If you stop thinking

If you stop thinking,
Everything is primal shapes,
Circle, triangle, a blur,
Even colours evaporate.

You’ll have beginners’ luck
In every game you play,
Type at light speed, outrun
Sonic boom and radio waves,

Fly to Tasmania and back
On a bird that’s a factory,
An altar bell, a blackboard,
All in the flash of a blind eye.

Grieving for a bee I tried to rescue

Grieving for a bee I tried to rescue.
I wish I’d never felt love for any human being
But it’s animals I love more, more than people.
Forever regret the mouse that pleaded from a trap.
Oh bee I made a bed for with leaves, forgive me
But they can’t and I am in Hell now.

*

The bee is still
In his dry leaf bower.
The drops of water I left him
He never drank.
He no longer tries to fly.
He has gone to the flowers.

*

I’m sorry if I hurt you by trying to set you free.
Rest, your work is done now, still bee.

Rearranging Curios in the Museum of Religion: The Rooms (RC Wing)

– Magical Bread
– Mortification of the Flesh
– Custody of the Eyes
– Sackcloth and Ashes
– Apparitions and Miracles
– Was Lazarus a Zombie?
– On Your Knees
– Banned Books
– Conclaves & White Smoke
– Statues, Icons and Candles

– Surplices and Cassocks
– Incense, Oil and Holy Water
– Fasting and Altar Wine
– Organs, Hymns and Bells
– Papal Bulls and Celibacy
– Carpenters and Virgins
– Mother and Baby Stables
– Wise Men and Donkeys
– Gold, Frankenstein and Mirth

– Hermits, Stylites and Prophets
– Processions, Relics and Exposition
– Retreats, Novenas and Sodalities
– Statues, Silverware and Stained Glass
– Illuminated Manuscripts and Leaflets
– Missionaries and Black Babies
– Monks, Brothers, Priests and Nuns
– Bamboo Canes and Leathers

– Catechisms and Rosary Beads
– Chasubles and Stoles
– Soutanes and Habits
– Dog Collars and Hairshirts
– Censers and Sanctuary Lights
– Missals and Mass Cards
– Parish Registers and Weekly Dues
– Poor Boxes and Collection Plates
– Presbytery, Sacristy and Choir
– Headstones

– Dominus Vobiscum et Cum Spiritu Tuo
– Scrolls, Gospels & Apocrypha
– Recordings Detectible in Rocks? Not Yet.
– Who’s Coming and When?
– Revelations, Ergot & Mushrooms
– Handwritten Diary of Jesus & Yeah You Wish
– Faith, Hope & Love
– Salvation and Damnation
– Ghost or Spirit?

– Married Priests and Mini-Skirted Nuns
– Jesuits, Liberation Theology and Blind Faith
– Bishops, Arch and Suffragan
– Beatification, Canonisation and Devils Advocates
– Cathars and the Consolamentum
– Kill Them All and God Will Know His Own
– Misogyny and “Witches” Burned Alive

– Original Sin, Baptism and Limbo
– Joseph and the Immaculate Conception
– Fit Kilkenny and the Remoulds
– Gethsemene, Golgotha and the Garden Tomb
– Veronica and the Turin Shroud
– Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugorje and Knock
– Daniel O’Donnell, Margo and Big Tom
– The Singing Nun and the Singing Priest

– Domenica-nica-nica and Kumbaya
– Faithful Brethren and Dearly Departed
– Spare Not the Rod and Despoil the Child
– Dormitories, Refectories and Confessionals
– Pulpits, Pews and Stations of the Cross
– Fonts, Aisles, Chapels and Tabernacles
– Altar Boys, Handbells and Patens
– Mortal Sins

– Holy Days of Obligation & Acts of Contrition
– Blood Washing Snow White & the Seven Deadly Sins
– Who Killed Liberty Bodice, Scapulars & Miraculous Medals?
– Kyrie Eleison and Why Did Latin Get the Works?
– Sojourn in Hell, Transfiguration and Ascension
– Aramaic, Abba & Here We Go Again

– Fish Supper and Chip Butties for Five Thousand
– Save the Best Wine for Last and Friends on the Coast
– Hairy Magdalene and Tax Collectors
– Herod, Pilate, Caiphas and Peter the Fink
– Romani Ite Domum and the Life of Brian
– Lilies of the Field, Sheep and the Fatted Calf
– Gadarene Swine

– Get Behind Me Satan and St Patrick Before Me
– Holly Threesome and the Divine Mysteries
– Mother Mary Aikenhead and the White Fathers
– Jesus Wept and the Litany of Loreto
– Saecula Saeculorum and Amen

Original version tweeted by Stephen Moran (@stephen_j_moran) on June 2, 2021.

If that piqued your interest, you might like to read “Oh One-by-Three”, “Oh Flaking Gilt Money Box” and “Saint Paul said it all” in Day of the Flying Leaves. (Stephen)

High-flying Birds Know

High-flying birds know it’s about to rain.
Seagulls circle in the lowering plane,
A few one way, then round the other.
When one catches up, it nips its brother
And they squawk. Where can we land?
Pigeons and strangers hurry by and
The dark and darkening cloud overhead
Threatens tree and house and flowerbed.
The sun is foiled, indifferent, no thunder.
But like Swift’s London, the streets are under
Water now. I wish I were in Berwick Street,
Spoiled fruit and cabbage leaves at my feet.
Read the Dean, not me, for all that glory,
My world is suburban and that’s my story.
Here’s rain, miles from home but an anorak
Serves well, and I’ll be soon enough back.

Afro Beeches, I Love You

Afro Beeches, I love you, proud, aloof.
Maybe our Ceanothus is blue over you.

Whitebeams are out in their bathing suits.
Chestnuts, enormous candelabra on view.

Hawthorn’s seminiferous, heady, sated.
Laburnum is languorous, vague, wasted.

My tree is asleep, petals all on the ground,
In a dream about China and walking around.


Photos: local trees

Every day I go out down

Every day I go out down

but then a blackbird alights
on a cherry blossom branch
in the time of flying petals,

a squirrel by a railing stops
and runs, stops and runs,
in the shadow of the trees,

or a child holds up traffic,
high-stepping on the crossing,
bonnet-high, and runs away.

and the clouds, the clouds,
billow like white opium smoke
as all the young trees reach and bow

and old trees hold up,
hold out their arms,
as if to say
This is it.


Photo: Street scene with Laburnum, May 2021

Moving On/Gallery

I’ve given up promoting my books as life is a bit too short and it does no good. However, I will continue to publish what I can and let my words rise like burnt prayers to the heavens. Self-promotion is tiresome and ineffectual, if not downright counter-productive. Let that be an end to it.

So, next. I’ve put a gallery of slivers from my photos as page headers, only slivers because they have to be cropped to fit the space available in this WordPress theme. They’re randomised and you can make another one appear (usually) by clicking them. Meanwhile, here’s what the book looks like on an old Kindle.

Kindle view from “Day of the Flying Leaves” by yours truly

Update

Nothing is happening. Like a computer chip “doing nothing at N million times per second.” Oh, I’m writing poems though. So that’s something. Locked down and very down. Meanwhile, here is a testcard.

Tattered hoarding