Friday 2 October 2020


Derek Mahon.

Today, the death of the great Irish poet Derek Mahon was announced. It inspired me to try and capture the passing relationship I had with the words of his poem A Disused Shed in County Wexford. I read it when I was young and felt a poet was something to be. 

Although the ambition has borne little fruit, it remains a fascination. It seems to call me back but I am aware that I am an amateur versifier - while Derek Mahon made phrases that change how you see the world.

Thoughts upon hearing of the death of Derek Mahon


"Web-throated, stalked like triffids, racked by drought

And insomnia, only the ghost of a scream

At the flash-bulb firing-squad we wake them with

Shows there is life yet in their feverish forms." 


When first I read these words there was a shiver 

of recognition.

Once, opening the small door 

into the unconverted eavesliding attic

Confusion turned to fascination

And a slight unease.


The creeper from the front of the house

Had grown into the dark

White, grasping,

like roots above ground

searching for sustenance in the air.


Triffids, I thought 

Reaching for my sleeping throat

Marooned in the bloodless dark. 


Now it feels that I have sprouted

In the dark

Poems without soil. 


As you enter the wordless mouth-shuttering clay

I wonder will my unflowered stems

Ever feel the sun. 

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