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Friday, 8 November 2013

                       BLUES POME'S
'yet why not say what  happened'                                                                                               Robert Lowell


I don’t wish for anything, all I wish for
                             Is truth, the sea is the mirror in me.
All I have is the touch of humanity
                            And these pure words that will make you care.
I hope they can make you stop in sensuality
                                        And they will make you stop in motion to stare.
My life does not have the guide of sexuality
                                         That will make me rise up to flare.
I can’t walk and can’t talk or see me re-
                               Flected back at me in a mirror.
Looking back at me in a flash-back terror
                                     Looking back at me looking back at the door.
I enter this life by the side or the back
                            Only to look right down, down at the floor.
I am not coming at life from the front
                               To make you sit up and glare at my dis-
Ability and know that life isn’t fair.
                                The love of my children pulled me from
The brink to live in this lonely despair.
                              The love in these pomes come out of you three
The eye within the I gazing back at me
                                    Reflecting care in you stare.

A pome within a pome
Keeps on forming
a form.  A line with-
in a line going back
like waves on the
The ocean of
Words lapping
My shore, an


The man in grey
Stands each day
Giving pomes his

A cripple stippled
In dark matter, re-
Citing silence to 

Sway up there in
Life in death making

This his every day.


Can’t see the wood for the kitchen roll
Beyond my window, the fence, the burst
Of leaves, branching out, filling the holes
Of yesterday. There will always be the gaps
Of today catching life in motion like a screen-
Test, an audition of the way. Blue and green
Full of sun, a flash-back of another summers
Day. People stroll the promenades, the sun
Dips down in early May giving everything a-
Way. A boy and girl smiles to see such fun
And the sun rises into a moon. This is just
A stream of pulp that started to wipe away
My flow that goes out the window and soaks
Up my say. Today is just another day.


‘She said she didn’t want a mute limp man
What was I doing on yahoo’? I know it’s not
Nice and it disrespectful but when you boil
it down it’s true.  What am I to do, to meet
Some-one, scammers and dis-respectful cam-
Mers the net is a mine-field of snares but I’ve
Got to take the smooth with the rough.  Some-
Times the truth is hard to swallow, tough.

I wanted to write of the sun and the rain but
This insult stuck in my head, ignorance is out
There in the sun and the rain, no one said life
Was an easy game.  The wheelchair one is
A hard road this one is my abode so I’ll have
To take these knocks on the chin within and
Learn to fight another day until I have my own
One-way that’s deep wide tender and blue.

The sun and the rain
Are out today, playing

A balancing tune.



‘A fusillade of question marks’
Ciaran Carson

This isn’t my Belfast confetti
Stuttered out by a grafted tongue.
This is just my utterance of lang-
Uage my peace-meal in the sun.
This is my Easter rising, my par-
Ade of words to bang on my drum.
I’m not tripping over myself, these
Aren’t the words of a gun, this is
My green white and blue Easter
Lily, write now there’s no war to
Be won. This isn’t grammatically
Or politically correct but at least
It’s the voice of truth my utter-
Ance to bask in the sun.
A spider outside my window
Is crawling along the sky.
This is a pome that’s dawning
Inside my watery eye. The rain-
Drops they keep falling, half in
Light half in dark, these are
The words of my calling
Giving me the reason why.


I dreamt last night, I was

Hung like a donkey, woke

Up holding a blue leg-lifter

Attached to my foot. My

Carers remembered the night

I literally wore the wardrobe.

It fell upon my head my wheel-

Chair, imagine watching T.V.

With a wardrobe on your head.


I feel tremors of phnew-
Matic drill rising to
My brain, I’m being ex-
Cavated.  The nurse calls
To take blood, ive got deep
Vein tromboses.  It feels as
If the drill is digging for
The vein, I’m being slabbed
Dug up to path my paralysed
Way, to cover over wonder.


Why cant we see if coming
Or going.  Life is just a glimpse
Of photo-genics, like some-
Thing splintered from the back-
Bone of life, a dust particle in
The film of your eye.  Watching
A gull glide through grey, un-
Flapping its wings, wow I wish
I could get that high on the thermals
Of do and don’t down here but
Im going nowhere tomorrow to
See that gull fly by, reflected in
A watery eye.  Its just the trans-
Sition of light and dark that keeps
That bird flying by through grey.

Ive fossilised the sky and thats where
Im going tomorrow, there it goes
Again re-cycled.


What the fucks good a-
Bout good Friday, weve
Got sunshine and blue
Sky green in the leaves.
People are strimming
The long grass of winter.
Do we need someone to
Control our cycle, some-
One that walked the earth
Two thousand years ago.

To feel the sun on your
Back, to know that it is



‘Darkness within darkness’

Tao Te Ching

Dark matter has lived in my psyche

It’s the side that never had a say so

I ran away aged sixteen to London.

One day I found the poetry within

Me, it all clumped together like

The words of the Tao Te Ching, ‘dark-

Ness within darkness’, I was hype-

Notised by the galaxy of words.

All my childhood I was living my fathers

Lie, held down by the state that was con-

Trolled by the church and my father’s dreams.

We still exist in a sentimental bubble,

The church bells should be rejoicing that

We’ve seen the dark the truth the way
Life was just a womb dream before that.

Since I tasted death during my stroke
It has left a residue of dark matter within
And I see it in the light every-day I awaken
it clumps together and gives me hope. 
These words are dark on the clean white page
Memories I thought erased, 45 years just stroked 
Away but that memory is within me. I thought for-
Gotten forever until dark matter brought them
Out to decorate this page. The truth is in there
Dark matter can give us true peace for our little
Corner of the world and give the world
True humanity. Even in my brutal honesty
Even if these words kill me, I am living no-
More-lies, my words are my truth.


