Michael Nolan – Six Poems

MichaelMichael Nolan (b. 1950, in Dublin) recently retired from a lifetime spent in education. He was  Principal of a Jesuit Special School for nearly the last twenty years of his teaching career. He also studied Law and was called to the Irish Bar. He has lifelong interest in writing and literature.


Cold Beauty

Of everything
is everyone’s right
all love
all in love

sex a dance –
the dancers glow.

Only in memory
do we think
ah, to be part of such
cold beauty.

Death and Mother

Birth eases us all
towards the noisy real.
I want to swim back now –
mother’s pain is mine.
She sings time’s lives
concerto and aria.

Death is a diva –
“It is time now,
a walk among the stars
or in forests underfoot
and foaming waters
I shall choose”.

Death and mother
the choice is made.

Father and Me

How we got us there
I still forget
but on the way back
by King’s Inns
on Constitution Hill
as Sunday morning waned
a 1950’s tramp shouted
Guinness bottle in hand –
and this is hearsay
“Tell him to stop lookin”;
walking with my father:
I am eight years old
difference is curious
and puzzling me.
Father whispers down
“Don’t look at him, c’mon”.
He guided me away
up grey Phibsborough Road
past empty Doyle’s Corner
up neighboured Connaught Street
to our 3, Connaught Parade.

In 1990 I revisited King’s Inns
as a barrister-at-law
celebrated with my father
in Mooney’s on Doyle’s Corner
smoked again after eight years
now leaning to his whispers
still not understanding love.



On a street of melody memories
in Dublin of a Summer’s evening
he walks with great intent.

Business of space time
shopping, returning with rain
without songs of sun or wind.

Under his oxter, confided
sweat and truth
unsung as yet.

Singing a house of sound
entering the dream
of who he is.


I gripped
the block of girder
with small hands

buttering the saw.
“Do it this way
let the blade move

Don’t direct it
you are only present,
it is what it’s for.
Let it cut”.
And as the wood falls
I continue.


Stone Song

I am going mad slowly
on the steps of the school
I want to turn skywards
force my innards out

in an indirect way.

Granite has always puzzled me
rock dazzles me –

Rain on rain on rain
and the sun
Wind in my ears.

I remember cycling home
in my lunch time legend
just to see her,
I had thirty minutes
the best of my life –

I am going mad slowly
in an indirect way.



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