Archived Poetry & Short Stories

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Puskin played his part Why not I?

Puskin played his part Why not I?

That I May yet across a summer glade brooding 

Imagine love true love through my boyish vision 

And yet may I remember it hence 

At a time this time of writing 

With the clarity that would as it was passing now. 

That I May yet paint a picture truly 

Not guided by a dream not dreamed but stolen 

That I may figure such words as love 

From a canvas freshly met and at points still dripping. 

That I May yet open up to my losses 

Counting them fairly not feigning to carefree 

That I may recognize each moment’s worth 

Or accept that at times I could have done and more bravely. 

© The Hairy Teacher, October 31st, 2019.

What’s In A Name

What’s In A Name

We gave ourselves a name

Each and every day we valued it just the same.

We didn’t deride it even when others did

Or we did only at the very end –

Broken, resigned, or perhaps just disappointed:

But we were motivated just the same.

Now our name precedes us

Into the realm of everything we do

And because it’s not unique

We change it,

Design it,

So as to be understood.

We feign indifference

Presume normality

But we have yet to draw the truth from out the stone.

We probably don’t even recognise

That what we’re doing makes us more alone.

We have become disfigured by our fantasy

Where our friends, benevolent,

Fulfil our testimony

Until the moment that we no longer just agree

And then we realise the extent of self-made tragedy.

We sign in, log out, and never stop to think

That we have changed because

That we are not because

That we are because

Of what we’ve chosen.

© The Hairy Teacher, 2019, Just after the hour went back.

What I want is

I want to create again
To write that poem
With proud held pen
I want to write it perfectly
As I imagined when read
It would be.
I want it to express everything
To capture the essence
To finally take wing.
I want it to soar like that Russian’s*
Like that love
And to forget nothing.
I want it to be
remembered for the words it spent
And for posterity.
I want it forgotten
To be misquoted
And turned to something rotten.
I want it to have
A life of its own, organic,
And then I’ll be glad.

*Yevgeny Yevtushenko: ” Poetry is like a bird, it ignores all frontiers”

Find What You Love

Find What You Love

Find what you love and let it kill you,
Let it consume and destroy you.
Let it never from your sight that is inside you
Let it be the definition of the why of you.
But first just let it be that urge to suffer
Let it wander, take a course, that you can follow
And take a risk jump right in and bathe in everything
That presents itself and that yet may have nought to offer
Let what ifs be another’s foolish game
Let regret be experience and not shame
And if you win hold your head in humble high
And let not loss be a reason to deride
Both yourself and those that you would blame
But first find that thing that essence and your end.

© The Hairy Teacher, 2019.

The Changing Times

The Changing Times

We are the traders, upstanding us all
Merchants, purveyors, at your beck and call
Ready to help you, relieve you of cash
Just one thing we beg you, no change should you pass
Only paper is worthy, and coins if worth much
The lower in value too filthy to touch
It’s your duty to hoard it, in boxes to keep
And never reveal it to bury it deep
For what is this coinage but the pointless remains
Of the money you gave us, so spare us the pain
And please don’t insult us demanding your right
For if you had any then what here could I write?
In fact it’s a privilege extended to you
So please stop complaining that this will not do
Moreover, how dare you even challenge this quo
And say that it’s we who have burdened you so
For what would you be if it wasn’t for us
So please just be quiet and stop making a fuss.

© The Hairy Teacher, 2019.

The Unfinished Hotel

The homeless woman in the homeless women’s line

Always gave me the time to take my change with her sweet smile 

The drunken Gypsy begging for a coin 

Pointing at my bulging belly when I said that I had none, 

As if my rotundness was my wealth 

Any man who can build a belly must have money too. 

Miklós shouting at me from two floors below 

Never sober always drunk then never more 

My reflection if I made my life that choice 

His face remains but time has lost his voice. 

The Jewish centenarians living right next door 

TV blaring into the evening 

To compensate a faded hearing 

But deaf and drunk next door with my guitar 

Their apologies unnecessary 

Mine greeted with such gentle smiles.