The mind has to tick -tock
To tock-tick memory, awaken
The past to become the present.
A time and place back then be-
Comes when, what, where, why.
We take the past into the present
And it becomes gift wrapped
Like our present day.
A moment in time you thought
You had forgotten, this day
Will last forever.
It has been almost ten years
Of torn time, like an advent
Calender throwing up sur-
Prizes. The day’s months
Weeks and years torn re-
Vealing my lucky thirteen
A day, a rip-off of drugs
That used to get me high
Now only get me through.
The trees are beginning to bud
Thank fuck! It wasn’t a bleak
Winter but it was a bare one.
Time dragged like a blunt saw
Through sap, I thought the trees
Were a cardboard cut-out. Only
the autumn setting sun gave us colour-
ful delight turning grey to dusky pink
in the water of my eyes, reflected like
Waves lapping my shore, I see in my
Mind going down below my horizon.


The world outside my window
Beyond my fenced-in state, be-
Yond a religious sectarian divide.
Away far off behind the men be-
Hind the wire and the 1916
Chosen few. The men who fought
And died for Ireland, merged in
Peace both green and blue.

Here within the circle, the headstones
Of the past. Beyond the rivers that run
With blood, within a new-grange cast
That spirals out for everyone. A pagan
Christian land of hope that en-circles
Us in stone. This is the real blue-stone
The circle within a circle that heals
The hurt filled last and brings us all
Together into a cast of blood and bone.

A symbol that calls on the dying done
This is the healing bluestone of each
And everyone. All this is seen through
A window where birds fly in the sun.

An amulet of life.

For Chona

Imagine, I’m just out of bed
And I want to go back to sleep.
I know life is joyous but where
Is life, all I feel is the waves from?
This pen. 

I create my own world in this home
Celled hell.  My life just came through
The door delivered in a pharmaceutical
Bag, it rests at my Achilles heel.

I don’t want to end my life
And give it all away but
I have to live in truth,
This is my only way
For me to have my say.

Its sad I know but truth
I know is a bitter pill,
I must face that truth
To know these words
Will flow.  There is no

Rhyme or reason why
I survived this stroke
I only know that in
These words they are
Keeping me a-float.

Within a south china sea
Where memory buries
Me in sand by a cabin
By the shore.



1971-75 they were the real punk
Years long before punk, the years
Of sea change within, my coming
And going of age, con-fusion.
Those were the days of being an
Englishman put out of your home
under an English flag and it
Burnt to the ground with a street
Of homes, living a tri-coloured life
Being dragged through a hedge back-
wards to save you from a gun-battle
only to see your sister’s boyfriend
shot in the head, to see people shot
on the streets and a murderer hail it
‘for god and for Ulster’.  Your Mother
father and sister arrested and jailed,
wanting to join up and kill the world
but your to young.  Going on the run
with your dad, wondering what your
running from, seeing the world
through Patrick Kavanaghs eyes.


A message boy leaving your bike and mess-
Ages dripping with blood by the snooker
Hall wall, snookered by the pocket in
A black ball fight.  Getting a job with on
A street traders stall, only to learn that
Your boss is a pervert slipping his hand on
Your leg saying he’ll take you to Dublin for
A weekend.  When he went to lunch I sold
His stall put the money in my sky rocket
And shouted like a street trader every-
Thing going cheap, I still have that fold-
Away wallpaper table, it has decorated
Three homes.  That will teach the perv
Who put his hand on my knee just like
A priest my sister’s boyfriend and a boy
On the street I chased and beat to a pulp,
The others go a dig on the head.  I thought
I was walking around in the smell of lust
I thought there was something wrong with me.
War and queers I had no problem with them but
They had a problem with me, it was more than
Just a slip of the hand, it went beyond a joke.


Turning your back on god, seeing the exorcist
At fourteen and running all the way home, when
A nineteen year old girl wanted you to walk her home,
I said fuck that and ran.  Forget the insult cliché, ‘your Ma’
After that film it was ‘your mother sucks cocks in hell’.
I had nightmares after that and told my young brother
And I had to sneak him in under the box office kiosk
And had to watch with him again, we ran all the way home.
I was in David Bowies ‘time’ walking Lou Reed’s wild side
Their lyrics blew me away, I was becoming a man, I could
Hear my mating call, I wanted so much to be a man.  All-

Most fifty years later I see I was running from me.


I woke suddenly startled
My world was covered in
Black dots like a world wide
Web of full stops, a womb-
Dream turned to reality, as
If my sent-tense was finished
But I am still alive.  I blinked
To make sure I wasn’t dreaming
Then my carers came to care.
The black dots began to dis-
Appear, I sat in the shower on
The shower chair placing these
Words in their best order.

It must have been the darkness in-
Side left over from the death of my
Stroke?  It must be my locked-in –
Syndrome coming out, decorating
My world as if I’m alive in a full stop
So this is an never ending pome that
Can never be finished until my due-ende.

This is the form this pome must take
To take me, I’ve just dropped my pen.
As Alden Nowlan said: “It is human
To look down on things that have fallen”

Now I’ve got a black pen……………………….


    Fall like
An intricate
Design of me.
   On water
Rippling form.
Of the ocean
 I come from.
The evolution
In me fossilised
That branch off
     Into you.


“there is only one problem left to
Man, and that is suicide”
Albert Camus

Words have be-come my life
My hyphen-ated blues, words
Are my very space, they full-
Filled my shoes. Now I try

To get words out, out of my
Locked-in-home, I could draw
You a picture of me sitting on
My throne. I am the king of

My castle, this is my dribble
My one sided story, these are
The words of a cripple, going
Round on a merry-go-round.


I was once a little boy, now
I’m a dis-abled man. We all
Try to find faith in us to be
One of the clan but the clan
Of the world is within us
Duned by a beach of sand.

A child with a bucket and spade
plays and the fort-ress is manned.
I’m looking out through into this
Window, just a man looking back
At days so pure and simple, after
I came from the sea.


I write down these words every-
Day to speak what I cannot say.
I look deep into the grey and words
Drift my one way, they are the clouds
Of my future, keeping the currents
Current. They are shapes drifting a-
Long, the very reason to rhyme 
Memory in song. Dis-ability has

A firm grip on me but poetry is
Like sun-shine it's free. A trinity
Of children live within me, I rem-
Member the sound of the sea.
I’m just delving into the dark
To feel the sun-shine in me
Killing time but its killing me.
Shooting up lines of poetry
And graffiti on a gable wall.


