A-Z Blogger Challenge: P

Parents and Poets

I am blessed because I have the best parents in the world. (I know everybody thinks they have the best parents but the simple fact is you are wrong and I am right.) My brothers and I were lucky enough to be raised in a house where we were allowed to become exactly who we are supposed to be. We were allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. I, being the eldest, have made some humdingers. I’d like to think it was because I was paving the way so my brothers wouldn’t make the same but I think it’s mostly because I’m quite daft! The fact is that through all those wide and varied mistakes my parents have never once said “I told you so. You should have listened to me.” It has been one of the nicest parts of being a grown up that I can turn to them and say “Remember that time when I asked you what to do and you told me to do A, B and C and I did the polar opposite? Well, you were right, I was wrong and I should have listened to you.”

There was always music in our house and now I can hear a snippet of a song and be right back listening to Dad playing guitar in the living room or Mum practising for Sunday Mass. I love to sing. It makes me happy and reminds me of such good times.

I could go on and on about how amazing they are. This would be a hugely long blog and actually they’d probably be mortified. So I’ll just leave it with one gem from my pops. When we were talking about parenthood and risk taking he said his only job as a parent was to ‘catch me when the parachute failed to open’. I think that’s something pretty awesome.

As well as my parents being a huge inspiration for me, poets have obviously been an inspiration too. I have been lucky enough to gig with some amazing, insightful artists and if you get a chance you should hunt down some work by Steve Smart, Shane Hollands, Lisa Greenaway, Graham Nunn to name but a few. I have huge respect for established poets like Pablo Neruda, Maya Angelou and Charles Bukowski.

One of my favourite poems is from Bukowski. I think it is beautiful and pitiful all at the same time:


Raw with Love

little dark girl with

kind eyes

when it comes time to

use the knife

I won’t flinch and

I won’t blame


as I drive along the shore alone

as the palms wave,

the ugly heavy palms,

as the living does not arrive

as the dead do not leave,

I won’t blame you,


I will remember the kisses

our lips raw with love

and how you gave me

everything you had

and how I

offered you what was left of


and I will remember your small room

the feel of you

the light in the window

your records

your books

our morning coffee

our noons our nights

our bodies spilled together


the tiny flowing currents

immediate and forever

your leg my leg

your arm my arm

your smile and the warmth

of you

who made me laugh


little dark girl with kind eyes

you have no

knife. the knife is

mine and I won’t use it



Another one of my favourites, which gives me chills every time I hear it, is Sign Language by Rives:



I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

NaPoWriMo #18

Prompt: Start and end the poem with the same word


if only you had

unpeeled your skin

hung your eyeballs out to dry

so someone could shake the dust from your irises

let them pump the heart for you

30 times

let them lift out your lungs

blow two sweet mountain air breaths

if only you had taken

the lid off your head

let someone

taste and stir the soup

add salt and pepper

leave to simmer

let them manipulate the fingers

two thumbs up maybe

massage and

change the shape of frown

so you look happy again

waggle the tongue

help you say

the words you needed to

help you find the honey

so they would not stay

like wood chips

in your mouth

would not stay like

brass handles protruding from your sides

would not choke you like cotton

shrouding your smiles

candle flames

flickering in what once was your eyes

if only, my darling.