Peter O’Neill – Poem as Guard Dog

O Neill LE P&W April 2023

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing April 2023

Poem as Guard Dog by Peter O’Neill.

Poem as Guard Dog

For Argo

Poetry has nothing to do with world peace,
Save those banal sentiments for beauty pageants.
Poetry has more to do with a guard dog,
The poem’s gaze being just as potentially aggressive

And stealth like; the minute a potential intruder
Appears, the poem commences to growl and snarl
Bearing its teeth as a sign or warning to anyone
Foolish enough to continue to enter into the realm of fire.

Poetry has nothing to with world peace,
Save those banal sentiments for beauty pageants.
Listen rather to this poem howl

As it takes on the real enemy of all Life:
Phony pretenders and talentless hacks with
God awful thoughts on what makes up a poem. Woof!

© Peter O’Neill

Peter O’Neill was born in Cork in 1967. He left the Republic to live in France for the majority of the nineties and returned to live in Dublin at the start of the millennium and has remained in Dublin ever since. His first trilogy of books The Dark Pool, Dublin Gothic and The Enemy – Transversions from Baudelaire were all published in 2015, a key year for O’Neill in his emergence as an unusual yet distinctive voice in contemporary Irish writing. He has gone onto to publish several other books, the latest work Henry Street Arcade (2021), again goes over old themes. He is currently working on a number of projects while continuing to teach EFL.

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