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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing February 2023
Crisis – What Crisis, poems by Peter McCluskey.
Crisis – What Crisis
The pubs were closed.
Do you remember it?
Will we ever forget, said my friend.
Human life at risk.
And the media telling us the pubs are closed.
We were stricken by the horror of it.
Our European friends were baffled.
The pubs are closed?
What about the hospitals, the vaccinations, the sick?
We clutched our Guinness beer mats to our breast, a tear rolling down
our collective national cheek and wondered why our foreign neighbours couldn’t
empathise with us.
You just don’t understand, we cried into our empty glass.
The pubs are closed.
So we resigned ourselves to a moral victory, a pyrrhic victory – we decided to tell
them that everything would be…..GRAND.
Actually Going Outside
We decide to do the cliff walk
from Bray to Greystones
even though the day is grey
and the heavy clouds are low overhead
with a distinct possibility that it will bucket out of the skies
but we don’t care
because we’ve set aside the day for this
and a few pissy showers aren’t going to stop us
from making the journey along the winding Wicklow coastline
because we promised ourselves we’d do it
and we want to stick to our guns this time
because we’ve spent too long putting things off
and wasting our time on Facebook and You Tube
and telling our friends
all the interesting things we do when in reality
it’s a virtual reality we’re fabricating that is more or less
an entangled mass of tissued stories and tall tales
and posed-for selfies
to delude ourselves and others
that we have an actual life
but not this time
we are actually going outside.
The Forty Foot
I met a man – a man with one line of dialogue.
He emerged out of the sea as if in slow motion.
His face had a soft beatific smile – a smile of contentment.
A glow seemed to seep from him – his every pore illuminated with the stuff.
I descended a step or two on the narrow rock stairs.
The cold, foaming sea water grabbed at my ankles.
“How’s the water?” I inquired.
But he didn’t hear me, the wind whipping my voice off out to sea,
whipping it so fast that I don’t think I even heard it myself.
The man looked up towards me as I silently mouthed my question.
A calmness filled his progress up the rock steps as he emerged from the rising tide.
The man has just one line of dialogue.
He took one last fond look into the sea and as he passed me by he said:
“Well, that’s washed that day away.”
© Peter McCluskey
Peter McCluskey is a fiction and poetry writer from Dublin, Ireland and has published 4 contemporary novels to date. His second anthology of poetry, “Crisis, What Crisis” is due for publication Autumn 2023. For the past fifteen years he has been lecturing on the subject of the music industry/ music publishing and copyright. Peter is also a certified TEFL teacher and teaches English as a foreign language to students all over the world. He has a wide breadth of experience in providing articles and news stories to major print and online music and social media magazines and newspapers.
He also creates and narrates videos for a number of his fellow poets. He previously spent some time as a music press photographer and also ran his own record label. He holds a Science Degree in I.T. and Diplomas in Advanced Web Design from Dublin City University. His fifth fiction novel will be published early 2023.