Tuesday, April 29, 2008

High On Clouds: Dublin / Reykjavik

Finally piercing it, the sphagnum-grey, heading for the sun's blue romper room
above Ireland

Over Scotland
tilted into the shine
specked by black
keyhole islands
edge of Scotland

sea-mauled edge, salt
bite of a bay, rime
of a town
landing in Icelan

puckers and long fissures
cooked scar tissue
tipp-exed with snow, roads
that might actually get somewhere
Over Iceland

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I had never heard of this term till yesterday (it sounds rather sinister and Big Brotherish), but I have now been blogtagged by the Divine Ms Baroque (she who must be obeyed). All I have to do is reveal six random things about myself. Since this may be my one and only celebrity-style request, it would be churlish to refuse. So here are the six, illustrated:

1. My Other Genre
Allen the Alien
Alien is one of my favourite movies. I love a good ghost, horror or sci-fi flick.

2. Reshuffle
runner on the East Pier, Dun Laoghaire
After a four year hiatus, I've finally resumed running/fast walking, and have suddenly discovered what the iPod Shuffle my wife gave me as a birthday present over a year ago is REALLY for: Bowie, Bach, Santana, Tori Amos, Négresses Vertes... I'm rediscovering them all.

3. Hairy
passport & cat
I used to have VERY long hair, right down to my waist
(now it's the Roddy Doyle look, what Billy Connolly called 'the Millennium Comb-over').

4. Superstition
Gutter Grate
There is one particular drain-cover I drive over nearly every morning. If I can get it to make a satisfying 'clunk' I tell myself the day will end on a happy note.

5. Clouds
Iona Tce. Blackrock, Dublin
If there was a vacancy for a cloudwatcher (a vacancy for vacancy) I'd fit the bill.

6. Tartness!
Lemon Light
When I finish a G&T I eat the lemon.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Handholds 2

Searching through Skip, off Dame Street, Dublin

There: the voices thrown
from Thingmote’s mound

Here: moved earth, the grind
of gears on Nassau Street

There: what netted the names
in the maps’ blood vessels

Here: names to be given:
Skateboard Alley, Fr. Noise Quay,
Out Of Our Heads Walk…

There: Pale walls, the beerbarrel
clatter of weaponry

Here: a soiled pink blanket
in a doorway, a nation at the gates,
real estate

There: footholds, the splash of feet
on the hurdle ford

Here: old ladders in a skip,
new holds, rungs in the air

from a sequence, HANDHOLDS

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Night Chorus

Moonbird 2

I have occasionally heard the odd bird calling at night, but hadn't thought much about it. I was originally a nightbird myself, and right into my early 30s would frequently stay up till dawn, taking strolls around shuttered Dublin or pitch dark Bray Head with similarly inclined friends, chatting into the small hours about all kinds of wonderful nothings. So far as I know, the avian world might have room for its own oddballs, delinquents, perverts etc.

According to the New Scientist, what I have been hearing may be the early signs of an evolutionary shift, as birds species begin to adapt to urban living by singing at night. Apparently, their little voices tend to get drowned by the persistent human cacophony: especially the grey zooshing of early rush-hour traffic. Birds are also altering their calls, singing louder to be heard above the din.

Has anyone heard it yet, the Night Chorus? Patience; the musicians are tuning their instruments.