My Poetry

My poetry is sometimes inspired by an image, while at other times I create a piece of art to accompany the words.


Window – monotype print on paper Remains Lying lost in blankets The tiny skeletal form Not yet the remains We wait for her to go. A brief moment of facial recognition. Incoherent mumbles A declaration of love? A plea for repose? Or admonishment For promises broken? From sunken lips, the utterance. Eyes meet in watery […]

Be Afraid of the Wolf

“He Tells It Like Is” Be Afraid Of The Wolf The words of the poet Written with intelligence and love Are words understood by few. Stanzas and couplets  Are hidden, meaning to be mined From carved stone by determined minds. Read in comfort of secured lives. In the cold night The lone wolf howls. The […]


Circle Paralyzed, my body moves creating the lies, writing a fiction for the world to read. I am lost, making my way through the routine, the daily show to smile, to speak, to act. I seem better today, my performance fools you, living in the circle to return to the end, to start again… Ciaran […]

The Creeper

The Creeper These months I have admired you Lit by the summer sun Casting a shadow, an elegant silhouette, In a state of constant emergence. I watched your slow progress  Reaching for the glass Tapping it, aided by the air, Or in stillness, bejeweled with rain. Now hanging from the eve Between a sway and […]


Crack Brick and mortar, rough reality beneath the smooth render of a public face. The first crack, goes unnoticed. The lines deepen, spreading the fear. Crumbling, neglected, weathered and helpless. The smooth facade breaks and a hidden structure of an existence revealed. A hole to a reality is opened, the anguish of a secret exposed […]

The Square

The Square The dark lines lead the way, to carry the eye and our path follows, each one carefully laid, accurately measured, one on top of the other. Blocks and squares, clean edges, reflecting light in shades of sapping greys. Signs of life hiding within, behind clean facades of achievement. Access to the world is […]


You see me, a singularity, A person of solitude, But I have company. My companion, a constancy, A comforting lacuna, My dark dependent. A daily embrace, Loving and needing, We pledge loyalty. Intimate co-existence, We sit together, We feed our mutual reliance. I say that I will leave, And break our solemn bond, I overcome […]

Dark Room

Dark Room by Ciaran Burke The dark room, light fledwhen I clicked the switch,unheard noises fill the space,creak of wood, gurgles in pipes.Waiting.. Lying… breathing…I start to fall, the slow drift.Click!The light inside that wont turn off.Flip to the back, open lidsdarkness fadesnoises they whisper,thoughts start to shout.Plans for tomorrow,  fears from the past,what if […]

Thirty Minutes

Two dark windows to sadnessa smile to bury the pain.Waiting for the next customerbreathing nicotine to kill time.Beneath a false identityfragile truths have hardenedinto a life of struggle,kindness has no trust.Each call an opportunityselling a lie, for their pleasureto pretend for thirty minutes,they will gladly pay.Victim, of the cultureyou are reduced to flesh,risking every encounter,no […]

Georgian Squares

Coal hole – Mountjoy Square Coal holes in resplendent decorationa reminder of darker timeswhen sulphurus clouds would hang lowover Georgian squares in colonial lands.Now they are redundantas the empirical reignelegant existence of ornamenttread by unknowing feet.Under the murky orange glowplains throw their shadowy formson granite edged pavementscracked and wearing of pedestrian lives.The dark square rests […]

As I Lie

After my fall, I lieAs I have been lying,to create a mythology of existence,the reality of an untruthful truth.I lie, waiting for admiration,some recognition of my presence,highlighted in a cold illumination,venal structures, my underside exposed.As I lie, I wait, for the external force,The reality to move me,Tumble me, blow me to a dark place where […]

Flirtation of light

Reflecting, the world is not as it seems.Appearing static on the great flow,images distorted, golden lines blurred, wrinkled colours shiver in my eyes.A vague impression of what really isthe shimmering surface hiding darkness below,in the cool depth another world lives.Where our survival, impossiblewhile other life thrives in a cold realm.For those moments, illusory time that […]

The Vulnerable Reason

You were differentfrom the crowd of conformingstanding out,aware of your uniquenessthat you worewith undrerstated pride.Like the othersyou performed your task,your dutiesfor the system of growthat any expense,you had no choice.You lived to leave,waiting for the right timeThe perfect scenariothat never presentsalways an excuse,the vulnerable reason.So the seasons passed, the weather changed,your dependence,safety comforted you,fed your […]


Curtained The place where you used to sitno longer has your shape.Your framed face adorns a wall,now your presence is gone.The greeting of the morningand a nocturnal farewell,feeling the cold absenceof your corporeal frailty.The dead, held to our mortalityby the strength of grioefmemories pulling them back.Tears, tear the seamsbetween existence and the ether,we haunt their […]

Feed the King

Corrupted Clean sharp linesthe glowing displaycolourful temptationpromising instant satisfaction.Served in a bunchicken or beefsingle serving condimentspresented on a plastic tray.Minimum wages workedfor maximum efficiency,accents from the Eastserve native nasal whines.Counting the centsthe pension stretcheda meal with teatemprary and cheap remedy.Mulitnational menupackaging pollutionfilling the populationprofits for the King.- Ciaran Burke

Empty Room

The strong walls we buildprotecting our private worldsvestibules of our secrecycompartments for our sanity.Rooms, communal we sharecostumed and clothed,or private places secured by keyfor our naked selves to hide.Into our rooms we inviteguests to dine, friends to talk,other doors we prefer to closeonly opened for love or need.Closed doors, lead to empty roomsthe air chokes […]

Acclimatised To Silence

Discordant Crying, my first sounds,and I cried for two years more.I cried for hunger, I cried of anger,I cried for love, I cried when I was bored.Fart noises and nonsense,gibberish and leaf-formed words.I was encouraged and cajoled,each performance induced loud laughter.First words, long awaited,followed by unharnessed monologues,soliloquies on the daily adventures,the drama of LEGO construction.Then, […]


Is the face in your mirror notthe beauty that looks at me?A nose too big, uneven ears,brows that bush, lips too thin?Parental comments,childhood teasing,critical teacher,a friend that laughed.Infintissimal momentsof no significance,destroy your worldfor infinite time.Comparing with the lie,competing, mendacious image,marketing concoction,fictional reality.Perfection, dream destination,chasing the horizon,the perfect view,elusive, so far away.Perhaps the mirror will crack,and […]

The Fallen

Lying fallen on winter’s earthneither the beginning nor the end.On a May morning whispering summer’s promisewarmth shone on the open bloom.Receptive and receiving, attraction of lifepollen brought by buzzing wings.Open receptacle, filled with the other half of lifeunion of two becoming one.Swelling with progress, fed by the living,miracle of sunlight, flesh enclosing seed.Reaching the limits, […]

The Black Wall

The walls have eyesembedded in the grainby their arboreal pastcooncentric creation of years.Blackened boards, tarred preservationembued with dark angel mystiqueabsorbing the esseence of others’ livesthe animal kingdom of human kinds.Monument to the carpenteradorned by work of smithlocked doors covet the emptinessuntility no longer them reason.Life from the earthfrays at the contactcoating the surfacewith a verdant […]

Travel Companion

The journey’s end and returning to the startaduly child, visit to the parent of pastthe mother, the future dependentevery mile, regressing a voyage of repression.A doo opens to reawakenmemories in nostalgia sodden airodours of childhoo, reminders of youth and what’s best for you love.The greeting as always warma kiss, the subtle jibehidden in sibling praiseand the […]


The liquid flowsa rivulet of rain’s creationreflection of silverthe fading of a day.Gravity is drivingon path of least resistancefitting to the contoursa worn and broken road.Rippled by the woundsand black tarmac cracksthe rivuletis mouldedto thehard surroundings.Compromise of the roaddestiny the low pointTo join the quiet poolthen drain to the seaor become the invisible vapour,be the […]

The Humid Vapours

Staring into the black pool abyssmy face is an image of distorted wantfeeling the warmth rising to my cheeksinhaling the odours, fruits from Africa.Teasing steam rises from the cupthe liquid too hot for my mouthI settle for content of inhalationhumid vapours of the roasted bean.Farmers of Burundi caring for plantationhands pick the red fruits for […]


The glaze, covering the windowto the soul, the optical resolututionour view, to the worldthe open expression of the self.The brine gathersfilling the holeswater over broken icethe surface obscure.The facial collapsefirst flows escapetrembling of lipsbroken down defenders.The guttural sobpain given sound well of hurt, of sorrowoverflows, the bowing head.The hands moveface receiving solaceas the body collapsesbroken […]


The ceiling stayed white until i turned on the lightspreading the grey star shadow into existencepink butterfly lampshade, pendant around the bulbthe blurred decoration reaching down the wall. Antibiotic remedy flowing around my systemsick note protecting me from dismissalpainkiller killing pain delivering me to comfortduvet my companion for the coming days.Mind wandering to places hidden from […]

