Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

June 16, 2008


by Aoife Mannix

In the night when it rains, I wrap myself around you for extra warmth, rock to the drumming of your breathing,  the windswept landscape of your dreams.  How young you look.  Tiny holes in time where the stars fall out  and they have to break up the moon  to make new ones.  UFOs hovering.

I’d like to be kidnapped by you,  to have no forwarding address.  Just leave the breakfast on the table,  the coffee going cold.  Walk out into a golden morning,  stand on a hill with the sea  stretched out a blanket below us  and the whole day free from interference.   I lie with my hand on your chest,  tuning in to the tapping of your heart.  Trying to learn its secret rhythm,  the other places that you go.  I’m knocking on your forehead  with my clumsy questions.  Your mysterious bruises,  the way grief catches in your throat.

I’d like to curl up inside you.  Float in the waves of your skin,  shoot stars across your eyes.  Take long walks  through the corridors of your lungs,  and find every door unlocked.



June 16, 2008


by Aoife Mannix

An earthquake of crickets, violins across scorched earth.
The blueness of the water after the siege is over,
the sun sinking in perfect pitch to the orchestra of the church bell.
This moment of all moments in heaven.
If the sea were to stop,
if the stones were to erode into moon wolves,
if the tide were to give up ticking,
if all of time turned out to be an hallucination,
I would still be here with you, now and always.

In the brightness of the North Star,
the warmth of your skin flowing through me,
silver ripples across the night sky.
I hold your ship inside this glass bottle,
a message washed up on the shores of your eyes.
Rescue me, believe in me.

When the walls burn down and the stars go up in smoke,
when the mountains turn their backs
and there is nothing but broken glass on your tongue.
In the sadness of this lost music,
the ghosts of all those in between places,
I will be the light switched on
to drive the shadows from the room.
And no matter how late the hour,
I will never ever leave you.

Lullaby me cuddle dry me

June 11, 2008

Lullaby me cuddle dry me

Soak up my tears

With hands that have sponged

Every cut

Every bruise

Every fall.


Lullaby me cuddle dry me

Kiss my cheeks rosy

So they’ll know no thorns.

Kiss petals on my eyes

So all visions bloom

Kiss sap into my ears

To honey all I hear.


Lullaby me cuddle dry me

Play with my toes

Toes that will dance with your smiles

Toe that will flee from your frowns

Toes that will

Run to you

Run to you

Run to you

Every time you call.


Lullaby me cuddle dry me

Blow raspberries on my belly

Because our laughs

Suck darkness from night

Make colour from dry palettes

Find music where sounds have died.


Lullaby me cuddle dry me

Lace your fingers into mine

Weave your history into my hopes

Swaddle me in applause

And buffer me from boos.


Lullaby me cuddle dry me

Breathe a breathe we breathe together

Until our scents

Tingle on our tastebuds

Mingle in our lungs

Linger in our thoughts.


Lullaby me cuddle dry me

Squeeze all the water out of me

When tears fill me up

And make my eyes swim.


Lullaby me cuddle dry me

Place your hands on my head

Place your lips on my cheeks

Place your heart in my heart.


By Joseph Coelho


June 11, 2008


By Mark Foster

Starry night
She holds on to me –
Don’t wanna let go
How much joy she brings
star in a bright sky
tightening all the way
wherever you are
this is new for you

Umbrella Man’s Day

June 8, 2008

Umbrella Man’s Day

by Aoife Mannix

A dozen miniature glitter balls hang suspended over the water,
light dances waves along the wall.
The pool shimmers with disco droplets,
warm yellow blue through gentle mist
as the boy in the wheelchair is welcomed
to Indonesian chimes rolling rhythms from the mystical east.
White rafts are lowered to float small rings of soft splashes,
an electric turban lights the way.

Sweet hellos of gong struck gold purple pantaloons.
Third eye reflections breathe the burble of the smoke machine,
umbrellas sing their silver necklaces
draped around water drumming.
Sponges splish splash as the little girl
sways to the curl of her perfect burst of smile.

