Stephen Byrne – Three poems

Stephen Byrne is originally from Dublin and now lives in Galway and is a chef for his sins. His work has been published in various places in Ireland and recently or forthcoming in Emerge Literary Journal, The Dead Beats, Crack the Spine and The Rusty Nail. He was a featured reader at the ‘Over the Edge’ readings and was shortlisted for 2011’s ‘Over the Edge’ Poetry competition 2011.


O, To Be Between Your Legs

I parade up and down this room,
fishing for your divine attention,
desperate to burrow
deep in the ravine of your legs.
But you ignore my plight
and your mind is an island,
bathing beneath
the Internets electric moonlight.

My head like a battering ram
hounds around your shoulder,
my voice bellows and quivers
like a broken violin, my feet
tango to distant music.
I stand still and stare,
patrolling every move of your lips,
awaiting the command of my Queen.

Your legs trembling like hot coals,
beg for the mauling of my claws,
to have you trawl the hairs on my back
to let you scratch beneath my chin
but you sit and stare off into distance
ignoring the whimpering of my voice,
and I sit still on the cold leather,
burning to be between your legs.



I have always been scared of you,
your lust for sand,
your uncontrollable moods.
You open your jaws
in view of the naked hills,
the fertile gift of life
from the Corribs great gob,
feeds your gaping belly,
but I know in your wave
and the froth
from your sobbing mouth,
you howl the grief of night,
ignite the horror of dawn.

From this balcony
not for the first time,
swarms an eager crew.
From this balcony
boats lose purpose
and the choppers light
slays the Corribs groan,
devourer of broken minds
and troubled youth.

Sea, I have always been scared of you,
your charm of the tender heart.
Wrecks, reeds and shells,
you spread your ocean of sorrow,
and in the fall of this dead night
with salt and stone
you will eat skin and bones
of a beaten stranger
and never know
the laughter of that child.

From this balcony
the sea doesn’t know nor care.
It’s soft music of high tide
draws the string of the cello,
and its moan shapes tears
from the well of my eyes
for the mourn of the mother
and the father’s face of stone,
the brothers and sisters
canto procession of prayer.

Yes the sea commands
from this balcony
the sea commands.


Carlsberg don’t do countries, but if they did…

Carlsberg, probably the best lager in the world,
now a slogan engraved in the past,
Carlsberg, arm in arm with fellow conspirators-
Whiskey, Vodka, Buckfast,
ice-cubes, pink umbrellas, celery sticks,
the tribal song of comradeship,
combine forces in the shaker of
Saturday night and Sunday moan
to turn fountains of youth into
mangled spoiled children of
the whinging generation,

Carlsberg don’t do countries,
but if they did,
Eire swaggering Eire would
rest knee deep in a pool of puke,
her friendly face, embrace
the fist of a stamp
with her Croagh Patrick stations of the bar;
her green, splatter postcards,
her tales sing of
fearless Red Branch Knights
who spill ancient blood
on the stone walls of Quay Street,
her mouthwatering beer battered fish
her Guinness stringy stew,
could shatter the strongest teeth;
our country our pride,
clad in new national slogan
“That calls for a Carlsberg”

Daddy’s little flower
dressed in petals and lilies,
wakes with her seed soaking wet,
“That calls for a Carlsberg”
The jigsaw jaw
with the cracked black eye,
brands the shame of night,
the cabbies fear of the full moon
or the child afraid of the wolf
who licks the whiskey glass
“That calls for a Carlsberg”
Eire my Eire,
her song in a mist of moonlight
or the swaying flute of the reed
echoes poetry along paved empty streets
that calls for a Carlsberg.


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