Forgive

Let me live in the past tonight

I go there alone

No matter where the mind wanders

It can’t hold your hand here

Can’t take your strength

I need to go back

And wander

The rooms of my existence

Before you came

Pick up those memories

Like ornaments to be examined

Look at them closely

Blow the dust that gathers

And increases their menace

Blow it off to reveal

Innocent endeavour misconstrued

Put them down

And move on

And forgive

And in moving through those rooms of the past

Come across,

Finally

A covered mirror

Unveiled

Regard the face there

And finally forgive

That one most blamed by me

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Deadlines

I walk in the town

Where my son lives

Deadlines tie him

With no time to give

I watch at a table a son

And his mother

Laughing show pictures

Have fun with each other

I read in the paper

On coffee shop table

Of mother and son, missing, unstable

A smiling photo, chubby twinkle

Stares out from report, heart sinking

Tears, blur vision, drop in cappuccino

Reservoir dragged, bodies found, final

And the cheeks of the baby

Will never grow slim

To be the man laughing

His mother with him

Or moaning that more notice should be given

To bestow a five minute visit

On a mother unbidden

From grief at my lonely existence

I cry for the boy, his mother, this nonsense

That life takes us all

At one time or another

Casts a knife between

A son and his mother

The story in the news

Deadlines

Lines of dead

It’s November,

That baby didn’t want to go swimming

In that reservoir

All those dreams

Flowing a future in droplets

Of water

Drunk by others into their system

I hope they honour that

Dead Child

Dead child

I am not spinning around in your arms

I am not getting sweets with my charms

I am not playing a puzzle with friends

A bullet and knife is where my life ends

I haven’t known a day without fear

I haven’t felt a family near

I am broken from birth to the grave

Time counted in months was all that life gave

I know you fear me though I am just small

I don’t know you, don’t know you at all

I know you have children precious to you

My mother died crying because she knew

I woke in her arms still safe

Protected from breathing the dust of hate

Her eyes were dull sparkle gone

No answer to Mama?

2, alone

I am not a human to you

I am not a child

To you I am a ticking bomb

About to go wild

Support your own

By rote your favourite saying

What child of ours deserves to be slain

Support, love, universal truths

sperm egg the colour of youth

The future, the smile, the reaching out hand

Stopped in dead children spread over the land

A curse not from my lips will ever come

As blood seeps to earth dried by bitter sun

Remembrance flowers grow from the earth I nourish

Your little plot protected to flourish

I am only a child

I love to laugh

And when I cry

To have a hug,

Mum worried about my chesty cough

But now dead because I am shot.

My eyes stare now I don’t see

Tell me how the world will be

Lying broken, dead not asleep

No lullaby sung and no sweet dreams

EMcGinty 2017

First published in For The Many Not The Few Vol 1 compiled by CT Meek

SHE SLEEPS SILENTLY

She sleeps silently while the wind rushes

fast and silent across the sea

She sleeps on, eyelash on cheek,

I don’t think she dreams of me

I gave her a kiss and left her there

Never to see her again

But when I left only I said goodbye

silently she slept on

There wasn’t a fight or parting of ways

or sneaking out in the night or break of the day

There were many tears though I left her

to run

away from the fact she’d already gone,

And she sleeps silently despite all she gave

all while I weep mightily

by her grave

Mothers in War

asked to writeof young lives lost

shelled and burned relentless frost
happy home to relentless fear

brave face conceals hot tears

once a hug and safety 

the currency you traded

exchanged inexplicable hatred

bones exhausted hope faded
At Marathon

Xerxes honouring father

and so on and so forth

these wars get ever harder

millenium echoes of ‘what’s it all for?’
and weaved into the words of life

new names come

sprung from their strife

our everyday

the balaclava

named from pain frozen hell like lava

became a young boys winter wear

running down streets without a care
cheerfully we sing of barrels rolled

Towns in Ireland myths unfold

a hundred years ago

In a room

a clock ticked

whilst cannon boomed

the heartbeat of a mother waiting to hear

that precious child coming near

the footstep on the path instead

solemnly told her

He was dead
If you see the sight of battlefield

with blood and guts and brain all spilled

sightless eyes who know no pain

Think of the ones who feel it again

and again and again and again
The ones who walk with the field inside flesh

Where their children are killed each day afresh

who cared for them fed them and loved them each day

but when the monster demanded them

waved them away

 Fairy stories talk of scary dragons

 demanding the people hand over their young

of evil archetype make panto players

but still it goes on and on and on

Bravery for an ideal or not is a hard won thing

sometimes pretended, just to get through the turn, away from mother, 

toward an unknown king.