PJ is a writer, based in Galway, of both poetry and prose. He has just completed (with first-class honours) NUIG’s Arts degree with creative writing and previously published a non-fiction book ‘The Justified Tight B****rd’s Guide to Life’ to complimentary reviews. His poetry has previously been published in The Galway Review. Also shortlisted for a number of short stories in, for example, the annual Fish and Over the Edge competitions, he is now trying to polish his craft to ascend the winner’s podium.

Strange Redemption

Isn’t it nice to think
You could go to your grave
At forty-three
A non-achiever
Despite the silver spoon
The family alcoholic
And to put it mildly
Something of a disappointment
To all
Your parents, wife, kids, and
Years pass and your brother
The golden boy
A satanic rise
To that most vaunted position
Of wealth, power, and influence
Such that
From beyond the grave
You are exonerated
Your long-held title
Of family embarrassment


Don’t you find it fascinating
Watching fleas
In your beer dregs
Painstaking days of effort
A masterclass
Dedicated to death

Life Cycle

Carefree cruising
Straight and narrowing
Boreens never-ending
Steady peddling
Cattle witnessing
Swallows twittering
Senses filling
Now, uphill facing
Peddling, peddling
Wind bracing
Slowing, sweating
Finally, top reaching
King of the bog
Downhill starting
Downdraft pushing
Speed building
Faster, faster
Decades fading
Into the bend
Flying, flying
Youth restoring
Immortality rejoicing
Sudden stinging
Hard braking
Gravel skidding
Fly in the eye
Cap loosing
Bald patch exposing
Bike stopping
Fifty regaining
Mortality returning
Briefly pausing
And away again