Poetry Blog by Steve O'Connor

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What is it and what could it be?

In the final drawer

On the morning of the clearance

Long undisturbed by mysteries

Hovering over soapboxes and items rearranged

A few now discovered things

All solid and haphazard

Like fingers pointing towards crevices

Away from discovery

Shaped and separate objects

With undisclosed stories

Looking for repurpose or conversation

Maybe even the happiest connection


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Labelled “fair” but tastes a lot like abuse

Snidey guffaws and earnest propaganda

"What do you think?" asks the BBC news

About poverty and this seasonal weather

I think that it’s fair – evenly balanced

For every free banker, an ATOS corpse

I think that it MUST be ever so just

Royal babies emerge and my widescreen warps

Rational, reasonable, really right, right?


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Penguin woman


Penguin woman


Penguin woman walks imaginary hills

Takes two steps, then stops and checks her pockets

Hands like spatulas slowly scooping nothing

She shrugs shoulders down into a burdened breath


Tongue clucking, looking down the road

She shifts her weight like a stood-up date, sighing

Her make-up’s three days old; her shoes are scuffed and flat


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The reception


The reception


Baby screams over the chorus

Causes the record to jump

Guests shuffle round the sticky patch

Eyeing it cautiously

Treating it suspiciously

Evidence of the killjoy attendee

And the rudest of interruptions

Somewhere in another room

Away from family and witnesses

A new bride cries the bitterest tears

Poetic vows, laughter at ric...

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The joke that leaves a sour aftertaste…

Ever present in the pub

Like a Toby Jug gathering dust

He sits beneath His name

In His corner and judges

A pissed-up His Honour

A slurrer of uncivil words

Waits with ruddy face

And a case to put forward

Says something earnest

As he grabs your elbow

Would like to get to know you well

Skips about like the record

On the too used, not demanded jukebox


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Dirty Weekend

Dirty Weekend


Chipped china cup half washed up

Rests in her hands

Forty a day smoker stains

Tepid tea sloshes down the drain

Sodden biscuit crumb remains

Glistening like fools’ gold

She never dreamt she’d be this old

And to have to start again

Without her man

Wedding vows aren’t worth a damn

I do’s give way to the big I am

Voices raised, fro...

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Light bends

Light bends


Can you hear that rumbling?

Four in the morning and the boiler’s clearing its throat

Pipes tap-tapping, rapping on old joists

Laddered padding long since worn

Round metal that crosses buried crosses

Beneath well-weathered floorboards


Daylight’s been out all night

And now rattles round the window

Stretches itself around the curtains

A vampire victim of the night bus


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Our Hero

Our Hero


When the book was closed

The adventure put away

Our hero gave a sigh


Stretched his creaking bones

Rested his feet of clay

When the book was closed


To the sound of good night groans

And night snuffing out day

Our hero gave a sigh


Sleep fell like temple stones

Into dreams where victors play

When the book was closed


Mummies thwarted, Pharaoh’s thrones

Fall to the...

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The Mean

The Mean


Keep your cruelty in a box

Take it out an pass it round

Like a parcel no-one wants

A bauble that hides a blade

Gilded with septic intent

Where wound gives birth to wound

And every word you say

Smears its shitty hate

Purposefully contaminates

Because you’ve got to have your way

Dominate what you survey

Occupy the higher ground

But the Moon has stuck around

And the tide is ...

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entry picture



Fish heads rest on ice

Sparkling diamond gleam

No rubies here

Or crimson smears

Just mouths and eyes fixed in a scream


Plundered from dark depths

Where gloomy gardens grow

Through rocks and wrecks

And bottlenecks

Of interminable shadow


For a shop window

The murder scene’s precise

No trace of blood

Knives swish and thud

And fish heads rest on ice


Sea creatures disp...

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Party to it

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Party to it


Slump on the stairs with me

Lie here and talk of all we hate

As I do my best James Dean

Red label Thunderbird sedated

Eyes squint, upturned collar

Desires and designs on you

As your mates dance on the sofa

Because your folks are in Corfu


Bass kicks like a pissed-up ninja

And something in the kitchen crashes

You say something vodka-breathed,

Forceful, though your false...

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Snow Marilyn

Snow Marilyn


Marilyn Monroe's

Body sculptured snow

Smiles bright white

And lies a bright

As white lies

Long ago.

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Career Politicians and Bankers are evil (insert expletive/s)

Career Politicians and Bankers are evil (insert expletive/s)


One villain makes a world full of heroes

Crises thrive on ones and zeroes

Morons will respond with "tough!"

But it’s the bravest who will shout "enough!"


Champions dare to show compassion

Even when resolve is ashen

Write off our protests as rude

When the choices are a roof or food?


Sickening.  Calling it a crunch


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Spare Filth

Spare Filth


Take the pennies from his eyes

And put them in the tin

Your alms won’t cure

Or countermand accountability

It’ll pay for a minute

Of a machine

Dressed up as care

But only if you have

The right amount to spare


Take a month off and dig

A child sized grave

For just two pound

Then shove her into

That inexorable hole

A reward for state

She’s obliged to declare

A debt t...

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Perfect City

Perfect City


Its mornings are washed in post-storm sunlight; burnishing slate roofs on sleepy-eyed homes; casting shadows on streets dusted down with a baked bread scent.

Its song is the creak and clunk of a front door that fills the world and shakes the sunrise from its slumber; each dawn a melody and rhythm for footfall to fathom.

Its expression is found beneath the weathered surface of ...

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Holocaust Deniers

Holocaust Deniers


Come out from under the pond scum

Come down from out of the trees

Evolution’s a revolution that will set your anger at ease

Evidence of inbreeding is all you’ll find in purity

So, come out from under the pond scum

Come down from out of the trees


Join us by our fire (an ancient discovery)

Learn from other cultures

Extend your vocabulary

Cast aside your hatred and...

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Obsession equals self-obsession

Obsession equals self-obsession


Winds stir old words along the morning’s empty street

Post-it notes disguised as rainy day receipts

Some read ‘I love you’ others ‘Notice me!’

All trampled underfoot with necessary cruelty


These are the words that once unwound inside of me

A mind and tongue that railed against pathetic fallacy

Now tied to it – shadows bind truth to fettered memory


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The Fun-Fair

The Fun-Fair


Bodies spin, stomachs churning

Wurlitzing like teenage yearning

Shrieks whip up a sugar snap

Ozone crack cherry-pink beehive hairdo

For tonight the scrubland is suited and booted

Embraces the fair - holds tight

As snug as a razor-bladed lapel


That flush in your cheek is a fighting chance

The iron in your blood - the weekend

Squeezing through overcrowded veins


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Drinking absinthe

Drinking absinthe


We are all in the gutter

And our star is Wormwood

Fallen, insalubrious in paramount ways

From this vista we spring

Legs like galvanized slinkies

Lurching, bounding in an emerald haze

Of joy and greed for the vivid

Sate us with hues and inform us buffoons

Crown us with garlands of Wildeian tulips

And an earnest death in the afternoon

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