In the Bath

This poem won 2nd place in the Ballyroan Library Competition 2018.


In the Bath

I step in

and skin is scalded

the meniscus crawls up my face

my chest hairs are dancing reeds

my nose rests above the surface like a crocodile

silence is a muffled drum

a piano struck in a distant room

I listen to the slightest flicker of a finger

the shudder of shoulders

I run my hand across my legs and chest

touch is dulled by the water

I come back into the humid air

my eyes full

I speak and set the atoms dancing


This poem was highly commended in the Ballyroan Library Poetry Competition 2018. The poem makes references to places on the Dingle peninsula.



The air is clenched. Ember smoke guts

from the fireplace. We speak in staccato tones.

An anvil of guilt sits in my stomach

after last nights crossing of words.

For air and time, I drive to Connor Pass.

Fog clouds the road rendering 

my map useless. A stream runs furiously

from Peddler’s Lake, slapping the cliff.

I return home and let the silence

sooth out an apology. You still read

the newspaper, turn it sharply. In my pocket

a compass twirls and twirls in frenzy.


The following poem Mariposas was published in the April issue of Boyne Berries. Here is the poem. Mariposa was written when I walked the Camino. It means butterflies in Spanish.



Around and over the path 

are ten butterflies.

Delicate powdered wings, 

blue, white and black.

They flutter towards me and away 

and once nearly into my mouth.

A walking friend tells me they are souls 

that choose to stay behind.

She said in the Gross-Rosen camp there were hundreds

craved into the walls of the huts. 

I count the butterflies that came across my path

during the rest of that day and I lose count. 

Winner of the Ballyroan Library Poetry Competition 2018

I found out that a poem of mine In the Bath has won 2nd place in the Ballyroan Library Poetry Competition. Another poem Pass was highly commended in the same competition.  You can see photos of the events here at the following link. Also, the poems have been published on the Ballyroan Library website. The poems are also available to read here on this website.


Major news

My second collection of haiku, A Thousand Sparks, has been accepted for publication with Alba Publishing. Kim Richardson, the editor of Alba Publishing, and I will work on the final edits over the coming weeks and months. A launch date will be decided in due course later in the year.

Haiku from A Thousand Sparks​

The following are haiku from a completed 2nd collection called A Thousand Sparks, which has been finished in manuscript form.



seagull relieves itself

on a car bonnet

no longer black



slow moon

the same face turned to the earth —

silver coins



rush, rush

stop at the lights —

maple leaf falling



open blinds —

he stands on the balcony

naked in the rain



on the other slope cascading lilacs



rustle in the bush

an animal?

just whispering susuki



weeks after

mowing the lawn

a surprise of bluebells





a white dandelion seed

on its mission



on the hill

a tree bright with sun —

translucent leaves




vigorous sounds

from the young couple next door —

the wind stirs this night




waving in the air

over snapping cameras



the tide

covers the sand

reveals it again




tough hike —

on my way up

a billboard for coffee




taking a break from the hike

whispers of susuki



biting wind —

the warmth of coffee

in my hands



turning above the water

a flock of sanderlings

disappear, reappear



raven on the long wall


a twig in its beak




set across the path

a spider’s thread

it waits where?




through the beech trees

the sound of leaves —

water under the bridge



our last date:

with you

under these stars




both cold and naked —

without turning around

you slide the blanket over me



late in the season

magnolias in full glory —

a petal falls




leaves comings from the buds —

meeting a new friend



the moon

blocked by the cherry blossom branch

drinking beer at hanami




road in heavy heat —

the cricket sings

I sing too



cold sun —

on the last day of autumn

a child waves ‘bye, bye’ to me



from across the pond

one ripple

then silence




beyond the thick wall

the waves

again, again




Killiney Bay

a horseshoe

deep, deep blue



empty plot filled with daisies —

threatened with

a planning application notice



every passenger

absorbed with their mobile phone —

the train announcer speaks




light passing

through the van window

a veil of gold on the wall