If you would rather listen to a couple of poems, check out the video of a reading here.


Some new work...


Recently appeared in the wonderful The New Frontier


The Cloud People

for my mother

 

I once thought clouds held cloud people,

with eyes of rain, bodies of solid vapour,

some souls of the dead, the others angels

treading softly across the cloud-heather,

 

but in the plane, my hand down the toilet

I cried when I grasped nothing in the hole,

and after a laughing fit, you spoke quietly

pointing at precipitation out the window,

 

all the evaporated continents of moisture,

stratus and astrostratus and cumulonimbus,

how the droplets coalesce under pressure,

to fall as rain or drift as the fog among us,

 

so I know this is the only world there is,

and I jog each day to live a little longer,

but the odd day, if I go running in mist,

I stare into the faces of passing joggers,

 

in case I pass some shadow of your face,

out of the blue, headed some other place.

 




Recently Appeared in Poetry Ireland...


Blume, Blume, Blume

 

Crowing on my shoulders Neasa gets the words wrong,

as the frogs on her bus go frog, frog, frog, the trees go                    

tree, tree, tree on the overgrown top deck of her song,

taking the back road to creche between dried daffodils

 

and an actual bus-driver leant on his bus for a smoke,         

as the layby hums with flies and the husks of roadkill,

where lockdown-addled drivers tip covid-tame rabbits                    

for a tanning by maggots among dandelions the yellow

 

of Neasa’s coat, a duckling yellow, and she surveys it,                    

the bus and pelts and flowers as she sings, sings, sings                    

her own name, what she does is her, as a rose is a rose,                   

at the reins of my hair, thrice-pulsing queen of spring.

.



From Pigeon Songs


Ice Bear Dreams

 

She is a cub again on the long swim south

treading in the dark wake of her mother.

Stars rain down, hissing out in the seawater.

 

 

Unending rutting. His claws pinch her,

so parched she jaws the powdery drift,

and watches steam plume from her lips.

 

 

Her footing slips at the foot of the cliff

She tumbles skywards past the rank nests

of kittiwakes and the screeching auklets.

 

 

Inside each beached whale there is a pit

where the bodies of her long-dead cubs

live peering between the blubbery ribs.

 

 

Her paws shrink to a seal’s black nubs.

She breathes water and is untouchable.

Bears lumber after her in the blue chill.

 

 

Bawling toothlessly she watches her kill

stripped by foxes down to the bare bones,

but cannot lift her paws up from the snow.

 

 

Horking beached blubber down her throat,

she hears the whale’s lungs. It’s soft breath

is indistinguishable from her mother’s breath.

 

 

The ice is gone. The males have stayed south

to sweat and brawl on the drylands forever,

and left her to mewl cubless on the gravel.

 

 

The moon burns the blizzard at eyelevel,

until the snow leaves her and the moon alone.

It’s skin is as warm as a teat against her nose.




From The Salt Harvest


Cockles


Take the orange meat into your muscled spaces.

Five years they filtered sewage on Morecambe flats,

nestled as dense as teeth against strong tidal scrapes,


counting the oilspills, until Yu Hui slapped his plank

and bore them up by griddle and craam in the early stars,

Yu Hui who ended in sand as wind blasted North off the map,


stilling the tubes of his cochleae cordis. Tear them apart,

boiled in cream and crushed with garlic on your sideplate,

alive oh, to feed the crusted bivalves of your heart.






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