Wednesday 12 January 2022

Four Fabulous Poems by Karen Mooney




so it ends

yet what follows

has not begun


possibility exists

in the spaces

in between


as life stirs

in the belly

of winter


I think of you as a tree 

(IM Jim) 

Ringed with experience, crinkled with care,

holding all of our names close to your heart

as we danced around you in pleasure; shared

fears as you reached, branches laden with art,

captured with loving eyes, etched in the skies;

launching melodies on the breeze, always

hitting just the right note.  Roots, undisguised,

deep in the river's edge, hoping for ways

to slow its flow whilst you drank in the view.

So, we all grabbed a pew to wish and pray

for so much we couldn't say lest you knew

how we feared what the swelling banks conveyed.

Uprooted, we, at sea; you: homeward bound,

held forever within a gentle sound.



Apple tart and Lemon Meringue Pie


I’d make them on a Saturday night

in the hope of my uncle visiting.

By nine, if he hadn’t shown,

Dad might call him,

this wee girl’s been baking for you. 


An hour later, his warmth cut through

the cold walls of grief that surrounded us.

Laughter, warm, like a fire crackling

reflected in our eyes; even Dad’s

granite features gradually softened.


The bitterest of flavours remain tart,

even when sweetened.


"I Touched You”


It was spoken like a confession


as if seeking absolution


for breaking the rules of social distance,

just one instance.


Emerging from lockdown


for a socially distanced coffee, a full embrace

would have bookended our meeting


but this new normal required different social graces.

Contact, like water trembling

around this huge boulder


of fear that we all now shoulder,


longing its touch yet missing it so, so much

we dam our flow, building defences

that defy our own senses.


Dispensing with hugs


to show how much we care,

dispatching kisses into thin air,


wrapping arms around ourselves.


We're compelled to express the unspoken

amidst everything that's broken


to offer a token of what would normally

be pressed on skin.


Quite a task, through a mask


and steamed up glasses,

amidst the masses of signals


that we no longer transmit or receive

and yet we still believe in communing,

still fine tuning how we intermingle.


Tricky if we're single seeking a mate, partner, friend –

just how do you tell and tend

those gentle expressions of love?


I search for clues in my companion.

Stance, bearing, are the shoulders defeated

like snow boughed branches

or open to perching happenstances?


The eyes, like doors welcome me in


and the cheeks plumped like pillows feathered with grins.

The voice, indulgent with words that could cushion a fall,

full and mellow with the warmth of a shawl.


All this I feel, without having to trace

the wrapping of kindness, the skin on his face.

And yet, I too, feel myself reach from within

but I brake my intent, lest I place risk on him.

We part, and I internalise my concern


that his yearn for touch may leave him more susceptible

to the unacceptable - which to him is isolation.


Yes, yes, you really touched me.


Karen Mooney - Her poetry has been published in USA, UK and Ireland. Her co-written

pamphlet with Gaynor Kane, Penned In, was published in 2020 by the Hedgehog Poetry

Press who will be published her own pamphlet, Missing Pieces, in Spring ’22.

Karen Mooney


Co-author of Penned In

Presenter at NVTV

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