Author Archives: martinoregan

This is not that poem

This is not that poem

You can pronoun the shit out of the situation but you can still be wrong,

and you’ll be made to understand that you have been so wrong.

You can apologise and yet be classed as ignorant, no room for manoeuvre.

You can be anything but right. You’re white, therefore you’re wrong.

You can protest but that’s violence: there’s a lawsuit on the way.

You have hip friends, young and interesting,

They depart with each word you say.

You studied feminism yet you’re sexist

Cos you dare challenge the new convention.

Even though the old one needed toppling

You expressed doubt that it needed upgrading.

Rather, you screamed, it needed changing

A new direction, post-instituition.

But it got lost in all and sundry:

the dreaded irony?

You die the one that wanted dialogue.

 

© The Hairy Teacher, March, 2018

Freyed

Freyed

In a vision of the moment cast aside,

and yet – with each intake of breath –

There would seem to be a harmony,

what’s more – a dreaded repetition.

 

Why does the cycle present its terror

Except in the knowledge of what was before.

Therefore, no man feels stable, secure,

Nor draws comfort from that

which has become oh so predictable:

And in the tortured will to survive

Man surrenders life to existence.

 

© The Hairy Teacher, March, 2018

Holnap és hónap squared

Holnap és hónap squared

Holnap és hónap squaredl
We could all ascribe word play to any nuance of the language we so wished but in so doing we may risk being misunderstood, or worse being arrogant enough to think we should have been understood. For learners of a foreign language, the vaguely familiar becomes something of a beacon and so it is understandable that we begin to see a logic, a connection, where in reality there isn’t. For example, tomorrow isn’t a toast to Morrow and yet poetic and archaic, morrow still means tomorrow, therefore at least there is an idea to it having meaning, ie making sense. But there are no divisive women in Mérnök, even If to an outsider it’s all just a matter of time: time in this case being the length of time given to the vowel sound Ö , not Ő. Same thing isn’t it. It’s just another funny looking O. Blah, blah, blah. It is, get over it! (Oh, don’t you just hate it when foreigners try to tell you what’s what concerning your own language, well, the language you learnt to speak first, your mother tongue, even if you were snatched from your mother’s arms at birth and raised solely by your father. Many cans of worms could be opened up here, but really, who in their right mind would even want to bother!)
When I think of csizma, rather when I hear it, I’m immediately drawn to the notion of a request for cheese as directed at one’s mother. Then when I playfully rehash it as sajtanya, I get queer looks or prolonged groans. It really isn’t funny, they’re saying, but maybe I don’t want it to be funny. Maybe I was trying to be creative with the language in a way a native never thinks to do. Of course, a Hungarian who knows no English is very much entitled to tilt the head from side to side in incomprehension, but one would at least like the more proficient speakers to accept the foreigners’ input. “We would never say that” Who’s that WE? I have a Hungarian poet friend who probably would, and probably has. Maybe WE is restricted to terribly unimaginative people, or maybe that’s just my way of getting people to come over to my side. Insulting people for their beliefs in the hope of changing their minds, or at least silencing them, is all the rage these days. “Deplorables, I tell ya. Deplorables!”

Winter is coming… Again

Winter is coming… Again

(International Poetry Day 21 March, 2018)
The spring just turned and fled
Before my very eyes.
One day the warmth came, gone the next,
And again the dreaded ice.
I wonder if this year at all
We’ll see anything but snow?
The white sheen spread across the land –
Though romantic – now must go!

© The Hairy Teacher, March, 2018

Holnap és hónap a harmadik

Holnap és hónap a harmadik

Seeing then that words are oft times mispronounced, misheard, misunderstood, or mistaken for other words, even among natives of the mother tongue, is it any wonder then that foreigners to the tongue arrive at unforeseeable difficulties and, more appropriately, adapt to its nuances, perhaps even adopting some of the idiosyncrasies associated with other learners of the language. There’s safety in numbers so they say.
Has this ever been truly hammered out in diplomacy? Have studies been undertaken to the degree that there is no possibility that some trade deals have collapsed not because of stubbornness or foolhardiness but rather because of mere misinterpretation? Not just that old claptrappery of lost in translation but rather just lost, full stop. For want of a word the kingdom was lost.
But now that’s another thing: where we see the division is not always where it should be, even if it makes sense. King-dom is clear even if in these nomenclatural times the UQ would be more appropriate , or is that already so 20th century! The United Gender-non-specific-dom? Too much even in these effervescent times? Yet it’s the words that can be broken up differently and still contain meaning; these are the ones that can lead to new perspectives the point of view of the native speakers. Others hold the same sound in the target language but often with quite different definitions.

© The Hairy Teacher, March, 2018

Pessimism

Pessimism

Another step, a neighbourhood
And yet the worries call.
The darkened corners of my doubts
Put service to my fall.
The imagination builds on high
the towers to collapse.
And in the end ruination
– but what will be the cost?

©The Hairy Teacher, March, 2018

This Side

This Side

The scaffolding still stands across the way
And under it other parties now do pass
In the shadow of that tunnel hidden memories
Some borne of repetition some of joy.
Each step a step closer to one’s abode
But- now- the turning wheel dictates the road
Will it be in hindsight our adventure or
In leaving it the spelling of our certain Doom.
The passing faces the road much trodden
The life the thoughts the everything
And in so passing us we too were passing
And are still from this side of the road.

© The Hairy Teacher, March, 2018

The writer tried what the boy didn’t have to

As the writer tries a composition
The young child delves to exploration.
The older hand deemed wiser falters
While the boy’s reality at a whim can alter.
The writer concocts mind-felt emotions
The boy just is in his devotions.
Together they occupy this very moment
But which one’s truly in the present?

©The Hairy Teacher, March, 2018

Holnap és hónap kettő

Holnap és hónap kettő

So if you’re to look at words with the foreign eye you might be tempted to see some familiarity, even order. As a child learning to spell, the word together was always broken up into the sum of its parts, to-get-her, and though I never did find out if anyone ever did get her, or for that matter why she needed to be got, it helped me to remember. But in the world of foreign languages sometimes the familiar can have unforeseen, dare I say, deadly consequences. Now if you get to feeling a tad sheepish because you said you’re pregnant instead of embarrassed (the Spanish word embarazada means pregnant), it mightn’t amount to anything more than a knowing giggle, but perhaps you’re trying to flex your health food savvy in France and think that asking if the relevant food contains preservatives is a good idea, just remember that the French word Préservatif means something ever so slightly different.
As for together, I later learnt that the root is more to do with to gather, which makes perfect sense if you consider the full meaning of both words. That still doesn’t help me with spelling and therefore she will forever more be bound to the pursuit, inextricably linked to the getter in the equation.

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