Great Uncle

Here is the sound
of the door opening, and the oldest family home
becoming part of your life.

Here is the sound
of opera, played loudly
in the basement in Harold’s Cross.

Here is the sound
of a cane clattering down the stairs
pre-arranged announcement that he was ready
to have his hair cut in the best barber in Dublin, Westmoreland Street.

Here is the sound of the fire engine
When they thought he had died over his tempura, South Great George’s Street
and the sound of relief, when he woke again
‘No Mr. Sheeran, there is no need to pay the bill today, we are just happy that you are ok.’

Here is the sound
Of a man telling you about your great great uncles
who survived Somme, Dardanelles, Independence, but not the sea.

Here is the sound of Glasgow 1938
and your grandfather, on a skite
with his brother-in-law.

Here is the sound of the camera,
Clicking to record a moment
a moment in a long life.

Here is the voice
recorded on a tape, just thoughts
of a man alone.

Here is the sound of breath
and a heartbeat, that has persisted.
Here is the sound of silence.

He is at the door:
Resplendent and welcoming ~
Here is The Sound of Life.

For John Gerard Sheeran, 1912-2011. R.I.P.


Sound of ball on bat –
Single engine prop above –
Busy Lawnmower.

A clink of glasses –
Wood pigeon calls from the tree –
Frenzied laden bees.

A creaking swing-chair –
Rustle of a newspaper –
Cold new beer goes ‘pfsst’.

Leaves in a light wind –
Kids playing nicely, for now…
Green and pleasant land.

Buried far from sun –
The worms work, working away ~
Listen carefully.