poet Dónall Dempsey

Dónall Dempsey

Shhh...The Handwriting Is Dreaming!

The sunlight
& the shade
come to sit
in the park
& talk

I hear them
chat about
the lovers
kissing openly

the blanket
spread upon the ground
their little raft
adrift in this sea of grass
steering by the constant star
of kisses & laughter
planning their future

down to the
last little detail
I know that in their future
there will be only
wooden flooring
& that they will sleep
on a bed of water

the dog
freezing in mid-air
just before
he catches the thrown stick
& then rushing back
with it for it
to be thrown again

a little yelp
of pleasure
only to find
his master more interested in
a new lady friend
whining for his stick
to be thrown
a flying saucer
frisbee’d through the air

being missed by outstretched fingertips
shouting: “I got it...I...got...it! ”
I think: “...not! ”
(adding my invisible word
to his loud words)
a little girl
totally lost

in her self
swinging on a swing
the voice of her mother
chattering on & on
to the voice of another mother
about the constant
trouble
of constant lactating

staining her blouse
with embarrassment
remembering the gaze
of the bus conductor
her nipples weeping
even as she speaks

her new baby
(a mistake)
asleep
every now & then
checking on the swing
her absorbed
daughter
who hears
only herself

(inside her head)
wondering how the world
is made
& how all things come
to be
a philosophic seven
a tramp
deep in sleep
upon a bench
all to himself

as if he slept
in the Ritz
like a cartoon
one once saw
somewhere or the other
the sign saying
“Wet Paint! ”
dreaming beside him

his dirty grey hair
becoming a royal blue
a little boy
howling him awake
staring at his ice cream
upon the ground

his hand holding
an empty cone
his Mummy
slapping him
with the hand
not holding him

making him
howl all the more
children
squeezing into
the tight centre
of bushes

behind trees
up trees
under one’s feet
commanding you to “Shhh…! ”
the whole park
going quiet

(even the sunlight
hushes the shade)
as the seeker seeks
their hiding place
the one under
my feet
the one they can not find

he nods:
“Thanks Mister! ”
I think I nod
back
I smile my frozen
paralysed smile
the one that only happens
inside my head

& doesn’t make it
to my face
the sunlight
& the shade
leave as lovers

& I sit here
in the dark
until the park keeper
touching my sleeping shoulder
asks me
if I “...can leave now please! ”
I leave

taking with me
everything I’ve seen
from the kissing lovers
to the lactating mothers
turning them into
my handwriting

that sleeps
between the covers
of this old
note book.

Poem Submitted: Friday, September 21, 2007
Poem Edited: Monday, April 11, 2011

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Comments about Shhh...The Handwriting Is Dreaming! by Dónall Dempsey

  • Scarlett Treat (10/4/2007 12:47:00 PM)

    Bits and pieces, scraps of paper, something thought and felt a thousand years or days ago, gathered there in the old notebook! Wonderful memories!

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