This Belfast, finally met / And so the people on the streets … / Just see

And you listen to good music,

And the people on the streets walk on by,

And the lyric rhymes nicely with the side of supper

You might have chosen once – but had to let go, sly.

And the stealthy ones are them; or so you suspect.

But it’s OK, because 

If what you wrote is any good, in any way,

At least when you’re dead 

Your kids will be proud of you.

And it doesn’t matter if you hurt whilst it happens

Because if there is worth,

There is reward –

Even if the reward is only for them,

That time, I mean, when you’re dead.

And the people on the street walk on by,

And the younger folk clasp hands and love, 

And later probably sigh,

In the evening of basking Belfast:

The Belfast you finally met.

And so maybe you’re a fool,

And maybe you were a tad ill, after all –

Some time after the walls you built,

And they built,

And more particularly she built,

And – truly! – we all built;

But that time is no longer.

And the wrongs you survived

Have revived your truths,

And made you the man that becomes 

The futures you will be.

Just see.

poetry, trails of thought

Today’s gone and done 

As I wander through my thoughts 

My wandering makes me 


At loss over loss.

And the cost has been essentially tremendous.

And my innate cautiousness 

Has made me loosen myself from so much 

My life could’ve provided me with.

But no matter:

For that was a yesterday.

And today is tomorrow’s yesterday.

And therein lies –

And therein truths – 

The grandest of 

The grandest of 


I did so much wrong through inaction, 

But now can do no more than apologise –

And then change where I am able.

And always remember that

Today is tomorrow’s yesterday.

And always remember that 

Yesterday is today’s 

Well gone and 


poetry, trails of thought

#Pride [in] #BelfastPride, #Belfast

I repeat myself and

find myself and

see myself so happy.

And as I successively saw

on the streets of the city of today

the generations and recreations,

and genial joes and

junior gals, and

toes and legs and smiles and eggings

on, with nothing lost and nothing

gone, I realise now

why life itself I find in the

wondrous of


of all its land

and once sorely banned.

Above all else, I see at last how true

will be

the sexuality of any gender cool,

conceived as it should be in utter liberty:

and how such an inception must necessary

lead for

thee and me

and you and we, and

such as now,

to wisdoms of all our realities.

For the freedom of the few

never is freedom for the few;

for the only freedoms worth fighting for

are the core humanities

of liberties for all.

And only when we each may fuck

the duck we cherish

and love in luck

will heaven on earth replace

the hell they asserted – so

bald and crude and

lewd, you know! –

as future punishment

and awful threat;

and yet, in truth, reserved

quite wilful for current

hell and spell.

No surprise they wish

to impose

regime as hasty as they deny:

when all is done and seen, the love they reclaim

only maims and resigns

the kindest of moments for the bitter

and the broad of hurtful guilty read;

of all that terrible instead,

in fact.

And when all is been and dreadful said,

and time it is for head – yessir! –

and evening sex

and morning told

and afternoon romp at office desks

sustain our desires

to pursue so grand the wisdom of those fires

so fab

which drive us all this




remember this thing and remember it fine:

I prefer to admit how I covet your ass

than be an ass myself!



poetry, trails of thought

It is.

It is a tad lonely being on your own.

But then some ready I now believe myself true,

Where clearly I once was not.

And if someone kind appears one day

And maybe likes me as I am

And allows me clear to like them back

I’ll not justly be together as before I awful wasn’t,

When alone I was in cold cold bed, 

So bad-shared sad and hard it was …

… so hard and sad 

bad-shared that bed …

But also I’ll become sure happy as never.

For I live in 


And love in 


That such a been 

I’ll one day scene …


And if you asked me …

And if you asked me 

If I knew

That precisely by this not seeing you 

I would receive my due

And that such a due – thus weirdly gifted – 

Would in curious time make me curious happy,

Then I would’ve called you mad

And sad as bad,

And felt quite kicking against your tad,

And truly had,

And never had,

And never fucked nor pleasured wild.

And if you’d asked me – as in fact you did – 

To leave 

You be 

Forever, and that way,

And never return at all, at all,

And never darken those doorsteps and that wine

So red, and 

Of beautiful embrace, and thine, and thine,

And never harken back to gorgeous kindnesses, in place –

To thus and to this,

To thrust out of 


Love –

And finally never to see your face

Nor eyes lit up – like candlegrace! –

That time upon time,

Why then, and all that exactly right now

Would be left for me to say, and say,

Is to proclaim so extraordinary:

I am happy in Belfast, 

Alone and by myself

At last. 

And so, at last, I guess it’s true: I loved you total fine.

Without that deadly rancour awful

Nor crude pale anger of previous day.

Neither measuring mind

Nor requiring bind. 

Neither registering that weight 

Of the dearest 

Of …

… dearest mine!

trails of thought

How the Irish have given and taken so very much from me 

Bit dull as far as weather is concerned but never gloomy re me.  First day in Northern Ireland for the last thirteen years will have me reading and writing for my dissertation.  Then this afternoon/evening off to Belfast to have a Guinness!  Fifteen minutes by train my lovely AirBnB host tells me.  Am so happy in Ireland.

And it’s really weird: the thirteen years ago I talk about was when I fell in love with a beautiful woman.  And the time in Ireland previous to that was fifty years ago almost to the day when as a kid, just before the Troubles flared up, we went camping on the shores of Lough Neagh and ate freshly fried eels, still wriggling as they hit the pan.  And as we came in to Lisburn by bus from the airport yesterday, I tracked the journey on Google Maps, and I saw the lough’s name, and I sensed the scenery, and I remembered fifty years ago, and I remember the beautiful four days those thirteen years ago, and I remember the beautiful four hours on Bloomsday 2016 with her beautiful beautiful daughter.  And even though I was on the bus’s CCTV, I couldn’t not become tearful.

The Irish have given and taken so very much from me.

I would never have it any other way – except I would.  Now I would like to make peace with those memories.  Now I would like to see both mother and daughter again.