Brian Kirk – Everything

Brian Kirk LEP&W V2 Dec 2022

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Two December 2022.

Everything, poems by Brian Kirk. 


was a lifetime
and winter
an endless
in which
we longed
for sun

later we knew light
long days and shorter nights
the honeymoon of life
and love that never ends
until it does but
starts again

everything that breaks
can be repaired in time
is movement and return
time fixes in its folds
the fracture of the bone
re-formed and schooled by
memory’s failure to embrace
the new day knowing it is old

the kids are people now
and they have lives beyond what we
can ever know and knowledge far beyond their years

we disappear into the background of their lives
become bit players delivering occasional lines
of little consequence
background noise or filler in a scene

we are a dam against an evening tide that rises
all the time unable or unwilling to be moved yet restless
in a way we can’t describe
we want to go back to the glory
days that memory has devised in lieu of actual experience
those times when we were vital to some cause or aimed
to be the selfless person at the centre of events who always knew
when words were not enough and actions were the currency of change
in a world that was reflected in our eyes day in day out
we will find a voice to decry
the cost in human terms and – oh the pity of it all – a frail voice
crying in an empty house
the neighbour’s dog barking in the dark
night of the soul cannot be signalling an end to anything but sleep and sleep
is not our friend
being too close to the other one
the one that we know signifies
the end of


with apologies to Yeats

A rift has grown between the mind and body,
one is tough, the other prone to virus.
If we could extract the brain, that bloody
meat might make a home in a new locus
embodied in a perfect man-made form,
the soft machine discarded for the worm.

Some people’s heads are frozen when they die,
stored in a refrigerated warehouse
in Phoenix, Arizona, hoping by
and by that new technology will rouse
them to a new life of the perfect kind,
far better than the one nature designed.

Others believe death will be overcome
and man become a kind of god on earth,
science will let us live beyond our time.
With cheap supply the days may lose their worth,
boredom might set in, breed fresh demand
for death, a simple flourish at the end.

Once out of nature I shall never take
for granted all the things the body taught
me, the marks that living and dying make,
the empathy of touch, nervous and fraught
with rash desire that tells of wishfulness
and smacks of absence, loss and loneliness.

The Facts of Life

We are waiting for something to happen,
the cat to be sick
or the doorbell to ring

but it doesn’t. The sound of clapping
drowns out the words
of the singer before he can sing,

and it doesn’t matter so much anymore
since it’s not real –
the gig ended more than a year ago.

The song plays on repeat – encore! encore!
Stamp those feet,
get to the bar before it closes.

We haven’t been outside in weeks,
not that I mind –
there’s nowhere to go anyway,

no engagements or places to meet,
just the park.
Now I sleep through the day

while the TV relays the world of events
to our home.
We can see what we lack,

watching crowds on the street giving vent
about stuff, shouting:
you can prove anything with facts!

© Brian Kirk

Brian Kirk is a poet and writer from Dublin, Ireland. His first poetry collection After The Fall was published by Salmon Poetry in 2017. His poem “Birthday” won the Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards 2018. His short fiction chapbook It’s Not Me, It’s You won the Southword Fiction Chapbook competition and was published in 2019 by Southword Editions. His novel Riverrun was a winner of the Novel Fair 2022 run by the Irish Writers Centre. He blogs at

3 Replies to “Brian Kirk – Everything”

  1. Well done Brian….enjoyed the three poems especially ‘Everything ‘……….I notice there is not one full stop in the whole poem…….perhaps there is still more to evolve. Sleep can heal and energise the body….so who knows what transformation the longer sleep can bring

  2. Hi Brian,
    Love the poem “Everything”.. reminds me of Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be”..! Judy keep going…

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