We have contact

 “Are we living in end times? … Either way, it is hard not to feel that we are being shown a glimpse of a future to which we should expect to become accustomed. And when the world around you is physically changing, it is almost impossible for your perspective not to change with it… It may be tempting to put…

Witchman

a poem from quite a few years ago, inspired by the sight of an aged driver advancing carefully along a motorway, a long, irate tailback in his wake Witchman Witchman, wrapped around leather, staring through glass, blasted eyes, bloodshot translucent skin. Fingers like knots of gristle and rock, stuck in time, modernity raging at his back, hook nose and jagged…

Open

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul. Pablo Neruda It’s Halloween! Feeling spooky? Feeling scared? Looking over your shoulder? Cowering in the dark? Dressing up or dressing down? We have always celebrated Halloween here in Ireland and I have liked the associated festivities ever since I was a…

Taking Care

Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise (Daniel 12:1) In a crisis, I look to myself. It is rarely my first instinct to seek help or counsel elsewhere. I partly do this because I have a certain amount of faith in my own resources, and I partly do it because I possibly have less faith in…

Six Days to the Gallows

Six Days to the Gallows On the first day I was walking and you marvelled at my feet. Every step I took was a miracle, tiny but complete. I raced around the bedroom and the air was filled with noise, Twenty-eight pounds of sunshine wrapped up in a smiling boy. On the second day I was talking and the words…

On your marks

I had hoped not to end up writing about the pandemic, but like the damn thing itself, it has become unavoidable. Apart from those whose occupations entail meeting the Coronavirus head on, life is being lived in low gear and in a minor key. We are in a permanent state of crouch, feeling the weight of shared anxiety and uncertainty,…

The Institution, or Sometimes You Don’t Know You’re Being Held

The Institution, or Sometimes You Don’t Know You’re Being Held It is a symbiosis, this thing. This mad, lifelong, love affair that has raged across the shores of time; that has as often been tempest as drought. That has somehow kept out elements of undoing, of easy leaving. A force that has not been quelled, but has given and shared…

The Return

We stand on the old stone bridge looking down at the river flowing from the mountains to the sea. The water is brilliantly clear, gushing and bubbling over the rocks and pebbles and silt with effortless onward movement. We stare patiently at the darker water that pools by either riverbank under the shade of the overhanging trees, hoping that we…

Closer

Closer When will it be that she sees the shock of the old? When will she stop in her tracks, stop her breath, and take charge of my feelings, so that I’m not hurt by more than the passing of time? No time soon.   She marauds over me like terrain to be conquered. My arms are limbs to swing…

Convince us!

“Every man who says frankly and fully what he thinks is so far doing a public service. We should be grateful to him for attacking most unsparingly our most cherished opinions.” – John Stuart Mill, On Liberty   Does anybody stand for anything anymore? Or more accurately, does anybody stand for something that might be recognised as a moral vision…