Kenneth Nolan – Transformation Sonnet

P Kenneth Nolan LE P&W Vol 1 2019

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Poems by Kenneth Nolan

Kenneth Nolan is an award winning playwright and poet from Blanchardstown in Dublin. He is one of the successful playwrights selected for Scripts Playwriting Festival 2019. He is the Founder/Director of ‘The Merg Sessions’, a popular poetry and prose showcase event. Kenneth’s poetry has been shortlisted for the ‘Bailieborough Poetry Prize’; he has been shortlisted twice for the ‘Jonathan Swift Award’. In 2012 he won first prize for poetry in the ‘CDVEC Cultural Awards’. He is a regular contributor of prose to ‘Scum Gentry Alternative Arts Magazine’. His work has also featured in: Van Gogh’s Ear, Flare, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Headspace, A New Ulster and Creative Talents Unleashed. Currently Kenneth is studying philosophy as a mature student at Maynooth University.

Transformation Sonnet

The smile of a treacherous beauty queen
Clips the wings of twenty-two turtle doves
Returned letter from unrequited love’
Makes her titter, the salacious old quean
A shock to the world, a bad Captain Kirk
Clarity to vagueness future concern
Bovine depression – the milk’s on the turn
Sketches, of an empty modern artwork

Strength shows through mercy, vision from the blind
Lethargy dissolves, leaders show courage
Winter to summer darkness becomes bright
Birds in song, a positive state of mind
False prophet banished, all the calves flourish
Jezebel requites, afternoon delight


Golden-red leaves covered the street like an autumnal
Welcoming mat. Tom and Ruth trundled through the doors, past
The stone pillars of the court house. The jolt, from the galled
Mob turned the atmosphere sharp–wintery cold. The van
Accelerated through the gate, chased by angry men
And women thrashing wildly at it. Raging faces,
Hitting out with fist, foot, malediction, and any
Available debris. Ruth stood rigid; repulsed at
The sight of a pensioner spitting towards hell, the
Contents of the old woman’s throat, there for all to see

The man being driven away with haste to spend the
Next twenty years of his life in prison is called Dave
He is a sixty year old property consultant,
His friend’s describe him as: “quiet and unassuming”
He was well-liked in his community; unknown to
The law just one year before. Now he was convicted
On seven counts of child molestation. Ruth had known
This despicable degenerate her entire life

When the crowd eventually dispersed, replaced by
Onrushing silence; Ruth lost the feeling in her legs
Tom clasped her arm before she hit the ground, manoeuvring
Her down a side-street and into the first café on
The next unfolding street. ‘Two coffees please’. Tom bought a
Double-chocolate brownie, he urged Ruth to eat it
‘Sugar intake will help replenish your energy’
She refused; too enraged to think, her stomach churning

‘Why were all those idiots chasing and walloping
The prison van. What’s the point? I didn’t recognise one
Single-face, and none of them ever knew my father’
‘It’s just what people do, don’t let it get under your
Skin. Your father got what he deserved, he’s out of our
Lives for good now. We must stay strong for Clara. She has
Been through a terrible ordeal. Far more than any
Thirteen year old child should ever have to deal with. She’s
Going to need her Mum and Dad, now more than ever’

© Kenneth Nolan