Tag Archives: poet

World Cupoetry 3 (Lionel Messi)

Lionel Messi

I saw him once at Camp Nou
playing for Barcelona against Girona
he looked..what’s the word…unprepossessing
like a clerk in a 1950’s black and white movie
with an office in the basement of a New York skyscraper
the one who tells the hero that the books don’t balance.

On the other hand

there was something otherworldly about him
it occurred to me
that he might be an extraterrestrial
a bit far-fetched I know
but for the first 15 minutes
he seemed detached
in the game but not in the game
the full back passed the ball to him
he passed it back
the full back passed the ball to him
he passed it back
then suddenly as if receiving a signal from somewhere
he passed the ball inside to the midfielder Busquets
took off on a diagonal run
took the return pass
laid the ball off to the striker, Suarez
took the return pass from Suarez
and then passed the ball with the inside of his foot into Girona’s goal.

It took a matter of seconds
It was poetry in motion

and ever since I’ve wondered
what signal did he get
what made him take off
did he sense some structural misalignment
in the opposing team’s defense
some lack of attention
was it a message from the mother ship
or was it just pure instinct
like a migratory bird
sensing the headwinds are just right
to start that journey south?

Hurricane Donald

Hurricane Donald

What mighty wind blows hard out of Mar-A-Lago
up-ending facts like trailers in a trailer park
ripping the roofs off reputations
revealing the gyrations in the bedrooms below
hailing down bombast and innuendo
on the corrugated tin of truth
a wind that makes Ian and Fiona
look like that nice Scottish couple across the road
(Is she Irish?), the ones you should invite over for dinner
or is it just a storm in a tumbler
is it just Donald raving
in the cocktail hour of his years.

Taking part in Open Link Weekend over at earthweal

PUNK

PUNK

Walking down Commercial
On a sunlit lunchtime
I see this guy talking to this girl –

She’s got tattoos, rings, black hair,
Blonde streaks – he is leaning forward
She is leaning back

And as I pass by, he says:” I have always thought
That punk and hip-hop have more in common
Than they have not.”

The peak of his baseball cap is flipped back
like he‘s caught in a wind tunnel.
Noise cancelling head phones circle his neck.

Is that an egg stain on his cardigan?
Did he play bass once in a band called Head Lice?
Or is he just another fan?

Who knows?
He looks disheveled, disinterred,
Pale as a Pogue*.

And I want to stop
And tell him
That I don’t know about hip hop

But I have always thought that punk
Is the sound
Of someone puking pints

Outside a pub at midnight
Without implying
That is necessarily a bad thing.

*Pale as a Pogue

I shared a plane once with The Pogues on a flight from Vancouver from Chicago . I got bumped up to business class (I was flying a lot at the time). The Pogues were also in business class, on the way to Vancouver for a gig. The year was 1991, I know this because Joe Strummer was with them and according to Wikipedia he joined the band for a short period in 1991 , Shane MacGowan had left due to drinking problems.

They were the palest, skinniest, sickest group of people I had ever seen. They looked like creatures who spent most of their time at the bottom of the ocean at a depth where the sun could not penetrate, or maybe they just got up late in the afternoon.

The only thing I remember from the trip is that Joe Strummer was ordering drinks as soon as the seat belt sign went off. Vodka and tonic was his drink of choice, I think. When the stewardess brought his first drink, she said:
“ I hope that’s not too strong for you, sir”
Joe replied: “Too strong? Too Strong?” and began to laugh hysterically and continued to laugh for quite some time. As the flight progressed he would turn every now and again to the other Pogues and shout “Too Strong?” and start laughing all over again. I guess he was taking the Shane MacGowan role seriously.

Graffiti Photo was taken in Getsemani, Cartagena, Colombia.

This poem was previously posted in Open Link Night over at dverse

Goodbye Boris, Goodbye Liz, Hello Rishi!

Goodbye Boris, Goodbye Liz, Hello Rishi!

I have to say
as an Irish person
how proud and honored I am
that the United Kingdom has appointed a prime minister
whose first name is an anagram of “Irish”;
I know we and the English have had our troubles in the past
Troubles with a capital T
(the Plantation of Ulster…don’t get me started)
but the English are subtle people
not given to public displays of emotion
and this gesture is quintessentially English in its subtlety
it’s as if they are saying thank you for Father Ted
it brings a tear to my eye
it takes the oatmeal biscuit
so “Hello Rishi”
as they say in Ireland
“buachaill inniu, fear amarach”
or loosely translated from the Gaelic
“I hope your politics change soon”.

Taking part in OpenLink over at dverse

Photo : statue of Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square, Dublin.

The Morning After

The Morning After

a forest fire haze turns the morning sun orange,
down in the Village square
dazed coffee drinkers nurse their hangovers
too many stayed too late at the Dublin Gate
here and there perky couples with dogs
take photos for their blogs,
jpegs spiral upwards into the cloud
which is not a cloud
it’s a bank of a billion hard drives
humming hard in flat roofed, air-conditioned buildings
somewhere I will always think of as Texas

no snow on the mountains
the glaciers have retreated
as if they’re afraid of something
leaving behind bare granite


over on the islands
there is talk of low water tables
and no water for the table

we fiddle while forests burn

Nero….. Nero has nothing on us.