Words from a Cabaret Voltaire song
Writ like existentialist Albert Camus
That pebble-dash my mind, Ridge-
Way: the walls are all torn down,
Forming the pre-fabbed castles
Of time.


Lou reed and Townes Van Zandt
You weren’t ‘Waiting for the man’,
Or ‘Waiting around to die’.
You gave us electric shock treat-
Meant, to live on record is to fly.

Creedmore and Galveston were
Put into action on the studio floor.
You’re a ‘Far cry from dead’ U2
Gave us a whole lot more.

This is the New York country blues
They will never kill our sons, you
Took us from your ‘Blue Mask’
And the burnt out car of your home.

You have told us on vinyl that
We will never be cloned so I drink
A shot to u2 to live is to fly fly
Away from this dirty boulevard.

You live on in memory and that
Will never be soiled.  The bright stars
are looking down on us and we are
looking up to them.  Your lyrics are
our way of seeing and that won’t
ever be spoiled.

‘truth is beauty’

The noise of life
Is out there driving
Or strolling by, through
The square window.

They point and say,
‘There’s where that
Cripple poet lives’,
I see them in my eye

But over-head jet
Streams go by
Pointing my way
To paradise.

Black hole (limbo)

The galaxy of stars looks
Bright beyond my grey day.
Ten years now in limbo
Looking at the day streaming
Jet streams tracing them my way.
Clouds of smoke deformed  re-
Formed into paradise row, grey
Matter reforming into memory I know.

Forty five years of memory washed
Down the drain, I live another day
In these words that form my brain.
Each day my mind gets stronger
Pushing through this locked- in-syn-
Drome getting closer to you.

Closer to the written word that
Gets closer to me, I live this
Memory, I write to make me see.
The things I’ve done and dusted
Along my merry way, writing be-
Comes memory that lives in me
Today.  Writing make me see

The things that I have seen, words
Have furnished everything even
The landscapes of my dream.  These
Words have been my saviour, they
Pulled away from life so true, pulled
Me out of the blue.  You only see
My wheelchair, this is my heart
And head, this is the dreams I write
To know that I’m not dead.  These
Are the very words that come of
The light within my soul, and they
Search the cosmos for my locked- in home.

for Andrea

The best birthday gift that I re-
Call was a loaf and a pot of jam.
That was in Belfast nineteen seven-
Ty two:  The worst year of the troubles.
That will always be in my heart be-
Cause that was from my Mam.  The other

One I remember was a pipe from
My sister dead, I am smoking it in
My heart because she is in my head.

Give the gift of the humane touch
And you’ll remember
Not to know.


The church bells ring
The birds in trees sing.

I’m trying to summon up
The light that brings my sight.
The church bells ring
The birds sing to me.

I was once a bird
That lives within a tree
A fish that spawns
Another me.

This is the voice of
The stroke gene, this is
My tale of woe that
Lives and breath’s in me.
Grow, grow into a memory
Then the world will know

That we are right and wrong
To live in dark and light.
There is good and evil in us

Singing from another tree.



I woke up this morning
In a black stippled room.
Darkness from my dream-
Scape, my bride and doom.
My wheelchair beside me
My chariot of gloom, dis-
Abled parts within my living-
Tomb.  I cannot blame any-
One this is my living-room.

Words have been my save-
iour, love from my kids’ eyes.
Each day I roll the dice
And writing takes me here
Spinning my web of poetry
On everything I fear. Dark
Is light and I’ve seen life
And death, it’s just a hyphen-
Ated breath.  Light is dark
And words are write to
Suffocate the page.  This is
Not a muddy water or a lone-
Some lonely blues.  This is mine
To give to you without holes in
My shoes.  I’m not walking here
From Memphis to give you save-
iour blues, I’m just living upon
This day and this is my wheel-
Chair truth.  I cannot blame no-
One for this, this is my living-
Room.  I don’t want material
Strife, I can suffer without
A wife.  You can keep your
Honour and money I’m doing
This on truth and write that
Brings sunshine to my life.


It had been a long grey hard winter, he fought
through his crippling disability and the so called
health care system to be a wheelchair disabled in-
dependent person.  The sun split the trees and cracked
on to fill his day with poetry art and wonder.

He had been through the darkest days of ex-
Is-tense that pushed him mentally to the very
Limits until he hit the brick wall of life and death
The slender imaginary line we draw in our heads.
Where he fought suicide head on and glared it down
To turn it on its head to be a positive force within.

He no longer feared death or dying he knew it was
All part of living, he had been there and wore
the black t-shirt.  He had been to the point where
death deals you a hand and you gamble to live is
to die and so he died to live and as he said to the psyche-
at-trick nurse after waking from his suicide.  He knew
he would be there today talking to her, he gambled
and won and woke up in the land of positive suicide.

He knew what he was doing when he took the over-
Dose and if he survived then this would be the first day
Of the rest of his life and would never need to go to that
Line ever again.  The stain of piss was upon him like
The mark of Cain but he knew he had to live with dis-
Ability.  The colour of the day shot through a spiders
Web, something that denotes darkness but it shot through
Like an elixir, so intricate even an engineer could
Not construct from a tech drawing.  The colours

Of the day shone purple, blue and wonder.


Like a child suckling on the tit
of purity, he sucked his way
Into morning. The sports bottle
Was almost empty when the carers
Came to wash and dress him for the wheel-
Chair, the plumb-line hung from his Kindle
Reached straight as a die, on the end was
His digital pen.  He eyed Coleridge eyeing him
from a book binding first bound in 1772
that made him read: ‘Death came with friendly care’.

The pome on his notebook resembled
a diagram of arrows and scribbles like
a trajectory of words edited from
a mariner’s ancient text, a weight-

less infant epitaph.

The grey clouds
are shoved along
by the wind whipping
up a storm.  This day
wont last a crack.


The wind shook the trees
And rain was the sky, snow-
Flakes fell the size of my palm
Like pennies from heaven but
I didn’t need to question it why.

