Thursday, February 16, 2017

Open Foelys Mic


Turn right out the door
then left
up Werburgh to Leo Burdocks
Lord Edward opposite Christchurch
and the five-road one-way split
where bagheads on brown
bent-over double in gauche prayer
for a liquid green Eucharist
beckon we join the Castle
Street mis en scene.
A loose congregation
of junkies and drunks
gathered to share the unwavering
faith of a godless addiction.

Three thirty at the Eastern Health
Board a door turns open
and methadone is administered
to this fallen flock of the ignored
& forgotten few servicing their fix.
After which they disperse to Saint
Patrick's park and quarrel strung-out
stanzas, settled by breeze-blown
whim:  the plot or course
 in a cloud’s movement deciding
 the outcome of whether or not
their suits are dismissed or proven.


Weekend Spinning

A bird flapping
toward the bright
moon, balanced

in awkward light
shallow water
below its wings

tiny bird in flight.


the temperature
of the intellect

Beneath Lough Arrow, the Plain of Pillars, Sligo,
Moytura; the ancient gods’ eternal force spiraling up

and down two gyres, ascending and descending,
summoning the instrument wrought with harp & club,

two forms, four cycles, and a cauldron from the pages
time forgot.

A three-strained harp of joy, sorrow and slumber
eliciting fictions lilting soundlessly, wind-snared

in feet of druidic silence, and the demiurgic dogma
of Gnostic geometry above a friendly moon–worn

cloud hung blankly iambic - a pluvial shed - Ogma’s
finger fanning forward wound hither within our breast.

Index-meshed, passionate reflections signing
messages in rain, settling in slate-lettered air-flashes

the elemental energy composed that mirror
no time stored, in the beaten racket, every sound

in pyschic ink, strained there flowered in strings
of savage grace; flitting old style, full-throated

addressing possessed the self-penning challenge memory
made sacred.

The object of a stone logainm name-lore log enech
face price plucked from a four-angled oak blossom
in the wood-throated bark-song the ear hears

anew in the unspotted stillness, silken silence,
clocks countering cloaks, forward swelling

at the foot of Faery Hill, toiling left in proud mist,
dense as pain-ravelled centuries, concealed

in a plain old thread of the simple suffering,
an embroidered and worn telescopic hawk eye,

butterfly and cuckoo's wing, dreamer hooting afresh
at dawn, still embalming faithful water; away

shall depart in silence with salmon and hazel,
Finn at Segais Well. And on the eternal site

of our return, reflecting in the dimmest mote
of deepest night, all of time strung there in this

thread wound hereafter round bole and branch.
A sean-nós riddle easily hidden from our sense.

The fragrance of a tree that to a foreign ear is lost,
blossoming on a ridge pole in May.

The home-stream harp music tu-wit tu-wooing,
pollinating flower fruit, bee-nut and heart-muse

the river marsh rushing part there in, murmuring
songs, long estranged from the pushing blind

eye that wrote a soul-gods’ breath sung open
in a heartfelt note, at a foam-lit bridge, invoked.


We don't need no supermarkets, we don't need no banks
coz we live in the Liberties and we got our own flats,
a ten minute walk and we're in all of the gaffes;

a pint in Toners and a ball in the Swan, we’re gonna
start our own government of the tongue over a swifty

in Houricons, four at Bowes, six at Donehy and Nesbitts
and five in Doyles; where we mix the music and we speak
through song, then a couple of chasers at Mulligans,

with some quare D4 folk slagging us bcuz we're free
and alone. We don't need no bus pass, don't need no
car, just two wheels with the Dublin Bikes swipe-card.

We don't need no judgement, don't need no hate, just
a fek awf book deal for a series of eight. Yeah, in
funny stories and in pithy short lines, well wrought

verses and we'll see yiz in five, coz we aint unkool
'n we aint no skwares, we are the art school DJs
the pride of our local area, n' we don't need yohl

outsiders tellin us what to do, just a computer n’
flashcard of banging tunes. A few scoops on Monday

at the Long Hall and Stags, talking of vinyl and
riding home drunk on our bikes, we don't need no
hi-viz, no rain gear, no lights, just a ten bob smile

and what everyone likes, competitively spinning
in the verse of our lives at a session on Friday

in JJ Smythes, at the monthly recordings, in a
weekly podcast, with a midweek gig at a curated mic,
above in the Palace or below in the Mezz, at the side

of Waxies and in Copper Faced Jacks, we're all
bleed'n blue and we're all bleed'n red, we wear
giggly faces and we're green in the head, coz it's

all effin this and it's all effin that, we swear
like troopers, yeah, we eff ti fok; we know the
literary garbage from the good in the gab

of a Goatstown A-list Ballsbridge posh oh’s
wannabe looking up at us, 'n the whites of dem
oiz wid prejudiced minds emoting taste and tone

here at the bottom on the Coombe across the road
from Francis Street, hearing this note,
that we believe, experience, feel and phwoar,

'worra peroppa loop'.

