Poetry: Peter O’Neill | Cassandra Voices

Poetry: Peter O’Neill


The Bridge
After Meryon

Bridge of Be-ing, all arches mirrrored upon
The river running – Heraclitean ;
Looming above… turret trumpeting,
All Barnonial excess, pure 19th century.

And aligned in sheer proximity the great monolith
Of glass and concrete, its emphasis
Presenting a sheer 20th century existentialism.
Seen from the quays, it’s pure Baudelaire!

The candelabara of Street lamps whose
Illuminating auras burnish the passerby
Ghosting them with their luminance, and lustre.

Fate drops like a Stone in the water
Troubling the stillness with ripples outward,
And whose faces Flow forever onward into the Dark Pool.



Heidegger’s Dasein 

There is a philosophy born of storm to encompass Be-ing,
And it assails in the tumult of the unending assault of the days.
To storm troop on and over into the assailment of the heavens;
God forbid, what is left of them those splintering fragments!

As in the woodwinds onrushing conducive to the Heart-fires
Still governing, just about, out from the holocaust of Thought.
Essence at the forefront of being, attuning to the tumult
Of the Sway, like anyone finding their ground.

Such as the down and outs rolled up in sleeping bags
On the public benches on the boardwalk,
Those pupae, or premature mummies,

Whose alarm clock would be police siren,
Heineken clock and other hallucinatory prey,
And whose breakfast would be coloured by the sweet aroma of Hashish!


Gothic Landscape 

Thought’s colour broodingly bleeds through to the skull,
Seeped to pour and stream into the brain.
The bridge is moored there through its anchor
Above the liquified riverbed afflux.

The skeletal fragments of a backdrop,
Etched architecture of a Gothic replica.
Its organic structure today looms out of the fog
Which to the stoner is a mesmeric enterprise to induce Funk!

Through the viral air of a city masked,
Its denizens the very harbingers of their own Hell,
Introduces the notion of Dantean comeuppance.

Tramping along on Bachelor’s Walk,
Crossing the widened Carlisle over Gandon’s hump,
Only to reach Eden – the irony sits well.


Roman Noir
“Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.”
Raymond Chandler
Daniel Wade

John A. Maher, Private Detective, peered out
The window of the fourth floor of Lafayette,
His vantage point on par with a Gargoyle!
The river split the city like a fissure, before him.

It was a city divided by accent and money.
On the northside, speech was contracted to the point
Of almost unintelligibility, which he liked
Never quite trusting language himself.

While on the south, it was all accent darling,
Barring the odd enclave. Maher moves through it all
Monosyllabic, stony-faced and with mild amusement.

Humans are weak creatures, so prone to error.
And some are driven to crime; one needs a hard fist,
Copious amounts of alcohol, and a certain penchant for metaphysics!

Feature Image: Lafayette House and O’Connell Bridge © Peter O’Neill


About Author

Peter O’Neill is the author of five collections of poetry.  The Exquisite Cadaver is taken from The Enemy – Transversions from Charles Baudelaire ( Lapwing, 2015). His sixth collection of poetry, a bilingual collection translated into French by Yan Kouton, Henry Street Arcade, is to be published by Éditions du Pont de l’Europe and will be launched on the 8th April, 2021, as part of the 200th anniversary celebrations of the birth of Charles Baudelaire which will be hosted by the Alliance Francaise in Dublin.

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