Instruments for Burial

I think about it often
The tools I will bring
All of my instruments
When I’ve taken my medicine

The last time my skin will feel the sun again
Boxed in for my burial
The close I spent so much hurrying
Love that I kept narrowing

There’ll be lashes of poetry on my skin
To decompose
The paintwork green and thin
Just like Lar’s did
I think about it if and when

What’s left of my innocence
Pages of paper, only my favourites
My within purgatorial
Instruments for burial

Some family pictures, there’s one in particular
The one with my dad always made me so sad, which is familiar
The teddy I held close when I missed Ellie the most, when I was a prisoner
The laugh lines, from Alex and Ciarán, my dearest builders

My treasured green pen, if only to flick
As I walk the endless walk
Which inspires me to think
I’ll need no compass, friend, not even some ink
Just a single bright moment
One to illuminate the brink

These are the tools I will bring
My instruments
And either way
I’ll need to keep my inner child safe
I didn’t get to before the grave
All of his little yesterdays

Better bring with me my faith
Lessons from millions of mistakes
And many miles of shame
Memories so pictorial
These are my Instruments for Burial

The Runner

Everytime I go to figure it out,
I can't help but fuck it up,
When I was a boy, and my da was my da
I learned when to run, and could run, so fast

I had to grow up, never look back
If you rap on my wall, I'd always tap back
But lost are those days, if I could get them back
I'd grab with my hands, one summer to have back

Over the stones that remind me of home

They can't hurt you, not if they can't catch you
Oh I wish that was true, I wish that were true
But I ran away, I'll do it again
Cuts on my leg, creak in my neck

Over the stones that remind me of home

I kept up some skills, maybe its there my mind is
Still just a kid, older, that child is
Still a song writer, still starting fires
Still hyperbad, I guess still a fighter
Still going mad, I've lost and I've tired
Still sprint over sand, over snow, over briar

Over the stones, that remind me of home,

Over the embers of bonfires, over the streets stained with spits of blood
Way in and far, past the way back
Over the rivers that once ran so fast
Over the kid-bones, the dead from my past
Over and over, the lies that last
Over and over
- The Runner


Through the thicket of trees that stretched sternly high and bushed out where their length thinned, opened a clearance. The post-storm silver steel sky held onto it’s pressure with a humid stillness that cacophoned in his unconcerned ears. The atmospheric compression built on itself and gravity was weighted.

But the tension trickled and tripped – perhaps poked and penetrated by the tips of the forest – and instead bloated, waist-level from the ground like a bulging bell that almost made him double over. However, he toughed through steps forward from his emergence of the woodlands and moving onwards he divorced this grippling energy and fell onto his own weight, which pounded painfully. Rainwater and sweat stuck to his skin, his face glistened as though he himself was a product of water. 

Globe droplets descended from his flattened hair and landslid down his unaged and addled face. The earthy smell of damp wood surrounded him and seemed to plume even from the loose stones which he trod on barefoot, his feet dirty and bleeding as he walked with a limp. Men were here among the lumber and doorless squares of sturdy stone in the pouring rain and under the godless grey sky they wore tweed caps that only sponged the falling water. With the wrinkles in their hands browned they collected logs and shelved them into the puddling wheelbarrows. Some collected pounds of hay that lost its goldenness under the bleakness of their surroundings. He glimpsed slowly at these men as he bucked through, none paying him any mind. 

Slabs of pillar were slapped up and roofless like a maze that the dwindling men came to and fro and lost themselves within the passageways. Tucked in snuggly between lands of these columns smugly stood a woodlaced church. A crucifix protruded the high porch like a watchful eye and drew him towards the ever open doors. Above, crows choired and circled.

His focus was intercepted when a commonplace figure prodded the pallid quiet of tip tap rain. 

A mhic, an bhfuil tú caillte? Croaked the old man. 

The language confused him.

“No – no thank you.” He gave the man a gracious, slippery handshake and stumbled past, hindering at the front place of the stupendous church. “I’m..I’m looking for my father.” 

Carrying my heavy body up the cobble stair I trip – landing on my knee, drawing rocky breath. I pause, merging my flakes of stamina together. Broken shoots of heather attached to the bare heel of my feet which are also sprinkled with nibs and bits of blackened evergreen surge an ominous tickling sensation. 

