Nice this time of year to have poems published in the Romantic Issue of Poetry Archive

Three of them are from my collection Rus in Urbe

and one previously unpublished, Now and Then:


I hear you adding
in the old language,
wearing spectacles now,
the soft light
capturing in their frames
the azure of your eyes.
You are doing the accounts
to keep the roof firm,
the path clear;
you are the fire in the hearth;
I am water running through;
animus, anima:
the balance achieved.


Twenty years is a long time
not to have seen someone
you were beautiful then
or maybe my eyes were young
the mini skirt was in
to show the shape of desire
and long glistening hair
covered a multitude of things
and the moon at your hedge shone cold.

Living around the corner
you became a habit difficult to break
I wrote you verse with a golden nib
and sang you love songs with a golden voice
and through your golden privet hedge
the moon shone silver and cold.

And then we met
twenty years on
your hair so grey
your skin so wan
in a long dark coat
you were an ‘oul one’.

It is said that with the years
one becomes as one’s spouse.
You married an ageing man
and skipped the middle years
to catch up with him.

That was now
but even then
I should have heeded the moon.

At Gougane Barra

There was a wedding at the oratory of Saint Finbar,
church stone shielded the couple from the lake’s spray
as they smiled their eternity into camera lenses,
there were no blooms on the rhododendron.

At the lake’s edge the swans did not draw near when we clapped,
they stretched their necks and turned
on their timeless journey
with water to keep their heads clear
and unseen feet propelling constantly to drive their hearts.

The Tramp in the Lady

Crisp cursive curlicues
camouflage your dirty ink;

your pinny
covers soiled garments;

the rims of your spectacles
stab at the stars;

your hair in a bun
is a birdless nest;

such neatness
hearts froze,
you are the prim
without the rose.


Author: James Lawless

Irish novelist, poet and short story writer.

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