Category Archives: Photography

Landline (for Dad)

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Landline (for Dad)

Sometimes, I think
I should text my dad
give him an update
tell him where I’m at.
Not that he would answer
he’s been gone a few years now
and even if he were alive
texting would hardly be his thing;
at the turn of the century
he was still approaching
what we now call a ‘landline’
with some trepidation.

Landline: a rope
uncoiling towards the shore.

He once told me
that when we have children
of our own
we begin to understand
our own parents better
so I think my text
would be an attempt
to let him know
that, yes, dad
I have found this
to be true.

 

Samantha Bee (a delayed reaction)

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A flashback to pre-history when I first started drinking in pubs………

It’s closing time, Saturday night, Dublin, the rest of the evening is stirring like a patient emerging from a coma (sorry, T.S) . I’ve had a few pints and got a nice buzz going but now I’m standing in the men’s washroom (toilet, bog, jacks) staring at the white tiled wall trying hard not to make eye contact with the guy beside me whose eyes are drilling into the side of my head. I eventually cave in, turn and look into his bloodshot eyes….”what are you looking at, cunt?” ….he slurs. He’s pissed, langered, hammered, plastered, three sheets to the wind and he’s angry. Why is he angry? Could be he doesn’t like the length of my hair, could be he recognises that I’m a student and considers me a member of the elite whereas he is a member of the noble working class who earn their daily bread with their hands (although, back then, the word “elite” was not typically used to describe educated people with liberal views, it was more likely to be a found on a box of chocolates – Cadbury’s Elite, save the soft centers for your mom) but mostly he’s angry because he’s a miserable cunt and the ten pints he’s consumed over the course of the evening hasn’t made him any less miserable.

So when I hear Samantha Bee call Ivanka Trump a “feckless cunt”, I think of closing time, urinals, drunks and I wonder, how in Trump’s name, did the level of discourse get this low.

 

Dog in a Tartan Skirt (Edit)

 

Dog in a Tartan Skirt 

There’s a dog wearing a tartan skirt
outside the window of Starbuck’s;
a tartan skirt, a belt, and a knitted white sweater.
Its little dog legs are moving frantically
on the wet pavement,
while across the slick road
and the sodden green park
the ocean sits
like a slab of lead
having clearly decided
to take some time off,
no crashing on the shore today.
South of the border
America blunders around
trying to remember
where it parked
that big ass car
that everyone admired
and envied.
The people look to God
but God, once again,
is moving in mysterious ways
and I, for one, wish He would knock it off,
enough already with the mystery
could He not for once in His eternal life,
clarify something?
I mean, for fuck sake,
there’s a dog wearing a tartan skirt
outside the window of Starbuck’s.

Weekly Photo Challenge (Sunrise on Planet Cistern)

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Sunrise on Planet Cistern

The weekly photo challenge is closing down for some reason, so the final theme is “all time favourite photos”. I am not a photographer by any means, I just take photos to decorate my poetry blog, but this one amuses me no end. I have sliced and diced it and used in a number of posts.

Now for the first time I will reveal its secret. The windows in our upstairs bathroom face south and in the late evening the sun shines through the  side windows and the glass shower doors and creates rainbow patterns on the walls. This particular pattern turned up behind the toilet cistern in the angle between the walls. I zoomed in as close as I could with my iPhone, took the photo then rotated it. The curved surface at the bottom is actually the shadow of the cistern.

Equipment used : iPhone, Kohler 6 litre (per flush) cistern.

 

 

 

Five Miles Outside of Austin (Rhymes and Tropes)

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Listening to alt country on Spotify I begin to wonder….

who are all these country boys
with their cowboy hats, pickup trucks and beards
staring clint-eyed into the mythical distance
listening for the call of who knows what
a phantom cattle drive, perhaps,
anything at all to git them
back on the road again;
and who are all these country girls
left behind or waiting
and why the hell do they care
about these feckless drifters
who love their whiskey
as much as they dread commitment
and why does all this happen in Texas?

rhymes and tropes, folks
rhymes and tropes

and slowly through
a Spotify fog
a Spotify trance
in the distance
a song emerges…..

