WWJD on the streets of Dub

Have you seen the wee girl
In the street by our college?
Kicking at the rubbish,
With her high, high heels.
In her eyes, there is no spark
Bringing each man to her side
Yesterday’s lost innocence
Bringing pain in today

So how can you tell me you’re missional
And it’s all going well in your own church.
Walk with me and talk with me
I’ll lead you through the streets of Dublin
I’ll show you something to make you change your mind.

Have you seen the pigeon kicker
And his burly thuggy mates
They live in hopelessness
And dark, dark times
They have no time for me
Or even know the Father
Yesterday’s lost innocence
Bringing pain in today

In the doorways, hey
You’ll find Paul, Bert, Sean, and Mark
Nick and Jim and even Siobhan
You’ll see duvets and damp pillows
Black plastic bin liners
Worn down faces
Past caring today

Would you give your new shirt?
Bring them home for dinner?
Walk the two miles
And turn the other cheek?
I’ve no time for Pharisees
I’ve no time for lip speaking
I want to see in you
Head, heart and hands

So change your sail to missional
Show tough hands that you can use
To change the world one bloke at a time
Show them Father through me

Three Poems

I was asked earlier this year to consider entering a poetry competition. I don’t ever do this but I had some spare time so churned out two new ones which are so obviously in their raw format and one I had been sitting on all year. I did not win {doh!} but now the event is over I can publish here.


She sat behind closed curtains

Staring at nothing

The light gone from her eyes

The chin candle no longer used.


She waited for death

A relief of sorts

No longer active

No longer cared.


Her life had been long

With many twists and turns

The good bad and ugly

Rolled into one.


No longer concerned with

Life outside the window

Only the magnitude of her naval

Pursued her to her bitter end.




It was more than a statistic

the empty truck on the side of the road

it was a testament and last will

An epitaph to man’s greed.


But the newspapers honed in

the sixth truck found this year

slight mention of tragic death occurring

but the “Sixth” struck a chord, in me.


The other five, what happened

to those desperate survivors –

sent back home or

refuged in a most inappropriate way?


It was the photo, slightly out of focus

in the corner by the open door –

a mangled Tonka digger

Like my son would often drive.


People, real people with

blood and breath and skin

were hidden and suffocated in

the truck by the side of the road.


A real child, with real hope:

for a better life, green hills, milk, and honey

expired their last breath

in the white truck, now abandoned, on the road to Ballina




He liked the feel of nylon sheets

And lacy satin briefs

He resented them on his wife’s body

It had to be his skin and his motifs.


He tried through life to be

Inoffensive and remained incomplete

He didn’t know how to love his wife

Once initial passion was replete.


No soul was ever told of his slinky longings

The shame would have all but killed him

So he lived with his guilty secret

Long past his wife’s last swim.


But one snowy rural night

This pillar of community reposed

On the kitchen floor by an upturned chair

wreathed in rose pink lips, his life foreclosed.



Tears shed

Tears, what are they?

Made up of water and salts

They cascade down her face

No time to dry one before another forms

Streams of salty water roll down her cheeks

Their shape, a rivulet, bursting through

A tiny aperture,

pressure creating

What is their purpose?

Leaf shaped buds of emotion

Floating endlessly to her neck

Joined by two candles of snot


she cried out

Not in words from her mouth

But direct heart to heart.

And in that moment she glimpsed, or perhaps

Imagined her unsaid words

appearing on each tear.

Are tears really heaven sent speech bubbles?

For when the words don’t.

Releasing the pressure of a heart

That doesn’t know whether to sit or stand

Lie down or crawl under a rock.

Are tears a coping mechanism sent from God

To help the helpless

To provide for the needy

And emotionally spent.

For the times when the only sound

Is a resounding natter

Of: any language will do.

For when rock bottom

Is hit with a thud


Rise: City of mine

Friday began the moanfest From the delightful “he” number one

A concert he didn’t want was coming to town.
The other he, was excited he loves to sing

And dance weirdly to any music

He loves the atmosphere of a live concert.
Saturday moanie moan set off

All the way to the capital

Such a long way to The Pale.
Sunday he moaned about the train

Full of children going to a concert

The same one he was travelling to.
The other he, got up and danced

To the tunes of the young American

And ignored the girl children on the train.
Another concert in another town

And I remembered the girl childs

No longer screaming the words of songs.
Wailing, screaming in the violent times

The city that rocks determined to stand

The kindness of strangers pervade.
My city will not cower or hide

In my city the people will rise

On a flood of lovingkindness.
The tragedy has floored “he” number one

As he realises it could have been his town

And the girl-children on his journey.
My city, the world is determined not

To be defined as hostages of fear,

In a disconnected disassembled life.
My city rose not in anger or fear

It offered beds, food and drink

To the stranded and lost.
My city loves you see, there is

No judgement in Manchester

Only love, pure love. His love.


The Christmas Bauble

Bauble shards glimmered in the cold light

Tinsel strewn in ancient ritual

And only an hour before they all arrive

Mary sat amongst the broken glass

Her arm skewed in a ragdoll way

The rainbow of colour danced across her face

In a cruel waltz that reflected her life

Jamie stood in the doorway

Smirking down at the mess

And his wife broken before him.


The family arrived into a tidy, clean house

Mary’s arm strapped up for now

Even the gravy did not belie

The undertones of the house that day

They chatted and gossiped about sundry and all

Jamie was mine host extraordinaire

Mary the cook, barely sat down

When it was time for the contingent to leave

The tree looked elegant sans baubles this day

As everyone ignored the nuance and tone.