This is a response to Lindi’s excellent challenge over at earthweal

Repartee

Repartee
Slim gets off the no.3 bus
at the corner of Hastings and Main
-the corner of Desperate and Lost-
having travelled east on the 99 express,
his nose stuck in the feral stink
of some guy’s armpit,
wishing, not for the first time,
that he was six inches taller.
A country lyric twangs in his head
something about “the losing side of town”.
He surveys the wreckage all around him:
a guy with a raw scabrous face
scratches frantically;
a bundle of rags twitches in a doorway;
people are scurrying back and forth
like they’ve received a message
from an alien dispatcher
that the mother ship has landed,
and they can’t find a toothbrush;
further on in a laneway that smells of piss
a man and a woman, both dressed in black
with sweating raddled faces
sway back and forth shouting:
Fuck you! No! Fuck you!
in a profane loop.

Repartee, Slim says,
to no one in particular,
what an unexpected bonus.

This poem first appeared in The Galway Review

Taking part in OpenLink over at dverse

Reverend Weeble (again)

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The Reverend George Weeble 

The Reverend George Weeble
liked to visit churches
in foreign lands,
his parishioners called him:
the steeplechaser.

When I’m old and feeble,
George Weeble said,
when I retire, George Weeble said,

I want to be
where the spires conspire
to show me the way.

The Beat Goes On But It’s A Different Beat

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(this is one from mid pandemic)

I think I made a mistake

baselines, fault lines , paradigm shifts
ignorance has been weaponized
what will we do, what will we do
when all the nouns are verbed?

I think I made a mistake
how is there still doubt in that sentence?
A man goes to a party
to get infected with a virus
in order to prove
that the virus is a hoax,
the man dies.
It’s hard not to be harsh.
Is this a new baseline,
a new low?
Is it an intelligence deficit?
Is it lack of education?
No, this is something different
this is a sea change
the beast has left Bethlehem
the malware has been activated
the human race has started to self-limit.
Whatever god, assembly of gods
or conglomerate of alien scientists
malevolent or benevolent
that designed this whole shebang
that opened this can of worms
has had enough
the malware has been activated
the fix is in
it’s past midnight and the eagle has flown
Aunt Mary is hanging out the washing
the human race has started to self-limit.

A man goes to a party
to get infected with a virus
in order to prove
that the virus is a hoax,
the man dies.

Sanaa over at dverse asks us to :

“For Today’s Poetics, I want you all to write in the style of the Beat Generation. Pour out the first thought, the first thing that comes to mind and let the words take you forward.

Feel free to write about darker (more under-rated) subjects. The aim here is to explore the “human condition,” and to write spontaneously. Shall we?”

I thought the above poem might fit.

(Thanks to Brendan over at earthweal for the original challenge: Observe shifting baselines in your world, in climate change, your nation’s governance, the pandemic. )

After The Queen’s Funeral

After the Queen’s Funeral


after 10 days of pomp, mourning
and celebrity tears


the evening news with alarming insouciance
reverts to reality

the high cost of bananas
the prices at the pump
the war in Ukraine
another climate change catastrophe

the door slams shut on a fairy tale world
of kings, queens, princes and princesses
palaces, country estates, horses, hounds, corgis

and armor that’s always shining.

Desire – what is it good for?

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Desire – what is it good for?

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
never attempt a ménage in a glass menagerie
there is nothing less erotic than a red wheelbarrow
a thing of beauty is a joy for a fortnight.

This poem was originally written as a response to Anmol Arora’s prompt – Poetics: Desire and Sexuality in Poetry,  at dverse 

photo taken in Sitges, Catalonia.

Also taking part in Open Link over at earthweal: earthweal

Skipping The Light Aphoristic

walk past the writing on the wall
look neither left nor right

*************
always whistle past a graveyard

*************

today is the first day
of the rest of your life
tomorrow is the next

*************

walk towards the noise
walk towards the noise

*************

neither a floater
nor a settler be

*************

to find the person of your dreams
you must first fall asleep

**************

if you’re feeling abysmal
pepto bismol will do nothing

**************

talk softly
don’t carry sticks of any size

**************

be all you can be
then try harder

***************

like a frog down a well
we only know the walls.

***************

to leave no footprint
we must fly and never land.

***************

never drink anything blue

***************

life is waiting for the other shoe

Taking part in Open Link over at dverse, where the prompt is Aphorisms

Todd and the Time Machine

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Todd and the Time Machine

I
Todd’s time machine
has three settings:
time was
time is
time will be.

II
Sometimes
the time travel sickness
hits him
like a five alarm flu.

III
Returning through the time hail,
through the accelerating centuries
he hears his wife yell
from the ever present
from the basement stairs:
I’m turning off that bloody time machine
your dinner’s getting cold!

This was originally written as a response to a  dVerse prompt “Time and What if”.

Pigeon (Anthropocene Poem)

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Pigeon

Early December,
downtown Vancouver
and it’s raining
more than the usual
cats and dogs,
it feels like the city
is trapped
in a giant car wash.

All year long the weather
has been acting like a child
that hasn’t been taught limits.

Three months of summer drought.

We woke up one morning
and white ash from forest fires
covered the deck,
and that evening down on the beach
we were treated to
a red ball sunset
worthy of Beijing or Mumbai.
The Indian guy in the coffee shop
told me it made him feel homesick.

Something’s happening to the frogs.

The Oregon spotted frog is Canada’s most threatened amphibian,
I saw that on TV program called
“Canada’s Most Threatened Amphibians”.
Also threatened is the northern leopard frog.

Sea stars have sea star wasting syndrome

We’re losing song birds, bats and bees

The world is an orchestra
and the string section is leaving
one by one.

Anthropocene
Anthropocene
Sixth Extinction,
soon there will only be us.

******
At the corner of Georgia and Granville
a pigeon waddles through a puddle
created by a blocked storm drain

and I’m thinking:
Who’d be a pigeon on a day like this?
Who’d be a pigeon at a time like this?

 

This poem originally appeared at dVerse and  earthweal