Pete Mullineaux lives in Galway, Ireland. Widely published, his work was featured recently on ARENA (RTE Radio 1) & in FUSION magazine, Berklee College of Music, Boston, USA. Three collections: Zen Traffic Lights, (Lapwing 2005) A Father’s Day (Salmon Poetry 2008) Session (Salmon Poetry 2011.) Three plays have been produced by RTE radio. Just a Second! – a book of plays on global issues written for schools was published by Afri (Action from Ireland) in 2014.
(after Thomas Hardy)
They gathered up the guns and tanks,
divided the soldiers into ranks,
prepared to face the enemy –
mark a new date for history.
Prepare to fight – the order came
as the foe came into sight –
horizon-filled: a mighty wave
sent them all into their grave.
All the bullets, guns and bombs,
nuclear missiles impotent.
What use these weapons made by Man
with humanity an also-ran?
What use now the hunger and greed,
purveyors of superfluous need.
What use those forgotten goals
for climate change and ozone holes?
What use the trillions spent on arms –
while dust and drought sucked up the farms,
as consequences grew in turn
enough to wither, drown and burn.
All the bullets ever made, every gun
every grenade, every cluster or barrel bomb,
laser rays, loud battleships, whispering drone –
secret weapons until then unknown,
gathered and lined up in proud array –
for once all pointing the same way –
singing from the same hymn sheet, so they say.
(although no silver saucer spun
beneath the unforgiving sun)
recording the Earth’s sad lament –
a planet came a planet went.
Scary Movie #2
Tracking along, our brief community of souls
sharing a destination – the backs of houses, yards
offer reverse perspectives, preparation
for that feeling of being un-hinged, when idling
beside another carriage…we seem to pick up speed
then realise it’s them not us who are moving.
When further doubts signal we are not progressing,
the world constantly shuffling in the other direction –
we can still take comfort of sorts in having it
both ways: as the end of the line approaches,
picture this relativity as delaying our ultimate arrival –
Time has miraculously misread the schedule
stuck back there in the waiting room. So for a while
we can relax – enjoy our escape into oblivion, trust
that all projected on the glass is only make believe.