Trapped for an hour in the motorway traffic.
Morning Ireland prattling on about our unusual weather,
their experts sifting through the morning’s tray of fresh disasters—
infants being scythed in Gaza, being stoned at a Belfast school.
Our small talk stretches taut and snaps;
after three weeks of rising hopes
there’s blood again in your stool.

*

Sell house sell van,
sell tools, move on,
downsize, two rooms will have to do,
now what?
now who?
now where to?

*

All their gardens clamping shut
behind their high electric gates
while ulcers gnaw your colon
and you learn to shit through plastic tubes
wearing nappies like a newborn
and to queue queue queue queue
and wait wait wait wait
to fill in never ending forms
pleading thin cold mercies of the state.

*

The M1 thaws.
We deal slogans.
One Day At A Time,
Easy Does It,
Think Think Think
This Too Shall Pass.
Snap and snap and snap and snap.

*

Zooming through Stillorgan
towards the next appointed task—
reconstructing half an acre in Foxrock.

*

Without asking,
I pick the Big Blue Book from off the sill
and leafing through discover
that its not the Big Blue Book
I mean but is instead The Book of Mormon.
I fold it shut and sit it back again,
without asking.

*

Sculpting beech to suit the lady’s privacy binning those damned discolouring leaves
hacking the loathsome glut of weeds,
snapping the muscle thick fibres of vines
burning maggots snails and slugs
from their trenches tunnels under rocks
slimy bastards watch them writhe
bombed with phosphorous and lime.

*

Hours we bend and heave and drag,
hours snipped and tugged and piled and bagged
hours sweating in this strange November heat
and hardly halt to share a word or catch a breath
save pitying an out of season bumblebee
heading south across the garden drowsily
flying by next year’s uncompleted map
in a drunk erratic droning zig zag
hovering over the flowerless stems
snouting their unborn blooms for pollen
then dropping rapidly to earth,
and driving its sting into the dirt;
lured by the lying sun from its hibernal rest
springtime in the winter confusing it to death.

*

I light a cigarette
rest against the garden trampoline.
Build me a thousand new prisons
I’ll fill them with my raging dream.

*

Beneath a sheared bush
two sparrows peck at the dust
then peck each other.

*

I want to run
out of this half
conquered garden
I want to leave
the dogged weeds
to groping on
to leave them sucking
unnatural light
out of this odd late
sun.