Poems from the Norse-lands Icelandic Night

Poems from the Norse-lands
Icelandic Night
Land of ice
And towers of fire,
Where the Christian God
Has built his spire.
But ancient Gods still
Live and breathe,
And wanes still hide
In the rocks and trees.
Ice borne mountains
Frozen seas,
My soul this night
Has flown to thee.
Ghostly lights
Race across the land,
With shadows
Old Gods command.
Hear Thor resound-
And Heimdall call,
Above those kirkjan spires,
Unholy walls.
Cloud kissed mountains,
Running streams,
This land is the last place on earth,
Where men and Gods can forever dream.
©John Anthony Fingleton (Löst Viking)
Poem from my book ‘A Gathering of Words’
Image. Sólfar, The Sun Voyager is a sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason, located next to the Sæbraut road in Reykjavík, Iceland
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Helen van Lakum, Dan O’Donoghue and 3 others
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Old Ways and New Days

Old Ways and New Days
The byways all merged as one,
To the sound of turning wheels,
As we travelled through
The boreens, lanes and glens.
Free from all conditions,
Halting where we want –
Answerable to God but not to man.
Sleeping under twinkling stars,
When the weather took the like;
Cuddling up in waggons in the snow,
Eating under moonlight
By an open blazing fire,
Learning how to snare a hare –
And the odd chicken, so the farmer wouldn’t know.
But all that’s in the passing,
And I’m too old to change,
I’m a stickler to the old ways
In my head.
I suppose the educations good?
And them new-fangled TikTok telephones –
Ah! But the old days are ones I like instead.
©John Anthony Fingleton (Löst Viking
Image. A pencil study entitled ‘Coleman’ by Shania McDonagh
No photo description available.

A Gathering Of Words

 

In this my sixth book of poems it contains exactly whatthe title states. It has mainly poems that have notappeared in my previous books or are new poems, someare poems that did not fit into theme of other books,and others that I had lost for a period. Plus one or twoold poems rewritten. In fact, a poetic miscellany. I havetried to arrange them in some class of order inaccordance with their theme. Section 1 General Poems,Section 11 Norse Viking Poems and Section 111 Irishrelated Poems.

Modern Decay

Modern Decay
The persistent smell of petrol and diesel on the floor,
The pumps erect and silent,
Like a monument to some forgotten war.
The mechanics trench half full of slush
And wind-blown paper trash,
While, the vandalised vendor machine,
Has for years been out of cash.
A rickety fence surrounds the place
With the warning sign ‘Keep Out’
It rattles in a north-west wind
Like an old ghost calling out –
‘Fill her up and check the oil dip,
Give the windscreen a wash down’
The wind dies – the ghost drives off – and no one is around.
©John Anthony Fingleton (Löst Viking)
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Evening Sounds

Evening Sounds
He sits there in his garden,
At the closing of the day,
Listening to the sounds that evening brings;
The choirs of the songbirds
As they take their final bow,
The tinkling of the breeze,
Passing through the trees.
The Sun seems to hesitate,
As if reluctant for to go,
Stringing on to hills with slippery beams;
And in the lake below the house,
Fish leap for curious flies,
Their percussion on the water –
All adding to the scene.
©John Anthony Fingleton (Löst Viking)
Painting ‘The Gardener’ by Paul Cézanne
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A Winter Walk

A Winter Walk
In was a staggered wind that winter,
The kind that comes and goes with ease,
One minute it was a howling gale –
The next it was a breeze.
The beach was drawn and empty,
With debris from the sea,
And rolling waves that came and went,
As nature tends to be.
A desolated beauty,
Which only lost souls could employ,
A substituted happiness,
That only the insane would enjoy.
One gull drifting on the airwaves,
Gave out a primeval scream,
As if to remind a forgotten world,
This was once how it had been…
©John Anthony Fingleton (Löst Viking)
From my collection ‘Words That Found Me’
Painting by Nick Holly.
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Playing on Proddy Graves