The day was grey and greyer
Still, the trees were like shadows
And green was black. Cars drove
By in a terrible rush, like flashing
Lights in my eye. Life is surely
In for a turn, if I didn’t see tomorrow
Today we would still be going round.


An image of my dead sister

Surfaced like a water feature

In the train from Belfast to

Dublin, we stopped at Dundalk

And she went on the run.

She wasn’t two faced she was

Three or four faced. Flashing by

Like foliage of landscape, I was

Merely a fresh faced boy, she

Was nearly a woman. She laughed

Ruffled my hair and called me

Regal-head and offered me

A cigarette. Her image appeared

Like a Picasso painting of the weeping

Woman but she wasn’t weeping to cry.

My water feature, a spring sprung

In the depth of memory, in a rain drop

On my back window.


The world goes on and on and on
But I’m here and here and here.
A plastic urinal looks up and blooms
Between the wheelchair and the dis-
Abled toilet. I’ve been reading poets
And poems and poetry but can’t find
A link to my home. Poetry is out there
in the meadows and trees but I’m
Locked-in alone. I put a search into
Google for poets who took a stroke
Nothing came up. I turned away
In my wheelchair to see my leg-
Lifter and my grabber catching rays
Of sun on my profile bed so I suppose
The only link is the sun coming in
And this pome going out. A pome
From a un-romantic, un-academic
Spineless confessional poet, there
I said it that word poet but I’m just
A shadow of my former self living
This stanza in me.


Lines of Headlights go across my wall
Like negative markings on a modern
Day halogen sun dial, shooting arrows
Of time across my room.  Telling me
Its not time to go to work but to create
A disability pome, all my life is told in
Pomes, I’m in a stanza.

When I woke from death, I thought pome!
and the word positive, I painted like
a word-puzzle. Things are beginning to cum
good like new and old,
that was then this is now.


Poems are put through the man-

gle of metre and rhyme to step

in time and motion like space

and time made by an ego-less

ego.  Where are the words un-

due-lateing to flow in waves

of mind, Robert Lowell said
"Imperfection is the language
of art, a poem must be imperfect
by the very fact its a poem"

This is as close to mystery I'll
ever cum in my language of art.
I put mine through the mangle
thrice then on face book to see
if I'm wrong and I'm usually al-
ways wrong to be write.


“I think the artist, feels lonely. Perhaps his recourse to art, in any form, comes from his essential loneliness.”

                                                                                                                                    William Carlos Williams

You have got to give a poem something of yourself and a little time and respect  before you can wear the poem like the scales of Elizabeth bishop's fish or kick William Stafford's dark over the edge and listen to the wilderness, finding a way into a poem so that it expresses a truth, finding the poems essential loneliness.
I think its very respectful how the American writers pay homage to their favourite writers before they begin to read a word of their own, we need to learn from that and give thanks to the writers who inspired us.  The way that Ted Hughes seen the fox thought on the page, poetry is a very solitary act, poetry is like the souls spoke on a wheelchair turning through life at a different motion, all words are disabled and need care to appear on the page but then its time to share the poem, to much emphasis for me is put on plagiarism and copyright and I think we have to learn to trust each other.

Poets aren't marched into a stanza like a regimental troop, ok we pay homage to the soldier war poets but we are breaking away from that regimental conformity that corals us into nice neat stanzas, the road to poetry isn't along the road of war upon war, we have got to break free of old regimes and follow the beat poets the poets of the day into the new refreshing poems of tomorrow.  We are being cloned by the past but we are moving forward with a captive mind into what Chezslaw Milosz called 'a more spacious form' only with men like him are we free of old regimental way's that feed our poetry and our education into a dog eat dog system.

Only with our darkness and negativity of the past can we turn this muck to gold and break the shackles of the past and step into the enlightened future that awards people without the foot stomping circus act, we are not a pack of performing animals we are a group of civilised people called humanity without the brainwashed divides of war.  It's time to share things freely, honour and respect doesn't come down to how much money you have in your pocket, ok,  we have to live in a consumerist society but don't let greed rule the day ok we need a little to get by but its getting out of hand.

Only when you give do get your poems come  back in a new fresh eyed perspective that takes on board the criticism and turns your writing into a shared poem of trust.

Good honest writing will always find a way through the bullshit metre, we can see a lie a mile off.  Raymond carver in the book 'fires' says no tricks,  we've got to be able to trust people and just like giving and receiving a poem we've got to give and receive trust with the magic of truth.  There are no tricks in writing you can read all the self help books you want and steal other writers thunder but that wont make you into a writer, not until you stop kidding yourself,  there is only one truth and that's your truth, write the poets essential loneliness and that essential loneliness will come back and make you un-lonely.

                                   POETRY IS LIKE SUNSHINE IT'S FREE


The leafless tree 
reveals the nests 
of wingless young.

Flying now like
masters guided
by the sun.



Laying in this wonderful darkness
making form of shapes. Night falls
into silence, a glimmer of street-
light pours in a magical hue. This
is the pre-dawning that holds
the days perspective, sheltering
light within a sanctuary of dark.

The evil twin locked away in mis-
understanding darkness loves his
brothers dawning but no one sees
his love, only the cloak of judge-
ment and beneath the clouds of fear.


They are only living in
a world that man created.
lets be civilised human-
beings and stop this blame-
game, we cant just leave
things out to die; not even
a dog or a cat.  A friend called
a carer and told me of a child.

I told her, 'I didn't watch the news
they should leave it up to news-
night (an impartial view)'  Lets stop
this dog eat dog greed or we
will be the seekers but
there wont be
an asylum.

The sky is the colour of a rain-
drop, you cant see the day go by.
The day is cold transparent grey 
it doesn't pretend to be other than
it is, a delightful drop of today.

It begins like any other and ends
without event. That drop will be
here tomorrow like jewels dripping
down through your window pane.


Strange how smells mess with the senses
to conjure memory you thought was lost.
There was a smell of burning fuel in the air
and the sky was filled with a filthy hue.
You could almost taste the smell going
into the kitchen at first I thought I'd left
the grill on.  Butler street 1972,  Civil
rights have become civil wrongs.

