5th Avenue Haiku

Haiku inspired by two old ladies strolling along Fifth Avenue ,New York City, incorporating a commentary on our times and a measured response to the politics of President Trump

 

“Wouldn’t you think they

would take his Twitter away?”

“I know!  It’s simple.”

 

 

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

A wonderful evening at the Old Forge on The New Line Road, County Wexford. People gather and share music, tales, poetry, tea, coffee and sandwiches. I hope to post some video from this shortly so keep an eye out. Also, St Brigid’s Day, 1st February, is nigh. That is the first day of Spring by Irish reckoning and is the date of the Ancient Celtic Festival of Imbolc. I will have special work posted for that day. Looking forward to a good years blogging in 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.”

Here be whales

It’s not often you get a chance to get so close to whales, dolphins or even seals in their natural habitats.  Depending on where you live it could be the result of a once-in-a-lifetime experience, or something completely unexpected.

For others it could be relatively common, something almost unnoticed.  I posted a poem, “The Tholsel, Kilkenny”, here on that very topic, one person’s exotic being another’s normal.

http://wp.me/p1x8WB-9R

This was my response to a painting by Paul Henry RHA of the ancient Toll House (Tholsel) in my native Kilkenny City, Ireland.  The first time I saw this I was astonished that a sight as familiar to me as a wristwatch could be seen and painted in such a beautiful way by someone from elsewhere.  The poem includes the couplet

So my familiar seems exotic to you,

as my exotic is your familiar too

Perhaps this is an uncommon call to be prepared for astonishment in a wonderful world.

whaling-map

Searching for ‘whale watching tours’ will direct you to various scattered locations such as Alaska, California, Boston, Hawaii.  Perhaps other evocative names appeal to you?  How about Madagascar, Newfoundland, Vancouver Madagascar?  Ireland will be familiar to some, distant and imagined to others.

skipper-martin-colfer

Walk down the street where I live and you will come to a busy fishing harbour.  Trawlers come and go, fish are offloaded and truck heavily-laden pass through the village carrying the haul to the next destination.  Two piers make up the harbour.  The outer one is larger and is built in deeper water.  The inner pier creates a small harbour generally used by the smaller craft, including charter boats.

‘The Rebecca C’ is a catamaran which is moored in our inner harbour when it is not at sea or berthed in similar ports along the coast.  She has a yellow hull, white deck and cabin and is skippered by Martin Colfer. In season ‘The Rebecca C’ is chartered by angling groups who spend time at sea pursuing their passion.

There is another season in Martin’s work.  He is also a leading light in the Whale Watching World.  Nature enthusiasts, TV crews, photographers, both professional and amateur, pursue their prey with his help, out beyond the Hook Head Lighthouse.

ships-photographer

January and February seem to be the best months to catch sight of the migrating whales.  Travelling out towards likely viewing sites you can often pass through large pods of dolphins or be watched by curious seals

One trip in 2016 brought us through a pod of dolphins so large we gave up trying to count beyond a hundred.  What was particularly touching that day was that they seemed to be clustered in family groups, trios mainly of mother, child and father.  Playful animals that they are it is easy watch them race the boat, chase each other towards or sometimes simply showing off.  We have even seen individual fish skimming along beside us, escaping from their pursuers.

dolphin-families

Without a doubt the most memorable experience to date has been meeting a Humpback Whale in January 2017.  We were so close not only could we hear her breathing but even see the droplets of water falling from her body, her flukes, as she disappeared into her other home in the depths below.  Gone for now, out of sight, but lingering in our memory for a long time to come.

fluke-humpback-2017

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.

%d bloggers like this: