Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Séamas Cain


I am sure that my contribution contains many more words than you would ever care to use at the event but these poems present my opinions and emotions; I see no reason to write anything else.

PS. Please read "Can Poetry Make A Difference?" by Jennifer Williams in Edinburgh. You will find her statement at this web-page ...


I think Jennifer's remarks fit in rather well with the discussions we have been having in recent days. (Quite often in her work, Jennifer brings a breeze of fresh air to everyone around her.)

PSS. Seamas Cain drew also attention to the fact that

Beloved Palestinian Poet Samih al-Qasim Dies at 75



This is war's winter when the tree
Is broken orange and yellow.
We have spoken to the tree.
The tree does not speak.
We have seen the nothing sun, the
Purple twilight nothing.

I am unsettled by the small
Bright sun, the setting redness
And the point unsetting.
We are quiet. We see wild quick and
Quiet zebra in the blackwhite
Edge of knife. We are golden zodiac.

War, we hate your shrunkenness.
Curse this pleasant place,
War War we bless you.

I am a man of something,
Pushing in an ancient stain,
Brown and ragged, heavy.
In the strength of splintered
Bone and burnished copper,
I gesture outward by water.
I am a man of something,
Willfulness, dignity, I swim.

Unburied war, we are cold in the
Zodiac. We are the pretty silver
Vegetables. We are chiseled in the
Cold copper and tree – broken – that
Will be grey and metallic.
Waken waken, War, we
Chant the chaos in iron ore.

I am the winter zebra blood and hot.
I am carved and curled in marble.
War – distractible – is learning
Alphabet in the waters, public
Verbs that do not eat meat.

I, hidden, am a man of
shrunkenness and metal.
They cover my phallus with mud.
They hide my cowardice with fear.
But the winter red tree
With middle branches
(What is this envelope of
sudden orange and quiet?)
Reaches the folds of starskin and
Extinguishes the big sky of war.

Winter's war when the tree will be something.



the soldiers are dead & stony in
a deep horror of eyes & of wings
an adze chops up all the vertebrae
the touch of the butcher
is gently received
boys shall listen
& rise up & weep
i cover myself in a yellow mantle
the armies are stretched like
bowstrings or a sanctified
waterfall of disfigurement
the boys enter & wash
themselves in the waterfall
they sweep as shouting & mocking
battle  *  the detritus at the
           bottom of a dank pool
battle  *  a gateway of brass the
           spinach or hunt of pinlights
the boys enter a strongly armed tower
the tower is covered by a sheen
of buttermilk, & mistletoe
oxen move over young weeds
the growl of the sponges of radium
& of old wounds, & sleep
i drink a strange juice
to the octave of war
the limbs of the soldiers are toasted
you & i pursue an old man
surrounded with leaves & dreams
jade of the fireworks of a plumtree
the plumtree clings to burning stones
i inject a narcotic into a soldier
a weathercock flaps in the hot wind
wires on the burning
jade of wide plumtrees
you & i destroy the
cooing of a musical
stallion the smile
on a taoist face
rose-beds of musical destruction
the soldiers will rise, making
clouds with their breath
the soldiers will see
an ivory cormorant
the clay underneath them shall pant
chess-games of meteorites will be
trampled beneath them in death



[ the introit ]

mediumistic it is most dreadful

my ugly wound touches the sand

the ugly wound at the beginning

reveals the presence of carbide

i had spent the night in a chair

sleeping but not sleeping

i had drunk a fiery mixture

beyond all human aid or

unreasonable sexual attention that

accelerated the end as the end

the valvular disease of soldiers

you & i developed a series of boils

our heads were x-rayed as the soldiers

dragged their fine cables to stars

neither the mustard nor the pepper

but the mustard and the pepper and a

turning of the worm signed "yellow tea"

annoying the soldiers the soldiers

referring to marks on their faces

the marks made them sorry sorry

one soldier was rambling in his speech

right to the very end the end when he

threw the contents of a jug of beer

the systematic cruelty in front of

the babylonian servants of god the

war with the long arm of coincidence

my wounds were consistent with bites

the calico body with agonizing sobs or

calico bodies of the sunburned mob the

legless boys engaged the mob's attention

under a cloud under a black(silver) cloud

we perspired freely among

the lotuses of the lotus-pond

in our Mandaean imaginations

our blackedged expressions

what could render my spiritual comfort?

