Tag Archives: Photography

Toad at the Gates of Doom (poem)

IMG_1316

 

Toad at the Gates of Doom

Outside the Gates of Hades
sits a cross-eyed toad
beside a burnt-out serpent
a broker and a phone

Outside the Gates of Heaven
sits an angel in disguise
beside an incontinent bishop
with ecstasy in his eyes

and the sign on the gate says:

Closed for Renovation
no judgement today
if you’re looking for accommodation
clear off, go away.

God is on vacation
taking a well-earned break
there’s only so much suffering
one true God can take

So, get your ass back down there
be good to everyone
drink lots of water
and try to get along.

 

(This poem came about because, for a brief period, I was listening to prog metal. Brief because, like all things prog, the talent rarely matches the ambition, the concepts. Pink Floyd were a progressive band but they were successful because they could write songs and had one of the best lyricists in rock, the concepts were secondary. Prog metal players, from what I can tell , are accomplished musicians – the guitarists can play at incredible speeds and the drummers sound like they are descended from the octopus but the lyrics are banal at best and the melodies vestigial. The album titles, though, are always interesting and that’s where this poem started – I was playing around with making up titles for prog metal concept albums…the poem evolved from there.)

Taking part in Open Link Night over at dVerse.

Don’t Play in the Traffic (again)

IMG_0508 (2)

 

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.

 

IMG_0535 (2)

I’ve posted this one twice before, but I kind of like it. Participating in Open Link Night at dverse.

Deep Fried Road Kill ( the sequel to High Plains Sushi)

IMG_0080 (2)

 

Deep Fried Road Kill (a dizain)

Audrey, the lank-haired waitress, scans the bar,
sees Charlie nursing his long empty glass
“Hey you”, she yells, “get your ass outta here”
“Just my ass?” Charlie asks, to loud applause ;
deep fried road kill, okra, potato mash
warm under a heat lamp, he’s feeling ill;
he nods at his miner friends- Pit Fall Phil,
Old Arsenic, Rock Face, Busted Lung Lou –
in the holy glow of the pool table
they’ve still got that subterranean hue.

Yes, just when you thought it was safe to open your WordPress Reader…..the sequel to High Plains Sushi!  

The form used is a dizain, 10 lines , 10 syllables per line, rhyme scheme..ababbccdcd…For a more detailed discussion of the form, see Frank Hubeny’s excellent post over at dVerse.

Issue #15 Vapid Magazine (where shallow runs deep)

Pigments (2)

In this issue:

Our film critic reviews the latest summer blockbuster, “Planet of the Buffoons” , starring Boris (Bozo Bear) Johnson and Donald (Agent Orange) Trump and featuring Vladimir Putin as The Wily Sidekick. 

 

IMG_0167

In our Business Section:

The value of  intelligence, logic and compassion continues to drop on the HTSE ( Human Traits Stock Exchange), while greed and self- interest continue their meteoric rise. Regular readers of this magazine will be happy to hear that vapidity continues to be a solid earner and an essential component of any balanced portfolio.

 

IMG_0168

 

Speaking of the Environment:

We examine a theory popular among members of the Republican Party, and anyone connected to the oil industry, that when the polar ice caps melt, polar bears will be able to survive on an almost infinite supply of the polar berries that will thrive on the newly exposed land. This new diet will actually be healthier than their previous protein based diet. 

*******

Vapid Magazine – where shallow runs deep.

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking as the Moon

IMG_1274 (2)

 

The challenge from Sarah over at dVerse is to write a piece of prosery, of flash fiction (limit 144 words) incorporating the phrase “I dreamt I was the moon” from a poem by Alice Oswald.
So here goes:

Speaking as the Moon

I dreamt I was the moon, a cheddar searchlight in the sky waiting for the arrival of man with his small steps and giant leaps, his garbage can machines, his religion, his culture, his competing ideologies, his self-aggrandizements, his bragging rights, his racism, his greed, his pomposity, his self-importance, his astronauts named “Buzz”. I tell you, colonization never works out for the colonized. Speaking as the moon, I have no desire to be turned into a destination for space tourists or a land fill or, more accurately, a moon fill, then to be compensated, to be re-moonerated (a bit of lunar humour) some hundred years later by some conscience-stricken liberal prime minister of Canada. They say that nature abhors a vacuum, well, speaking as the moon, I can handle a vacuum quite nicely, it’s vacuity, I abhor.

