Bernard Kennedy

Bernard Kennedy Poems

I never thought him dead.
Only running in the park,
and sitting stretched by fire,
or with his paw,

Summer is brought
through this lemon zest
of colour-
reflected under the chin,

It was a cool thing,
from the movies and a fix or high and then a relax.
Coffee and cigarettes for a fashion for a fashionista.
It gathered fellow travellers and was arty and fitted de rigeur of the day.

We danced like gypsies in the heat of day,
and matched our colors bright and gay,
and music strings brought tears of love,
and bands of strolling players moved above,

I met my father, on
the hill of the road,
at kilmashogue.
he was striding down from

A joy rings out, throughout,
family, neighbourhood and clan,
'thou art here', born, now,
joy is ours.

The summer morning,
it rises to the sound
of dogs greeting day, in garden near,
and Fuschia, waking in the morn

He was hungry for dinner at eight,
and swaggered onto music stage,
with audiences eager for song,
and presence of the confident master of

A dream of the father, and
now, in dream of Joseph,
a new dream ' mind the woman,
and the child',

from where? For Who?
Coming out? Of What?
If we view from the window
we see a limited and framed

What does a woman want?
That was the question, like,
to be or not to be.
From where and quo vadis?

The word is the thing, and
this word redemption reintroduces
the lost one, homeless and begging.
a word that makes

From my eyrie, my high up, Eyup eyrie,
at Ladies Brae in Skreen,
at my hermitage, Patrick to Tara,
I look down to Sligo Bay.

in libraries and book stores silence is all
it leads to inner contemplation and knowing
thyself and be true. It was Socrates that line.
now leading lower case lives, no loud voice,

Easter brings up for me that old
medieval hymn about
'now the green blade riseth,
out of the buried grain'.

Cry out once more,
Antigone, cry out,
until the sentence is lifted,
the sentence that keeps the feminine,


From main roads through the pass
and there, beneath,
as if a mountain gate over
a valley, lake or bay

I met a traveller from an antique land,
and saw beneath that turbaned head
not a visitor but brother too,
though lineage was but black and white.

A quiet pathway off the drive, a rustle
then again, and bushy tails are swaying, playing and searching.
Grey, as lifting a goblet, the hands
are raised, in search, and eyes dart, either way,

Bernard Kennedy Biography

Born Rathfarnham, Dublin, Ireland of Waterford Chemist father and Longford mother Educated De La Salle College, Churchtown, Dublin. Holy Cross Seminary, ordained 1979. Taught Religious Studies in Schools, Sallynoggin, and Balbriggan, Dublin. Trained as a Freudian Psychoanalyst, Holds M.A. University of Sheffield,2000, and, M.Sc.School of Psychotherapy, University College Dublin (2002) works at Beechwood Parish, Ranelagh, Dublin. Has written Essays for The Furrow ( The Letter (The Intercom, Studies, ( and other publications.& Lacanian- Psychoanalysis (online) email twitter @BernardKenned)

The Best Poem Of Bernard Kennedy

Old Faithful Dog

I never thought him dead.
Only running in the park,
and sitting stretched by fire,
or with his paw,
pushing the dish,
' more water now'.

And barking, for post,
and visitor, and exits,
from his home domain,
and up the stairs at ten,
and down again at six.

A rhythm of memories
and habits.
Until his back legs gave,
and the vets scanning eyes
' he has had a good and happy life'.
And my heart sank.

I held him as he passed,
and watched him go,
to another field or park.
This time without a leash.

I can still sense him here,
in the house,
on the staircase just past ten,
and at the duvets' edge.

Luther was the collie's name.

Bernard Kennedy Comments

Arthur 27 June 2018 Hope you subscribe

0 0 Reply
Larry 12 February 2018

I like this poem, its solemn simplicity with a sense of brokenness and joy. The last line works well for me, too, as many others. He would be proud of your understanding and love.

2 0 Reply
K Carlton Johnson 21 April 2014

Bernard, I am a poet myself, and I enjoyed your poems, they remind me of Yates and Heaney, but in a more Christian way. I have often had an idea to write a study of Catholic poetry. I often think we have lost a tradition that included both Dante and in Modern times Gerard Manly Hopkins. Your work is like a bridge. I would love to hear your response to this

6 0 Reply
Bernard kennedy 14 December 2021

Hopkins says it best, 'the world is charges with rhe grandeur of God it will ooze out'.

1 0
Michael Morgan 30 November 2012

Short, spare, arresting piece with plenty of word magic. (Walker) Superb, in my opinion.

7 0 Reply

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