A Human Veneer

My latest poetry collection A Human Veneer is available on all Amazon Book Stores in Print and eBook format

A Human Veneer cover


Sample Poems from A Human Veneer


The Crows’ Song


Those crows croon a chaotic chorus

outside my bedroom window

a harsh harmony harangues me

from a horrid dream

of drowning under a demented

perception of a past

pestering me

pitching itself permanently

on a nocturnal landscape

littered with little litmus

testing my tethering rationality

to its transgressive tolerance


Realities rarely raise their regal heads

into my self-depreciating deceptions

depriving me of dreamy peace

persisting on their piercing

pathological path

just like the crows’ song

sung superciliously in

scornful auras played out for my

personal displeasure


Pleased with their morning’s work

they take to wing as

willow-the-wisps whisking away

from the window before

an awakened mind can catch them

contain them

consign them to a far flung sphere

where sins and sinners are but symbols

in a callous stanza

cawed out in a crows’ chorus


One Hour in Mountjoy Square


8:30 a.m.

Child with a child passes me by

she doesn’t throw a glance at me

or look around at all

to see if the world is watching her

all focus is on the screeching little monster

locked in its Silvercross pram

young girl with an old woman’s worries

stretchmarks around her mouth and eyes

should be in a uniform

should be in a dreamworld of possibilities

should be in a happier place than this

but who am I to judge


8:42 a.m.

What must it be to live in the shadows

of your own stereotype

or worse

under the veils of mine

dark skinned men in outdated clothes

hands sunk deep into pockets

scant protection against unacclimatised cold

partially opened mouths

as if they had something to say to me

but no common language to speak with

I hear no conversation between them

they walk by quickly

with nowhere to go in a hurry


8:55 a.m.

A late train has vomited out the office rush

a determined wave of invaders across

the winding paths and sweet smelling grass

jostling for one space ahead of each other

rocket-surgeons clad in grey peg suits

clutching their weapons of war

briefcases and umbrellas at the ready

aim and fire

swiftly as they came they are gone

interred in the cubicles of the tall

Georgian surround


9:07 a.m.

As an indecisive drizzle forms a curtain

a cold wrap around the square

a young lad trudges

between a stamp-footed Frankenstein’s monsters

and a slow shuffling zombie

liveried in blues

with his books of burden slung around his back

he is in no rush

now that the bell has tolled

like a million others and me before him

he watches his feet and fantasises

of a day without indoctrinations


9:12 a.m.

In a huddle in opposition to the chill

of Dublin’s April mornings

two lovers walk step-to-step across the empty space

they dream and scheme in low whispers

locking me and the world out of their selfish universe

as they hold each other in a sudden intense moment

each clinging just a little too tightly

simile smiles hide forlorn faces and

grimaced glances when the other does not look

they walk out the gate

still in marching order

into the unforgiving city beyond


9:17 a.m.

Another coupling fumble forward

half-falling into an adjacent seat

marked out by their own scarification

the self-inflicted torture of junkie skin

a crippling aging with wasted facades

crumbling and shaking as filthy fingers

roll thin cancer sticks and insert into

open broken maws

I want to hold a mirror to them

and ask how and why it reflects what it does

but instead I silently move to a more cowardly

and distant pew


9:29 a.m.

A lull in engine clamour and siren wail

takes my seat from the centre of the city

to a quiet parkland glade

occupied only by me and a dozen other accidental poets

even the double-deckers have hushed to a background

bee’s reprise

as we scribble our minds on notebooks

refold ourselves in duffled coats and black hats

and be on our various ways

leaving this place to the next set of eyes

to keep vigil over another hour

in Mountjoy Square


End of the Road


The sickly yellows suns that line the motorway are long behind us

busy white eyes of oncoming traffic a faded glow on retinas

replaced with a twisted country lane and hanging stars


dark corners

blind rises

tree covered falls


traversed without a word being spoken

now the rhythm of a radio is cut silent to static for the






of a tired engine cooling itself to sleep

no more path

no more smoothed surface

no more looking forward

for us there is only what has gone before

and a black uninviting void



fear filled



lying across the Irish sea

so still as if it was not there in the darkness at all

so still

still we don’t speak

and dare not turn the key

because we know this is end of the road


Youtube reading – End of the Road, read by the Poet


The Burden


Pin-prick blood letting

the daily ablutions

must be observed



a devotional sentence




the ritual of the needle

quietly carried

outwardly disparaged

almost dismissed

by the second-hand onlooker

comprehending but not carrying

the burden




yet part of us now

like a pregnant pause

we can never fill


Youtube reading – The Burden, read by the Poet


Poem Covers from A Human Veneer