Poetry Emotions

A Collection of Poems By JS Larkin


I have met them at dawn and dusk, their faces transparent now, yet all the same, known. From working-class ghettos, and damp homes with beer-bellied walls held together by years of paper.
Ate porridge as kids and bread with lard, and the only enemy was winters cruel, and without fuel, more kids dead in the hairy blankets of infested beds and damp rooms with the same condensated windows,

All with rotting frames, Mill-houses the ghosts of the dead never left, nor the crying messenger who belonged to all, and early to warn with her sad call was the Faery one, which is why the Pooley pail stayed empty overnight, and a pillow covered your head. The collector of many, but not all, not then, and a decade later; she who survived the cold conditions, and still very young, stepped forward to fight for Irish freedom,

Patriotism, you see, has no age, is preserved in memories, Memoriam cards, and photos, And I have met them at dawn and dusk, their faces transparent now, yet known. Their names etched in stone for those in need of knowing, and by the Johnny-come-lately cemetery guides with their meaningless words, ignoring them, for they suppress the truth, and not the reality of that time. Yet, hold gullible visitors in awe with their drivel, bubbled-mouth-suds,

Not their fault though, that they believe those rewritten words, or that those guides came later, when it was all over. And while their rehearsed addresses and pinned war medallions do look impressive; mock the interred, demeaning those not at rest.

Visitors, you see, will never know the reality of a patriotism sold for bank books, if the truth be told, and some had their names printed bold, if not adorned with golden halo’s.

Oh, believe me, I know who was there at the beginning, and stepped forward with them in your country needs you, and now they lie beneath paved stones – used in death as they were in life, increasing the phoney republican greed.

Boys to men who joined a queue to an ancient brotherhood. For freedom, they said, yet some were set up, deceived, lied to, and died, and never knew the truth, but their families do.

Others too, who are rich in their memories that bring at times, smiles to them as they drink a stout, unlike the rich pretenders who sip bucks fizz, and whilst stouthearted, worn by the scorn of treachery. A deceit that saw more led to their deaths by skipping meals when believing the spoon-fed drivel of pretense, in order to get rid of them, and part of the plot.

Yes, the Milltown boat floats along on a dialogue of lies and deceitful collaboration by double agents who benefitted from their deaths. Who ensured the principled were sacrificed on the altar of gullibility, surrendering them to ambushes, and places like the kesh, or here to this boat and its hull below, but I think they know now in their ever silent moments, I think they know the truth…..

JS Larkin. September 2022


Between the small spaces of silence that take over me at times, and the borrowed moments that free me from the whispers that interrupt my sleep with shoves from those long gone, yet still around. Products of times when manufacturing was needed to convey the words at the heart of Ireland’s anguish in a game that saw them used, causing more pain.
And walk among the footpaths separating the headstones of those I’ve known with questions that yet remain. Questions raised in the desolated quiets that are Easter and Christmas, and see their names ingrained there, recalling the innocent infancy, the chocolate eggs, bedpost socks, and St Nicholas.
Like them, I was young when the wave came that swamped and entrenched us in bullets, bombs, and shit, and dust, and them, and us, Fucking us up before we’d grown to our fullness. Most of it as teens, who worried the Irish queens that were our Mothers, and those vying for royalty who were the daughters of other queens.
And while some were regal, others smoked the same sticks and walked with the wannabe’s who whispered the things that seen so many families grieved. And all those who believed, sieved to fill a need that was supposed to be Ireland’s. Yet, was nothing more than a new seed that rewarded treacherous greed.

We were just deckhands then and thought we knew everything worth knowing, and walked the words, and travelled the paragraphs that would become chapters of books unwritten, sailing through a sea of balconies and streets adorned with half-mooned doorsteps, and the blood washed away in teardrops, raindrops, snow, and slush that Mothers walked through each day broken-hearted, as they whispered their silent prayers.
Supplications they carried each night to church, lighting candles, kneeling, petitioning, and still do.
We thought we knew it all, but knew fuck all. Tho’ if we’d been wise, there’d have been no fools, or tools to use, and that’s what we were.

And stare at their cold, hard, engraved pillows, remembering that we were just kids when the wave came bringing the tempest that shipwrecked them here, and saw pirates rewarded.

JS. Larkin 2021.


Again, I distract myself at the sink, immersed in thoughts of years squandered in youth; Hours of untruths managed by deceivers and their fiddled words that played on and on, the same song.
Its lyrics the same in a patriotic hijacked game that saw more names supplemented to it in years of sacrificial lambs and the dupe of shifting sands by those with hands tainted in clasps with asps like themselves. Unforgotten, nor should it be.

Alas, the real reminders are in loving memory cards held in the hands of those who mourn, and pray, and dream, and scream silent pleas for justice and truth.
I’ve washed many dishes while wandering back through wasted years, and cried, I swear it, for all who died are forgotten and shouldn’t be. And those who benefited from it all still spin the same lyrics once a year beneath emblems they shame.
That I squandered the years that God gave me in youth, I regret, more so time spent with you, because you lied and told untruths while I attempted impossible things that were completed. Yet, upon reflection were not all worth it.

And if I had those precious years to squander over again, would not do it, which is why I sleep little, my heart is brittle, and my mind fiddled with words that play on, and on.
Truth is that while I could see and think outside that
brainless teen, it was usually by the light of the moon and a radio Luxembourg countdown, as I lay in bed; moments spent with the real me. Alas, with a new dawn, yawning away the original for the clown.

And as I’ve aged, continued to wash dishes and wonder about him who I used to be, the youth who dreamed and wished while others slept, and see clearly in the bin of reminders, the sins kept.
And I’ve wept for me, the teen I used to be, which is why I sleep little, my heart is brittle, and my mind fiddled with words that play on, and on the same old song.

JS. Larkin. 2021.


You know as I do there is a fragmenting of what there once was, if indeed there was ever anything other than two people searching for someone to have in their life, who would understand each other.
And I really thought you understood, at least it seemed that way for a while. Yet, each new day finds us another mile apart, and I see what it does to you, as I feel what it does to me.
Alas, you don’t see or choose not to.

JS.Larkin. 2020.


Office, apartment, gentle lights, computer screens, long nights, over distances, time zones, emails, a phone,
When you’re with them, there’s no alone.
The phone in your hand when travelling, buttons hit, words unravelling, bit by bit, floating through life in artificial, pings,
Another reply from that AI thing,
How sad that make-believe is believed, and real life is ignored, and your own is kept in a sleeve, or a file they gathered since you bent the knee.
Plugged now into everything,
A moving aerial,
A number,
A thing.
Soon, it’ll be ping to eat, a worm, a snail, artificial meat, no cereal, and so wrapped up in pings and things, and plugged into everything, that You’re no longer you.
You once had a name before they jabbed you with lies,
Before the robotic game of humanity came disguised, changing you to number four, Look at what you’ve become,
They ring, they ping,
You run, so dumb.

JS.Larkin. March 2022

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