Poetry: Dennis Moriarty

Dennis Moriarty is originally from London England but has lived in South Wales UK for thirty years. Married with five children Dennis enjoys reading, writing, walking.
This year he won the Blackwater poetry group competition and read his work at the Blackwater international poetry festival in Ireland. Dennis loves all things Welsh and speaks a little bit of the Welsh language.
Dennis Moriarty


Lane side of the field we stand enthralled
By the advanced mechanics of birth.
Her eyes are a cul de sac
Down which we have wandered, coming quite by chance
Upon something extraordinary.
Her cries are misery quarantined in a corner
Of the field,
Prone body strung taunt as the strings of a violin,
Agony grafted on the bow.
We watch her writhing and thrashing, straining, heaving,
Through new dimensions of pain
Until, with a final climatic push, the delivery is made.
A steaming parcel of blood and mucus,
The lamb lays in the warm spring grass, licked
And cleaned,
Poked and prodded, encouraged to stand, and with
A single pathetic bleat
It rises from it's own steaming incarnation,
Swaying slightly,
Staggering hesitantly towards it's birthright.


There is a cat growing in the poly Tunnel
A catch crop of fur and whiskers
Sown between neat lines of radish and beetroot.
Belly rooted in warm compost,
Chin resting on salad leafs, ears like trailing ivy
Cascading down
Among the micro herbs and a green cluster
Of unripe cherry tomatoes.
With a basket, secateurs and a hand trowel,
You enter the space.
Startled by your shadow she bursts forth
From the warm soil,
Stretching lazily, flattening radishes and beetroot,
You advance,
Fall down on one knee and gently caress, softly
Stroke, eager to harvest
That feline crop of purring contentment.


For two hours every night he traded piety
For pints of warm beer and idle gossip.
Sucking reflectively on a pipe full of black
Shag tobacco
He sat among the bottom pinching, eye raising
1970's innuendo.
And for those brief few hours he exchanged
The familiar words of god
For the crude banter of barrow boys
And off duty policemen.
Salacious tales of infidelity, market life and
Drunken brawls
Drew indignation from his body like venom
Sucked from a puncture wound.
And on a Friday in the hour before last orders
Were called,
Swathed in gowns of 70's fashionable flesh,
The tipsy, teetering girls would come
And he strained his eyes on too much cleavage,
His ears on too much laughter,
And all the while his fingers frantically tried
To loosen the knot of a tie
That all day had held him in the choking grip
Of good old catholic self denial.

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