Litle Red Hen  About SBS  TP List  Some Verses  Some Prose  Extracts from the Plays  This Weeks's Performances  Jack Hughes

See selection of other poems satirical, humorous, experimental

Return to LRH.. Contact us. mailto:littleredhen@esatclear.ie


Some Poems:



For the Muse

ma’am I am


wave my claws at freedom

you do not expect a crab

to flower, why pick on me?




early on, mist stood around

snuffling under trees in the parkland.

towards midday when I was out for a walk

the sun shone with clumsy October warmth.

my fingers smoothing the nape rolled

an infant spider into a crumb of agony,

dropped him away.






the site



being owned







till death from the

penalty spot

a letter-go

a millstone




At The Havelock Square End


personalities, those terraced

faces. they catch the sun and

fill the screen when the camera

lifts from the field of play;

they wriggle at interstices, unique

pasty platelets, one-celled, dancing

like a wall of leaves, like

a tower of midges on a spring evening.



The *Fiagach

[*Irish for  tope, a small shark]

Beneath the surface of the unconscious sea

flashes the Fiagach seeking whom he may devour.

All my lucid alcoholic days I never

dreamt of him at all. I was too sure of

myself. Always. She never was.


When she was gone, I had this other dream: a big

fiery dangerous looking insect, buzzing all over the sky

like a flying prawn, & it was bothering me, & I went

after it with the edge of a vice grip to smash it,

& every time I pinned it down it fizzed like an electric clapper &

shifted its shape, slithered away, lit off & flew at the wall

of the room, but always it shifted to the shape of some other

grosser insect... & I kept after, pinned it at the last

under a stone. I crushed it between two flat stones,

& could feel the carapace crackle, & when  I looked, from squelched

& rusty bits it came together, grew until it stood

on all six legs again like a queer enamelled miniature exhibit,

scarlet & emerald & black; & then it started extruding you know those things

at airports, passenger gangways that open out like concertinas - them.

It put out six or seven, & on the end of every one

was another exhibit, striking & lovely, but each in the form

of one of the shapes it had taken earlier trying to escape.

So I wound up with a paradigm of scarabs, an arrested mobile.

First I stamped it out & then this happened,

& I felt drained & astonished & sad & peaceful. When I woke,

I knew in some way, that had been herself &

that's what I'd done to her, having to be right

all the time. (And I suppose you're proud of yourself? - No,

no no. How could you be proud of a dream?)


End-of-summer gale rushes thru the sky; sally & hawthorn

branches over my kitchen window flail

at tumbling flocks of cloud. The Insect is long gone,

crunched to fine sand. Day before yesterday 7th September

I found a dead tope embedded, at the tidemark,

the Fiagach himself, half eaten by the sea, clutching

his last few pages of tough board skin, his lifetime papyrus,

a bursted sigilla; ribs & spine like a musical

couch, a bass lyre, an insight, a missed opportunity.




Ungrammatical Obituary for 1954


Kneel, ever since, at the Altar of Repose,

on ineffable prayer-alert, before the whitefire

monstrance, wall of flowers and candleflames,

coarse soutane itching like scruples -

& O to be at a safe distance in

rainwash forgiveness! from the shoal:

aspirations with no mind, lust-herrings, gashes -

a summer lawn, a humming underskin


[Litle Red Hen] [About SBS] [TP List] [Some Verses] [Some Prose] [Extracts from the Plays] [This Weeks's Performances] [Jack Hughes]

Please contact the webmaster if you have questions or comments.

Copyright 1997 Company Name, Inc. All rights reserved.