granny’s garden


the dying daffodils reminded me

of a long ago tended garden.

Each flower had a place

Reds on the left and yellow to the right


Granny pulled their heads off

and stomped on each stalk

frenetically each day she roamed

the rows of yellow daffodils


grandad could kill nothing,

not even a slug so he slunk

behind and gathered the leaves

tying them all together

with ribbons of concern

weeping as the willow by the pond.


I used to think granny hated

like hated every thing

but I think she was broken hearted

for the man she knew before


Grandad’s heart was aching

for all the men he’d known

who laid down their lives

in the war to end all wars


Granny played a lot of things

taking the role of winner

She hated the name granny

Preferring formal Grandmama


But I loved this statue of

ice cold tendrils

I was never scared like the others

She brought fear to every one

But I heard her pray once

For me and R and J

And for the two H’s in her life.


Two broken hearted people

Living in a box

Unable to talk or even to listen

Forever bound in silence

On reflection of the pond’s surface

Of a childhood long ago

The only way they could converse

Was having red on the left

And dying daffs on the right.


She stumbled out of the Parrot

Holding the window for stability

The red ruched too tight shift

Barely covering her awkward frame


How different from a few years before

When she ruled the Parrot and the men

Taking them one by one to the canal bank walk

Tossing her ponytail with glee


Of course she took the uppers

Snorted white lines with lies

Pierre took care of her every need

She was loved and basked in the glow.


A year or two before this Angelina

Fresh faced and fuchsia pinked

Took a job as a trainee technician

In a Phibsboro’ beauty salon


The women there got huge tips

But Angel was just a trainee

So they looked after her and taught

Her everything they knew.


How easy to give the extras

How easy to start the slide

From fresh to ripe to rotten

Rotten to the core, through and through


As Angel stumbled last night

Near the canal, Bert watched

He saw her walk unsteadily

Where horses once had plod


Her body was found a few days later

The men from the Red Parrot bar

Described each scar, and the landlord, Bob

Identified Angel and held a wake in the pub.


A few weeks later Cherylann arrives

To be a beauty trainee in Phibsborough

Her hair is short and punked

Her fuchsia pink bag sways with her at-it-tude.


bluebell {trapeze}

In Dublin I walked past a house

With five bluebells in the yard

Looking proudly out of place

In a mostly peculiar way.
Three crows called out

From a tree by the river

And an elephant rode by

On a circus truck
I know a girl who ran

To the circus for a time

She learned the high wire

Trapeze and cream pies.
She left to attend study

And sits quietly in class

Dreaming of not running away

To three rings of death defying feats.
Bluebells sway demurely

Like a girl balancing in the air

Delicate blue skimming in

The early morning sunlight
Girl sits in class modestly unassuming

Eyes that flash like sapphires

When interest is peaked

And fade to dull aching
When the lecturer snores his words

drowning the room

with waves of hibernation

The dreams of faded tutus return.
She really is an oddity

The stunning long legged beauty

In a space of elder haggards

Exuding confidence aloft

In a mostly peculiar way.

omelette face

eggs crashing on the supermarket floor

face smashing into the bathroom door

Will it ever end?

toddler screaming for one more bar

girl shrieking – the loss of more hair

Will it ever end?

the shelves full of hopes and promises

the lies and deceit of joyful fists

Will it ever end?

fresh meat pertly pink in cellophane wrap

new bruises – spectrum exploded on facial map

Will it ever end?

row upon row of parting with money

line upon line of smarting agony

Will it ever end?

One day will I rise up

and say – enough, no more

Will I glide along shelves pouring rubbish in my trolley.

One day I will rise up

and say – enough, no more

Will I be punched and kicked and torn limb from limb.


The hushed tones behind the fluttering curtain

The eye tries to wake

The limbs try to move

The mind tries to grasp

as the green sheath cocoons

the broken body


the news reported an arson attack

on the giant of surpermarketing

a girl was in hospital, no other injuries


the man came, full  of charming patter

that did not pass the chaplain’s muster

in the middle of the night

Salesian Agnes took the girl

And wrapped her in blankets and quilts.


the arson attack caused little damage

setting fire to oneself causes different scars

to hide the ones made by prince charming

Agnes soothed the brow

She ladled soup

and the girl, me,  slowly walked… away

Love {is} #2


Supermarket sweeping

Looking for love

Shelves of empty promises

Filling trollies with spurious claims




Love cannot be bought

Cannot be purchased in a buy one get one free promotion




Love is not earned and cannot be taken away

True love from the author of creation

Is free not in a frenzied shopping spree


It is freely available

To all on this raggedy ann planet

God loves each one, equally – the same

And nothing

No nothing

Can change that eternal truth.