Saturday, 19 October 2013

Life and death

Those who do not know
life and death
do not know
life. Or death.
Do not know the terrors,
crippling, desperate, holding
onto life by any means
possible, and the final
letting go when nothing else
is possible.
Life. Holding on to life.
Holding on to those who matter.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

All is still

Clouds fixed to the sky
like collage, small pieces
of cotton wool, glued to a
stiff black board.
And the man in the moon looks on
with his startled expression,
staring out towards the big dipper,
towards the white and red lights
of a far away plane, towards
the distant glow of Dublin.
All is still. All is still.

Sunday, 13 October 2013


Lying there, semi- permanent.
We've already agreed the
End of Life Care Plan.

Hours pass. You lie, unconscious.
Sunday morning, someone takes out
the drip. Who decided that? Not me.
Not you. Doctor says there's no
evidence a patient feels thirst.

Unconcious, you lie. We sit.
Waiting. For you to die.
(no-one dares ask, how long will this take?)

We pass the ipod round, look things up
on Google Earth, and pull up songs
on Youtube that we think you
might have liked.

How do you sit with the dying?
What's ok? What's not?
How loud can you really play
that bloody song before
someone says "shhhh - he'll hear you.."

Finally, finally, tonight it's agreed.
I'll stay. You all go rest. Bye,
Bye. Bye. Yes of course, anything changes, I'll call, bye, night.

No monitors now. No heart, no pulse, no nothing checked. Just you.
Lying in the bed. Not there,
still there, semi-permanent.

And then, your hand moves.
Your eyes flicker. Quietly
(so quietly) you say " thirsty".
Panic. I don't know what
you're allowed. You're dying
for god's sake.

The orderly brings water
you drink, drink more,
all night you wake and ask for
water and drink.

In the morning you have breakfast.
And I don't know if you're living
or dying. I feed you careful spoon
by spoon.  By the time the doctor
arrives, expecting you gone,
you're sitting up, managing whole

Do you know where you've been?
You don't ask why we're all here,
across distances, by your bed.
You watch the helicopters fly in and out,
and point, and smile, and take
small pieces of chocolate in your mouth.

You slowly recover.
Everything's ok.
And six days later,
When no-one's in the room,
your eyes close again.
And this time -
       you're gone.
That's what this life is.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Baby baby baby girl, arriving

Baby baby baby girl, arriving
from nowhere
from everywhere
from a desperate need for connection
to nothing
to everything
then you're sleeping on my belly
you're something
you're everything
as I walk suddenly for two
holding your tiny hand
walk slowly, slowly
letting you pace me
counting the stones in the wall
holding your hand as you
skip skip skip
holding my heart in yours
holding something
holding everything
as you skip ahead
into the full grown you


Sent from my iPhone