Friday, September 22, 2017

Deck chairs

Deck chairs.

With years of experience
The waiter moved the chairs
Here and there upon the decks
All the better to observe the ice
That gleamed and glistened
Under the starry April sky
Of nineteen twelve. 

First class seats for first class folk
No space alas for deadbeats
Champagne glasses sparkled
And conversation wandered
To the weather in New York

A century later and no wiser
Still busy moving chairs. 
As for climate change -
Why give a care?
Why should we learn to panic
As the orchestra still plays
On the decks of the new Titanic? 

Weep not for me

Weep not for me

Weep not for me 
Oh daughters of Jerusalem
Sitting high in SUV's
With glasses riding high
On furrowed brows
Above the cheekbones
Applied with rouge and blusher. 

Weep for your children
Who will choke on diesel fumes 
Of needless cars on needless journeys
To school and gym
And in between 

Weep for the future
For it lies behind you 
In all the stuff you bought
And never wore 
For all the rotting food
Bought in the store

Without a care
For who had grown it
Or delivered it to your door. 
Weep now with salty tears
Of desperation while the tide
Flees your greedy shore. 

Consumed by greed
You ate tomorrow's dinner
Intended for your children
And wore next winters clothes in summer

All it takes is ten just women
To point us in the right direction
We who follow can turn around
Our hopeless plight. 

Perhaps it's not too late 
Perhaps the chiming clock
Has stayed its hand from midnight 
And grants us freshly minted minutes. 

We pray. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Every new dawn.

Every new dawn

Every new dawn never taken for granted.
And every sunrise surprises
The limpid sun on the Wexford shore
Makes me yearn for infinitely more. 

Another day is another gift
Of light and heat or rain and shower
Every noon a blessing
Every eve a turning home.  

A life of uneven halves

A life of  uneven halves. 

You're running, running up life's hill
It's hell for leather, going for a kill. 
One day soon you'll reach the summit
From now it's downhill, blast and damnit. 

You've been looking up, straining madly
To reach the goal you want so badly
And now you've got it, so now what?
With the rest of life that God forgot 

To tell you now the rules have changed
Better slow down or you'll be maimed
Or even worse, meet your end
A lot sooner that you might intend. 

Life's a game of unfair halves 
The first is fun, but the beach now shelves. 
A life for spending is now for hoarding
Stashing minutes in your wardrobe 

Filled with pills and prescribed potions
To extend a life now filled with caution
It's a long time since you read the ticket
It's one way mate, you can't exchange it. 

A bruised reed

A bruised reed 

A bruised reed he will not break
A smoldering wick he will not take
Kindness is his playing suit
His love and gentleness will take root

In this stony heart now moved to tears
It's just in silence that he hears 
And mercy flows in gentle streams 
And grace flows on silver moon beams.  

A French rose for an English girl

A French rose for an English girl

He kissed the ground
He kissed the air
He waved to strangers on the shore
There greeting him as he arrived
In Weymouth from Dunkirk 

The French arrived without their boots
From bloody fields in Normandy
Grateful to be saved
From death by tiny boats. 

My mother stood above the rail
And saw survivors climb to land
From baby ships that risked their lives
To pluck the French from German hands. 

But a girl of fourteen years
She still recalls as if last week
The soldier who threw this gift 
A bracelet that she holds today

A dainty silver rose, 
His precious chain, who knows
To an English girl in a Weymouth crowd
A Dorset rose today. 

Why do we kill those we do not know?
Why to stranger do we throw
Our dearest charm in life? 
To a young English girl who
Became my fathers wife. 

Quiet Quaker Meeting

Quiet Quaker Meeting

The meeting is slowly centring down
Sunday morning in leafy Monkstown
A silence fills the quiet void 
My eyes wander towards the tree outside
That frames the window in the sky

Sitting and waiting for the Spirit to whisper
At times it's wonderful but mostly it's littler 
But it's honest and equal and ever so caring
At times quite somber yet oft entertaining. 

We come here to worship
And pray without knowing
What effect it will have
On a world that is growing
Apart every day. 

Whatever about prayers 
At times  actions speak louder
Is it the social justice
Of which we are prouder?

With an eye for the poor,
The distressed and the maimed
With a passion for causes
That receive no acclaim. 
But humble and worthy 
All the same. 

Then comes the coffee
The tea and the chat
The friendly smile 
And occasional pat. 

With always an eye
For those who are absent
Though illness or old age
It's uncommonly decent. 

Slowly the room drains
All that remains
Is the sudsy wash up
By the regular crew 
Always the reliable few. 

Come to me you who washed and dried
You who catered and you who served
The coffee and the tea 
For in feeding them
You were feeding me.