“From Bow Street to Bethlehem…” Says the Girl in the Candyfloss Dress, Speaking in Welsh About Stormclouds

featured in the poetry forum October 16, 2023  :: 0 comments

You’re weak, I’m weak, that ex-cop four doors down whose son died swimming in the Euphrates,
he’s chicken-shit helpless, I mean so helpless
what could we do but egg his door every Halloween?
He was 43 years old when his son died swimming in the Euphrates.
There’s a photograph online of David Jansen in 1974, he’s 43, he looks 18 years more.
David Jansen drowned in rivers made of skull-crack mud and bitches’ brew,
he felt it would rise him above this banal traffic light sorrow
where a city blue sings his blues,
directs traffic across no visible river,
hearing low-fi electro folk cause trouble in dried-out clouds.
We filled a hole with that boy’s soul on the hillside
born soon after we became a Republic,
we should be looking up at Hell from where we are,
we’ve allowed ourselves to sink so low,
more pressing things though
include how that storm is coming, driving Harlech’s steeds like toothless beasts
from the bible, so at odds with how beautiful the Celtic Goddess looks,
far from New York City’s shrapnel-knitted stiffs.
This is what we say when we mean serendipitous,
we may be short of the Mark sometimes when we speak,
that’s ok, Matthew, Luke and John seem to take us with a sack of salt

editors note:

A gospel withdrawn from a cloud bank. – mh clay

​Saturday in Cork City

featured in the poetry forum March 11, 2023  :: 0 comments

​April 2009

Autumn’s apocalypse left us little.
Our salvation should be the heart –
thirty-four years and counting without vacation,
lungs unlikely to clock off for a cigarette break,
reckless, stone-knit and hollow disciples
who unknit their futures from me
while I ask a beautiful-face man
standing by a bus-stop
where Saturday could possibly end – or even better, begin.
Only he, I see, knows of hearts
more sacred.
I wrote a song for him today.
Now let me find that music,
let me praise that machine and its evergreens – forty-seven years without a vacation.

editors note:

The pensioners’ penchant; a Saturday well spent. (We welcome John to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Unexpectedly

featured in the poetry forum May 10, 2022  :: 2 comments

Melhor o diabo conhecido que o diabo desconhecido.
– Portuguese Proverb

As a supersonic satellite that took him
soaring into bedsits stinking the sun from an Algarve vista,
as a weekend sedated in these Sundays we get, when we leave home to learn how sneaky rain
can be, to follow us like a fox that follows moonlight,
as a man not known for reason or self, or being, as that rain
equally shapeless and trance-like soaring over that Algarve blotch some of them called sunlight,
others called groovy and mystical – but no-one thought calling a medic might help.
All these variables could hardly be expected.
And so it was
Unexpectedly –
A page 8 adjective that limits damage a dragon chase can do –
to a pride of lions, known in discreet
Sunday chatter – hoarding page 12 –
as this mudslide unexpectedly coursed through him,
our dear little boy, his dear l’il patch of mud, bitter to a touch,
sinking him deep in death, this fox eager to tame its dear old moon.
These variables – all expectedly so.

editors note:

When it comes to the devil you know, it takes a medic to manage expectations. – mh clay

Lyreen River : Summer 1980

featured in the poetry forum September 9, 2021  :: 0 comments

The water is eternity.
A reddened evening soothes to its calm,
from stones
spread like speech
in the mouth of innocence –
in the glittered noise of future voice.
The water is eternity –
we, by default – its adjutants

editors note:

This water, that stone; an innocent encounter every time. – mh clay