Global warning

jpoet7/Joseph Black Photography

Smog has lifted across the land

All that’s left is shifting sand

Where once the raging river ran

Natures thirst is drained by man.

Deserted now the forest floor

Oil slicks mar the sandy shore

Wading birds all feather bound

Choking fish, a burial ground.

Businessmen in pin stripe suits

Ladies dressed in designer boots

Greenhouse gases getting hotter

All driven by the yen and dollar.


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Five more senseless deaths, but Second Amendment rights are intact

365 And Counting

Last Friday, Esteban Santiago arrived at Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdalewordpress-gun on a flight from Alaska. He went to baggage claim and picked up one piece of luggage. He then went to the men’s room, removed the handgun that was in a case inside the bag, loaded it and came out shooting.

Five people were killed, almost 40 were injured and hundreds were traumatized.

The gun was obtained legally and it was declared — which means that the proper procedures for

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All Over Ireland

Martin Swords Poetry



The lights are going out

In cottages all over Ireland

For the Old man, the Widow, and the Dog

Children flown, if not Canada, Perth, or London,

Then a one-bed in dockland Dublin.

Their future not in white walled houses

Scuttery pens and mucky yards.

Only Him, and Her, in dim lights,

Soon they will go out.

The lights are going out

In villages all over Ireland,

The old and feeble not meeting anyone.

Post office, bank, police station, pub,

Once friendly useful talking shops, now quiet.

Now gone online,  if you had a line.

Or could see the phone in the half-dark,

In the cottage where the lights are going out.

To be followed soon by Him and Her.

Martin Swords              January 2017



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Dolores Keane : Voice and Vision from Ireland

Do check this out, you won’t be disappointed.

The Immortal Jukebox

‘.. Every night their mouths filled with Atlantic storms and clouded-over stars and exhausted birds. And only when the danger was plain in the music could you know their true measure of rejoicing in finding a voice where they found a vision.’ (Eavan Boland)

‘As long as Dolores Keane is walking around this earth, I won’t call myself a singer. I think she’s the voice of Ireland.’ (Nanci Griffith)

To my mind the besetting malady of modern life is atomisation.

Meagre lives lived in migraine-fraught locked and barred isolation.

When I seek a musical antidote to my despair about this situation I turn most often to a singer, Dolores Keane, whose every breath embodies not atomisation but connection.

Dolores had the immense good fortune to be born, in 1953, into a family who were keepers of the flame of Irish Traditional Music in a time when the deep treasures of the…

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It’s all in the smile.

Others pass comment, it comes with growing old

You just smile

We sit huddled by the open fire

You look at me and smile

Talk goes back to when we were young

You smile

A tear forms then falls into your lap

still you smile

Life can be very unfair, but this affliction

Yet you smile

You didn’t deserve this cruel hand dealt to you

not bitter, you smile

Hiding my bitterness, constraining myself

I look at you and smile

Witnessing your strength my mask will never slip

We may not always have each other

I’ll always have your smile.

(c) Chris Black 2017.