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Crescent_moon by David Moug

Crescent_moon by David Moug

 

 

FOR YOU MY FRIEND, WHOEVER YOU MIGHT BE

 

(The word ‘crescent’ is derived from the Latin verb ‘crescere’

meaning to ‘grow’ or ‘increase’)

 

 

 

The year 2016 is almost upon us

and every dark morning this last week

as I locked my front door to go to work

I have been greeted by the most wondrous gift-

a perfect crescent moon on a cloudless black sky

and a sea of timeless stars.

 

Some mornings I raised my arms high,

my fingers almost touching the curve of Jerusalem

and I wondered if I was the only human

seeing this crescent resting on the ancient hills of Tallaght

above the crucifix of her churches;

and if the stone-hearts of great men

who push the world to violence this Christmas

aren’t humbled by its presence,

does their empathy not have increase

at the silence of dying children,

the tears of their mothers,

or the wishes of the homeless in the streets?

 

For two thousand years

this billionth crescent moon has been captured

by the eyes of hawks and the tongues of scriptures,

the sons and daughters of Islam –

the Christian and the Jew,

by the swords of East and West,

all those bullets in the Earth.

But it has seen Peace immeasurable too

given by the most humble of their peoples,

carried on the wings of a dove

thrown from the hands of honest prophets

and picked like morsels from the dirt to eat

by the tiny hands of innocence.

 

And I know there isn’t much a feeble man can do

when exiled in worries for peace beneath this moon,

when he accepts his guilt at denouncing love.

All a human really has is the power of a wish,

so for you my friend, whoever you might be this Christmas,

I wish you many, many flocks of doves.

.

©Michael J. Whelan

December 2015

 

Published in the Tallaght Echo Newspaper 17 December 2015

 

Gaza burns

Gaza burns

 

PROSPECTS FOR PEACE

 

The rubble hospital

delivers a dead new-born baby

into the hands of a doctor of history,

who studied conflict resolution

for his Ph.D. thesis

somewhere in the West

before volunteering as a teacher

in a school in Palestine

for a nine month period,

when the war intercedes

and demands of him his views

on the prospects for peace

when the New World Order

is finally adopted

by the nations of the Earth.

 

Michael J. Whelan

Published in the ‘Voices for Peace anthology,’ edited by Amos Greig in A New Ulster Magazine, December 2015

 

 

 

Prishtina - highway, Kosovo

Prishtina – highway, Kosovo

 

PRISHTINA

 

It was only a moment

but he looked into me.

Could see me as clearly

as I see him after all this time,

his eyes piercing my soul,

digging deep.

 

I’m at a main junction in Prishtina,

my jeep is turning left into

the raging river highway

near the barracks flattened by

NATO bombers a few months before.

 

I’m counting satellite dishes that

seemed to over populate the high-rise

landscape overnight,

‘a sign of normality at last perhaps?

 

The rusty orange car catches my attention.

Starting and stopping in a crazy fashion,

like a piece of farmyard machinery that

hasn’t seen a road in years, fueled with

kangaroo juice, its driver on the loose.

 

I caught his eyes then, as he lay across

the back seat. The agony in his face as they

reached out to me and I saw what remained

of his leg. The ball of his knee hanging,

attached by loose skin and gristle

and wrapped in a bloody white shirt.

 

The drivers took control then and sped

in opposite directions. I couldn’t help him

but I know he sees me,

like I can see dead people.

 

(c)Michael J. Whelan

 

Published in the ‘Voices for Peace anthology,’ edited by Amos Greig, in A New Ulster Magazine, December 2015

Lebanon landscape 1994 -Michael J. Whelan

Beirut landscape 1994 -Michael J. Whelan

 

BEIRUT

 

Under a halo of shells,

safe in the wide open arms of hell,

she considers the prophecies,

(the burning buildings,

the smell of smouldering tyres

and charred bodies).

She longs to conquer her own future,

walk tall under pine trees,

breathe in the Hyacinths

and pick the Damask rose.

 

Michael J. Whelan

Published in ‘Voices for Peace’Anthology: Edited by Amos Greig in A New Ulster Magazine, December 2015

bus bombing - Israel

bus bombing – Israel

 

ON THIS BEAUTIFUL DAY

 

If a fireball momentarily sucks air from the windows

on the inside of a packed rush hour bus,

where people seconds before looked out

upon the market places of Televiv and Beirut

 

and you are watching in the future on your TV

from somewhere in the world,

water hoses cooling the cinders of a city street

much like yours,

the particle faces of commuters

being scraped from walls and sewers

 

then you are​,​

​like me, ​

the lucky one

having nowhere to travel

on this beautiful day.

 

Michael J. Whelan

Published in ‘Voice for Peace anthology,’ Edited by Amos Greig – A New Ulster Magazine, December 2015

VOICES FOR PEACE – 

In response to the recent spate of violence and conflict around the world a new ‘Voices For Peace’ Anthology has been published by A New Ulster Magazine with the poems edited for this special issue by Amos Greig. The anthology contains new work by (14) fourteen poets – Lorraine Caputo, Marcus Strider Jones, J.S. Watts, Paula Matthews, John Byrne, Al Millar, Jack Grady, Kevin Higgins, Barbara Gabriella Renzi, David Atkinson, Amy Barry,Marion Clarke, Amos Greig and myself Michael J. Whelan and is available free online from today at the link below.  The issue is also available to purchase in hard copy at the link from Lapwing Press on the interior of the cover.

I hope you enjoy the poems and that they resonate in some way against the darkness!

 

 

'Voices For Peace Anthology, published by 'A New Ulster Magazine,' & Edited by Amos Greig - December 2015

‘Voices For Peace Anthology, published by ‘A New Ulster Magazine,’ & Edited by Amos Greig – December 2015

 

 

Ladies and Gents I am delighted to announce that my first full collection of published poems titled PEACEKEEPER, poems inspired by my tours of duty as a United Nations Peacekeeper with the Irish Defence Forces, is to be published by Doire Press next year 2016. Doire Press are an Irish publishing house based in Connemara, Ireland and have produced many wonderful poetry collections. I’m really happy about this and looking forward to holding my book of peacekeeper poems in my hands.

Doire Press  Publication Titles - 2016

Doire Press Publication Titles – 2016

 

A big THANK YOU to Lisa and John at Doire Press for believing in my work and everyone who encouraged me and supported this blog page and my facebook page over the last few years and most of all THANK YOU for reading my poems!

Michael

 

Michael J. Whelan on peacekeeping  footpatrol in South Lebanon -1994

Michael J. Whelan on peacekeeping footpatrol in South Lebanon -1994

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