I rise, and the birds above detach from their flurries. The hallway to the altar is dotted with tiny aqua square tiles which gleam from thin soakage. There are natural sunken dips where the soft floor has dived from water weight damage. An old smell of frankincense hangs in the cold air with an unusual tinge of chlorine.  

I bow, immediately. Not out of rule, but out of loss. My wrists slob to the holy floor, and I rub them along it, like ploughing through wax.

I rise, water-logged again, so that drips which had newly found me re-home themselves on the ground.

A slight sting in my left eye, I flatly pace closer to an altar that is brightly blinding to examine directly. But it is lifeless, and therefore meaningless to me – I cannot reach there. 

I stop my ascent. I am close to the head wing – the epicentre – the altar. My head forcibly held high and trying, I face it directly and feel an opening within. An emergence of emotion that weakens my stance so that I can no longer anchor myself against the tide. Hot tears move on my already sodden cheeks and I yield – I side slide into a vacant long lined horizontal bench, and I feel even there a wetness through the surface of the clumpy sitwood.  

I decide to take a quick measure of a glance behind me, and notice to my dear apathy an elderly woman with gorgeously lap-styled hair and a gentle green feather slotted through the delicately folded strands seated at the first bench by the entrance. She seems frantic and perhaps wailing as her clenched fists shake in front of her. She is dry, or either she is immune to saturation. Either way, her brief spell of grief does not affect me, I am impermeable. 

Alas, my impassibility is lost as I return my charge towards the altar and pick from my neck skin a handcrafted beadwork of rosemary. In my hand it is beaten – no doubt from the shipwreck that thrashed and bashed me against those trees and threw me into a ravaging storm that needed to be battled, to be passed. 

Tears glide. My hands clasp in prayer. “Ár n’Athair..”


some sort of leer I got
moths attracted to rot
the damaged and our drawing flair
disproportionary beacons of beware

i am forgiving, it’s my nature
i said hey sir it’s nice to meet ya
he took my hand and i was aware he had it

where is your past? i am water against it
tip toeing the train tracks, i will venture back
caught on thick weeds, witness horror in the dark
the secrets they keep, the victims they reap, if not us they seek, the stainless they will streak

he asked me about my p’s and q’s, there are names and enemies
i said there is paper in pools, pirates on the pacific
where there is water we may drown, on air we depend
we have began, now await our end

‘fools fear the future’ yet we run from what has been done, what is to become will have already been done oh for some, it will be done

release the fractures within, deliver me
i have lost, i am giving in
rap my bones with rope or keep me alight
tell my mam i was ready to die
we are given just enough time

i really wanna talk about it, i need someone to talk about it, can we talk about it
i’m petrified

get off me, i wept
you’re going to kill me, i’d fret
i was not conscious, my heart so heavyset
and the other broke my heart
And he broke my heart


I found my soul within the burnt pages of an old book, or maybe it was while I slept

I realised my heart was never missing and kept in the protecting hands of my sister as I cried on the bathroom floor and missed her

I’ll find my mind

Where it was lost in the dogfights

Flashbacks to late nights

And purple skies

Where river meets fire

Life’s Greatest Paradox

I feel like I’m granted only a set amount of time with people, anyone, in my life

And it’s not about choice

Grow close to someone just to have an unmountable wall wedged between us

All support is then temporary

And all love is then just heartbreak waiting to be felt

Life births us and from then we have to die, and so everything we make too, under life’s ruling, is also finite

It is a cruel lesson, awaiting the inevitable end to everything, the by-product being that the little time we are allocated is spent with worry and trying to disengage so the scissors won’t hurt as much as possible

If I could I would keep them, but I cant, and I have tried

We have only ourselves forever, which is torturous in itself because time away from me is what I need. But he is just as fast as I am, just as strong and he knows all my hiding spots

But it’s there where life is limited

Only in death can we part from ourselves, soul from mind, mind from body, body from heart, but to join death we must escalate life’s ageing system and end everything we have made

Life’s Greatest Paradox

The Night He Died

I’d had an unnerving dream. I’m not unaccquainted to suicidal dreams. In fact they’re frequent enough to render them recurring nightmares. Not a lot of people know that. I doubt a lot of people care. ‘Just Dreams’ I’d hear them say. Well, that night felt like more.

