Thursday, December 16, 2010

3 Poems - Peadar O'Donoghue

Pictures and Postcards

Mountains to mist, Beckett to boxer to blonde-
platinum of course, looking me straight in the eye,
over the slope of her shoulder.
She says nothing, and a million things.
not one can I catch as, like the accusations, I fly.
I’m back on the midnight bus as it pulls out and pulls in
passengers from the random roundabouts of my youth,
girlfriends dressed to kill and dying from the cold.
Yards and years away are barges passing,
coal powered, just like the square panes of light from the
Arndale block that lure people like moths.
The bigger picture hints of a hunt, of war, of winter,
brothers in arms, their quarry sought their silence confident,
reflective, pleased with themselves and whatever they have done.
I remember their faces peering in from the streets to the dreamy Caf├ęs
‘Stay a while’, they seem to say, ‘Drink your coffee,
Compile this list for lesser days.’

(This poem originally appeared in The SHOp #27)

Platform eleven, Hoje Taastrup in early spring.
'“Did you ever say the words?”
“Wait. I can’t hear you!”
Woman leaving on lipstick red train,
brunette, young, and beautiful, asking Old man.
He’s dying, hands behind his back, unforgiving,
and, like a black-strapped Swiss wristwatch, inaudible.
His spectacles and bald patch frame
the last snows of his winter.
Nobody knew them, or about their lives, so who cares?
A flag was waved, a moment found,
two lost strangers, father and daughter
caught in my mind.
Too late, the train leaves,
accusing in rhythmic fading whispers,
“Don’t paint this,
don’t feign mystery,
don’t make poetry,
of a flat-packed scene.”

(This poem originally appeared in Revival #6)

God Woman.

They weren’t fish from the sea
Any more than blue bears were
Black silhouettes of herself
God Woman mother of all
Making progress reach for the skies
Evolution not revolution,
parity stars, lights trouble
uncalled for. We all have a monkey
on our backs ,crystal clear,
blue is black in light relief.
I love the city, I hate the reality,
rapid fire irritation jarring.
We knew it was wrong,
Alchemy, conjuring.
Sing, sing ,sing,
reaction in the nightime:
Hearts on fire;
Blazing light;
Break my heart
Like an egg, like the question,
cracked into the heat.
We who could do anything choose
To do this, or this, or this?

I know the answer
If it's a poem, it has a million
beginnings a million chances,
I’m just dreading the end.

Peadar O’Donoghue
© 2010


  1. This be a pot of gold!
    "Compile this list for lesser days"

    lipstick red train, the Swiss wristwatch, inaudible, the rhythmic fading whispers and flatpacked scene - all gold!

    The last one is the more familiar Peadar - the handling and wringing-out-my-heart, Peadar. Our leader.


  2. "Making progress reach for the skies
    Evolution not revolution,
    parity stars, lights trouble
    uncalled for. We all have a monkey
    on our backs ,crystal clear,
    blue is black in light relief."

    The first two are beautifully descriptive, as Kat notes, but this last, this is the golden essence distilled by the alchemist Peadar, leaving the reader at times to go, "what the feck? Oh...ah, yes...wha?" Brilliant! Thanks, Peadar!

  3. @Carolina Linthead - Exactly! The WTF followed by the Giant Lightbulb overhead!

  4. Hi Kat & Carolina: Thanks to you both for stopping by to enjoy Peadar's work & to comment. & Carolina: thanks for following!

  5. Thanks for reading and the interesting (and supportive)comments, Kat and Mr Linthead.