The Latest Chattering Class Agenda by Peadar O’Donoghue

There, oh there,
dying a thousand mad deaths
decades after, centuries after,
they are all after,
John Clare.
Field hand,
mad man.

the jargon’s wobble hints
like an atomic bomb
the certain lack of largesse n’oblige.

We, sisters, brothers,
mothers, fathers,
sweat-greased caps doffed,
of all shades,
black lungs
like forelocks tugged,
the mores they change
the mores they stay the same,
the middle classes fighting
for themselves,
the working classes,
defeated, conned,
subjugated, the best of us
fighting amongst ourselves.


Here is more news by Peadar O’Donoghue

People who threw up their arms
about Trump’s wall
link them to keep refugees at bay.

Irish politicians unanimously vote
to keep homeless people homeless.

A lovely dog was
hounded by reporters
after being declared barking mad.

Sport. It’s not the winning
but the taking apart
that counts.

Weather. Hurricane Beelzebub
is expected to stay.

Burning Desire by Peadar O’Donoghue

We burned the witches,
the peasant cottages,
our bridges, the turf,
the breakfast, our winter skin
under the summer skies,
we burned diesel, petrol, money,
we burned down the road,
we burned bright under dark clouds,
we burned chances like confetti,
everything we ever had, wanted, needed,
went up in smoke, our lives,
the next generation, their futures,
everything in lusting lick of flame.

Except the bondholders.

After the deluge by Peadar O’Donoghue

Not quite darkness, not quite wilderness
not quite wandering,
more surely walking, wondering,
balanced on
the converging parallels of talking and listening,
grabbing at tri-coloured stars
to steady me
as they pass around words
like theological iodine tablets
for the fallout from the nuclear bomb
branded as fireworks.
We are the vicarious walking wounded
countless others, lives ,families, selves,
blown to pieces, if
not kingdom-come.
Would their;
if only,
their kingdom would come.
For how else,
where else,
do we go from here?

Peadar is the editor of the excellent poetry magazine, The Poetry Bus. This poem is from his debut collection, Jewel, and was previously published in Revival in 2009.