Bob Shakeshaft – Wounded Earth

Profile Bob Shakeshaft LE P&W Dec V One 2018

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Wounded Earth, poems by Bob Shakeshaft

Bob Shakeshaft has been a long time participant on the Dublin open mic scene. Bob has read at the Inchicore village festival in 2005, at Seven Towers open mic sessions, at the Glor sessions where he recorded his poem Why. ? He has also appeared in Seven Towers anthology 2012/2013.Bob is also published in the Curlew collection by writers from Dublin, and the Ardgillan writer’s anthology, where he has been a long time member of this group. Bob has poems published in the broadsheet Riposte, edited by Michael O Flanagan, sadly this broadsheet came to its demise in 2015. And 2014 had his poem” Butterfly” published in the Brown critique magazine, UK. He also appeared in an anthology,” And Agamemnon Dead “, published in conjunction with the Skerries poetry festival Donkey shots. Poems appearing in this Anthology, include, “A plague of uncertainty”, Auld Rope “, and “Gur Cake”. Bob has just recently appeared in the latest issue of the New Ulster Anu, the 40th. Issue. In this Anthology the following Poems appear.” Auld tripe”, “Ashen Sun “, Toddles”, A thin white line”, and “After Philomena. “Also awarded in the New York Literary Magazine, in the category of Life/Death. Recently received 3 commendations from the Jonathan Swift Writers Awards. Bob has recorded his poems on KFM radio, as well as Liffey sounds with host poet Eamon Lynskey, also on Dublin south radio. Recently having read at the over the edge Galway, from the Anthology, “And Agamemnon Dead”. Bob is currently striving to complete a first collection, in the distant hope of been published.


A forty minute bus journey we were led to believe.
On the horizon Varna Cathedral
Its golden orb heaven bound.

Ninety minutes later a little ruffled
We amble hand in hand
Like excited children.

A majestic building proudly displays
Its scales of justice

On the steps a couple cling tight.
A smart brief cased solicitor close by
a T.V. camera reveals the verdict.

Their eyes betrayed by tears
Allows the world witness
Their deep despair

Like a dark sky warning
Clouds empty in gusto splashing
Steps to brolly –tree shelter.

Soon the sun shows.
Coffee calls to the senses
Lulling us in steamy aroma.

On through a park, an exhibition by Bulgarian students
Glaring at us from a giant – sized exposition
Of the ecological evisceration.

Strolling on we witness a wizened woman
In traditional black
Slowly sifting the remains from a bin.

Painstakingly she digests the best
In her small world oblivion

My love what you silently pressed in her palm
Brought a trace of life to the sad eyes
Long past expectation.

She signed her gratitude with a feeble hand
Pressed to an ageing heart she poured out love
We spilled tears in each retracing step.

Later in the shade of the cathedral, in hurried footfall
Past beggars at their feet, devout people emerge
With icons of religiosity.

A black robed priest convinced all are worthy of a place
As we shuffle on the queue to gain a seat
For this journey the payment has been extracted.

Wounded Earth

Eyes cavern sleep
Never to open
To dawn or dusk.

Stillness washes over
Silence… your form
A mask you wear.

Pain freed its shackles
To dark-oak box
Slow roped into stygian –

Gaping wounded earth
Covers your chest
In soil heavens justice ends.

Is the world compared?
When a spirit has winged
To lie in requiems cold –

Grave steps
Grey sentinel walls
Grief leads the way.

© Bob Shakeshaft