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Matt Mooney

The Romanian

Seated at the entrance to an alley,
A music man on a shopping mall
Played his own plaintive melody
On a fine tuned Romanian fiddle
Attached to a shiny trumpet horn.

Playing to us, an elder of his race:
A conversation without speaking,
His heart and soul in his playing-
Saying what he couldn’t say at all;
His brown felt hat upon his head,
His bike leant up against the wall.

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An Eye On London

The morning sky has a crest of a moon
Sitting up over my window's horizon,
Tall conifers compete with chimney stacks,
Castle top turrets and white office blocks;
The trickling traffic from King’s Cross below
Meets life coming into the city.


It’s quiet out there at four in the morning,
(The calm before the storm) ,
While the lights of the street lamps
Grow dimmer towards dawn
From my fourth floor eye on old London.

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Before The Bombing

Crossing elegant Victoria railway station
She reaches for her ringing mobile phone:
Young and yet without an ounce of fear,
Still moving onward as it sings its signal.
She answers, smiling with sincere delight-
And who is to tell its not her father calling,
Just to say hello and ask if she’s alright.

A strict security warning mars the morning,
Insinuating the existence of an evil enemy
Who indiscriminately maim and cruelly kill,
Like the madmen did in the city of Madrid.

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Tailback

In a traffic jam and I can see
Daffodils bedeck the ditches,
Benches in a people’s park.


Sideways there is a swamp
Where in the water preening
Stands a swan unperturbed.

A proud heron flies up above:
Once a tall and lordly one
Upheld its native landing rights,
Strutting around the grass
Within a nearby roundabout,
Reclaiming its own wetland.


As my patience in the tailback
Further ticks away from me
A brazen ambulance overtakes

[...] Read more

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The Signalman

I see him as the signalman
On the unseen tracks of time
A family priest for all of us-
As we travel down the line.

Railway stations made him blue
When he was young and leaving home-
I wonder if it was his Signalman
That for so long kept him going? .

He taught the boys of Wexford
By the Barrow in New Ross
And at a later time the Déise lads
In Dungarvan’s lovely town;
A chaplin in Dublin's Liberties
Now in Limerick nearer home;
The road that led to his priesthood
Had earlier started off in Rome.

In his vestments with a bell of brass

[...] Read more

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