The flower lady made her  garden just downstairs

Smiling up at me in all my states 

But my brother never felt but focused evil eye 

Why me? he’d ask  Not you?

I had no answer not that any could ever do 

She was the flower lady with the changing mood 

To turn her into an angel would do no good. 

The courtyard queen sitting watching all 

The kindest watchdog I have ever met 

The Gypsy family scaring her away till they did leave again and she did stay 

The skinhead bar the gauntlet to be run 

On Friday nights the kicks would fly but wined up it mattered none 

Except to the poor soul coming against me in the haze 

No drink bravado to help him along his way 

Then turning left or going straight ahead 

To wherever this night that night it led 

To Tina Turner’s bar at Podmaniczky’s end 

The crooked smiles and tilted tongues, 

The cheating, daring, hours lost and friendships won

From every side of day no end in sight 

A springboard, a pillow, a hunger, till night took flight

Rub a dub dub three men stumbling in 

The bodyguard the soldier the chef 

A slip on the ice brought the big fellow down 

But the helping hand winning free drinks. 

Up Pod’s North East the two hearts did beat 

The young lady for beauty 

The old lady for speech 

In our lingo the bar eponymously called 

The Old Lady’s Now lost  

At Immeasurable cost. 

Such news learnt through a bath time discussion 

Such things lost with education, progression. 

New generations forsaking old ones’ schemes 

Themselves in search of future dreams. 

The trainyard calling in the depths of night, the tunnel farther up connecting in a howl on the drunken bike 

The loneliness on those dark nighttime feats 

The memories reflecting on the wet cobbled streets… 

© The Hairy Teacher, 2019.

The Production Line

In the depth of a drink
Editing, considering,
I raise my eyes
Just for a moment
And watch
And I allow this distraction
And I allow it to grow,
Grow into the image
Of motion, movement,
Towards…?
The end of the line.

© The Hairy Teacher, 2019.

Impressions

Friday fifth of July
Just over on Leitrim Street and Watercourse Road
Sun gleams through the freshness of the morning
Heating me from the inside.
Up at the Revenue’s Maedbh is nice
Her voice over the phone courteous, kind.
Next up and over through older and new
Along Lansdowne terrace then the top the Hill
To the school, my next stop, and where this summer will…
The laughter the smiles the general avoidance
Till mentioned and breezed over
Short-changed on overdue promises
Back through the city
Doing Pana at a stretch
Trusting and coiling till the Mall once again.
The bank building
A beauty, a glimpse of times past
The twenty on the floor
Unclaimed then named mine.
And last but not least
To the corner, Union Quay,
Not to Charlie’s but next door
Into the Grind and coffee
The comings and goings
The stories the chat
Another place I could drop into
If I ever really came back.

If I ever came back
On my own terms only
A nine to fiver would kill me
Of this now I am certain.

© The Hairy Teacher 2019, Corkban

The title Lost

Inside, the tap-ad-slap of falling raindrops soothes.
Outside it drenches to the bone.
All adventure set aside,
all such plans they dissipate…

along the fear inflected path…
“Enough,” I say “Enough of that!”
And yet the pen in fruit-continual
Bears Hope in words residual.
The easing of the ex-hibitions
Perhaps to failing my contrition
At every corner subterfuge
The ego does the man delude.

© The Hairy Teacher, 2019

They can’t have it

They can’t have it

They shall not have what we had
They can’t.
“Aw but I remember my first time seeing an elephant”
Yeah, I’m sure you do.
That sideways dance, head nodding, tongue lolling?
I’m sure you do.
They cannot have what we had
They never will.
“But it’s unfair to deprive them of that wonder”
The one that makes up your childhood memories?
Try living for them for a change,
Not through them.
Their lives will be eventful, of that you can be certain.
They mustn’t have what we had,
They can’t.
“ Surely it’s up to them to decide”
Fine by me, but what do you allow a one year old? A razor blade for tea?
Might as well if you keep excusing the present because of a past.
Seems odd to me.
They won’t have what we had
They never can.
“But…”
But what? It’s fucked, all of it.
Clean air, what a joke
Free to travel, that old lie
A future, perhaps
But not on our terms – no more.

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