The smiley tea-man nods his head as
Halfway-hikers seek respite,
Ranging routes all converging on a shack which disappears
Once or twice a day.
Clouds drifting like the travellers who dot the winding road.
Where to next?
The seat over there. An overgrown stump, camouflaged
By the vitality of life that passes it by.
Stagnancy  does not flourish here, nor does it in any corner of the world.
It stays in that corner forever.

My first pale journey up the mountain –
Infant. Frail. Afraid.
An intensity of fear so strong it seemed to blank itself out.
What is fear but indulging in anxieties?
That’s not permitted anymore.
I proceeded.
Nearing the edge as each corner turned,
Opposing sides vying for attention,
As boastful views expose themselves with each teetering swerve.
Each knot in the roots now familiar,
Instead of tripping up, I traverse the forest in the dark.

Fresh air filters through conditioned machines,
As the eerie echoes and tinkling temples transform
To multilingual departure announcments.
Every place inspires, if you let it.
Every city moves , if you move with it.
Colourful arrays of everyday outfits
Compliment the hues of skies always there,
Yet all too often hidden in smog.

A soundtrack of ignition and impatient exchanges
Piercing horns and firey lights stimulate and simmer deep,
They say to climb mountains -here we summit volcanoes.
The untrustworthy hills.
The ones who can’t take the heat.
Still we climb. Still we seek.
To see the sunrise from another peak.
The journey down proves a more arduous ordeal,
Yet comfort means you know,
You can always see the sunrise still,
Even from way down low.

‘My Super Sweet’ 1916

“My Super Sweet 1916”

A game of ‘who doth dare
To step upon streets guns have hounded,
Never have I felt
More isolated yet surrounded.

Language. Country. My own self;
It all froze on the line.
Irish girl in Ho Chi Minh’;
A headline of our Times;

Drawing stares and looks as pale skin
Took aback a driver,
Walking out, her independence
Bursting from inside her.

An extra vehicle with feet
And legs instead of wheels,
We steered away and took our land
Through crossfires and fields

From those who didn’t understand;
Confused, misheard inflections,
A language provides insight,
Understanding, and connection.

It’s within all our chemistry;
To share and seek direction,
But whatever way you look at it;
No leader sells perfection.

Without precursors, bloodtests, or a
Steady flow of income,
The land we sought, remained the same
Held us, as we held ransom.

But a bullet’s only bloody
if it reaches where it’s aimed,
And Sunday may be sunny still
if we just played the game,

Click’ and ‘click’, those fifty years
Passed by in echoed rounds,
Another decade, maybe five,
Made heroes of the hounds

A template for the ‘work-from-home
Convenience of now,
Potential seen as fact and not
The questionable ‘how’?

Determined as the vehicles
That race East Asian roads,
Our little country rebuilt what
A constant fear erodes.

Rationing what few reserves
Remained; ‘ár lá, ár saoirse’,
As hope became a daily bread
We preserved faith and reason

Grand old Dukes and Earls and Leaders
Marched their men to fight,
While clerks and tailors crossed-out tactics
Threefold overnight;

A world within a paling land,
A word replaced- a meaning;
Names of those we lost are still
Proclaimed on banners streaming.

One hundred years,
One hundred anniversaries of might;
One hundred times,
One might have bowed to gold way out of sight,

And as for me, I’m just relieved,
I’ve reached the other side;
My language and my country
Safe, to spread further our pride.

I Saw A Selection Box in Tesco Today

We’re in the late afternoon of the year,
Rush hour is greying,
The sun’s rays paling like the ever more frequent stray hairs my Mum used to Have me remove;
An insult to some,
But in this season they give way to truer hues.

Even if the frost comes early;
Ski-socks over leggings and my grandmother’s knitting needles working overtime.

Even if the locks become locked in place,
Intermittent as they are in silent segregation of the canal;
Slippery gateways to the other side.

Even if the cold bites hard,
Eating away at the flesh of a forgotten glove;
A harsh reminder that our bodies are not in fact made of steel.

Even if the streets hum with the deafness and subtlety of
The beginnings of a bushfire,
Black ice creeping it’s lethal way under the wheels of shivering passengers.

Even with this, I know for sure;

It won’t be as cold as it was last Winter.

I Didn’t Get A Picture of the Sea Today…

I didn’t get a picture of the sea today,
The late Autumn afternoon sun
Glistening on the ridges of the jetstream

 Reluctant to commit any more lines to memory,
Just in case they’d escape me at the source of a pen.

 I didn’t get a picture of the sea today,
You’ll just have to take my word,
That the child who’s footprints I followed

Around the rocks as they chased a small dog
Saw the sun higher in the sky than I ever remember it.

 I didn’t get a picture of the sea today,
The tenants of thoughts in my head
Refusing to set a timer on the tide of nature’s madness

Finding balance in knowing herself,
Listening to her own ebb and flow and accepting depletion.

 I didn’t get a picture of the sea today,
My strength now contesting that of it’s depth,
A lesson in the way things are and haven’t always been

Meeting the lack of sense with a stubborn persistence
That takes sailors and travellers alike from A to Z.

 I didn’t take a picture of the sea today,
For I have taken enough in my time,
Used and abused the kindest of hands and offers of affection

 My duty now being to give and provide;
Return what’s been lost and salvage what never was let be.