Tim Cunningham – Two Poems

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATim Cunningham was born in Limerick and educated at C.B.S., Limerick and Birkbeck College, London. He has worked with a brewery, local government, the National Coal Board and in education. His first two poetry collections were brought out by Peterloo Poets: Don Marcelino’s Daughter (2001) and Unequal Thirds (2006); and the next three by Revival Press: Kyrie (2008), Siege (2012) and Almost Memories (2014).



(i.m. Aer Lingus)

Metal sharks, they swim the airwaves,
Pencil smooth parabolas on their corridors.

Between Heathrow and Shannon,
Window seats proffer a drama
Of cloud excelling pay-per-view.

Some float light as fairground
Candy-floss but white.

Some are sheer cream waterfalls,
Weightless Niagaras spilling only silence.

Adventurous angels discard their wings
To slalom and ski off piste.

And, higher still, between the heavens
And what we call heaven,
A blindfold cloud of unknowing.



Of course we don’t know. How could we?
We have not been programmed to know.
But we are programmed to want to know.

Every language has its story, the myths
That fire imagination, the poets’
Explanation of lightning, thunder, rain.

Religion opens its sacred texts, its bright
Fireworks display of dazzling revelation
Not doused by dogma and exegeses.

Scientists anchor their faith in ‘facts’,
Chameleon facts tempered by new
Discoveries polishing the diamond truth.

I imagine theologian, scientist
And poet (like seers on camels scouting
Stables in Bethlehem) clambering

Ladders of causation, breaking nails
On the rockfaces of stars, in time
To witness the uncaused cause press

The ‘enter’ key on his celestial
Computer and sit back, fingers
In his ears, waiting for the bang.

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