Tag Archives: Family


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

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

Moving Back Again

Moving Back Again

And once again I sit
Another last time to contemplate,
The kitchen’s almost bare
The living room hollow echoes
As the kids watch something to distraction.
A cool draught saunters in for a second
Hand in hand with the sounds of the city
And then back to the inside
The plughole gurgling at a deeper depth
Threatening the surface
The tap hasn’t dripped for some minutes
Somewhere an awful song sung in Hungarian
If the original is any better I cannot tell
I’m just not in the mood.
Plastic crackles, the reality where a fireplace would feature
But let’s return from twee
My geansaí grey but I’m not a Yeatsian fisherman.
I sit here a moment in a kitchen that will fade
Realising and those moments in blend almost already gone.

©The Hairy Teacher, March, 2018

What DO they think

What DO they think of us 

Our parenting books 

Our observational comedy 

Our moaning about fatigue 

Expecting sympathy 

Perhaps even pity. 

What do they think 

Raised hard and poor 

No TV, no distractions. 

Electronic nannies!?! 

No nannies, no babysitters at all 

Except the eldest 

Who kept the youngest along 

And the other in line. 

What do they think of us 

With our worries and our fears 

Those who witnessed glass smashed, 

Fingers broken and much more. 

What will we think when we’re like them? 


© TheHairyTeacher 2017

In Plight

My mother’ grip weaker but tighter too 

A desperate plea to me and to mortality 

The love abounding but unstable 

The conditions placed upon herself weigh badly. 

“Was I a good mother?” the plaintive quest to understand 

The fear of an Unforgiven. 

Yet what her memories paint and what of them remain 

I cannot judge 

But what I can induce is blame 

That reassurances will never penetrate. 


A child robbed of youth; 

Or the joy therein, 

Robbed of a father through the maraudings of a mean mother 

And when his death arrived 

Though grown 

She was left alone against the politics of the justifiably estranged 

Strained through years of conflict and contradiction. 


So what then of my future in this mess? 

A hand that will grip tight long after death 

Is made of love and not the need for love 

To reciprocate is joy 

But to give without expectation is strength 

And to never look for reassurances is brave – 

Especially at the end. 


© TheHairyTeacher 2017

Across a notion

In the faded blue now turned dark 

There sparkle the settlements of an age 

An eyesore to the unspoilt landscape 

A sign of hope to the weary traveler 

A beacon amidst the puffs of clouds 

Which dispel the views our tired minds are longing for. 

Holding on just this little bit longer 

The time now measured in our descent 

as the clouds embalm us 

The darkness almost entombing –  

But we pray, collectively, 

That engineering, yes science, 

Will save us again, 

Will transport us safely into the bosom of our destination. 

We are the pilgrims set out against life 

In search of it 

In the nuances of every step 

We are fools  hoping for change 

And yet we see it, 

We feel it, 

Perceive it at every turn. 

But collectively we become lost in the mantras 

The panic, 

The sheer superstition , 

Rock Face sheer, cliffintine, 

We have it, it us 

And shattered in our  communion 

We scream injustice 

Searching for our scapegoat 

The voodoo functions 

The blame is cast 

The snake eyes removed as was our Judas. 

And again as we set down we forget our hysteria 

And once more we move beyond the limits of our fear 

Into the freedom that forgetfulness and ignorance afford us.


© TheHairyTeacher 2017


Back again my pretty creepy crawley 

With school start and hair washed- 

It doesn’t matter. 

You discriminate not though many on your behalf do 

They shout “You filth” and they do not mean you. 

The psychosomatic impulse 

The hand that reaches, scratches, passes back to point 

And waits 

The tendency engorged by fitful, fanciful, frantic 


And back again to torment, Cos that is what you do. 

The morning’s bus-stop-wait inspection 

The routine, the chore imposed. 

Each itch, each scratch, questioned 

Queried, curious, cautious 

And paranoid, yes paranoid, 

The present you endow. 


© TheHairyTeacher 2017

The neighbours

The neighbours
I don’t want to speak to them
I don’t know what to say!
Is she better?
Which one?
The younger one too!?
We’ll see, as my words fail to smile.
I need all my energy for us now
And not for them.
I can paint their world with regalery
Once my own has again found stability.
First things first: Family then friends then neighbours I guess…
But who are they?


© TheHairyTeacher2016

The darker they seem

The darker they seem
With each reach inwards
Each breach of skin and trust.
The pressure, the voices, numbing into shadows along the waste, the perceived pain.
Kisses falter against the torment
Caresses run against the grain.
In the idiocy of a moment
Something matters, something dumb.
There might even be a smile
Or bare intention lost in realizing it
To look ever onwards
And never back.
The pale parade of patient doctors,
Or nervous nurses,
And all the rest.
Inside a lair of greater healing
Before e’er the morning, comes this night first.

© TheHairyTeacher2016

Back and forth

Back and forth on errand trail
The need for joy a subtle distance.
For hope itself disguised in rage
The world around now not a friend.
The silver lining wearing thin
Searching for the sun beyond.
Bit by bit a ray but then
A cloudburst too to spoil our mood.


© TheHairyTeacher2016

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