As If It Were A Choice


Birdsong fills the fading darkness

she sits, hunkered by the sea wall

deflecting the cold steal air

arms wrapped around her

lungs, breathing steady

waiting for the bus

the bus comes


suits, sunglasses, a soft slumbering hum


At the airport she walks head down

slow and steady wins the race

on the other side

everything falls neatly into place

the other couple from the plane

waiting for taxis

taxis came


suburban Manchester passes by

neat and soulless outside


but it's ok, I wont bore you

with the details of the day


like the Antichrist

with the rosary beads

- the hole Irish cliche-

as she waits in line

still lost in the great debate

somewhere between

self doubt and self hate


And all the lives

that come to balance

on her fiction

as she tries to decipher

the lines of her metal

as her courage breaks in two....


it's ok, I wont bore you


With the pain this country makes her bear

as it brushes her under the carpet of water

between here and 'over there'


or those first tiny fists

full of grief

that she buries

in the grape sized grave in her gut


... an emptiness

that could fill eternity


it's ok - we wont talk about that

because it's not pretty


anyway, she's got work on Tuesday

for minimum wage, to pay the rent

she plays the part of woman as Goddess -

the irony of art and dressing up

in other women's clothes

but it's a job I guess

to be self reliant and move on

in a way where no one gets hurt right?


I mean hey, this is

Life -

and the great taboo

of being a victim

of your own circumstance


but folks, here's the rub

it's not the holy church

or men of state that get pregnant

- it is us



sisters, mothers, daughters, friends

so why do we let them steal our voices still

and send Romantic Ireland's Children

'cross the water

as if it were a choice

like black and white

right or wrong


the truth is there are 3,000 some reasons

and the truth is the shame can not go on.


20 years ago we legislated for X, so why

did Savita Hallipanavar have to die?

Why,  under the gaze of the virgin mother herself

did Anne Lovette but a child

suffer alone in labor and alone in death?

Why, do we bury our heads in the laps of our abusers

and let them take us down from behind closed doors?


Enough! I say, Enough of this war on women

and if your too pious to listen

to a woman's right to life

or her decison to end the term

of what would be a still born child

or to hope for a home, money or time enough

to raise a child alone

then you have the right not to listen

to a woman at a time of crisis

You do not have the right

to deny a womans right to her own life choices



and I'm sorry if you find this all to much to hear

and she's sorry that she wasn't strong enough

to choose love over fear

and it's true, abortion is a sad and unholy mess -

that in Ireland it's still a crime for a woman to decide

what she believes is best.


Time to stop the legacy of secrecy and shame

handed down from generation to generation

from the horror of a Maggie's incarceration

to the continued perpetuation of the crime


Time to let women decide

Time to remove the yoke of church from state,

Give women autonomy over their own bodies

over their own fate


Time to Repeal the 8th.

Faith is a Beautiful Bird

From the city that gives birth to blues hero queers

who die to young, when the heart gives in

another one flies too soon,

too soon too young,
another good man gone.



Let me tell the story

of how we love to sit

in the evenings

listening to birdsong jazz

float free over rooftops

and all the years in between


Manhattan, Berlin.


Those nights we learned to sing

The ghosts of the old Chelsea alive again

Those first late night words

etched on carton coasters,

Indigo skylines over Eden

first chords set to feeling

of how it was to love so freely
to burn so fiercely

that we would descend

through the nights wild heat

on fire, obliterate on impact

crash into desert sands

without warning, from blackbirds

on billboard signs, neon blind

to the static of city streets,

while all around us sirens screeched.


You, alone with a gun.

Those nights we couldn't sleep

for the love soaked sheets in the attic

wild beasts on the run

wild beasts with this desire

wild beasts with this alone


for an arched back

an ecstasy soft as that morning rose.

Where you knew exactly where I'd been and back

those losses cut loose from the deepest pit in me

the half prayed poems come to light

the ash of drift wood and cigarette smoke

and long distance phone calls, where nothing real

or of any importance was ever really spoke


living on the heat of my rages

on scraps, on pages

in my vain attempts at this


Love to reveal itself

Love to redeem the self


And I would fall a thousand times

to meet you here

and trace the weave of time

through your hair

or crooked cowboy smile,

the one that sets song birds free at night

Chasing untamed dreams across the sky

And there I'd let you roam, I'd swear

I'd tie a peacocks feather to your mane

and in the morning slap your hide and say

go ! Be free again


follow that diamond heart of your's

the one that wakes dreamers from their sleep

as if I had nothing to loose

and no wish to keep


but I am not ready yet

for deaths mysterious graces

I have too much to change into

to become

I am an inscet in a garden full of wild orchids

where worker bees sex the apples that I eat

sometimes I refuse to be anything other than i am

willful and destructive

let the mountain come I say

I am the mountain


and so it began

life outside of the self

as if nothing but a dream

and nothing is hopeless it is said

so I gave myself up to

the carbon in my bones

and with them morning sun rose

and headed off down the lost highway

Wondering from where did this life come?

What vessel? what seed?

Questions rooted themselves

in the wombs of ancient trees

from between who's branches spun

the designs of our creation


Deeper yet the roots reached out

the seeds of love

the years of doubt.

Oh foolish saplings! we filled lungs

full to bursting with songs

full of each other then

it was easy as the sun coming up

lovers waltzed in next door rooms

while pagan poets sat and looked out windows

as the snow fell

studying the lines and forms of those they loved

the blueprints of the dream itself


those first delicate filaments

spun between the worlds

where our bodies learned the letters

and our mouths kissed the source

and again and again we'd sing

sister to brother

rogues to witches

witches to lovers and

everything in between

the heat of your hands on my body

those nights you gathered me in

from the corner I had painted myself in

and let me lie there on your chest

the place where weary pilgrims

come to rest

and knit me together

in the form of a love song


where old souls meet

at the brimming of the day

sending prayers like feathers

over skylines of indigo eden

yes,faith is a beautiful bird my friend -

destiny , desires secret source in the in the end.

yes fate is a beautiful bird my friend

destiny desires secret source the end.