The sailing boat bops up and down
in time to the rhythm of rain.
The striking of the big gong freezes all
but the near silent whispering of water.
Bowls skim the surface, perforated wishes,
streams of laughter through golden light.
A riot of raindrops on open palms.

The mallet strikes wonder into the whoosh of colanders,
umbrellas open to the spraying of gamelan shelter,
and we are safe in clear plastic, a bubble of a home.
The happiness of children exploring silver tumblers,
bubbles that emerge from the deep.
The girl giggles as music is poured from a jug,
the joy of spray showers pattering on windows
where words are not needed.

The boy holds his own language in storms of sheer delight
as the white umbrella blesses his face with water kisses,
and all is still and soft and mellow.
The music eases into a rhythm written backwards
in the sky of clouds calling the names of children.
Aisha, Jacques, Tommy, Toby, Thomas.
We recognise ourselves in this opening of hidden treasures.
The drumming of goodbye dances
wrapped in pool dreams of possibility,
the squeeze of love in the grin of a child.

Pool Piece

June 8, 2008

Pool Piece

by Aoife Mannix

Crystal showers through silver colanders
catch the triple light
as glitter balls rain on water.
The little boy stands by the poolside,
his eyes shimmering with music,
smiles of splashes
as the gong strikes laughter.

Umbrellas are shared
in the protective weight
of lifting silver storms.
The patter of spray shooters
as the gamelan kicks in.

The bubbles bounce to wooden tin beats
in time to the onslaught of raindrops
squirted between children.
Splashing silence,
beyond language, there is the haze
of gold swimmers jumping into blue excitement.

A sailing boat of dreams,
patterns liquid on the skin.
Reaching the unreachable,
the priceless pouring of purple connection,
who we really are.

See yourself in the mirror of a child’s name,
in the leaps and bounces of another world reflected
as the boy steps into the pool,
balances perfectly on the hands of sponges,
sings his own churning of floating mirrors.

Bubbles chanting song waterfalls,
the towel massages of drifting back to land.
Wanting to escape dry reality,
having to wave goodbye to the lights.


May 28, 2008


by Aoife Mannix

Clouds of mist hang over the pool,
smoke dreams of low didgeridoo vibrations.
The eyes of mirrors
wink red light bulbs
as glitter balls massage the water.
Drums beat purple gold bubble jewels
crowned with sponge treasures.
Saved by liquid rafts,
the white umbrellas offer shelter
from the souls of feet.

The ship sails yellow
with a single lighthouse.
The silent stillness
of suspended glass droplets,
gong frozen.
The ritual of magic gamelan wishes,
the music of silver reflections
holding the echo of ourselves.
Pure theatre of the ocean
pouring through our hands.

What Are Bubbles Made Of?

May 24, 2008

What Are Bubbles Made Of?

by Aoife Mannix

Bubbles are made from fairy wings
and lots of other funny things.

Like sugar rainbows stolen from puddles,
like elastic white rabbits longing for cuddles,
like the silliest laugh from a circus clown,
like the song of a trapeze artist who won’t come down.

Like top hats and clean dishes,
like the sum of three magic wishes,
like the dust from a shooting star,
like the hum of a grand prix racing car.

Like the lightness of ladybirds’ tap dancing,
like the shock of a hundred unicorns prancing,
like the very first smile of a new born baby,
like the surprising taste of soapy green gravy.

Like you and me playing on a sunny afternoon,
like the sadness that it all has to end so soon.

Low Low Low

May 21, 2008

I sunk down into depths
With the speed of delight
Water filling my ears
Lower and lower i went
depths getting darker
Sweeter and sharper
Bubbles escape from my mouth
Because the air is lighter
A light penetrates
Shining from below
Falling like a rock
I’m shooting-star towed
Flying like an arrow
From A tsunami bow
Shot with speed
From a whales blow hole
Sinking i’m sunk
No noise
No plonk
No twinkle
No shrill
No tiddle diddle
No dum
No dee
No hey riddle riddle
Just swooshing sea
Pressure is tighter
pressing on my skin
A watery embrace
Squeezing me thinner than a thin fin
Than a PSP slim
or Ipod nano
drawn out skinnier
the the strings on a piano
Lower than a descending baritone
Rolling in Earth’s belly
Where we hear her groans
Her moans
Her mobile ring tones
Her hidden
Her secret
Her hidden secret moans.