In my dreams I’m usually facing off the edge of something high, staring down. Sometimes my arms are spread, sometimes I’m just bleakly standing. The weather differs, the settings differ, but I am always peering over the circumference of something.

This night it was the unfinished apartment block beside where I live. I pass it every day and every night, on my way to work, on my way home, going to Dunnes, whatever. It is directly opposite the entrance/exit gate to my apartment block, unavoidable.

The twin sister to my own apartment block, it is high and rectangular. Where mine runs a cobalt blue with black balconies and big windows, it runs nothing but grey stone and poking rustic bars. It is stained erratically with seemingly rushed graffiti tags and watermarks.

While they built up, they must have given up on building across, and the very top few stories were left without horizontal flooring like a rugby players gaping teeth.

I was at the tip of this building. I was looming over the brink. The wind was quite choppy through my hair and really tugged at my clothes. It was late and dark and the road below was desolate and glinting wet from an earlier sticky rainfall. I reckon in the dream I was about to jump, but to my complete horror I instinctively turned to my right and found a cloaked shadow of a person looking back at me. There was no face beneath the hood, but I could make out a drooping chin. The long hood then turned towards the road, but then back to me. My hesistance diminished as I realised the foul play that was actually going on. The figure jumped from the building before my very eyes.

I woke with wild energy, like a tin whistle screeching from force. And then, as I always do, I threw my arm around my boyfriend and thought hard on isolated popular areas to lullaby myself back to sleep.

I don’t even know his name. When I found out that there was a body on the ground bedside to the road I felt my heart fill with a different kind of fear. He had dropped from the very building I had dreamt of the night before. He was about 17 years old. I think of the stairs. He solemnly walked up every single step, he put in that physical effort to get up high enough to die. The determination it took of him treading every dreadful step, slowly gathering height, demanding his legs to lift up another, and then another, higher, and then higher. Knowing on every landing of his foot, he was only doing it to end his life. It strikes me with a great grief. A boy, who I had never known nor cared about, has been removed from the world we shared, at close proximity. I am left to wonder what separates us all from each other? A life that lived, slept, dreamt and cried like I still do has become nothing more than a statistic for the officials to dismiss and push under hushed floorboards and we will pretend that the sun rising in the morning will be enough for us. And yet, we know, every single time the sun rises, a man will forcibly and violently exit out of this world and will not live to see that sun settle ever again – a life more temporary than life had ever planned it to be





The Day He Died

To my left, I see low hanging clouds, pinched by an orange sky like the hills are on fire.

To my right, a dynamic bay, passively blue, with dockland bells ringing like church chimes as seagulls roam dully above.

Behind me the floor is sprinkled with glass like un-cut diamonds in sand and with doors shut so harshly that the wood shocked and splintered into frame.

I focus on the colony of seagulls swooping that bay, their soft faraway grace reminding me of a dule of doves I once witnessed swimming the air over a jagged graveyard – flurrying, folding and flickering like a slender woman’s fingers melodising a harp.

But the harp stings and the seagulls are shot to the ground.

I lower my gaze to the tarmac road decorated with fallen Autumn leaves gracing it like summertime freckles.

The steel barrier of the balcony suddenly vibrates into boneless fluidity. Stunned, I witness motionlessly it pulsate impossibly, bending wetly into itself, then stretching out to restrictive normality. I blankly watch this happen in front of me, absent of any explanation. I begin to feel a natural unease as I observe the strangeness, a threatening feeling, a caution of danger, an activation of reaction. My heart rate becomes seemingly emphatic, inescapably stressing attention to the anxiety poking through any previous sense of calm – fucking acupuncture to a balloon.

