Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Poem: Baile Atha Cliath

It was the marching
heavy boots thumping through
what was once my city,
but a lot has changed here
since the last march.

Sing ‘rare ole times’
and lighters five for fifty
‘till your throat is raw,
it still won’t come back
and be our town again.

They thought hatred was orange
but it was only a way to mourn
what the tiger consumed
to bring us here
where we should not be.

It reminded us of what we lost.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Poem: Urban Children

The smell of smoke lingers still,
do you remember
how it caught in our throats
and made us splutter?

Those games we played,
dangerous games,
we dared each other to run on the factory roof
and leap over the gaps in the rafters,
heart stopping now to think about the rot
beneath our feet and how we were unaware
of any danger, laughing while it creaked below us
and threatened to cave in.

Remnants of machines
left a rusted tangle of sharp edged
metal that we climbed fearlessly,
catching our clothes and skinning our hands,
eight foot, ten above the concrete floor
playing monkey bars, hilarious to catch someone
and tickle them while they held on.

Slipping in under the barbed wire,
it was our playground
hide and seek heaven if you could
pick your way up the collapsed stairs,
the best spot I found was
squeezed inside an old fuse box
listening to the crackle and buzz
and you outside calling for me,
screaming with laughter
and a chorus of ‘you’re it’.

The bigger kids,
they lit the fires and left a black shell
but we played there still,
attracted by the bleakness of it
and the fact it was forbidden.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Poem: Reconciliation

Because we spoke 
the truth they burned 
the joy out of us.

Pushed us to our 
knees in small 
dark cages.

I feel the 
close smell of it 
still, all of the shame.

Sanctity in 
mumbled verses of
retribution and repentance.

The black veil falling, 
mesh distorting the 
face of judgement.

They made us 
sad and small 
and frightened.

Absolving us conditionally, 
feigning forgiveness for
 our imaginary wrongs.

We stopped speaking, 
too careful, a sin
this touching someone else.

a twisted, filthy 
black useless thing.

We stopped loving, 
a great broken pretending 
and so much unhappiness.

There was so much