Kevin O’Keeffe writes poetry to relax and recalibrate. His work has been featured in the Page & Spine, the Delmarva Review, The Society of Classical Poets, and the upcoming Anthology of best British and Irish poets from eye-wear publishing.


Quiet to burn and quiet to cleanse
The hidden hurts, the naked pains,
The jungle of the self’s deceptions

We tell and tell and tell
Ourselves, a firm falsehood
Softer than a loose truth.


I can win you over with sheer smile. 

There you are, grieving
Over some imagined slight, brooding
Over some false cartoon,
A coworker snubbed, a stilted text.

You flicker like the nervous
Florescence of a gas lamp
Alone and tiring on a starless night.

With cocksure flint I stretch my lips
And the dawn yawns raw.


The birth of plenty from empty.

The wild song

(An homage to T.S. Eliot)

A perfect summer moon
At the end of heavy June.
With the tune of two white flutes
Hung from either ear
Hung, like stealthy hands
Creeping over walls,
And the sugar-spell of rouge,
Sweet melodies of red,
Pink fantasies,
Smoking on my tongue
I walk the empty streets
As a prophet stalks delirium.

The streets shiver. 
The streets quiver.
The streets shudder like drums 
Smacked from rest
By the hammer-fall of feet. 
The streets cry out like new infants. 
They bawl and sing,
Cry out loudly into the night 
While a dark cloak of shaded black,
A shaded cloak of blackened mist
A harmony of darkness,
Settles on the city’s sleeping back
Like a heavy woolen quilt.

Inside my head a light begins 
To birth itself. Light spills 
From a cracked black egg;
White fingers 
Poke through shells
Into the blackened mist, and strange
Gradations of experience
Bloom like roses in the night,
As if watered by the moonlight.

The trees heave. 
The trees breathe. 
The trees ululate with color;
Their brown sternums scatter starlight
And the irregular
Perfection of their canopies,
Pretty green fractals,
Shivering in time,
Twitching in the breeze, 
Catch the moon-glimmers like a wind-chime;

White snakes
They slide through the shadow-green leaves
Gifting the night with the light of a crystalline dream.

From the manner of their movements
Warm waters of belief
Rise within in my chest 
And I quit the empty streets. 

In the shadows of a peaceful room
The silt of new sensations
Begin to trigger something beautiful;
Colored thoughts,
Grand visions of creations,
Rise like bubbles in my head
So I scalp my lidded pen. 

Yet the clock upon the wall,
The counting clock,
The clock inclement on the wall

Leaks away the will.