From: Urbania 2010

Dame Street Messiah

Weighty words wasted on the east wind
blowing down Dame Street
they don’t heed or even hear them
the footsore army of suits and students
the new Abraham or Jesus or Muhammad
cries out
but is ignored
shoulder pushed to the side as the bus pulls up
cries out
new truths
replace the old
faith has become comical and morally weak
Bus pulls away and the Saviour is alone
in the crowded city

as the police move in
no laughter or mocking
just snorts of disapproval and ‘tuts’ of annoyance
eyes back down to the pavement
count the sore steps home
the rosary of the church of the rat-race
must have its homage
He could be the One
One true Saviour – again!
but this world would crucify him
with apathy and loose change 


           From Side-Angle (Cityscapes) 2005   

           Tube People


            Plastic ears beating out rave or rock

            or something I can’t quiet catch

            It’s music for the isolated

            A city of single units jammed together

            in a tin suppository sucked through

            the concrete and cables of London



            “Knightsbridge” she announces

            Close your eyes for another seven stops

            try not to catch a glimpse of someone else’s world

            faces face the floor

            feign sleep behind shades of black or trendy rose-pink



            Don’t talk

            don’t think too loud

            They’re looking at you through artificial eyes

            Are you gay? Are you drunk? Are you Mad?

            Are you rich? Are you poor?

            Are you getting off as the next stop

            So I can have your fucking seat



From: The Pagan Field 1996

The Ghost of Saint Anthony



Once I was a man like you

strong in the heart and mind

Now my spectre drifts the sands of Egypt these sixteen


across the tombs of Pharaohs

from Alexandria and the sea into the desert mountains

where only insects live and hermits come to die


No longer do I feel the burning Sun of Purgatory on my bare back

no longer does the word of God wet my dry lips

no more do I hope for resurrection

I only pray for eternal sleep to end my torment


My shade counts the sands of time

moving as parches water

through its fleshless fingers

the carrion have abandoned my bleached bones

a scorpion has nested in my eye socket

no answer echoes in my skull to the

frozen scream of my broken jaw


I am alone

the only ghost in a godless land

I pass through a stone crucifix and Sun Gods

on ancient plaster

neither have redeemed my soul

so I will walk the Breath of Egypt

until the end of the world 


The Bone Orchard on Stephen’s Green



The cacophonous tones of mobile phones

and drumming clog of pedestrian slog

stops abruptly at the gate

As a portal to another world

the Bone Orchard squats between

red brick and concrete

Half-hidden resting place for the Huguenots

sinking ships of stone

table-graves wrecked on the crests

and gorges of a frozen sea of soil

Vine and lily and moss vying

for dominance over urns and names

To retreat into the street is to see

this morbid garden concealed by a modern metropolis  

almost forgotten

the cold bones in the corner of Stephen’s Green

their memories whispering to grey

Photograph By Duirmuid Jones

Lifescapes (Roger Hudson)
Cityscapes (Steve Downes)

Artwork by
Teddy Doyle