overtasked by my own strength?

had the Mandaean servants of

the lotus sunk to the pavement?

the Arab prisoners offered no resistance

sliding across the valuable paper

the valuable paper of the desert

with commendable wrigglings

this war is thoroughpaced

& the Mandaean towers

are a temporary edifice

duffer or the duffer & duffer duffer

we put tweed on the war

as a sad circumstance when

the shape of face altered my

face that was formidable but

i was looking at a bottle & i

couldn't lay my hands on the bottle

or touch the hind legs of a horse

as a soldier ate a porterhouse steak

in front of me a steak that

spoke to his having seen death

to the best of his recollection


[ the benedictus ]

shake out the sound of frogs

& shake out the water in a spring

the hydromel of Keats alone the

saturday wax of the hydromel

26 blackbirds in 17 circles when the

black knights will shake out the bonfires

Hmmm, but i remember the plain of Bray

& i see & see again the plain of Bray

crossed out in pencil as the

sisters' wood refused to serve cars

2 white buffalos accompanied my doves

i don't think that was very nice of them

a blackbird sewed the truhite & the gould

when i saw the likeness of a saint in a wall

& the bleed of Moravian apples

the lashes & yells of cyclists

& paper & ink that started smells

shake shake the trumpet

& eye the trumpet or eye

the fish purr in beautiful piety as

the riddle of the telescopes

the clingers to Agnosis

determined by the babies

the agnostic puddings

the agnostic fir-greens

determined by the babies in

the majestic white of Agnosis

or the bald women in Agnosis

as the chopped-up meat took a drop

in the jetty of the river Liffey

shake shake the carriers of the Liffey

or the carriers of semiotext in

the moonshine of an ash-tree

take a chip off the old flint

with bald archaeologists the

avarice & restraint of pralines in

sonic avarice & sonic restraint

shake shake the testicles of flint

& the handwriting of daisies for

the news or tasks of Sinbad as

he punches at the 26 blackbirds

a chorus of oats from Hemania

or a chorus of boasts in Hemania

so now to our duck-and-jenny show

to stop the duck-and-jetty blow

write & read vice averse vice averse


[ the sanctus ]

