by Neil McCarthy



Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire,

                Like twitching agonies of men amongst its brambles.

                Northward, incessantly, the flickering gunnery rumbles,

                Far off, like a dull rumour of some other war.

                                                                                                WILFRED OWEN

On shingle of seashells &

Bullet shells,

Ghosts drift along the shore

Of the Black Sea.


Staring at red men, waiting for

Green men,

We drift across streets,



Sit in smoke-filled corners

Of caf├ęs,




Push Pushkin into

Vacant mind space,

Prostitute prose for the

Glory of print,


Suck permeable plans of desire

Through filters, blow

Contrition into

Children's eyes,


Retreat once more

To Tammerfors

Where drunken talk

Of a Revolution


Spills from the

Pussy Cat Club on

A frozen back

Street and we


Simper with Bourgeois

Morals, bound

By the mental contraception

Of tradition.


In the dying distance,

A school bell sounds.

Shots are fired.

Sirens ring and cameras roll.