Five Miles Outside of Austin

I’m five miles outside of Austin
with a pounding in my head
full of yesterday’s whiskey
and wishing I was dead

I left a girl back there sleeping
as dawn began to break
I gave her all that I could give
and I took all I could take

and I wish I had done better
that I hadn’t stayed so long
now I’m five miles outside of Austin
and I’m stuck inside this song.

Five miles outside of Austin
and I’m stuck inside this song.

II
Down the road, a girl is waiting,
drinking beer and playing pool
waiting for deliverance
waiting for another fool

and I’ll dust the road off of my coat
and walk through that door
she’ll say “howdy stranger,
I ain’t seen you before”

but now my head is beating like a bass drum
there’s stubble on my tongue
I’m five miles outside of Austin
and I’m stuck inside this song

Five miles outside of Austin
and I’m stuck inside this song.

 

Photo (by Marie Feeney) of Lukas Nelson and Neil Young at Desert Trip

 

Don’t Play in the Traffic

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Don’t Play in the Traffic

they met on a zebra crossing
it was a pedestrian affair
she had an air of competence
he…just had an air
they went downhill from there
to her house
in the middle of a roundabout
near the station
one morning they looked out
and the cars had changed rotation
the clouds were tinged
with a tawdry shade of orange
the sky was diffident
the sun judgmental
things would not be the same
would not be the same again.

 

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Tender is the Night

In New Orleans at the moment, I hadn’t realized that there was actually a streetcar named Desire, on Royal Street. So I decided to re- post this one. 

Tender is the Night 

tender is the night
long is the day’s journey into night
it’s easier to name a street car
than it is to name one’s desire
managing a glass menagerie
is hard, harder than one imagines.

 

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Short Unsolicited Advice on Writing Poetry

via Daily Prompt: Observe 

Short Unsolicited Advice on Writing Poetry

write long poems on short days
short poems on long days
you don’t need a drummer
but you do need rhythm
avoid melodrama
your head cannot explode all the time,
there is uncharted territory
between ecstasy and despair
look after your images
they should splash like cold water
on the reader’s face
observe, always observe.

 

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Dog Days

via Daily Prompt: Cur 

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Dog Days

Oscar’s wife, Anka,
declared:
we need to procure
a guard dog
to make our home secure,
a real dog
not some mangy cur
some obscure miniature
some saliva dripping
skinny impostor
looking for a sinecure
a dog that barks
at every knock on the door
and when, Oscar asked,
should this occur?
Yesterday, she said,
or before.

 

Photo taken at the Takashi Murakami exhibition (The octopus eats its own leg) at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

I Often ask Myself the Question ( James Comey and other imponderables)

 

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I often ask myself the question:
Is James Comey a bit of a wanker
a self-aggrandizing prima donna
who only looks honourable
when compared to Donald Trump?
I often ask myself that question.

2

I often ask myself the question:
can a man
mansplain to a man
or can a man
only mansplain
to a woman, and if so
if one explains something
in a condescending manner
to a member
of one’s own gender
is one, in effect,
cisplaining?
I often ask myself that question.

 

Why did Yeats need Nine Bean Rows? (update with photos)

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee

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Why did Yeats need Nine Bean Rows? (a slimverse)

he could have

had five to

rhyme with hive

contrived? Wha?

 

What brought this on?

A friend of mine told me recently that he had no recollection of studying Yeats at school. When he said this, the above lines from The Lake Isle of Inisfree, sprang in to my head along with “clay and wattles made” and “bee-loud glade” and of course  the opening line “I will arise and go now, and go to Inisfree” which I have heard  so often that it has now taken on an orotund, stage Irish plumminess.

Our  English teacher, Mr Courtney, loved that “bee-loud glade”.

(of course, nine, bean, honey is more musical)