Dunbotherin

Years fly by and you get to an age
when they give you a pension.
Then in no time at all, you get to an age
when they give you a funeral.

And they carry you out of the house
past your last joke, so typical,
a sign that says Dunbotherin.
I wonder who will say, ‘Well he is now.’


Photo: Union Station clock number 570, window of architectural salvage shop

On the Island of Me and You

On the island of me and you, there are no worries.
It’s only cold enough to make us keep warm.
I get up early, you have a lie-in, the dishes are done
When you appear and I go for a walk along the shore.

On the island of you and me, we’re always online.
Hundreds of friends in your mind, a few in mine,
So I listen to yours, playing ukes, reliving youths,
And never tire of your old friends, who loved you.

I can see the island of you from the island of me,
And I’m going to swim over.


Photo: With Tess on Inchydoney Beach, Cork, Ireland (year?). Photo by Craig.

Maid of Light

Maid of Light by S.J. Moran

I washed my face in the mud of faith
that turned into a holy spring
ever effervescing from pebbles
made of light made of light

and I saw the Maid of Light
who was made of light,
heard a voice tell
secrets from the secret well

and her secrets fell into me,
into the secret well within,
into the water made of light
and one of her secrets this:

there are no secrets in me
and the well is all there is,
the silvery water made of light
made of light.


Photo: Sunburst over St. Bernadette’s grotto, Lourdes. Foreground: the river Gave du Pau with a footbridge in the distance. Background: the Basilica. Visitors and crowds can just about be made out, silhouetted.

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

Rearranging Curios in the Museum of Religion read by S.J. Moran

– 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

– Catechisms and Rosary Beads
– Incense, Chrism 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
– Silverware and Stained Glass
– Illuminated Manuscripts and Leaflets
– Missionaries and Black Babies
– Monks, Brothers, Priests and Nuns
– Bamboo Canes and Leathers

– Surplices, Soutanes and Cassocks
– Chasubles, Cinctures and Stoles
– Dog Collars, Hair Shirts and Habits
– 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
– Who’s Coming and When?
– Revelations, Ergot & Mushrooms
– Handwritten Diary of Jesus
– 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 the Tax Collectors
– 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
– Holy Threesome and the Divine Mysteries
– Mother Mary Aikenhead and the White Fathers
– Jesus Wept and the Litany of Loreto
– Domine Non Sum Dignus and Also With You
– Saecula Saeculorum and Amen


Image: Miraculous Lactation of St Bernard by Alonso Cano c1650. (Prado, Madrid)

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

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