Playing on Proddy Graves
With a puff of false bravado,
We sneaked between the gates –
Despite the recent warnings from the Nuns –
That we were bound to be excommunicated –
Whatever that big word meant?
And that our souls, would forever rest in Hell.
Yet, our priority and that moment,
Was to avoid any Proddy boys,
Or worse again a telltale from Saint Maries of the Isle –
One would tend to beat us up,
The other report us to Sister Ann –
But we had come this far – and continued with caution to go in.
The graves seemed wiggly woggly,
Not like the ones out in Glaheen Road,
That had order and pathways you could stroll,
These were granit lumps of sincere rock,
Embossed with secret signs –
And gargoyles looking down on us through holes.
We pretended to play hide and seek –
Which had been our original plan –
A dare I still regret to here and now,
A golden angel with two trumpets
Seemed to watch me from the corner of his eye,
As if I couldn’t hide away from what I’d done.
It was just then the gate across the street,
Opened with a creaking sound,
And a dark figure started across the road,
‘Jesus its the Bishop!’ Mickey Sullivan said –
I went through his legs, Mickey to his right,
And until this day, I never told another living soul.
©John Anthony Fingleton (Löst Viking)
Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral is a Gothic Revival three-spire cathedral in the city of Cork. It belongs to the Church of Ireland and was completed in 1879. St. Maries of the Isle Primary School, was my first school and at the time totally Catholic and run mainly by the Sisters of Mercy, order of Nuns, today it is still a Catholic school but have children of many religions attending. Saint Fin Barre’s is situated a few hundred meters up the road and we were under dire warning never to enter the grounds of this Protestant (Proddy) ‘church’.
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The Burren

The Burren
Across the rocks, the ice has pulled
This landscape into shape-
Like an artist
On the verge of the insane.
Gnawing with a frenzy
Until its desolation was complete,
Surrealistic in the image that remained.
No regard to colour
Stark grey limestone would suffice,
As barren with contempt
As it could be.
Knowing that in its drying age time
A karst terrain would emerge,
And that today, is the signature we see.
©John Anthony Fingleton (Löst Viking)
Photo The Burren (Irish: Boireann, meaning ‘great rock’) is a region of environmental interest primarily located in north western County Clare, Ireland, dominated by a glaciated karst landscape
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The Grinding Man

The Grinding Man
My friends were playing in the street,
When I heard Jimmy give a shout:
‘The Grinding Man is coming Ma!
Get your knives and scissors out!’
I watched him from my window,
As he wheeled his old bicycle along;
He paused then pushed his caipín back,
As he sang out a kind of song.
‘Only one penny for the big knives,
A halfpenny, for the small,
Scissors all the one price,
Get them sharpened, one and all.’
‘Slice with ease fresh bread again,
Cut your dresses for the ball,
A penny for the big knives,
Still a halfpenny, for the small.’
He hooked his bike up on a stand,
As the first customers came out;
Then peddled like a manic
As all the children gave out a shout,
Sparks started flying everywhere,
To the sound of claps and cheers,
Those were the days of the Grinding Man,
Before he disappeared.
©John Anthony Fingleton (Löst Viking)
Caipín = Cap
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A stroll along the North Main Street

A stroll along the North Main Street
They walked slowly along the North Main Street,
In tempo with their age,
No hurry to the bustle all around,
Stopping every now and then,
To look into a shop,
Shrugged, and then carried on again.
‘They light up that little church at night’
He said, as they crossed by Kyle Street,
‘And it was lovely what they done at Christmas time’
‘Of course it’s not now a holy place’
‘You can get a cup a tea in one of them new-fangled restaurants ‘
‘But not the same as the Old Bridge was, in our time.
‘There’s been so many changes’
She whispered, with a sigh,
‘So many of the old ones now are gone’
‘I suppose it’s part of progresses
He said with some regret,
‘Since all those big corporations came along.’
He placed an arm around her shoulders,
And she around his waist,
And for a brief moment the old street reappeared again.
They heard the hustle from the Coal Quay,
The Paperboy outside Martin Bennetts shop,
And in the background, the sound of Shandon Bells.
©John Anthony Fingleton (Löst Viking)
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