The Question of Happiness

The question of happiness threw meAs did your attention to the magnolia treeThough I had seen the wideness of your chestThat some call heart and some soul And upon thought I’d venture to say thatThe chest is where happiness residesWhere light and dark conspire to create Or resolve the dragging weight of thought. And I […]

Daybreak in Dublin

It’s a hotel I’d almost recommendIf only you’d remember to not drink the water,Keep your nose from the dust off dry-cleaned towels,Leave on your socks at night,Plug your ears and draw the curtainsAgainst the encroachment of light. At daytime the location affords views onto the back ofThe Custom House but next to no peaceIn the […]


Shooting stars? O spare me Dying planets like our own and their light already spent When they deem to grace our eyes Call me uncouthBut I too have crossed the tropic of jealousyWith desire that no moon can purge As if love was ever selflessAnd a just and gentle god shone his countenance On our […]

All the Right Questions

Peering into prams my grandfather would askIs it boy or child? artless, without articlesHis strange tongue veiling well the mischiefOf a kind, discerning mind He died too soon, and had no childrenAnecdotal evidence is what I have of him Raised among men who didn’t care for childrenI cared for dogs and horses, lead and leatherWaiting […]

Advice (the body speaks)

For this aberration in your hormonal setupI claim responsibility:I refuse to produce that particular substanceThat could make you covet motherhood,Courting it with the determination our sex and age demand,Or so they all say. But really, I think I might be spared the exertion of procreationSave up my powers for the hike aheadAnd make hay while […]

Dear Friend

I’m holding space for you.No display of emotion, no exuberanceof spirit, no spur-of-the-moment talknor your worst best-guarded silencecan gnaw away at the wall I build around it. You’re an accident waiting to happento yourself. Alarmed I watch as you career down railroadtracks unsuited to such high-speed trains of thought,headed for derail. Embarrassed of myself, andhappy, […]


These two hold their connectionlike two trees across a stream:Nothing that moves oneis hidden from the other,Stirred by benign or other weatherthey bow to the wind and to each other.

First Refusal

to Lisa Sometimes the beauty of knowing someone for a long timeCan erupt in your pocket like a firecracker on New Year’s Eve We hung up since decorum demanded that two hours Scratched the limit of what a partner could well be expectedTo wait for with dinner also it was your turn to walk the […]

Botanic to Waterside

With a nod to Stephen Connolly’s “Translink Haiku” This train she says isfor Derry Londonderrybig pause in between I leave behind herwho looks at and takes picturesof those she holds dear Above the hollow’sdark mouth a rainbow appearstoo bright to take home The train pulls intowhere someone awaits methe place with the pause Mussenden Temple […]