Brens Shorts!

Reading. Writing. Rhythmatic.

15th April, 2016 (working weak)

The city is waking from its week
I am going home to sleep
Dodging slings and arrows
Of what when where and how
Escaping on the wheels of a bus
We go round and round
Round and round
Flapping wings and feathers
Brought us through the weather
Made of nothing but feathers
And bones. Feathers and bones
Bringing us home.


14th April, 2016 (morning versus birds)

A blanket of frost under a baby blue sky
Pin down everything that’s alright –
Spring wintering the place open-wide –
Turning a corner to find

Crows adolescing over discarded bread
All hunched shoulders and puffed out chests
First: they perch alone – branches, walls, electrical or telephone wires overhead
Second: chaotic flock to murder over the bread: a structured unruly horde
Third: disperse in a thunder-flutter of wings and calls

Then repeat.

Maybe all day, maybe until they find a better meal.

16th April, 2016 (must try harder)


Eight weeks late, I radiate
with notes in notepads
and pens in pockets
leaking ink everywhere but
not on a page.

No page, no stage:
just ideas in things –
ideas of things –
words in thinks

13th April, 2016 (whatever’s best for the kids)

On the bus and
have to turnaround
a most violent change
in direction
Uprooting the
usual chain
of events those
healthy habits
make a healthy life
(i.e. get up
go to work
get some money
pay some bills
(pretend (to yourself) you will save some money
in drawn out, wholly suspect lines
of thought)
Do it for the kids
(yes, that smugly).

That smug fug
Split and thinned
By the phone’s ring:

“She’s sick! She’s sick!”

The Voice has to
come from
the shop

Worry wort, worry wort, worry for it:
will it appear
on some permanent record
given to all employers
that supercedes your CV?

What could it say?
“Relinquished responsibility
for the kids (yes! That smugly!)
taking a train to go home again
having said that he must
while still on the bus!”

12th April, 2016 (boom b’doom boom)

Boom b’doom boom
Go the bombs – there’s the moon!
They’ve blown the roof right off this room,
Now there’s nothing
Between us and open sky
And the blast so loud
No one heard our cries –
Was the light so bright
Everyone’s blind to our plight?
Or the blast so fast
It passed them by?

Alan Jelly holds forth (a story in free verse)

Here is the ice cream, sliced Irish style,
Accompanying jelly on the plate.

A man and a boy at table
Having finished their mains
Over which they have laboured.

“Tell me Fhuinneog, if you know
For whom you were named?”
“The greatest celtic warrior has lent me his name!”
“That’s right!  For I was like Cú Chullain when
My sliotar broke a window. I spent all summer working
To pay damages to the owner!”

“But it’s a long way from that place I am now”
He sits back with a wobble of Power, shakes like jelly –
“Tell me” asks Fhuinneog (for he had little to say)
“Before the sweet melts” (for he was in his way a sage)
“Then take not a bite, until I have told my tale!”

“Fhuinneog!” He cried, “I have ministered water,
And brought from the gods of construction
Housing that is modular!”  “But” the boy protests
“The houses remain unbuilt, the water spilt!
What is to become of us?”

“Fhuinneog, you fool! You remind me
Of a cretinous electorate
Who nearly lost the luck
To have themselves represented by me:
He who holds the Social Power within!”

The boy raises a spoon,
The ice cream has turned smooth.

“I’ve got the Power, but you’ve got the love
That can see me through. Oh! Think twice:”
“Tell me please, what do you mean?”
“Fhuinneog, you fool!
The sun always shines on TV!”

Fhuinneog still holds his spoon
As a puddle grows on his plate:

“The source of your power is attention?”
“And pop music hits, famed twenty years hence.”
He nods, already several centimetres taller.
“I can’t stand it. I know they planned it –
I’ll set you straight about this Watergate -”

Fhuinnog’s spoon droops in his hand
His jelly and ice cream is not as planned –

“Was the idea from your own mind?” asks the boy
“What does it matter down which pipe it arrived?”
“Some are better than others; I’ve heard tell of leaks”
“Who gave you the job of chief of meters?”

They fall to silence, the one contemplates
The nature of democracy and its cruel fates:
The other, perhaps more affected,
Worries for the jelly and ice cream near melted.

Fhuinneog drops his spoon in the lake
Of creamy, jelly, mixed up liquid on his plate.

11th April, 2016 (“oh such darling angels”)

6 am. After breakfast
Before my shower,
I go in to see them still
Asleep. Seeming so peaceful after
Some violence of their dreams
Leaves them sprawled upside
Down or across the bed
Blankets over their head, dolls scattered
To the ends of the earth
– or their rooms at the very least.
Anthropomorphic sacrifices
In the ongoing war that their mother
And I have demanded must end.

They don’t listen.
They sink it instead-
A whispering war
Punctuated by

One scream


One shout

Followed by the voice
Of whoever’s turn it is,
Roaring up the stairs
To chase them back to bed.

They will be hell
In the morning, she says.
And they always are.

But not yet. Not yet.

These days come ablaze through the window
The frozen sun is thawing. Spring has sprung
Its jailbreak. Early morning ground still solid, white
But that bright ball heats us inside through
The eyes to the outside.

9th April, 2016 (vegetables)

I heard somewhere
– or at least someone said –
vegetables scream
when they’re picked – even
for something as peaceful
as a salad! A source of
vitamins, or a side for a steak.

These poor, delicious veggies
sacrificed for our plates.

Children of course
– because of their innocence-
are the worst offenders of all,
neglecting, or playing with, or
just pushing them away.

Shake it
Do that thing
Like you mean it, like
Something means something.

The straightest tree
Gets chopped down first
We’ll all be burst
Wide open. See
The colours. First
They shine from somewhere
Unseen, leading the eye
Back to the source
Initially invisible
But always there
Always ready
To shake.

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