Burning cars and buses smeltering smoke
and the smell of tear gas and rubber bullets.
A man with a crate gave out petrol bombs
like a milkman delivering milk.  The armoured
car crashed through the burning barricade.

being dragged along sand but this was no beach,
the kerbs and slabs were ripped up, it was
a scene of war.  My Mother worked for the relief
committee and the only relief was a shipment
of American football jersey's into the second hand
charity shop, one day they were rioting dressed
in drab 70s poverty clothes the next day they were
like chaos cheer-leaders with petrol bomb bombs.

They were linebackers and quarter backs but
they weren't throwing curved balls.  It was as
if someone flipped the switch from real
black and white to surreal Technicolor.
I was number 32 in bold green numbers

and we were heading for the end zone.


Art has been a way of life for me un-
predictable like the weather and the waves.
Writing was never for money honours or
degrees.  Www dot, the elements are in
the trees.  Words have opened doors for me
to beautiful people and wondrous seas.

Life is like this pome it doesn't know where to
go but it is full of life and soul I cannot count
it in, like a wave upon the ocean or life that's
within me, just like a spring day where there
should be snow.  My art is un predictable but
you know it doesn't, the birds are in the trees
today not a breeze does blow.  Rhyme is in
the trees of yesterday when they were bent

down low.  Today they are memory branching
out not to know, im not rhyming this pome to
resemble the tree.  its the beauty of nature
reaching into me and you.  Sunshine and shadow
reaching outward in, writing weathered waves.


Washed dressed and wheel chaired
in a time and motion way.  I woke
on the conveyor of life, packed sealed
and trademarked branded into dis-
ability.  I don't know if I'm coming
or going, which way is my destiny
or is it just 12 angry men, have I done
time, a lifetime?  Cling filmed by a rain
splattered window in a cell fenced-in-en
grained locked-in but I am like Steve Mc
Queens butterfly, one day I will be free
the birdman starring his finest role.

Finding a sweet wrapper in an empty lonely
hall that reminds me of you, my Grandson.
the birds are being blown sideways, it's
whipping up a storm out there in here in my
method act.


The hard man woke that morning 
and heard the commotion,he opened 
the door that led to the street, cars were 
going up and down sounding their horns 
people were punching the sky, a little boy
ran along punching the air yelling the war is over.

The hard man went indoors to eat his morning soda 
and a mug of tea, Bridy his wife said'isn't it brilliant we have peace at last','not you to' he said and stuck his head into the paper, flicked through the peace to see who died and on to the GG form.

Meanwhile on the otherside of the city, Patsy woke and heard
the commotion, whets going on he said going down the stairs.
'we've got peace at last' said his wife jumping around like a school-
girl at xmas, 'I never thought I'd see it in my time'.  He opened
the door at the bottom of the stairs, people ran along the street
punching the air, black taxi's and cars drove up and down
sounding horns and waving tricolour flags from inside.

'Fools', he said and closed the door and went in to have his Belfast
bap and mug of tea at the table with the Irish news with words
of peace on every page, he stopped at the obituaries before going on
to the GG form.  What about our Gerry and our alibi said Patsy and
the hard man, 'they fought and died for today', said their wives said,
huh said the hard man and Patsy and they buried their heads in the papers.

The table they sat beside felt like a table in the maze prison and their
wives were in prison guard uniforms swinging  key's on a chain attached
to their waist whistling the sash, their brothers alibi and Gerry sat by
the tables circa 1972.  Patsy and Gerry killed a cop and a brit and got 25
years, the hard man and alibi killed two I.R.A. men and done 10 and 12 years. 

They both swilled water around the cups and pondered the murals on the gable
wall beyond the yard that said up the U.D.A. he could almost see him self with 
dark glasses and a gun, Patsy looked out and almost say himself holding an armalite
where it said underneath, 'Ireland unfree shall never be at peace'.  how can you
put a gun to somes head and have peace the next day they thought. 

Both men went through their day done a few 5 bob bets up the street and studied the form
in the rolled up papers in their back pockets, had two beer and watched east enders
and the bullshit news celebrating peace, remembering all those years ago watching
the shooting results every day as if they were living the form on scene around six
everyday.  Bridy and Anne said I was talking to Maggie up the street said she might
call around half nine, 'you know I don't like that fenian loving bitch in my house',
'don't be such a hard man Patsy we have peace now and we have to accept our neigh-
bours Patsy said that brit loving bitch isn't coming into this house and both men
stormed upstairs saying ,,I done fucking time for this damned day', slammed the door 
and sat on the corner of their beds pondering peace listening to the girls laugh downstairs.  
Bridy and Anne went to the bottom of the stairs and shouted to their men down to join in 
the craic, you could hear their laughter out on the street. 


I've got these sectarian dis-
abled blues and they have
stopped the use of my shoes.
This is the northern kell-tic
blues not written in a 12 bar
but it screams of eullian
pipes and fiddle on the waters

flow undulating inside my head
with the lilt of a song that
remembers the dead, the Lagan

and the Liffey go out to the sea
meeting current waves of you
and of me

lets stop these bonfires and talk
of war, let us drift on the island
of peace let us lilt out to sea
where we can see hope increase

these are the crossroads of my
estuary bed, these are the words
that come from the dead

I need aid to get in and out
of bed and I need aid for my
shell-shocked head.

I've seen darkness stipple
my shed and I need this
song to remember the dead.

I've seen darkness like you
have seen light, Ive seen men
fall that didn't have a right.

this isn't from the delta by
Mississippi John Hurt
this is from Ireland, the North
with a lambeg/bohran beat

I will always have this disabled
head but living in peace will
get me out of bed, better than before

this isn't depressing its just life
lets give sentimentality a kick
in the ass and relish the moment
and the green green grass
of home.

maybe you should sing this twice
to get it into your head and into
your bed- sweet dreams.


'found death in life, may find life in death'
                                        Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A residue of darkness
lives within us.  I wrote
about the womb dream
and the blotches of dark
long before my stroke.

Caused by deep trauma
in birth or being lost with-
in yourself during stroke etc.