Yil no read, see, think, watch, fuke uz ova or
steal our dreams, ye faze buke doort bawds noh
from tha leburtaze


Lennan Sidhe

Eye the chasm of a heart
refuse to look past a pool
of cloud drawing love
to force a tide of will.

Storms of white horse water
whip the dawn, and sleeping
a beggar scattered his dream.

Love is thy neighbour
in this mirror of broken
flotsam, rippling the night-
scented silence, and divinity
crying within us, risen
in the remembrance of a ghost,
flickering beyond love.

The momentary illusion
of a lost son fled when passion
beneath his hooded caul web,
wrapping the night above us,
enmeshed Her fragrance
in memory, tapered
to what passed between us,
what drop from the scaffold
befell us, and why the platform
will claim a green glow.

A red-lipped lady envisaging
Ormskirk and Cabra, mourning
the ancestral flow of this heart
less rendered to hate, shocked
to a state of bemused
imitational grace.

So flit free soul
steal the shadow of home
and make love with none
but your own, cool breeze,
moving through sandy cove,
moss siding on a wall,
complicit the windless sidhe is here.


The section below is the middle section, in which Ó Dálaigh likens Maurice Fitz Maurice to famous Tuatha De Danann champion, Lugh.

The son of Tuatha Dé Dannan father Cian and Formorian mother Ethniu (Enya), daughter of a pirate-raider Balor, whose stronghold was Tory island off the coast of Donegal, and who kept her locked in a tower after a druidic prophecy that he would die at the hands of his grandson.

Essentially he recounts one of the most famous of the 350 mythological tales in the bardic cannon: The Coming of Lugh to Tara. In which the teenage Lugh attempts to gain entry and join the Men of Art, but is turned away - until reeling off a whole bundle of tricks and skills he's capable of.

The original Gaelic meter is snédbairdne. Lines of 12 syllables broken with a caesura after the eighth, quatrains of 8-4, 8-4, 8-4, 8-4, each end-word 2 syllables long, with lines B&D rhyming, and 'aicill' between C&D; the final word of C rhyming with a word on the beginning or interior of D.

It was no marvel that he did good, so excellent
was his training. No marvel men envied his fortune

so great was his gaiety. A merry tale will be found
with the skillful youth; so tall and bright, elegant

and white-footed; this leader of the fair host who
excelled in understanding, comeliness and success.

Who - in short - won all the varied excellences
with the excellence of his sweetness of voice.

His prize for valour, his prize for wisdom, for beauty
or generosity, were not granted to any heir of his age.

Strength in luck, luck with success, a modest heart,
understanding to keep him, curling tresses he had

gotten. When he was injured, the sod that
chanced to be under his white foot, certified it to be

the handsome brown haired prince. The planets

declared it to his curling hair.


The like of Maurice, who exalted bards, was Lugh
Longhand; equally great in knowledge was this

valiant compeer equal in sway. At the age of
Maurice, the earl's son, he delivered Banbha,

when he, the mighty tree of Bladhma, defeated
the race of the Formorians. At Eamhain in the east,

Lugh the darling of Tara beheld Tara - Rampart
of Té - when he reached it after searching the whole

earth. Lugh, champion of our choice, finds the door
closed: he goes to the smooth even-surfaced wall;

he strikes the knocker. "Where have you come from"
The doorkeeper said

"O young red-cheeked man; tall, smooth, strong
and bright?"

Answered Lugh, who neither sought nor shirked a fight
"I am a poet from Eamhain, of the Apple trees,

of swans and yew trees."

"It is not lawful for you" said the doorkeeper,
"to come to our good house. There is a man

of your art in our stronghold, bright and ruddy one.
The House of Miodhchuairt belongs at this time

to the sons of Ethliu; we must tell of the qualities
of the fair curved house. One of the qualities of the

House of Miodhchuairt, whose borders are smooth,
is that two of one craft are not admitted, fair

and furious one. So many are the arts
of the Tuatha Dé Dannan, bestowers of cloaks,

that you must bring to them an art they do not know."

"Among my arts - conceal it not to the company
beyond the gate - is leaping on a bubble without

breaking it. Go recount that. Snámh ós éttreóir,
arrying a vat on the ridges of the elbows;

these two arts are in my power; go declare it. Ask
whether there is one of the vigorous throng

that can outrun any steed on the fair soft green,
we promise a race. What i recount is here as an

extra beyond them, and in their own arts, none
is so expert as I. I speak not in anger."

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