top of page

Irish/Family poems


Letters were scattered everywhere!

Torn open or left in perfect posting:

Odd shoes were left discarded

among the dishevelled clothes.

Their unmatched colours

slung over from the night before

My Cinderella frock was flung beneath the clock

With no neck to grace, my jumble-sale gem,

sparkled on the bedroom floor

and no-one to blame but me -   

I let the mess be!

Friends advised me go Feng Shui -

Take the cloistered walk to let the spirit free!

But I was no mordant mendicant of minimal obscurity

and kept to my do- as- you - please

Closing on Sunday, like a village shop I sprawled

in that sumptuous solitude

but a moody gloom of mother’s voice

protested overhead at the state of my undress

and my unmade bed!

In the ghost roll of thunder

she threatened her exacting needs

on my sloven home’s happiness

but made my beanstalk escape

Reaching up. Pulling on that rumple of clothes

I climbed away from this giant’s gape

and  “Fee- Fi- Fo- Fum” of her foot on the stairs…    

                                                      MTD 2018



She saw them on the ocean


“ But there’s nothing there,” I said

as I stooped to decipher her very private code


encrypted on her smile

that playful phosphorescence

in the galaxy swirl: That movement

of her mind behind those deep violet eyes.



Unable to keep still

or even tell what only she could know

of fairies on white foam

Leaping up and down to join her frivolity


The ‘up-under’dance cut the  ocean’s froth

as my inner eye now spied

a rise and fall. A plunge and crash

of dolphins in swift race


Closing in to roll the waves,

up and under. Out and in,

both child and dolphin twinned

as angel- fairies of white foam ..        MtD 2016


Dear chum Charlie,

Have they amputated and are you in convalescence yet?

Well an ‘eavy day in an ‘eavy walk

I must report. Not in the march

or scupper under fire but the soldiers lot

to bury our dead.

        News from the front is hard

that I dragged poor Ernie to a shallow bed

(made best ways we could) the clay

strangled us - crept in wait of us

like the enemy, at every turn.

       Couldn’t even polish me boots

(a waste in any case). A lost respect

for these ‘ere dead. Trading their lives

for joy from pain as a fatal shrapnel

closes in

     Ernie’s spirit would have joked

he’d held his mettle to the last!

I’ve saved his half-smoked Nelson,

‘ere in me breast pocket - so if I snuff it

it’s for you, though it might save a bullet or two!

     Now Charlie I know it’s in bad form

but, like the spit from tongue,

I nearly choked at that Officer’s joke

about Ernie’s ‘good death.’  You see

in the short life of this front-line  

     the dead and wounded are just

a climbing number ! All we’re worth

in this pungent thing called war

that has no respect for anything -

Not lost friend or brother nor foe..


And no joyful gain to its greatest shame

the exhausted trench soldier’s giving in!

So I’ll say farewell, dear chum as I watch

the cruel weight of Flanders field

pull poor Ernie down


as we hurl ourselves into battlefields

the mud and blunder takes

all and sunder. Calls a ‘welcome home’

to the climbing numbers.               MtD 2018

bottom of page