For those who love books, part one

At the Library, New Ross

From my window desk, perched

high above the grey slated gables

I pause for thought, seeing spires

rising above the town, my view

tumbles towards two great rivers,

joined now as one, gliding gently

through.

 

I came to write peacefully,

to avoid distractions,

the well-known, oft cursed,

enemy of poets and writers.

 

Yet how can I ignore young birches

as Autumn colours grace their leaves

while they cradle in their golden grove

an amphitheater crying out for a voice

to proclaim aloud sheer joy that I live

near such a scribbler’s sanctuary?

 

The trees tremble as a soft breeze

flutters leaves, then wafts me back to

work where the very blood of words,

fresh ink, flows.

 

 

 Ó   Kevin Connelly 2018

The Old People Said

The old people said… 

 

illness runs in families.

They knew who was likely

to have heart or lung disease,

who might yet be afflicted.

 

The old people said…

when someone had an operation

things often became worse,

as if the body being opened

the cure became the problem.

 

The old people said…

the time would come

when you wouldn’t

know the seasons

but by the leaves on the trees.

 

The old people said

these things and more

and I didn’t believe them, because I was young

and I didn’t believe them, because they were old,

but now they are gone and I am older,

now I understand what the old people meant

when they said illness runs in families,

when they said the cure by times becomes the problem,

when they said the seasons would only be known

by leaves on the trees.

 

Now I know the wisdom

in their words when

the old people said…

 Tintern woods20171

Visiting Parks

3 Public Parks, USA

 

On Boston Common the squirrels

are shy, darting away, barely visible,

ready to ambush the Redcoats,

should they dare to return.

 

Around Central Park the squirrels

are such exhibitionists.  They

prance, peer, pose precociously.

Aerial antics delight their audience.

 

In Washington Square the squirrels

are quite simply, laid back.  Stretched

out on branches they listen to the music,

basking lazily to the busker’s beat.

 

Much too soon there were no more seen,

the time had come to leave for home.

After all you know what they say,

“Three squirrels and you’re out!”

 

 

 

 

K Connelly, Midtown Manhattan July 4th 2017

Old Scars

Old scars

Dead men tell no tales

but old scars do.

Each one begins in violence

then settles over time

into another forgotten one.

Scattered around out of sight

some of them, others not

really invisible, more

likely so familiar

as to be unnoticed,

almost unseen.

 

There are times when some flare

to life.  Time heals

it is true, but

changing times, if for the worse,

can revive old weals,

as arthritis in bad weather

becomes again a curse.

 

I hear that old crackling creak

getting to my feet, finding the remote,

switching off the sound

of an election debate,

silencing those damned old scars

never quite gone away for good,

once and for all.

 

Keyboard Warriors

Here be keyboard warriors

 

Riding across the Great Plains

of Qwerty they are masters in the saddle.

Words become weapons to wound,

especially the already weakened.

 

Hunting down the honest,

targeting the truthful,

they circle grimly around

ready to take them down.

 

Here they make their vicious stand

laughing as you try to wrestle

invective, deflection, deception,

with mere facts leavened with

truths thorough and profound.

 

Against their legions of straw-men

you have but little chance.

They learned from their evil master

“if you must tell a lie,

make it a big one.”

Normal People

Normal People

lead normal lives

and have perfectly

ordinary people all

around them. They

are never troubled

and bad things

only ever happen

to other people

and they are

never other peoples

other people. I’d

love to know

some ordinary people

but I don’t.

Flying over water, Catalonia

old cambrils2

Michaela arranged it.  On the quayside

in old Cambrils she sells tickets

to seekers after thrills, those

who would glide above blue waters

lit by shimmering summer sunlight.

old cambrils1

She passed us over to her two friends

on board the smartly sleek speed boat.

Once beyond the harbours arms,

once out on the open water

they prepared our safety harness,

our tackle untangled, our ropes made ready

while we watched, staying out of harm’s way.

They smiled in friendship and aloft we went.

paragliding1

Our big, beautiful brightly coloured

parachute became our sail.

The rope holding us to the deck

became our shared umbilical cord.

Together in the breeze above

we smiled and laughed in delight

as we gently turned along the coast.

paragliding2

Changing  patterns in the sea were visible now,

forty shades of blue water beneath

and above all so peaceful and serene.

No adrenaline rush this, instead we

were content to let the water, the air, ourselves,

gently flow.

bluebird cambrils

At Montjuic Magic Fountains, Barcelona

magic fountains2

Firstly, they cascade clear, cool, water

down carved stone stairways while

magic fountains1

splashing spouts soar through falling

fountains, mist becomes mesmerising.

magic fountains3

Then, they shine bright lights through

endless drops of water rising, falling,

magic fountains5

colours chasing each other, dazzling

the eye, spectrum becomes surreal.

magic fountains5

 

Finally, they add music, pouring perfect

notes through water, through light,

liquid notes creating a crescendo

of

colourful

cataracts.

 

magic fountains6

Duncannon, a stranger called

Duncannon, a stranger called.

We were happily pottering in our little

seaside garden. It was a fine Spring day.

Plants were placed, watering almost done,

proof against the drought,

when quite suddenly he was there.

IMG_4879

He was not expected.  My wife was

the one who noticed him.  She asked,

“what do you make of that?”

At first I did not know what it was

she meant, but looking up from

my work I too saw him close at hand.

He was silent, it seemed he spoke

in ways we could not comprehend.

We were quiet then, as he was.

The only sounds heard were the hushed

murmurs of the little waves gently falling

on Duncannon’s nearby strand.

“We should offer him food,”she said,

then added, “and something

to drink, perhaps he’s thirsty.”

Food and water we placed before him

Keeping a wary eye on us he drank

with evident relish.  Still silence held,

no-one saying anything.  We

watched him as he watched us.

He wore some form of I.D. bracelet, but the

writing was too small, to us almost invisible.

When the water was gone the pigeon

flew away, our little visitor who seemed

to know that we would offer water to

a stranger, even in a drought.