A Sampler of Work in Progress ~ Poems From Ireland


At St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, Ireland

24 August 2017


On the funerary cover, drapery

shining black and beautiful,

centuries of parishioners have yielded to its tactile seduction

and left a polished ghost of their passing caresses.


Flesh and bones consumed by decades ticking on,

century yielding to millennia,

and none of these lords and their few ladies

noticing at all.


My hand trails the looping folds of medieval Irish limestone,

polished deep perfect black,

a shade thinner, more black now than before I came.


And I, too, am a shade thinner,

a microscopic layer of fingertips left on this lady’s robe

clothing her eternity,

not mine yet.







Ghost Along the Tracks


Rough-cut stones ragged in roofless granite walls,

piled up, heaped on what was once the floor


Where windows were,

still perfect rectangles of the mason’s craft look in


The room once low-roofed, dark, enclosed,

illuminated now by refractive rolling mist,

every standing stone silvered in waves


amidst the grasses, lupines, wild barley, verbena

rowan-ash rosy blooming reclaim their place

nourished by grounded clouds





A fret of rain


A fret of rain

awakens the morning

mist shimmers

passes, wheels back,

until for a quarter hour it lifts

to show the edges of clouds





St Mullins


high above the river, the stone walls, the belfry,

condominium-ed nests crowd higher in flapping air

noisy thousands bank, wheel, shift to port then starboard, circle furiously


dusk meeting of the parliament of crows






Sycamore, Trinity College Dublin


sycamore leaves as big as my face

falling all over themselves

yellow ochre, umber,

still traces of red in the veins

summer’s green striped at the edges

a tweed carpet of leftovers




raven on pine branch

feathers soon pecked clean, groomed, ruffled


shadow pantomime





cry in grieving trees

eases a sorrowing heart

Tipperary crow




In the monarch butterfly home ground

women jump out of the car, wave scarves and sweater sleeves

coax a path through the fluttering

swarms of libidinous butterflies