March 17th, 2014

Lá Fhéile Pádraig

I walked along the Strand this morning.
It was me, the runners, the street sweepers and the homeless.

Sat beneath the golden arches of this age’s royalty.
Reluctant to part with even a hal’penny now for their taxed electricity.
Scents of chip oil and salt.
“Never ending salad all day every day” the inscription on the door reads.

I share the street with matted hair, damp dusty jeans, cardboard mattress’ and sleeping bags. Flatcaps still warn with a peacock feather on one side: the wandering Irish.

I pass a black corvine feather, soaked to the cement among the cardboard, rapidly being swept up or blown away on the early morning breeze.

A few doors down tea cups and saucers jingle. Taxi cabs doors swing open and closed loosely. Well tailored suits behind glass windows, which I have sat behind.

Foreign fine bone china in hand - but still always milk first.

Back down through cockney cobbled alleyways to the waterfront.
Under cement tunnels and railway bridges like the iron ribcages of long dead whales or other giants.

Until safely back south of the river.



February 14th, 2014


You should not walk the streets tonight.

Some nights seem possessed with the possibility for things to go wrong. They hold a heavy kind of anxiety. Not helped by low pressure and storm clouds.

But there is more to them than just the threatening winds and pelting rain.

Barometers, superstition and mercury.

They seem to lay a weight on your very chest, with a promise of some veiled dread that will come stalking darkly out of the rain sodden streets. Throwing open doors. Whistling through hallways. Clattering, shaking floors boards and window panes as it moves up into your home.

And it is around you now.

The low sounds of the thunder or the wind.

You recline weak; weary from the pressure that stifles your heart beat and knots your shoulder blades. Making tea to comfort yourself.

Some part of your mind cannot help but think: something is going to happen.

The last of the milk.

As you consider a trip to the 24 hour store for more, you envision yourself as amad king in a tempest.

Fallen branches.

A freak traffic accident.

The sound of the sirens and ominous blue flashing lights

A quite hand in the darkness.

The words: “it could have been anyone”

These are the things that take us from our loved ones in the dark.

In the wind and the rain.

This is what hangs over us like a raven on our front doors.

You should not walk the streets tonight, you have been told since you were a child.

Fear of being washed into the gutters and swept away by sprites where no one will ever find you. The realm of half imagined calls echoed from down dark ally ways. Rain dogs and lost boys.

Wait ‘till morning you tell yourself wrapped beneath your duvet.

It will all feel better in the morning.


December 17th, 2013

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September 21st, 2013
When a house is on fire,
the vessel salvaged
is the one that will be of use,
not the one left there to burn.
So when the world is on fire
with aging and death,
one should salvage by giving:
what’s given is well salvaged.
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