Tuesday, 8 November 2011


They put their tyrant in the sand -
The same land
The Inniskillings
Helped shove Rommel into,
And paid in Irish blood.
The price of that and other wars,
Was written on a Cenotaph
Which, blasted with his autograph
Became his Freestone hex.
They put their tyrant in the sand -
At God's left hand.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


An army Gazelle
Leapt over the crown of a hill
Driving down a flock of sheep
Like poured cream
The pilot threw it deftly
Round the contours
Better to be heard and not seen
Over such unquiet acres
Helicopters supplied
The soundtrack to our little tragedy
For forty sour years
The raucous, rotary blatter
Stitching these skies to Empire
Spooking the Fresians
Announcing some unfolding bother
Just over horizons
That shrank to spitting distance
When the sun fell
Snapping smartly down and up
On frontier garrisons
Like God's yo-yos
The bluster of turbines
As familiar once
As the sound of your own voice
Has lately been unplugged
There's plenty still to look at
From incorrupted heights
But less appetite for seeing, maybe
Scaring the horses or not
Is now the sole province
Of the earthbound.