Haiku written in response to a comment by the incomparable Steve Simpson.

IMG_1333 (2)

Haiku written in response to a comment by the incomparable Steve Simpson.

it’s summer here, Steve
keeping the syllable count
as low as I can.

 

(see Steve’s comment here )

( if you are not following Steve’s blog, you should be, he’s one of the most original poets out there!)

Fracking Song

IMG_1319

Fracking Song

You’re standing on the corner
Watching the trucks roll past
Pumping out their diesel fumes
Pumping out that carbon gas

And it’s the middle of winter
And it’s twenty below
And that gas just sits there
With nowhere to go

There’s something wrong in the valley
Babies stillborn
Ten in one year
And they call that the norm

There’s something wrong in the valley
Poison in the ground
Something wrong in the valley
Since the frackers came to town.

 

The challenge over at dVerse is to write a poem consisting of 4 quatrains. This is a song lyric adapted to that form.

 

A Ghazal about Everlasting Love (and a rabbit)

Frog and cat

 

A Ghazal about Everlasting Love (and a rabbit)

like that rabbit on TV
our love will last

you know, the pink one with the drum
(our love will last)

and the dark sunglasses
(our love will last)

who sometimes hits a wall
(our love will last)

and sometimes stalls
(our love will last)

but he keeps banging that drum
(our love will last)

the rabbit keeps banging the drum
(our love will last)

but unlike our love
alkaline batteries are not everlasting

and eventually the rabbit falls
breathes his last

and we need another simile
one that lasts

like plastic in a landfill
our love will last

like craters on the moon
our love will last

like the power of the sun
our love will last

like the winds out on the ocean
our love will last.

 

In my previous ghazal , “Bucket List” I vowed to write a ghazal about everlasting love for the dVerse ghazal challenge. So there you have it, my first love poem, a big challenge – I’m the kind of person whose usual response to the words “I love you” is “right back at ya”.

Landline (for Dad)

IMG_0129 (3)

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.

 

Stock Market (a tanka)

Umbrage (2)

 

Stock Market

a bear is on the loose
the once priapic market
losing altitude

false hopes and false dreams for sale
nothing tangible.

 

This is response to the dVerse prompt to write about markets. It’s a haiku that I have upgraded (?) to a tanka, check out the poetry over at dVerse, some excellent market poems.

The photo is of an actual market in Sicily.

 

 

Walk (Dublin 2016)…poem

IMG_0412

 

Walk (Dublin 2016)

In Iveagh gardens an exhibition promises:
Contemporary sculpture based on
Non-monumental ideas of the uncanny.
This phrase sticks like chewing gum
To the bedpost of my mind
As I walk through Stephen’s Green,
Replacing: One then offers the cat up to the aperture
Which, according to my brother,
Is the ultimate step in programming
One’s automatic cat door to accept
One’s micro-chipped cat.
Outside the Shelbourne Hotel
Tourists wearing horned helmets
Board a Viking ship on wheels.
I am in search of a pub sandwich
Two slices of white bread, ham, cheese ,
Toasted in a cellophane pack
Small jar of mustard on the side
Served with Guinness
In a quiet pub where I can sit
And think non monumental thoughts
And where the barman asks me
As we watch Lionel Messi
float past three transfixed defenders
Is he the best ever?
And I am surprised not at the question
But at the deference.

The challenge from Anmol over at dverse, is to write a poem on the subject of walking and observing. This poem was written after a trip back to my home town of Dublin. Walking around one’s home town is not so much about looking for the new as it is about re-discovering the past; it’s more about the memories that the place holds rather than the physical aspect of the place. It’s also about trying to recover a feeling or an experience from the past.

The photo is of Dublin from Sandymount Strand, and of course, Joyce’s “snot-green, scrotum-tightening sea”.

(The poem appeared previously in the Galway Review)