tumble the odor of the apples

& yum-yum a peach cobbler the

death dreams in a swanswong

the elucidatorials of the pea-pods

capitular pentmark on the beach

sanctify, sanctify, tumble &

sanctify with all my gracies

clear in my hyperborea

clear in my superboria

code code for us all

everyword for a self

found heathen by private hopes

the tongue in the old nickety

the milk in the sour pastry

as i am crossed out in ink

but sanctify, sanctify the

beautiful presence of waiting

for there be many asleeps

between thorns unprickly thorns

& dinna forget dinna forget the

terrible ugliness of Auslands

when i am crossed out in crayon

by the pin twin fin-fin underlings

waiting & waiting for cakes

as the huts revolve in the rain

sanctify, sanctify & tumble for

i hope soon to hear close the

turning & turning of milk on the

gap between the gap-world &

the new gap the gap of the

crumble of flint of sanctification

i touch the urn of a soft nose that

fumbles the letters together the letters

for a real foot twister of a letter-book

sanctify, sanctify & bumble the

arabicized bisons but bisons nevertheless

the pelts that are pelt-pelted on my back to

suck suck the brains of a boy of Mandalay

or the slit in the break of a psycho mandolin

i ignore the collapse of the soft nose of

sanctification from the earth though the

kill of the deer sanctifies nevertheless

the rumble or monstrous fire defences

the dogma of flint & the

dogma of effervescence

my toes apart on the flint

my toes are spreading, &

my pectoral murals the skin

or the skin skin an empty

cavern of skin over short shins

the flint off the glaciation for flint to

walk the mud like a neanderthalic ghost

or like a neanderthalic herd-boy in

the round of rounded caves the flint

the hypercatalectic flint &

the microlithic schillia

eons & eons of schillia

the schillia of flint flint &

the microlithic shilling

eons & eons of shillings on the

terricolous isles of Scilly or the

scilla on the isles of Scilly that

hypnotize the terror of a lisp

in time & time in time & time a

time that mocks for my grapes &

the ferret or frame of Fra Diavolo

sanctify, sanctify & tumble

with a terrier on the flint

the gothic flint

the sinister flint

the nidifugous flint the

sciamachies of flint

the spinster flint

the primer of flint

the Sivaistic flint

vatican gush a look alike

primarily, tell me all about

the scilla on the isles of Scilly

the eons & eons of Scilly

tellun tellun the pipette of flint

but sanctify now the flint of peace

& sanctify all hope of peace


[ the canticle ]

with hunx & epheu

or the cap of a kidney

gestures in mutton & chaps

O mourveen avoure & avourie

telephone ache a tea simmering

the Turk moves in a theater

hundred manhood the hunt

& sidle to a shanty th

ankh of the ankylosaur or

the ankle of the ankhorite

steamy in the glue & gravy

pigeons, no concern

of the baronesses

usque ad mortem

the four waders

& culpable happiness

pranqueen pranqueen

mark falling stars a lamphouse

please stop Moore's Melodies

ton & chin daddy alphabet

big beggar for chessmaster

ginargo for mastery over Tammuz

the five marshes & a marchioness

cyropaedia, hytospes

struck out in pencil by

a palace revolution that

defecates on the king

the belle boy of Nabomdo

or the evil Merodach

treckle trickle pharis for

the fake Mary in front of

a pipette of eggs & legs

or the pipette of legs & legs

& the egg magazine

& the 5-egg verse

the egg of the sleeps

as Rev. Jonathan Swift

defecates on the verge

while the boy Jones in

the cage of the lanternhouse

sees jinnies through a telescope

tip tip the Kate tip ad sum

Abraham Lincoln the rainbow my

Tristan sees the rainbow

& the chute of the sawyer to find

the paragraph of the rainbow

Walpurgis-nacht my lads my lads

the magazine-wall & artillery

good red herring in Edinburgh

or the clock or clocktower of Eden

Walpurgis-nacht under ale under

ale & Kennedy's bread

put the fish on the table

the bridge of good herring

& pass the fish to pass the fish

under the O'Flaherty & the fluter

de profundis de profundis

in the hollow of Christmas cake

the suds for me suddenly

the suds for me O'Sullivan

adeste fidelis the rainbow

adeste fidelis & rainbow rainbow

i seen a thin boy sittin' on his hunkers

automobile the faigh-go-baile in crest

wine & vinegar to andesite the O'Toole

under my andraditic O'Toole in the humid

& raw andantino of the Andaman Islands

there's hair on bamboo & stone as par

bid me to live, as clap clap

& go backwards in a taxi

the andabatarian anarchist

that was decent of him but now

i write an Ephemeris of the Irish saints

as the queerest explosion to explosion

the mournival of saints & knaves a thin

young man was welcome only in his bed

with my eyeshield & iron mask

password & bun of bath in nightwork

& where the where is your amnesia the

brine white suds of the Holy Ghost

or the milk white suds of the Madonna

under the land of god the land of god

in luminiferous Iraq

the iridial war my Iraq

the irideous war my Iraq

the whirls & quavers of Iraq

the warbles & trills of Iraq

warp of iridescence of Iraq

the trilineated whirl-worm Iraq

the mother-of-pearl of warbles Iraq

the whippletree of trillado Iraq

to the crippled friars the

ghastly crippled friars

& the sweat of Prester John

with the bestiality in Irish songs

true, very true, very true true

not fit to throw guts to a bear

with the holy Willy & costive Satan

or with the antedeluvian buffaloes

my deary, the lovespots on your hands

entrained, to shake the mounted foot

make walk a holy Willy & the

hobblesides of the hopfrog god

while the thin young man was shaving

the triumph to tell of past beasties in day

the unknown beggar comes to bigtimer

& the Moray eels are on the prowl

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