Peter O’ Neill – Three Poems

poetPeter O’ Neill was born in Cork in 1967. His debut collection Antiope (Stonesthrow Poetry) appeared in 2013, and to critical acclaim. His second collection The Elm Tree was published by Lapwing (2014), ‘A thing of wonder to behold.’ Ross Breslin ( The Scum Gentry ). His third collection The Dark Pool, a partly bilingual work with poems in French and some transversions, is due to appear early in 2015 (Mauvaise Graine). He is currently co-editing an anthology of Irish writing for Mauvaise Graine, which is due out in April, 2015.

Horseshit & Daffodils
For John Sexton and Neil Patrick Doherty – a kind of anniversary

A conduit fixed, or inter-space designated for earth/sky interaction,
Latinate blade leafs pressed for Aeneas,
Or some Alighieri in a bottle, since Homer
All Merely simulacrum – know your history boyo!

Lambs to the Black Hills, libations without any frills.
Yet, no deers for the stalking. Blood flows, all the same,
To the plates, and just as soon turns to cherries.
Oh, Amarone of Amarones; once again we are repressed!

The copse hugs the salient awaiting its final shearing,
Our last hint at breath. Sur’ who needs to breathe anyway?
Fill up your lungs first, before ye’ hang up your Johnsons.

Behind us, a siren announces day school.
We should all continue our learning,
Instead of sheepishly going over the well throdden fields.

Metaphysics of the Housebound

There are things which constantly assail;
Dust! As a symbol of decay, how it powders
One’s life in its silver, obscuring blanket.
Yet, behind this microscopic world
Is unleashed the staggering monolith of mites,
Berserking in their thousands, labouring in the abyss,
Making a mockery daily of our supposed vision.

And, as if to counteract these denizens of the apocalypse,
Irrepressible nature pumps, equalling in abundance,
The millionth sperm! Bulimic nature,
With her unceasing banquet of superabundance.
And, just as the former unseen army is signalled to us
By a sneeze, so too is the opposing force
Harbouring stalwart beneath the trees.


A thin film of flour covers the loaf in a fine cocoon
Of white dust, certain painters have tried for years
To achieve such a visual effect- the bakers have gently
Baked Marcel Duchamp’s aesthetic of Readymades.

Yes, the ontology of bakers is what now is required;
Up before dawn with the set task of securing nourishment,
Though you would traffic with invisible structure,
Work with signs, symbols and metaphor.

Funny how we privilege the visible, ready to deny
Without a thought bread’s counter source – Love!
Christ! Your picture becomes clearer.

Seeing again in your mind the image of the boulanger
In a small town in Normandy, stripped to the waist,
And like Hephaestus working before his fire.

In Praise of Shit
For Ian Miller

Even turds have structural significance.
One could even go so far as to suggest
That their ideal form is all that has any significance,
Any stool expert could say as much!

Their Aristotelean properties have inspired
Countless engineers, have enhanced our
Comprehension of bio-technologies;
Replace a cities electric grid through waste alone,

Find illumination in a pile of shit!
It is as analogous as how we all live,
Beckett, our great Attic master,

Sticking his characters, up to their necks in it…
O bring down the sky, who needs such vast horizons?
Close the blinds, sit on your throne, and shit the remainder of your life away.

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