Bob Shakeshaft – Song of the last

Bob Shakeshaft LE P&W May 2019

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Song of the last, 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 View Pagejust 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.

Song of the last

I cannot forget
the room
you grew up in
full of the dank-wet
rattle of your chest
gurgle of phlegm
bright blood shocking
at a safe distance
from your bed
nightly rosary
white knuckles
on coverlet
dropped beads
of sweat stain
your eyes
looking right
through me
from the bones
of your soul
held beneath
the nightdress
moving to death
and womanhood
tiny breasts
nipples a bruise

and failing
over lungs hard
with disease


The room left undusted
she couldn’t care
to hang a picture
or lay a book
on an armchair.

All her pain there
in the absences
furious windows shook
with a violence
she could not share.

Her face was linear
thin as her bones
its true
she spoke
not like it mattered.

She could help
with washing –up
and such things
made her anguish
when the china clattered

suddenly one day
she came back
into the world
where flowers grow
could she come to know?

if it would last
long enough
to place a picture
upon a wall
or read a book.


Somewhere in my wavering
Because it was heavy -laden
I then chose
But still wondering
What if

Perhaps the other
I am to miss
Whereas I won’t back track
For to do so
Will chink my dawning

Footfall now taken
I stomp and stomp
The clods cling
Muck –mud
My faltering mind

© Bob Shakeshaft