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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

NEXT TO NOTHING

In the near-quietness of morning,
the hum of distant traffic,
a dog's occasional bark,
birdsong, car doors closing.


I lie awake, eyes closed,
absorbing the noises,
and out of next to nothing
a poet starts composing.

Monday, 30 January 2012

THESAURUS

I reach
for the thesaurus,
thumb the pages
in vain,
trying to write
about love,
but lost for words
again.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

THE LOOK OF LOVE

Why don't you look at me
the way that Ingrid Bergman
looked at Humphrey Bogart?


She didn't have to
say a word,
not a word........

Thursday, 26 January 2012

MOVIE MADNESS

Pardonnez moi
pardonnez vous
but what time is 
Gerard Depar due?
*
Cecil B DeMille
made big picture shows,
but did 'e pic his nose?
*
Running round hither and thither,
does your googie wither?
*
Timber yard sign
hangs above the clock:
"Be snoopy,
come and see our wood stock."
*
Willem da friend
or Willem Dafoe?
*
Who'd go west
like he should?
Clint East would.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

FRUSTRATIONS

Sometimes you piss into the wind
and fart against thunder,
become the bird on the ladder, 
the rat on the treadmill,
searching for the pinpoint 
where reality meets the dream,
as obstructions and craters 
on your path always seem
to divert you left and right,
to cause you to trip and fall,
to test you with frustrations
to challenge your perseverance,
to push you to the edge of the abyss
offering you the devil's choice
of eeny-meeny swim or drown.
But at the crunch hang on to the truth 
that the bastards will never grind you down.

Monday, 23 January 2012

TO RETURN

Life moves on
towards the inevitable end
but I console myself
that with so much yet to see,
so much to learn, so little time 
as I watch life's candle burn,
I will find a way to come back,
for with much still to do,
I will have to return.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

NOT AS EASEL AS IT LOOKS

I was never too comfortable
with art classes at school,
not very good at straight lines
or mixing reds, yellows and blues,
ending up with crooked edges
and mucky greens and browns,
a world away from Bohemia,
from garrets in treelined boulevards,
no admirers to fawn and gush
at my incompetence with palette and brush.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

THE BIG QUESTION

I withdraw to the tunnel 
at the end of the light
having found the answer
to "the big question"
and I return wiser but more cautious.



Make your own journey,
embark on your own quest,
if you want to know what I know.
It was worth it for me
and the only way you will know 
if it is worth it for you
is for you too to get up and go.

Friday, 20 January 2012

BEDSIT

This was it,
his bedsit,
his bowl of used Bic razors
donated by friends,
his one pot,
one pan,
kettle and mug,
his belongings that would fill
half a pillowcase,
his last years in this eight by ten room,
a testimony to his miserable life,
punishment by God
for abandoning seven kids
and his wife.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

FOREVER

In the distance,
more distance.


In the darkness,
more darkness.


In the silence,
more silence.


The poet searches,
trying to be wise and clever,
unaccepting of any notion
of forever.

Monday, 16 January 2012

THE LONGER I LIVE

The longer I live
the more I see,
the more I hear,
the more I smell,
the more I taste,
the more I feel,
the more I know,
senses and brain alert,
experience and expertise grow,
confidence as sure as the beats of my heart,
so, then, why the helplessness
watching humanity fall apart?

Sunday, 15 January 2012

POSSESSIONS


All he owned was a cow,
a dog and a bible.
The hillside was his bedroom,
his lounge, kitchen and garden.
His roof was the sky,
his light the sun, moon and stars.

He made a mental note 
to ring the Halifax
about his mortgage application.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

RITA

Well,
at about twelve thirty today,
she was buried beneath
the Milltown clay,
release, perfect release,
peace, perfect peace,
for the best,
rest,
a well deserved rest.

Friday, 13 January 2012

ROMANTIC DATE

The moment
between clink
and drink
eyes locked
no blink
both think:
"The night is young............"

LITTLE JOE

It is no longer there but I can see the gnarled tree stump
that used to be a horse in a cowboy and indian game,
occupying a corner of the infant school playground.
At my turn, I was always Little Joe of Bonanza fame.


The mixing of the childish and the creative produced
something of what I am today. The uneven, rough
knobbly, insect-ridden bark left ragged marks on my skin,
and in my head, clear memories, the important childhood stuff.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

TWO DOTS OF SNUFF

Granny would put two dots
of snuff on her left-hand thumb,
hankie ready in her right hand,
and with two rapid sniffs,
the brown dust disappeared,
inhaled, a satisfying fix
followed by a hefty nose blow.


In the years after World War Two,
when a generation had had enough,
people were entitled to enjoyment 
and for Rachel, my Granny Millar, 
it was two occasional dots of snuff.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

DOG GRRR HELL


As the sunlight warmed his kennel
on a lovely summer’s dawn,
the dog awoke, stretched and scratched
and gave a mighty yawn.

But the peaceful air was shattered
at the moment of attack,
he expected daylong trouble
when his marrowbone bit back.

Monday, 9 January 2012

THE LIFE & POETRY OF HAMISH SHEANEY - AMAZON KINDLE @ £0.96

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Sunday, 8 January 2012

SUNSETS

If only
I had collected 
all of the sunsets
to marvel at their redness glow,
to enjoy them now
when their magical light
would ease the gloom
of dark moments.


Regrets 
outweighed
by sunsets.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

TWO COFFINS

1974
I remember the weight of the wood and the body in the box
when it was my turn to be a carrier, front left,
and a gasp as the coffin rested on my shoulder,
heavy but not as heavy as the burden of grieving,
a brother's short life, too soon to be leaving.
2011
First coffin lift in thirty-seven years, same weight,
this time back right, similar uncontrollable gasp, 
a cutting pain deep into my bones, just as heavy,
but not as heavy as the heartache, the burden of grieving,
a mother's long life, too soon to be leaving.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

NOTHING MUCH

Nothing much to say today,
a day for feelings,
a day off for lengthy poems........