There must be millions of us
walking around unable to talk
about our darkness, this is not
evil or sinister only to much light
can warp the dark.  When I wake

from a deep sleep my room is
stippled in dark but there is al-
ways the dawn breaking through
my sight.  We live in a world of

light and dark and society can't
always be right because it shifts
back and forth, gets warped by
sentimentality and shadows of fear

appear.  For example Keats and Cole-
ridge lived in life with death and in
their sight were right.  I'm trying
to live with my darkness and that's
good enough for me, to see.



Peter woke that morning early and lay there paralysed flat on his back in the profile bed looking at the shadows on the ceiling, it was still dark outside so it must be five or six am he thought.  He lay there creating a world from the shadows on the ceiling, thoughts of suicide entered his mind again just like it did since he took the stroke that paralysed his body and his speech ten years ago.  He had survived the stroke that was swimming through his veins, after the massive stroke that almost killed him and put him in hospital for a year he took a mini stroke that attacked any power he had in his right side so now he carried around two limbs of meat and a sexual organ that could no longer play a tune, he had no feeling no more.  He lay there thinking suicide is the only solution, the only way out of this hell.  Before he took the stroke whenever he had a problem or hit a brick wall of thought he got out pen and paper and wrote pros and cons on the top of the page and ticked to see which one won.  This disability was different he thought, he had never come to a brick wall in his mind that had no way out, it was as if he was driving down a one way street and there was no turn off.  he was neither a pessimist or a optimist but to be a writer you had to be a bit of both he was a realist, in his mind the pros and cons page floating in an ungravitational pull and the cons were winning.  He cleared everything from his mind and told himself ok if im going to do this I have to be certain. His father being left in a basket by a door was his first con, his sons his grandsons and his mum were a pro so he ticked it in his head.  Dawn began to rise and the sun spilt in through the gaps of the vertical blinds like the shadowed bars on a prison cell, even the lights positivity is showing me the negative way to go, down. 

The disabled bungalow that he lived in on the disabled cul-de-sac felt like a prison cell only there was no time of for good behaviour and no parole or good Friday agreement, it felt like he was doing his fathers time like the internment of the soul, living his inner bastard life.  Just then two girls called and stood at each side of the bed one to raise him to sit at the side of the bed and one to hold him steady as he had lost all his balance and although he could stand he would never be able to walk.
A week or so before he went for a check up to the hospital and just before he was examined by a physio nurse and a consultant, he said people can you tell me and I want the truth please has the N.H.S. and the whole medical profession given up on me, I have to stand to go to the toilet and get  into bed at night and yet my whole physio programme was stopped and I haven't had physio in three years I used to go swimming every week with a nurse and stand in a standing frame so my good leg was getting stronger and was able to support me but now its getting weaker and weaker and im all slouched over when being dressed.  The consultant flicked the thick file on her table and said the N.H.S. cant do nothing for you and we have no money anyway.  Peter went to get his ambulance home feeling deflated knowing the N.H.S. had given up on him, these were the people that saved his life ten years ago when he took the stroke and now they had just left him out dry and on top of that he received a letter the day before saying he was refused for a motability grant to pay for the adaptations for a car.  All his mobility and independence had been taken away from him, he said hello and goodbye to the ambulance men and smiled when he had to but he felt like driving into a brick wall. 

Peter closed the blue door behind him he didn't feel sad or depressed just disappointed that the whole care system had given up on him.  The girls washed and dressed him made his breakfast and left him looking out the window, he remember the year before having a car and being able no go to Lough Neagh and have a coffee and read a book or go sainsburys get his shopping buy a magazine and get a coffee before going home or just driving down the motorway with the music on full blast it was a great release for his mind of independence.  He had to give up the car as he couldn't afford the payments so when it came to the point of his bank balance deciding on food or petrol one had to go, he pondered the sky smoking his pipe wondering why the dla only give him middle rate care because he lives alone.  With the aid of a leg lifter a bed rail and a grabber he had found a way of getting himself into bed and the exercise was making his back stronger.  I don't understand he thought, the whole point of the care system was to create a better quality of life but everything was working against him. 

When he first took the stroke and was released from hospital he met a lovely phillipino girl on the internet and asked him to go there so one night he decided to take whatever money he had and find some happiness, he got up the next asked his son  bought a ticket and got his friend to put him on a plane and without travel insurance he flew to the Philippines he lived there for four months thinking one day he would get better.  Spent all his money building a future got married and flew home to set up a home for his wife coming over only to be told that he would never walk again and that his wife wouldn't be allowed to come over and look after him because the government pay him and state that you cant use that money to bring someone into the country.  After six years of communicating on yahoo by web cam her there and him here unable to work and support her they had the marriage annulled.

he went from room to room looking for a pro to counter act the cons that were building in his mind only to find disabled aids like hand rails manual wheelchairs, disabled toilets commodes raised benches profile bed grabbers, I cant live without help, he put a Lou Reed CD on followed by the best of 2013 and looked out the window and watched the cars go up and down  life, life was going on beyond his realm, this is like being on a one way street and suicide is the only way out so if I do this and survive ill have to change the way I live, I cant do this alone. he pondered the window as the last track played called goodbye, goodbye, now have I got the balls this is positive suicide.  he came to the conclusion that suicide was the only way out or in, there's no one to blame for this there's nowhere to go there's nothing you have to do life doesn't owe you nothing and you owe life nothing or anyone.  he went online to the Amazon store bought his sons three games put a suicide note on his keyboard saying no regrets and pondered through his day with this thought in mind.

He went into the kitchen and emptied his blister pack and filled a glass of assorted tablets and two strips of aspirin in all around a hundred tablets that should be enough he said and took them and a bottle of pure orange got into bed and said here goes nothing and gagged taking the tabs and pure orange, if I don't die at least ill get high.

After an hour or so he felt like he was drifting in and out of reality, he forget how to spell a simple word on his phone then everything fell into a beige sea of waves and circuits began switching of in his mind either he was falling into death or he was out of his mind, he closed his eyes gripped the bed rail closed his eyes and fell into darkness, ka sa ra he said goodbye cruel world.

