When you are Old by W.B. Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,

And nodding by the fire, take down this book,

And slowly read, and dream of the soft look

Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,

And loved your beauty with love false or true,

But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,

And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,

Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled

And paced upon the mountains overhead

And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.


A Wave of the Sea by Joseph Mary Plunkett

I am a wave of the sea
And the foam of the wave
And the wind of the foam
And the wings of the wind.

My soul’s in the salt of the sea
In the weight of the wave
In the bubbles of foam
In the ways of the wind.

My gift is the depth of the sea
The strength of the wave
The lightness of foam
The speed of the wind.

The Fascination of What’s Difficult by W.B. Yeats

The fascination of what’s difficult
Has dried the sap out of my veins, and rent
Spontaneous joy and natural content
Out of my heart. There’s something ails our colt
That must, as if it had not holy blood
Nor on Olympus leaped from cloud to cloud,
Shiver under the lash, strain, sweat and jolt
As though it dragged road metal. My curse on plays
That have to be set up in fifty ways,
On the day’s war with every knave and dolt,
Theatre business, management of men.
I swear before the dawn comes round again
I’ll find the stable and pull out the bolt.

Will You Go With Me? by Paul Timoney

Yes, said she in the shed
On some conditions.
And I never caring what they were or would be.
Wanting only to stop time for a spell
So I could scream into the sky by way of celebration.
To spin and fizz and spurt and spark and fizz again,
Like a mad lad miming fireworks
For an audience of much applauding angels.
Stack upon stack upon stack
Of standing ovation,
And making a tree laugh
So that everyone around would turn and say –
“We didn’t know that you could laugh”
And he, the tree, replying,
“Yes, well, I can, but never was amused enough before.”
And me then…back to me…going on a roll…
Plucking down clouds from the high horizon,
Arranging them upon my head
To form a fluffy wig of steaming curls.
Using lightening bolts to arc a halo…
And impersonating God,
But altering his voice to make him sound slightly homosexual
And doing a whole gag about him being something of an interior designer
Giving out to the humans for destroying the Earth.

“Goodness gracious me would you look at the state of it?
Yis have the entire place turned upside down??
And I thought I was bad with the flood
But I wasn’t squirting Texas tea all over the shop.
And what did you do with the lovely rainforests?
I had them gorgeous
And where’s me tigers?
Pish- a-wish-wish…pish a wish a wish…
1…2…3…where’s the rest of them?
And who said you could enslave them fellas
Oh…I don’t know…
Sher stop…I can’t turn my back on ye for a minute!”

And then letting on to get very cross
And whacking a super nova across the galaxy…
Scoring an accidental bull’s eye
Into a black hole…
It whooshing back through time…
And extincting all the dinosaurs…
And a gaggle of dead velociraptor ghosts
Shaking their heads in mock disgust…
And me sort of saying “oops”…
Followed by a hope-filled pause…
And everyone laughing again thank goodness.

I could have rearranged some stars
To make a drawing of her there
In the shed,
Sitting on her step-dad’s lawnmower.

But instead I…
Refrained…restrained…contained myself,
In as much as that was manageable…
Though ecstasy surely snuck out somehow,
Probably via the eyes
And my unstoppable grin.

“You have not heard the conditions yet,” she chided.

But it did not matter what they were…
For there was nothing or nothing or nothing or nothing
I would not do if she would agree to be my girlfriend.

She began…

” One…You can’t tell anyone.
Two… You are not allowed to kiss or hug or ever touch me.
Three… I can go with other boys if I want to.”

I was twelve years old,
And seeing as she moved away that summer
Without a word about our separation,
And I have never since done aught to beak up our agreement…
She is still my girlfriend.
Making ours,
The most long lasting
And successful
That I have known…

Which is also a little depressing.



Love’s Horizon by Roger Casement

Love is the salt sea’s savour,
Love is the palm-tree’s sheen,
Love is the sky of the evening,
That softly sets between.

Love is the ocean’s purple,
Love is the mountain’s crest,
Love is the Golden Eagle
That hither builds his nest.

The wind that lists at morning,
The first song of the bird,
The leaves that stir so lightly
Before a limb has stirred :

These are my love’s harbingers
By gathering music drawn.
Oh! Wake my love and own them,
Thou life voice of the Dawn


No Song by Joseph Mary Plunkett

I loose the secrets of my soul
And mint my heart to heavy words
Lest you should need to ask a dole
Of singing from the winds and birds—
You will not heed nor bear my soul.

I coin again a greater sum
Of silence, and you will not heed:
The fallow spaces call you “Come,
The season’s ripe to sow the seed”—
Both I and these are better dumb.

I have no way to make you hear,
No song will echo in your heart;
Now must I with the fading year
Fade. Without meeting we must part—
No song nor silence you will hear.