Bob Shakeshaft – Na Beanna Beola

Shakeshaft profile Dec 2020

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing, Volume Two, December 2020.

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.

Not Elysium

A withering
dark night could not shatter
mountains toppling forever
onto non-existent shores
lapping waves gouged
black depth gneiss
barely visible
amid maelstrom
terror vibrant
turgid tumescent
tearing tumulus
ear-splitting thunder
threating ominously
shrunken life skulking
searching rescue
and release
of non-existing
pacifistic purge
adding horror
to ever-ending
tormentor’s intent


So far, we have not
eaten the forbidden
eve and I
in close knit weave

being aware of
day or night
in our own still

our Eden-home
each day vivid
with feeling
dread- nights- pallor
wont tally

dark sleep
once covered
our ceiling
our paradise
from eves
warm wisdom

still quickens my pulse

fleshed like me
and eve
the virus


what compromises woman
merely garlands man
with mystery
beauty is such
a fleeting moment
remorse a poison
of life…
a broken heart
an ache

Na Beanna Beola  [Twelve Pins]

Early morning shake-up and cold-stream wake-up breakfast of hot porridge dollop of jam thick-wool socks inside ankle boots ready for the first-day trek up to Lissoughter only 401m late evening back at camp boots heavy stomachs aching legs urging sleeping-bag comfort 2ndclimb to Bengower 664m chatting between breaths of yesterday’s breath-taking beauty grey-green cliffs covered in purplish foliage tinted gorse yellow splendid tawny vibrancy true wonder inciting harmonious unspoilt despite my heavy prints down suppressing moment soon released on the upspring downward trek to base-camp relief-removing boots comfort arrives Bencollag 3rdmorning rise of 516m our eyes search each step getting closer nearing the goal decided at last-nights camp-fire sing-song tambourine-led banjo playing reverie as

we braked our boots in decline of climb our eyes caught in wonderous fascinations nature pulling us into Garruan 598m day four lies ahead among sultry shadowed sun-light tarried by cotton-wool mountain clouds obscuring vaguely teasing our panoramic expectancy above a rest-drink break with sandwich jam heavy laden pure heaven among blissful splendiferous high-light Bengllisky 516m on day five we venture more hardily as we stride-stronger-confident looking down from our mountain eyrie we spied a broad lake sheaved on both sides rugged peaks alarmingly beautiful breathtakingly surreal and yet quite real in peace

Benbrack at 582m on day six we ventured in lively spirits now we had a sense of real achievement and a touch of pride mingled in conversation descending to base-camp rest with the promise of a hearty feed followed by chat and later napping in our sleep-sacks dreaming upon Benbreen our next challenge upwards through rugged-green sheer rocky with a slight peek of growth half-hidden yet just as delightful to the wandering eye pulling on our curious senses of sheer wonderment as day seven ends at base-camp-safety awaiting the onset of Diamond Hill quartz crystal glitz shows isolated viewing of the twelve pins in panoramic views to horizons edge along the many approaching path-way climb-walks ever splendiferous joy on day eight reluctantly hesitant in our descent to energy recovering rest till Benlettery urging breakfast eagerness to stretch forth and climb 577m as we passed a hostel where many travellers take rest from their seeking the mysteries surrounding and

blanketing all in cotton-wool peaks day nine a pure delight morning in reverse-rest -trekking upon the tenth day to Bencorr standing tall at711m sky-reaching in a neck-stretching exercise bringing unchallenged views caught in iris-eye East-West beckoning to us to approach stealthily respectfully as we plan a descent to food-shelter-comfort-harmony springs to surprise day eleven is upon us now we are as far as we were close to end our beginning to Derry Clare 677m where bees up borne upon scented breath humming forth in drowsy satis brimming by wild flowers bloom at our feet we in awe of nectar gathering so close we can almost taste-smell-sticky-sweetness salivating our tongues trekking to edibles awakening to scale Ben-Bawn 739m also known locally as Mont-blanc-Connemara culminating our whole expedition among natures amazing wonderment we deep-breathe mountain-fresh exhalation knowing tonight will bring peace in fire-side hilarities ending too

© Bob Shakeshaft