Trapped Amber

Amber jewels trapped on the windowblack broken by a street lightI destroy the vulnerable beautydrawing my finger across the glass.Slowly the tip becomes moistnow addicted, I continue to erasethe beauty of the light trappedin condensed water, wanting black to return.Clarity refuses to reward my effortinstead uneven edges persistremnant lines of aqueous resistancefrustrating my efforts to […]

Their Fate In My Shopping Basket

I crumpled the bottle and squashed the boxinto a bin marked green to travel far awayI bought organic with the extra packagingweighing the guilt against the lack of spraysFlouride in the water, cleared within alumchlorine cleansed and bacteria freeversus water from a spring in Tipperaryin a bottle that will never die or rotThe apple is […]

The Dark Union

The darkness persisted, staying after i lifted my lids.I heard time ticking but did not care to knowembracing the darkness as it held me,nou mutual acceptancedaytime daytime hours or midnightht moment, it mattered not.The eternal counting of time in ticks, our songwe laid together, darkness and me, hoping it would never endknowing that when light […]

Voyeur Of the Norm

The pavementbore my burdenunder the orangeof suburban nightboxes of uniformitydeveloper of rowsemitting the warm glowunwelcoming blinded lightsthe homogenous hedgesmaintain neighborly relations.I the outsider looked ina temporary longingto witness the silhouette livesbeyond the drapes,I moved to a windowwith curtains drawnsqueezing betweenthe never off roadand manicured crown of bay.I glimpsed through a curtain crackthe life of suburban […]

Beautiful Conundrum

Reverse, rewinding, looking to find the sourcethe chaos of neural interference that hidesa pattern that exists hidden in the theoreticalwhile the practical fights to deny the comprehension.The pieces keep dancing turning light into pixelsmagnified in retinal definition, confusing the messageclarity deceiving, hiding in the momentum of velocitylight reflecting, refracting, dazzling the senses.Golden rain and silver […]

Emergency Department

Five hours I had been waitingnot quite she saidFour hours and forty seven minutessix ahead of you nowCold air in the waiting room write a letter to the managerdon’t sit on the floorsnapping at the young girlThe television the focus as the fifth hour turned to six, despair sat in the cornerand hope went to […]

EUnionism Rejection

The leaders who will not lead oblivious of oblivion of the self serving rhetoric and blinkered ideals descending the spiral of regression to chaos learning nothing from history clinging to dreams born from their colonial pasts where privilege and exploitation served their greed and favoured the few. Rose tinted memories nurtured by the dung heap […]

Abducted by desire

The engine still runningits rhythm and hum out of tune with the randompercussion of precipitation onthe metal roof andthe tuneless screech ofworn out wipers.Illuminated for a momentin brake light redthe taxi fare destinationof the early hourreveller returning aloneunsteady closing stoopof car door slammed with drunkenvigour loud farewellThe heavy breathing clung toa cold interior cloudingagainst glass to […]

Christmas Presence

Golden liquids, white topping blackempty vessels and glasses half fullnight around the table, sitting highbonded by the past, union of the reunited Admissions and propositions, accusationsexaggerating the details, chronology flexible in hindsight, outcomes variablememory serving well, the story continues Sober was a time in the past, the morninglies far over the horizon, beyond garlic fries, […]

Christmas Day

From the fog I emergedopposing the the needleas the road submitted tomy acceleration the whiteline broken merging withmy constant velocity driving me to returnto the childhood pastto celebrate the traditionswith the living half of whomgave me life the onewith whom I fought disappointed despaired by my differencelacking in conformity and sometimesI hurt from the flippancyannoyed […]

New Year Eve Dublin

The beauty of the lightpainting the river in colourbuildings in spectral decorationcelebration and jubilationCrossing the bridge walk past another on cardboard beddinga cardboard appealcardboard cup collectingdonations of conscience a plea with watery eyesa pale face with no homewe choose to ignoreunable to face the failurebury the shame let the party begin. Ciaran Burke

What’s up?

I am doing goodthe last words that I readyour final textnothing more to addI replied laterthen I waited for moretwo ticks of greychecking to see them change No responseI messaged once moreone tick greyunchanging waiting in the darkin daylight the single grey remainedI rationalized theft of your deviceflushed down the toiletscreen crackedin for repairThen I […]


If stability is more bodies on the streetsstatistics wrapped in cardboardHuddled in door ways coffee cup changeVolunteer soup services and GPO meals If stability is thousands in hotel roomschildren with no gardens for playhome cooked meals an impossible dream moving out on rugby weekends and st Patrick If stability is 15 hours of pain and […]

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