As the build up continues its ascension – my realisation that the barrier is without doubt, de-stricting itself, I reflexively shut my eyes and the darkness then trumps all. After a few moments of lull, I hesitantly stretch my arm to touch and pleasurably find I have gripped something immobile, perfectly horizontal. I relieve my sight which triggers a feeling of detoxification in me as my body ceases its native panic. With my arm still closed around the cold barrier I lift my view to the greatest phasm of wonder, weightless square of frigid pressure above, the sky – beautifully undeniable and powerfully inexhaustible. But blink by blink, I notice a slow discolouring right in its bare middle. A steam of breath escapes me as I deliberate against my sight with confusion – I blink faster – and there – a deepening chasm – a bruised purple fathoms, like internal damage or leakage – I rub my eyes in disbelief but through the resulting fuzz now behold a sincere gash slashing straight through the sky, its thick carmine stem dressed with buzz cut dashes branching off its mother carve like nerves to a spine.

I shuckle away in horror, cloaking my eyes from natures dislaw. In a desperate seek for comfort I cover my ears and gently hum to myself old lullabies, furiously willing myself to conceptualise love – continuity, life. It is there that I create a peace to find – within the knowledge of resourcefulness, the essence that life like energy is indestructible.

Blindly and turned away, I reach for the bar again over my back. I flimsily catch it with gratitude and allow my full weight to depend on it. Then I pet my hand along it, ensuring again its unit until I am satisfied that my sight is mad and senses rebelling, the ordinary not lithesome, the sky not wounded.

But when I open my eyes the sky is gushing, raining blood drops from its open trauma having mercilessly expanded as though a giant scalpel had gradually etched from hand to elbow, the hills flaring as a ravaging fire lashes their surface and roars to me as it, with intentions of a monster, consumes its way to me – the water of the bay high and rising and now a glistering scarlet, a burning pink under a seeping rose sky, Ravens above dropping from their panicked flight in one by ones

Attending the mixing chaos, I hope I am mad. I hope my lover remains alive in a world far from here. I hope my brothers survive. I hope that with what is left of them, they find what has been lost


Lungs on Fire

Our Lungs Are On Fire

They poured kerosene down our throats
With our mouths pried open
Some died of paraffin poisoning
Some drowned
And for the rest of us
They dropped a lit match
Can you feel your tubes filling with smoke?
Can you feel your inner linings eroding?
Can you taste the charcoal on the back of your tongue?
Coughing up the thick ash – the burned black pieces of our organs?
Our lungs are on fire

And my eyes are burning,
But the tears keep coming
I wish they could do something
Melt the fires away

But the fires stay burning
Carbon Dioxide still churning
We rape our mother
One-by-One, after another

And the fires are still burning
The dioxide is still earning
We berate our mother
Us on top, her under

I wonder about the birds, circling the forest
Calling their young
Their babies that couldn’t yet fly
Waiting for her return
I wonder how long the bird soars
Until its wings give
She falls onto a low hanging branch
And cries with a raspy caw unusual to hers
She turns her head and sees a familiar stow engulfed in piercing orange
And paces towards a smoldered nest with her roasted children inside
Her lungs are on fire

The anxiety,
Yes it’s hard to breathe
Harder to breathe
When your lungs are on fire

If we aren’t scared,
We are blind
If we aren’t trying
We’re all dying
Our lungs are on fire

How do we sleep
With a fire in our bodies
How do we laugh
With cinders in our teeth
Our lungs are on fire

If they’re burning the land we live off,
The animals we feed from,
The trees we breathe from,
The earth we learn from,
Do you think they won’t burn us too?
Throw us into the fire
Control their empire
Do you think they haven’t already started?

Earth sprinkled with decimated maize crops
No protection from the sun come Summer 2090
The seas rise and makes us move
The temperatures rise, and globally deplete food
Carbon Dioxide – the waste product will leave us the same

And we’ll sail on the river of lava and walk barefoot on burning coal and pretend we haven’t turned Earth into Hell


Sweaty bats gliding through an Autumn-Magic sunset, their kiwi-rat bodies glinting over the tips of dark and meaningless houses- unbothered and unspied, only by me and my tired eyes and sore arm.

They are numerous, scattered like pepper sprinkles, dotted over a sheet and I recall with a painful wince the detail – the ache in my hand holding that fountain pen so steadily, its slim knib slowly cutting and dragging at the droopy blobs of tar that never had time to harden.

Bats – gloopy and inky for me – I just wipe my hand over the page and distort the sky I spent so long to colour in purple.

I wish I could’ve done more, I wish I had known to try. And maybe that’s mankinds biggest flaw. Wondering why we were never given the answers to questions we forgot to ask