass
Her liquid reflection staring back
From small mirror’s of ice.
The gin tapering her lips to a grimace,
The juniper berry’s last flush.

And with eyes like the dull glow of a fag end,
She burns a hole in the darkness
A hole through which she readily falls
Until she lands in her lap
And the drained glass scatters iced fragments
Of reflections across the floor.
For she knows full well the true limitations
Of laughter.

editors note:

Laughing lush; likes liquor, lucidly lost. – mh clay

Eyes In The Sand.

featured in the poetry forum November 23, 2016  :: 0 comments

Jelly fish look like eyeballs
On the beach
Sockets prized open and drained
Of light
Their contents emptied on the
Pernicious corneas watching.
Masterfully I crafted a path bypassing
That optical spillage
Circumnavigating rock pools swollen
And distorted
By the grimacing reflections of crabs
And down to the sea’s lonely side
Where the horizon fluttered
A bunting of sails
And the waves unfolded flotsam
Of broken sunshine.
There at the edge of that desolate shore
Hearing the gulls
Swearing oaths of allegiance to
The wind.
Quite alone yet watched by a thousand
Beach combing eyes.

editors note:

Nothing like a (dis)quiet(ing) walk on the beach. – mh clay