Wednesday 23 May 2007

Politician in Private Society

One of my favourites, this is a light hearted piece inspired by a chance encounter at a private party with a man then at the height of his power in the country; I was fascinated beyond words by the effect he had on the would-be urbane and aspiringly sophisticated! I doubt the salons of Victorian or Edwardian london could have boasted a better Lion than he prooved to for day that's in it tomorrow......

Urbane he stands, a figure
shaded among gay and vibrant souls
"Dear Sir," his hostess flutters,
murmurs her thanks at his august presence.

He is a figure aloof,
wreathed in smiles and honour
impenetrable fortress of power
graciously unbending to the public eye

It is all we can do to speak
his eye holds us all in thrall
hypnotising with its knowledge
Each uninitiate to the halls of government.

He knows we fight
to keep from staring, touching,
pressing against him as a talisman
a living totem of the forces of opinion

Tomorrow we will casually
lightly boast, disdainful of him
remarking on his public image
delightfully dismissive of his private face

But for now, here and now
in this moment, we are all
swooning at his word and faint
for signs of his good opinion, gracious favour

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne


Tuesday 15 May 2007

Sunday at the Temple, Music

To Joe and Mark:

I went to worship
at a Temple of Music
(a sub branch on Dame street
Catering to the Urbanite congregation
and our nostalgic pounds)

Molly Ringwald smiled at me
from a giant screen
while Andy McClusky sang.
Touch me once, Touch me twice;
I was transported.

Joan of Arc took up arms
before the pain of Enola Gay.
Ah! Sunday night standing, swaying
praying, to the gods of time and space -
More, More, More.

Joe and I discuss the
merits of tranquiliser guns
Giants stand before us,
on white powder; slipping. While
My love sings to himself, nineteen again.

I worshipped at the temple of music
I danced through 18 years in a drumbeat.
We laughed as we sang as we cried
as the gods on stage thanked us,
transformed us, blessed us.

OMD Olympia Theatre; May 13th 2007


Friday 11 May 2007

John Cooper Clarke

We went to see John Cooper Clarke in Whelan's on Wednesday night; hard to beat. It was excellent in spite of or perhaps because of the unrelenting stream of appalling old jokes

He gave a trip through memory lane with classics like Beasley Street and the updated new version Beasley Boulevard. An engaging and thoroughly affable performer, Clarke is an object lesson to all those poets who feel poetry readings should be serious affairs, with every word enunciated in droning, affected tones. New material was excellent and the crowd when offered a choice began to call for more of it; Clarke seemed mildly pleased that his newer poetry was as well received as the classics. Still there were no shortage of requests for Chickentown or Twat although the repeated calls of "twat twat!" from behind us made a few of the uninitiated a little antsy. Oh okay, it was me, i didn't know it was actually a title of one of his poems I just thought an unusually harsh critic was in the joint!

A great Poet, a great night, a great gig - do yourselves a favour and get to see him, travel if necessary, but see the man.


Thursday 3 May 2007

The Power of Poetry

Poetry can seem like the hobby of dillitantes - what use is it, if not simply that of adornment? Yet poetry can express, move, protest and motivate. It can also comfort and help.

Kevin V Moore, and american poet writting under the name of Merlinbeag worte this poem for a young girl, Rhiannon, who is not well. This is poetry at its purest in my view - universal and personal, intimate and yet a testement to our commitment to strangers; our link to those we do not know and may never meet.

Rhiannon is undergoign treatment tomorrow; people will be joining together to pray for her today. Light a candle in honour of Saturn at 41.19pm 9.38pm and 2.57am. Or pray in your own way. Light a candle online at

For Rhiannon

The Dragon has attacked you.
We all have dragons,
in differing degrees of reality.
This time it’s real.
So much so, that you
wonder who it is that
they talk about
in hushed voices.

The first and the worst
thought, is to believe
that you are alone.
Like the cinematic vassal,
when the message comes,
I will drop my axe, or hoe,
and come to you,
along with my tribe.

Because we believe
in goodness.
And those I know
to be good,
have told me that
you too, are good.
And that’s good enough.

Marching with the rest
of my rustic electronic
village, we will
come to you
in your time
of need.
And that is how Dragons
are slain.



Tuesday 1 May 2007

Prarie Poetry Ezine

Prairie Poetry Ezine is one of my favourite poetry sites. Its remit is narrow enough, prairie poetry not sounding exactly universal, however the range they publish each month manages to be surprising and innovative. A classic example of transcending the rules, producing something that speaks to oursiders as well as the initiated.

I love each new edition, and it's well worth looking at! The May edition is up favourites by far are Arrogant Bones by Larry Schug and Jacob Is by Brwyn Harris.