Ruairí de Barra – Finding None

P Ruairi de Barra LE P&W Vol 2 2019

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Poems by Ruairí de Barra

The author Ruairí de Barra is from Co. Mayo, and he now resides in Co. Cork. He is a sailor and engineer with over two decades of service with an tSeirbhís Chabhlaigh & Óglaigh na hÉireann, including service overseas on Irish & European humanitarian and naval operations in the southern Mediterranean. He is an award winning military journalist and is a regular contributor to ‘An Cosantóir’, the Irish Defence Forces magazine. His work has also been published nationally and international in other Defence and Emergency Services publications. He has been nominated multiple times for the European Military Press Association awards. His creative work has featured with TinteánA New UlsterLive EncountersThe Bangor Literary JournalThe Ranthology AnthologyBlack Bough PoetryThe Boston GlobeBoston Accent,  and he was shortlisted for the 6th Bangor Literary Journal Poetry Competition 2018. He is currently working on his first poetry collection. All his published work can be read on

Finding None

If you put to sea in these boats,
most likely you will die,
you will never make Italy,
you will barely make the news,
unless you wash ashore on a tourist beach,
spoiling the panorama,
with inconvenient truths.

The rising tide of the right,
creeping into the edges of Europa,
still like to wear good looking suits,
whipping up headlines,
serves them for now,
yet they remain ever eager
to slip the leash again.

The tide must be stemmed,
from both sides of the shifting seas,
never turn the cheek to fascism,
they’ll gladly use democracy,
to seek its eradication,
they did it once before,
80 million people died.


Torch light flickers over university grass,
imposing bronzes hollow as their message,
rewriting history in celebration of ignorance,
demonising orange pickers while glorifying slavers.

Blood and soil chants,
fake fatherland hero’s,
fat Nazis wear cheap combats,
cowards beneath swastikas,
shaming Old Glory with runes of death,
grasping at never happened shadows,
sculpting futures that should not be.

From Omaha beach to Virginia,
people died to resist the last tidal wave,
these thugs always so quick with a list,
automatic rifle army surplus lynch mobs,
longing to burn flesh instead of crosses.

Failed weekend warriors,
praying to Jesus while spitting on Jesús,
beer bellied Teutons emboldened by arch degenerates,
wizards, grand dragons and clowns,
manipulation of the poor by the most deviant rich.

In a bargain store Nuremberg rally,
desperate for their heel to connect,
to stand for a moment superior,
one instant in a miserable wasted life,
of fevered white supremacy dreams.
Fascism emboldened, suited and booted,
raising a spectre on ordinary streets,
militias in chest rigs armed to teeth,
decrying progress to claw back pasts,
when segregation was instituted,
and apartheid openly preached.

Pulpit Musketry

Peoples charity was only meant to stretch,
to putting a penny into a ceramic head,
brown people tuning up on the doorstep,
wasn’t ever part of the deal,
we brought them sanitation,
for accepting subjugation,
ornamentation for the gallows,
to reward rebellion,
grateful fawning over infested blankets,
was the only response necessary,
decades of the rosary ensuring resurrection,
the power of the pulpit,
multiplying musketry.

The Masters Dog

Guilty looks from left to right,
glancing over sunken shoulders,
ensuring fitting purity for the words,
filthy black bastard,
it rolls out of yellowed mouth,
hits the deck like a seagulls shit,
always seeking their approval,
like a dog aching for the masters hand,
such a common thing,
delivered with the snigger swagger,
the raucous guffaw,
like unto a carrion crow,
perched on a ripe carcass,
wet from beak to breast,
with the filth and rot,
of this maladjusted humanity,
side-spitting down upon the broken,
any kindness just a token,
a play before the watching,
fat pockets filled with silver,
empty of compassion.

© Ruairí de Barra