He woke and it was morning the sunshine shone on the wall and two girls were by his bed he felt all groggy laughing and saying ive seen the light pointing to the wall, ive took an over dose and they rushed to phone an ambulance.  I was chatting and laughing and flirting with the carers until the ambulance came and I was flirting with them girls, I was out of my head I felt stoned relieved that I was still here.  they rushed me off to A'N'E and flushed water through my system, I felt as if I had ecstasy I didn't care what they done I had prepared my self for this I knew I would be here, they flushed my system with drips then put me in another ward.  while there I couldn't sleep so I just rested knowing I was in the right place, I felt safe there.  a psychiatrist nurse sat by my bed side and said can I ask you a few questions I said ok ill tell you a story first ok and she took notes:    first I told her about my father being left on a doorstep then I told her about the people I had seen being killed as a child in north Belfast during the troubles then I told her about having the stroke gene in my blood then I told about my father dying and leaving me in his bastard life then I told her about my sister committing suicide in 2000 then I told her about all of the above how the N.H.S. gave up on me the D.L.A. only awarding me the middle rate so I couldn't afford the adaptations on a car my wife not being allowed entry. 

Then I said, I knew I would be here talking to you now before you go away with my story have you ever heard of positive suicide she said no, I said you have now.  I wasn't sad or depressed I knew what I was doing and I knew I had to do it to come to this point, now you go to your boss tell her that story and tell her I said ka sa ra.

'Who ever does not sometimes give full consent, and a joyous consent, to the dreadfulness of life,
can never possess the utterable richness 
and power of existence."

                     RAINER MARIA RILKE




'found death in life, may here find life in death
                                           Samuel Taylor Coleridge

This is the pome I didn't want to write.
Only through sadness do we find joy.
Every night I wear this veil of tears,  I
don't want to live with happy/sadness

it burst out of me like an over-dose
please take me out of this hell-hole.
even suicide didn't do that, I want
to think beyond myself, take me
to a higher realm.  I must live in

my negative positivity this wheel-
chair is my home of stroke gene cell. 
I'm doing my fathers time, living
his inner bastard life, an internment
of the soul, my life is interrogating me

sending down a black noise, I have to
live with, it is my black hole holding
my inner light.  give me the humane
touch not a police escort as if it's nine-

teen fifty, I have the right to die like
you have the right to live, I don't live
your moral code.  I don't want to write
these stanzas or live in this district of

sadness or within this despair but these
are the words that hold my truth like life
within my own stare.  These words of my
only hope of ever pulling through.

thanks for listening!

Life is a pigsty, Morrissey

Beige undulation

                     Capable Negativity


We are living in a sentimental un-reality
packed up and priced up to go
on living in a enlightenment of darkness.
Ticking the box that says, I don't know.

God and Darwin are dancing, were possessed
in a conflicting parade, time is in a state of un-
turning and we act as if we don't grow.

We are animal and wonder divine, the know-
ledge of sorrow is now or never, we have to
start to end. Memory keeps on delivering, so
let us live on this island un-divided.

On the hyphen of un-reality, on un-real cheap-
lights and false snow. I am living in no time
but there's millions of people like me.

Lets have a thought for the living disabled.
Where did the values of N.H.S. go, it
began for the people from a depressing war.

Has it toppled just like a statue we don't need


We are living in a sentimental un-reality
packed up and priced up to go
on living in a enlightenment of darkness.
Ticking the box that says, I don't know.

God and Darwin are dancing, were possessed
in a conflicting parade, time is in a state of un-
turning and we act as if we don't grow.

We are animal and wonder divine, the know-
ledge of sorrow is now or never, we have to
start to end.  Memory keeps on delivering, so
let us live on this island un-divided.

On the hyphen of un-reality, on un-real cheap-
lights and false snow.  I am living in no time
but there's millions of people like me.

Lets have a thought for the living disabled.
Where did the values of N.H.S. go, it
began for the people from a depressing war.

Has it toppled just like a statue we don't need


My suicide note read:
No regrets-07251350053.
High as a kite, Wow!
I over-dosed almost
everyday but i wasn't
a junkie i was just
a spaced cadet.

Down occlusion, beige
un-due-lation. I'm under
The southern health trust.
S.H.S.S.  D.H.S.S.  D.L.A.

Hemmed in by the blue curtain
N.H.S.  No help service.
The same ones who stopped my
independence and stopped my
physio,  part of the reason why
I'm here.  Why is life such a sad
place? we need to think beyond
the negative there is a positive be-
yond the hurt within our hearts?

Shadows dance across the ceiling
and swirl like swirling robes down
the wall doing the tango and my fox-
trot, down towards me.  I'm back where
I started in the cubicle with messed up
joined up writing but its becoming clear.

A prisoner went by in bling hand-cuffs
followed by a man on the end of a bling
chain, here we go again trying to fit in-
to a negative system my little box of dis-
ability with the stroke gene that lives with-
in my blood cell.


3 lives

      pomes                 prose                  painti


when I woke from my stroke/coma my brain was soft without form like
porridge in my head, 45 years of memory I thought were lost in the dark.
I began to construct a poem  from what I seen that day or imagined,
a flower and a butterfly, speechless I tried to write in a left handed childish
scrawl, before the stroke I was right handed but now was paralysed and rested
on my lap with my right arm and leg like a meat parcel.

