Rearranging Curios in the Museum of Religion: The Rooms

– 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 Expositions
– 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
– God Forgive Me and the Beautiful Litany of Loreto
– Jesus Wept, Oh Ye and the Little Faithes
– Saecula Saeculorum,
– Murphy agus a Chairde
– Amen

Originally 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” and “Oh Flaking Gilt Money Box” in Day of the Flying Leaves. (Stephen)

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

Morning Thoughts

Summer doesn’t come round again
Because no two summers are the same.
If you’re waiting for love to revisit
The parks and sofas and cars,
They’re gone – under concrete,
Crushed and melted down, landfill.

No, summer won’t come round again,
Look forward to the unborn,
Look backward to the long gone.
In winter, don’t wish your life away.
There will be another season
For you, there will be a new day.

*

The mile-high club is grounded.
Sand dunes on that beach are in tier four.
There are cobwebs in the public toilets.
(Mind you, there always were.)
The back row of the flicks is nixed.
Wake up little Susy, it’s over, we’re dead.

*

You can look at it one of two ways.
You can say there’s sodden paper
On the ground
Or
Sunlight shines on one side
Of the weed-grown back lane
Behind the shopping parade.

A smell of paint thinner is in the breeze
And the corner of an outdated poster
On a gable billboard
Opens like a door.


From: “Day of the Flying Leaves: Selected Poems” by Stephen Moran

Day of the Flying Leaves / Autumn Rain

Our supple living green has turned to paper.
Rusty, soon-to-be shadows wander around.
The rushing south-westerly is a friend,
saying anyway it’s time to blow this town.

*

Autumn rain darkens terracotta tiles
to match the rotting leaves, tones down
white eaves, redbrick walls and gables,
soaking pavements from beige to brown.

Even the clouds, leading my way
at dusk, back down this road in Harrow,
kiss goodbye to pearlescent yesterdays,
thinking, echoing only woodsmoke.


From: “Day of the Flying Leaves: Selected Poems” by Stephen Moran

Who’s Afraid of the Cold East Wind?

18/9/2020: Featured in the City Lit Writing Department poetry performance showcase