the Thunderer

Storms are my shadow,
Cloaked in grey.

Lightning is my lamp,
flickering with flame.

Fog follows me,
rising from the two rivers. 

Once, Crusher was stolen.
I wore a dress to get it back. 

Nine steps I will take before I die,
after battering down the great wyrm.

That is my wyrd,
All-mighty Thórr's life thread.




I hear the sound
     from the Rushy Mountains,
     the wild and sweet Rushy Mountains.

I hear the sound
     from the stoney Burren,
     the wild and lonesome stoney Burren.

I hear the sound
     from Gweedore's green glen,
     the wild fierce green glen of Gweedore.

The sound of a hearth fire
     I've never sat beside,
     snap of a peat fire
     and the tramp of feet
     minding the dresser,
     whiskey fueled
     and music driven -

     One day
I will go where my fathers before
trod the land, tilled the land,
were killed by the land -
One day I will go home.



These hands,
these bonnie bairn's hands,
they wave and wobble, greedy
for the life they have, newgifted;
eager for the heady brush
of Mammy's cheek, soft as love,
and the strength of Da's chin,
weekend wiry.

These hands,
these ready Man's hands,
they grip, grasp, grapple;
leading always in work and rest,
cradling the green coffee-cup,
swinging a hammer from
day's dawning to whistle's howl,
to make his hearth strong
for kith and kin.

These hands,
these worn grandfather's hands
they have seen the ending of many years,
drawn down to the west, descending
in waves off the mountains.
They touch now the hands
of the son's newbrought son,
and give him the old
dragonheaded fiddle,
that has been played all down
the long years past.



Don’t wander too far,

little one, from your

wee world of pocket-

phones, pursehounds,

and bug-eye glasses. Don’t

wander so far you cannot

return to worship your

flat plastic god in concrete

temples, standing high as

watch towers to keep, guard

against that old world walled

out until grass unknown

grows in the potholes

and the butterflower

loses its grey shell

into the unkind park

of men. Don’t leave the

black webstrands to

drive down deep

tracks of dusty shale,

and be swallowed alive.

For the world you have

bound, beaten, and

buggered to make that

pretty picture under

your MySpace giggles,

still sits on the edge

of your civilized world,



twa pomes.

Day-dropped dew ringing the shout,
the thorn-crown red-weeping,
and the sad-glad news of dogwood
timber holding the man.
life begins.

The wee white cat.
I fear you, wee white cat,
footpad of the night, and more so
than your sablecoat brother.
Which hollow hill did you sneak from,
to munch on mortal mice?
You jump away from the car speeding —
do you fear the weight or the iron
that makes it?



memories of us staring up together,
diamond-dappled velvet
reaching above,
calm embracing air
filled by the dry scent
of fir needles, pine sap,
whisper-quiet owl wings,
bringing more restless summers –
sun pouring orange through smoke
only to glint back in rainbows
rippling from river-rills,
smokey sweet-sour taste
of barbeque on my tongue,
your summerleaf-green eyes
laughing back at me,
winking like a mischievous brounie,
caught dipping in the whisky.

I see long nights with decks of cards,
sitting far in the back of a old bus,
watching the long miles roll away
to see the city on the bay
and the long gold thread
spread between land and land,
see the mix of water falling and rain,
pool under waterfall, fern-shrouded,
exhilaration to tired boys, the thrill
of leather balls soaring away,
whacked out by hickory wood,
rusty smell of shoes running dust-paths.

memories re-kenned
by eldritch eyes
sing summer’s hymn,
as harvest-sweet hair
and the berry-taste of your lips
make more.