The Sea #’s 1-7

The Sea #1

Foam tipped waves
like a baby blowing
dribble bubbles

The Sea #2

The rise and fall
of the sea is
to watch from dry land
not at all nice
if you’re in it
afloat in a boat
eating a sandwich
and a jelly donut

with a mug of tea

Surrounded by
wretched kiddy hysteria
bouncing on stained
rubber mats
in the kiddies play area

The Sea #3

Waves slashed
with an artist’s palette knife
slashes of brilliant white

shimmering glints
shiver and shimmy in
the afternoon sunlight

The Sea #4

Rolling black
rolling surf
whipping black wind
cutting rushing black
sinister black
rolling black
rough cut wet
turf waves

The Sea #5

Barely afloat
in this dirty boat
on the Irish Sea
writing these words
full of whiskey and
shouldered by Irish craic

The Sea #6

Rusted plates of riveted steel
slice the white tipped flat calm
of an afternoon Irish Sea

We sail nonchalantly unaware
of a wave of silent grey rinses
mouthing silent prayers

The decks itch and reel with
tall stories from smoking louts
their bellies full of Stenaline stout

Children gill green sway disgorging
frozen chips and pukka pies as
mothers sleep, catching flies

And I, the author of this piece, muse

‘If we slip into a watery grave
there’ll be no time for tears and lies
or contrived plastic bedside goodbyes

I wonder if there’s a plug?’

The Sea #7

Barely awake
through slitted eyes
I catch the echo of
winking harbour buoys
and sense the muddled
soft grey coastline
of the Emerald Isle.

I gather my stuff
in rough bundles
I gather my thoughts
in strands and bubbles
and prepare to disembark
onto the confused Tarmac
patchwork quilt of
Dublin Port

And the long journey home.

365 sleeps till Christmas

I woke up on Christmas morning
with a head like a strudel
or a poodle
on pastry
and breed

I thought about eggs over easy
but my stomach was queasy
so I revived
a day old pasty
from Greggs

Then went back to bed
where I was woken
by a tug
not a tug
more a slap
type of tug
thug tug

I woke up and
followed my
shuffling feet
my head bowed
and searching for
carpet treasure.

As Christmases go
it was
a quiet affair
just the three of us

A Christmas
ménage a trois
without much
in the way of menaging.

Five minutes later
it was all over
we sprawled
on a
cheap crinkly
wrapping paper

warm croissants
in chocolate
Buck’s Fizz
with vodka

my hand
up a bird’s bottom
I face timed
my mother.

Only 365 sleeps till Christmas.

A Penny for your Thoughts

I’m a thought picker.

I scour the barns and outhouses of your minds. I rescue your random musings and dubious treatises. Your discarded theories and erroneous posits.

I clean them, sanitize them, turn them, polish them and place them on the shelves of my shop.

Your recycled thoughts are carefully arranged: there’s even a ‘buy one get one free’ section. There’s a thought for every occasion. A thought for every religion and non-religion and there’s sentimentality aplenty.

I even offer click and collect.

The one stop thought shop.

Branches everywhere. Open late every weeknight.

My River

I sit at my window
and watch my river
and my river watches me

It is not a constant
like the grey squirrel
the kaahing rook
the scrabbling rat
but a changling

Benign and lazy
powerful and crazy
sliding by my window
as bright as glass and
as black as marble

It talks to me
as I sit by my window
on calm summer days
whipped by storm
its belly swollen
by surging runs

Most days
we just dream and snooze
play dream
and smooze
and watch each other
and watch
everyone else
watching us.

The five stages of time

Starting from the beginning
is a good place to start
even though I don’t know
if anything,
will happen next.

Starting from the end
has its advantages.
Unless it is an unhappy ending.

Perhaps it is better
to start in the middle
and reflect about the beginning
and wonder about the end.


The middle is a
bad place to start.
I cannot influence what
has gone before
and I may make whatever
is to come worse.

Perhaps it is best
not to start anywhere at all.
Just mark time,
forget my past,
ignore my future
and worry about the present.

Which is, of course, a beginning.

And so the circle closes
and my initial posit stands.

Starting from the beginning
is a excellent place to start.


Each of us should strip
our souls bare
then reassemble

We should do so
(as souls are fragile things)
(So as not to crush our Karma)
reveal each layer
and carefully clean

Then reassemble
slavishly free
from preconception
and churlish
chains and fetters.