In my poetry I seek to explore the gaps in perception, the resonances between what is there and what is hidden, between what is being said and the subtexts that blur reality. Some favourite themes that I enjoy returning to and which I have identified in my work to date are the war between the sexes, which is as old as time and probably, began with Zeus and Hera, and modern perceptions of titles such as Poet, Muse, Writer etc.
My work is ongoing and is a true labour of love. One friend has a poem of mine as her screensaver, which is flattering as it is one that I consider to be my least successful. Poetry today does not make money, but it has at times been my lifesaver, deflecting stress from the ongoing herculean task of editing my PhD thesis. I couldn’t do without it!
Slattern There will inevitably be Cobwebs that I missed Thin as silk Hiding from me Making faces And laughing Behind the fridge Climbing up over pictures Gossiping in the gaps Between the walls And don’t get me started On those dust balls -who conglomerate Under the settee And set up Their silent protest -always on a Friday They envy the ice-cream That I prefer to contemplate Fatly on my sofa Silent spider In the corner Ignoring All of their shouting Licking the spoon
Joanne climbs the hill ahead of us. We try not to be seen
as the trucks thunder past, heading past her, whipping up dust as she grabs milk bottles
from steps, an impromptu breakfast from Mrs Thomas. Greedily her lips suck at the bottles,
her saw fly legs blackly ensconced in corseting armour of illegally
purloined jeans in violation of at least three secondary school codes. Lighting up a fag,
her eyes alight on us. We dodge into an alleyway, trying not to play, do you think she saw us?
Accident of birth
Idiot childe belong in chicken shed
Down bottom of garden by compost heap
With the rest of lifes’ rejected detrititus
You can find a home there
So no one can hear your enthusiasm and alter
Your delight in the little things
The light, the breeze, love, laughter
Remember one truth, that normal folk live
In a world that knows the price of everything,
And the value of nothing
We crave sterility, manufactured smiles
Empty promises and the latest
Gadgets that capitalism manifests in petrol miles
Elise Cowen, Virginia Woolf, and Sylvia Plath, ended their talent with suicide
Joan Brown, Jay Defeo, froze the reaper with death In Art
The Muse can harvest as well as inspire,
We must win the day and help Medusa to defeat Perseus.
In order to enjoy our time in the sun
Casting off the mother magner to prevail this time
Love can be entrapment, enmeshing talent
Learning this lesson will release Persephone.
Hellebore and mandrake dogthistle and seasnake,
mix it up with nettles and stir Pour it into a kettle and serve.
Would my enemy smile while she drinks it?
Then turn black clutch her throat retch and turn limp?
They say revenge is a dish best served cold,
but what of the mark on my soul?
Karmas a bitch when your balance is in the red,
how many lives would it take to pay the debt?
Maat weighs the souls and ekes the price
shall I leave it or demand from the dead.
Heroin goddess of mystic night Espousing wonder
Making your home in the gutter low Irish bar of this quiet town
Blackly falling nightshade curtains adorning beauty of a rarely seen kind
Lithely sinuous limbs moving snakely invoking envy and wonder.
Inviting worship blithely unaware wearing it like gossamer feary threads
Around your exquisite persona, holding court worshippers gaze in adoration.
Made of not one but three personas Badb, Macha and Nemain
Lovingly torturing your earthly body but you still prevail.
In July 82 my mother decided she was sick of her brother Frank’s
Boasting of his culinary Friday night selection of chinky and beer
(recently derided) so driving up town in her battered old beetle
With us kids in the back she decided to visit said local Chinese
and depositing all of us in front of the menu we had to select
one meal each a luxury in those days of maggies recession
a rare treat indeed, chinky and v on the tele
wow staying up late – aliens and chow mein
leaning on our takeaway plates enjoying our repast
until the girl on the screen popped out the alien
baby with all the slime and guts as mum bit into
a big king prawn and its resultant explosion of grease
no more chinky in our house with
the association with alien baby afterbirth.
High in the welsh hills the view lies transcendental
And even Higher still the kites reddish fly
Bracing the zephyr
I am Briskly walking while Lucy bronzly strides
Leaves in her wake
Senses in overdrive
On this morning the dimensions collide
While I a small speck
Breath of wind swift as a knife
Billowing into someone’s life
That little cotton candy a
Wisp of fun, bekoning endlessly
To everyone, flirting enticing
Enchanting on a summers day
Waving and crescending, soon on its way
To fun and games and spicy scents
Of barbecues, cricket and
Festival tents, the mood of the
Wind catches higher and higher up to the
Window latches, then falling and dipping down to
The ground burying itself there without a sound
Adding to the smells and frisson of a storm
We retreat like snails to keep in the warm
And hide away to conserve our energy
For another day another hour, seconds of synergy
Morning with sun
Snow eagle and his kin high up in the eddies of sky
Throwing silk flowers cascading down on me
Mother drinking jasmine tea
While the sun beats down.
The snake god burrows through dirt layers
Old man of time blinking away the corpse encrusted nether
Greeting the surprise of resurrection
He will not fail this time.
In the Night Garden the black owl goddess brings death to the mouse
hellebore and nightshade, grow in amongstmandrake as symbols ofsacrifice
Scenting Jasmine darkly blooming and butterflies eddy around the welsh hillside
while bats and owls flypast the howling Beangshide visage of the wild hunters ride,
enticing vampire moths skim the wildflowers
while prowling black cats sleekly dart in amongst the darkening dusk
in the gloom the dark fairies chatter and gossip, the world waits on the cusp,
of the moons ascension illuminating the cold silver visage of the old hall,
passing on my way through llangurig by the three hounds watching me hurrying,
trying not to bear witness to, blodeuwedd and lleu meeting secretly in the lovers gloaming
Fish are fish
They were made that way
Flashing ethereal not hewn from clay
Fish is as fish will
Flashing catching sunlight
I walked into the morning sunlight still room
And noticed that death had earlier lurked in minutae...
Were you busy madame spider to claim two victims so?
Or was it just chance to fill your larder?
Winged descendent of dinosaur, they say the earliest of you gets the worm
Who has come up to feel the first mornings rays
Greeted by deaths sythe writhing his last in your greedy maw
Feeding his limp body to the cawing noise in your charnal house abode.
Published - May 2014 Decanto Magazine
The Three Fates
My three great Irish aunties
Always had an open house for
Poker and pochean (get me my
Medicine from O'Leary wud ya gal?)
Eileen would exclaim each morning
At eleven - whilst they exchanged
Hypochondriac fancies to the beat
Of the small radio.
"Oh Francis had a lovely funeral
Didn't ya know? - the lads all in black with their balaclavas, and the
(she crossed herself) well the Father Said you know" "Yes I know"