I’m going low
Low low low

I’m sinking low
Low low low

I’m falling low
Low low low

Low’s where I go
Low low low.

By Joseph Coelho

Don’t Jump Before You Can Swim!

May 21, 2008

Standing on the top board at Putney
Looking down!
Stepping back
Looking down
Stepping back
Looking down, stepping back
Looking dooooown, stepping back
Looking dooooooooooown, stepping back.

Look Down!
The pool’s a sheet of sleety undulating water
Blue – no green
No blue green
No white bright shiny twinkerly
Like stars in the sky
I’m High-up!
Step back

Too scared
Stupid scared to jump
James Jumps
David Jumps
I don’t jump
Look down

Bodies underwater swimming
Bloated limbs
Drowned fish
Black eyed mermaids
Needle teeth
Foul fetid fishy flesh
Step back!
Step back!
Step back
Gasp! Gasp! Gasp!

Must jump
Must jump
Must jump
Must jump
Must Jump
Must Jump
Look down!
Life guard laughing in little shorts
Little brain
Big Muscles
Laughing ha ha ha ha titter titter
Grinning little lark.

Must jump
Must Jump
Must Jump
Must Jump

It’s cold
Goose pimpled
Skin drying
Knees knocking
People behind wanting to dive
Not jump
Not jump
Not jump
Leap in air
On count of five
Roll, tuck extend
And Dive!
Hands, palms, forehead
Neck, Chest and hips
Legs, knees and toes
Disappear in water
Twelve feet deep
Double the depth of death
Splat! Belly flop
Tummy popped
Guts spilled
Flotsam, Jetsam of intestine!


Queue behind longer
Faces longer
Laughter from little lifeguard louder
Not feeling bolder

Need to jump
Gotta jump
Have ta jump
Just got pushed!


Body Hurling
Arms flaying
Legs flopping
Breath stopping
Water coming
Body faliing
Fear of hitting
Pants are fillings


Cool calming depth
Sinking depths
No dead fish
No black eyed mermaids
No queue
No laughter
Just me
Heart beating in ears
Eyes blurred blue

Depths getting darker
Surface getting lighter
Break through and
Lungs full
Lungs grateful
Wipe eyes
Look up
Queue astonished
Lifeguard concerned
James speechless (which is rare)
David smacking leg with excitement (not rare)

David’s like…
‘Dude how you do that?’

I’m like ‘Do what?’

He’s like…

you dived like a pro
on a superman trip
First twisted this way
Then went that
Got a bit hairy
You were gonna go splat
You did a roly poly
In mid-air flight
A front-forward-barrel-tuck
That gave the lifeguard a fright
You whooshed and you wowed
Like you were Iron man suit encased
We thought it was over
Then you turned with ease and grace
Skimmed the surface of the pool
With your belly
Then your bum cheeks
How did ya do it dude?
Ya must a practised for weeks’

Now James recovers from his period of non-speaking

He says…

‘Guy, thought you weren’t gonna jump
Thought you look scared
been standing there for ages
You just stared and stared
Thought you chickened it bruv
Thought you got the heebie jeebies’

I was like ‘no!’
‘I was just waiting for the ladies’

‘Seen, Seen’

‘Yeah I’ve been practising
Yeah I’m a pro
Had to stand up there and wait
building tension for the show
Gotta wait for air pressure
To be just right
Gotta plan my flight plan
To be truly outta sight
Gotta prepare each muscle
For every twist
Every spin
No room for a mistake
No room for second guessing
Gotta cream the skin
Gotta be aerodynamic
I’m a swimming pro
A diving addict
Didn’t tell you before
But I’m up for the Olympics!

‘The Olympics!’

‘Believe it’

‘Dude that’s great
When your rich yeah
Let a bro share your wealth’

‘Yeah seen, seen’

‘Dude one question
Why’s the water yellow
Did you wet yourself?’

By Joseph Coelho