dán dár chumas

poem I wrote

The Worry Bird

Don’t take on so. That bird you’ve made at the end of your bed is the tangled ball of feathers that is reluctance. So don’t take on so. He seems like a lead weight, anchoring the blanket ever faster, ever tighter to you. You might even feel the boulder like mass of him, immovable atContinue reading “The Worry Bird”


The flour scurried like dust from an epicentre.  Exploding, it mushroomed and fell like ash, a bullseye ring clear round the impact.  The slap of the dough as it hit was dull.  Flat.  Lifeless.  Too loud. For a moment, he stood too still.  Betrayed by the loudness.  The loudness that made the silence that followed fierce with the irreverent sounds of living.  TheContinue reading “Bread”

Indignant of Westminster

I went for a walk today, because I wanted the outdoors.  I wanted to walk by water, and to feel the cool of the evening on my face, until it was ever so slightly numb.  I wanted to hear my own footstep, pulsing the earth, the gravel making place for me.  I wanted to be startled by theContinue reading “Indignant of Westminster”

For G & F

They say, of love, when alteration finds, it is not changed But by love, am I rearranged The pieces of me taken up, and built, anew But this time, being formed with you. And so, I give my form to thee That your form, mine, might also be. And of my joys, for evermore, IContinue reading “For G & F”


I watched the pelicans today Alone with stranger company. I watched them sleeping, in folded forms Like six strewn pillows, they lay On the rock in St James’ Park Where watchfulness did charge the air A ripple of wakefulness Skimmed through the company Limbs and wings and things were limbered; Unfolding, painfully, into the greyContinue reading “Pelican”


A novitiate, I scaled to reach The lab, a lofty, high building Invaded by light in illuminating shafts Exposing galaxies of scintillating dust Orbiting in gentle ellipses, The constellation of microscope observatories. Pages of pared down Picasso dove Line diagrams; distilled, drawn cells Deciphered, decoded, demystified My textbook recording the divined Cellular art, aligned, orderlyContinue reading “Wounds”

The first night

The evening of the first day Of newness, was it bright? After the stone-heavy coldness of death Had flooded with cavernous light? Were they, who’d slept in the garden, Willing the morning on? Wide-eyed for dawn, recounting the day That the statutes of death had gone. I’ve lost a loved one and slept Fitful, wakingContinue reading “The first night”

The Annunciation

Archangel, how do you move? Star-slinging, epoch gathering, Undreaming, dream-reading. Bearing the Eternal “Will you?” At what time of day, olamic angel Did you visit the One who in her “Yes” Would become Visitor to comfort the comfortless? Are your wings, Archangel As I imagine them, or as Fra Angelico? Heavy, unruly swans, tethered andContinue reading “The Annunciation”


This is my dawn; my morning offering. Early enough that the town lags behind me in its rising. My journey culminates somewhere in your consciousness. Had I met you yesterday, we would have been passers by. Now I hold you in my hands, young and unworthy, and you hold my attention. First put on theContinue reading “Dawn”

The Maelstrom

The wee boat is painfully simple But sure, it must have made light work  Of the pathways of the sea,  For here it is, blithe boat Afloat but how it’s powered,  Heaven knows.  In dreams I am never party to its passage I spy it after and only then, aft Poor stowaway of my own imagining.Continue reading “The Maelstrom”

After the Pipes

Don’t forget, but look at the piper, for there’s something loving in the way he cradles the music in his arms.  In much the same way as you would hold on to a baby.  He holds lightly to what I would cling to, and in the space where holder and held meets is made something new andContinue reading “After the Pipes”


Some handkerchiefs have always been yours; others are those that you have inherited, stolen or been given. Those given come with succour that seems to be weaved into the cloth.

Travels with my Kazoo

At the age of seven I decided what would be my life’s theme tune, and reminded myself of it 28 years later.

The walk in the gloaming

The gloaming is that time in the evening when the light is transforming. In certain places, like Kerry and Cuilleonaughtan and in Sweden in the Summer, the gloaming lasts long enough for a good long walk.


There, in the hand, a small bird Neatly crafted, complete But for one wing One wing in the making One bird in the hand of the Maker   The bird in the hand, a soft weight Warm with the lifeblood, Written, sketched, into being Being fleshed, dressed in down Each quill in the hand ofContinue reading “Purpose”

Give to Beauty what is Beauty

In The Golden Echo Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote “give beauty back to God”. When asked what beauty was, I couldn’t fit the Truth into my hands, and I’m afraid I let the moment pass.


This is revision 2 of this poem. I find myself trying to explain the noises and sensations of swimming at depths I couldn’t possibly know and wouldn’t survive. Dúlemán is a kind of seaweed, collected for food (and other uses). It never grows alone, as one strand, and is ever so fragile, and ever so strong.

Fall of Icarus

After Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, c.1555, Pieter Bruegel

The first station

If I write about someone that, whether they know or not, has altered the fabric of me, do I take something from them, is it selfish, or do I carry them, like the finest jewellery, or silver scar?

The Kicker

Two small donkeys, in a field of tattered things.

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