I began to form the words into a poem in a left handed baby scrawl but the moment
found a form and the moment wrote the form, it might have looked like it was done with an infants hand but at least it was a form.  everyday I went to the window and captured inspiration for a year while the other patients watched TV.  by the time I was released on a trail basis every Saturday to my mothers home my mind was strong enough to be released into an independent living centre, my mind was strong enough
to deal with my illness and realise that no one was to blame for this accident only me, I lived to large and this was the price I paid, I had a wonderful life and three magic kids even because the stroke was in my blood I couldn't blame my mum and dad they gave me my wonderful life so I dealt with my recovery through my writing.

the more I read and wrote and painted the stronger my mind became and I began to see that and the more I wrote I remembered flickers of memory began to flicker memory I thought was dead.  I was able to face my disability head on and even relive the darkness to strengthen my will to face each day and even conquer that hurdle of man, suicide.  ok I know ill never walk but at least I have a brain that helped through
this darkness with the help of friends, lagan and lapwing press both took my manuscripts and formed them into books, thank you pat Dennis and René.  that was a great step for me like stepping back into reality, that has given me the confidence to write this blog and give you a taste of my world, the moments that write my form.
I know it has been dark at times but like life itself we have to give to get and sometimes that can be a hard road and a hard pill to swallow.  my next plan is to write
about the magic moments I faced in life.

life is full of light and dark and dark is as light as light even lighter,  I thought my brain was dead without memory but the more I read the more I remember.  the brain is a wonderful organ with its own internal hard drive and even lifting a cup or reading one sentence can make the brain remember doing that, all you brain injury patients lift that paper or that book even if you only read one sentence its a start.  my mother had 5 strokes and she writes articles from the newspaper, I get this from her will and she's still alive and writing and reading to keep her mind active so write to remember not

                              to forget.


'different colors made of tears'
                                         Lou Reed

Creedmore gave you the electric-
shock treatment, a session of blowing
your mind, being someone else but
you were Lou, Lou, Lou.  The man
of black rainbow's, prescribing hope
on the fringes of society.  We are
waiting for the man to script what
moral society cant because its to
moral.  The man of evolution sat
on the razors edge like a Darwin in
the city of Galapagos reflecting what
we are, a gender in a un-gendered jungle.

They put the blue in the blue mask but
you shot up the colour in you.  You de-
fied a culture and gave us the Warhol
two fingers to a fucked up society that
was already fucked up, a punk who took
no prisoners.  Were waiting for your words
second coming, different colours made of
tears, a rainbow of light in your dead eyes.
We remember going on a Lou Reed bender
that lasted ten years at least, we were bouncing
off the walls, thanx Lou your rhythm blue
our minds and gave us a reality rush.  Creed-
more, you gave us CREED-MORE and were still
rushing on your run, when you put a beat into our veins
and we felt just like Jesus' son, things weren't ever the same
Lou Reed said it all and more, his truth Creedmore.

 the bluer mask

a controlled drip


Teachers, priests, dentists and head-
masters.  This was back in the day
when they were allowed to abuse you:

I remember a teacher grabbing me by
the scuff and putting me up against a black-
board and punching me in the face, he got
a chair across his back. 

I  was dyslexic with numbers and didn't know
what he was saying talking about log rhythms.

A science teacher who flicked snots at you.
He threw me down two flights of stairs, i took
him to court and got him disbanded.

A priest who asked me to stay after class
thinking I was a damaged little boy from
Belfast, he put his hand on my leg and got
a dig in the head and i ran.

A dentist who held me down with his knee
across my chest to administer gas and pull
a tooth.  he also got a dig in the head and i ran.

A headmaster (the bat) who gave me 24 slaps
with a cane for breaking a window, after 12
i was on my knees crying.  I tried to break 24
more until he expelled me.

3 short pomes


Doing my fathers time.
Entombed, interned,
The only white noise here
is black silence.  I must
wallow in this cell, theres
no way out of this pigsty
wallowing in this swill.


Hanging out there
on the edge, in a seam
of light-ajar.  Holding up
a door in space and time.

I'm like an astronaut in zero
gravity but I'm not fixed
or floating, I'm flat on my back
paralysed un-hinged waiting
for a carer to care.

Houston we have a problem.


The N.H.S. is out there
it's a big organ-ni-nation.

No help service.


Alone walking the black paths
of disability, a carer going to
care for a man who doesn't care?

lost in a world of dark roads
and grey gutters.  Even the sun-
shine is no good to no one.

I ponder the key-pad and steady
myself, entering a world I know
nothing of.  'Morning', I can't even

say 'good morning', 'what good is
it he would answer'.  I got him
showered and dressed and left him

looking out at the world beyond
the breakfast table looking in-
to the clear blue sky to see dark-
ness, I left him seeing from his
wheelchair, paralysed unable

to walk or talk.  went on to
the next call on my rota.

wishing I was dead, I think?


I wake and the cold grey light
of Februrary  eats my eyes.
I go to my room and scan
the scribbles of last night's

The fear of death, of dying
explodes like flash bulbs,
two photographs on my wall.

One is black and white taken
when I was a child in a pram
wrapped tight in a home spun
Matinee coat, oblivious

to the camera, was I looking
to the sky, my mother or did
I see something else?

I know now why I want to cry,
this is the eve of my fathers
death nine years ago.
Grief is such a  long process

In this room eyeing the photo

of death I took of you
in your coffin, rosary beads
entwined around clean fingers.

My desk takes shape,
my words images
of what I've always known
silk-white enclosing you.


Even the truth becomes the lie.
We have been trained to mis-
trust the truth that has now be-
come the lie.  We have got to believe
someone, maybe Jesus Christ was
the last person alive that told
the Gods honest truth and he was
crucified for it,  I believe in
his words and im a sceptic.

We're still having the same problems
today we had two thousand years ago.
Were like a bunch of school kids
with their fingers crossed behind
their backs.  Jesus Christ's words
were distorted by greed, Christ is not
the next coming our saviour is truth.

until we trust we cant stop it, it's like
wildfire and creates a higher and lower
system,  the lower want to be the higher
to become better than the better to have
nice houses and bigger and better cars.
The goodness of the world is forgotten
on the lower ground of truth.  People

don't realise that truth is the riches but
we no longer see the truth because we
are lost in the greed of the lie.  Some-
one somewhere has to stop this greed
and war ridden society.  My only hope
is these words rub off.  I have lived
half my life within my fathers lie with-
in a war torn state so I believe the truth

when I hear it and trust the truth sayer. 


I have to dig in deep

to find a purpose

to find a stanza that

translates my soul.

My purpose is to be-

come a silent poet

a screaming din with-

in a noiseless state.

A person that is way be-

yond a person a human that

seeks to find humanity

a searcher of the truth within

the search, a man that has

touched his own black hole.