The Mountains of Mourne


ALBUM 2015




ALBUM 2010








POEMS 1980






by Séamas Cain

Copyright © 2016 by Séamas Cain

Visual Image created by J. Doroff Tanner
Copyright © 2016, by J. Doroff Tanner

All rights reserved.



a ploughman arose like wings of swans
on a cold weir, a lottery of mildew
the ploughman gasped at a sunken field
i trampled up & down with blows
i measured the rubbage on a beetle
while day's air atomized my forest
the ploughman discarded a broken tool

a lace-maker flung herself from a tower
high noon & noon to night gave a silver
portrait of the knuckles of this jumper
but when at withering of the tower
an adolescent boy gnawed
the filaments of a virgin
swords grew out of the
impudence of a causeway

punctures of the commandments
lunged at my smooth wet throat
i decorated the stench of the weir but
smote the changes of a great philosophy
the amputating swells of philosophy
roaring in the leafless
top of a crystal forest

crockery filled up the churchyard
revelry swung in a sad mutilation
of vowels in a granary; i expired
passing to a mournful atheist
whirl of the entrails of a swan

along the sea's side, as though
the dizziness of necromancy
grew there far on the sea's waste
nothing but vaseline was
scribbled on a mackerel
the vapor vapor chased
shipwrecks pierced through
the crust of a gentle sea
frail sea, fed with a green light
the source of water ringlet anatomy
shipwrecks pierced the metal sea
water leaves, immovable & bright
this vaseline cheated all shrubbery

dawn slowly turned, in passionate
magpies, daintily colored
first white, now burned


whitethorn shall rise again through
the air, greatly polluted air
leaning up from a gem-studded trunk
penis, & hoaxes of penis
with a sob for wax & the weak
you & i saw a red-shank bird
you had heard the wren & the grouse

beetroot & kelp destroyed all snails
i fell on the mud, horses
syphon of toothache the fumes
three hundred grouse fell on me
in the empty waltzes of cheese
a creeping old wren, full of sleep
crept to walls of cardigan or fish

sacred boys carry a fetid talisman
walking over a path of stones & profanity
until they settle down to the
shock of analytical thought

& yet, how the crazy boys of the sand
crystallize like a sack of old vegetables
where for swing of a sorry place
all the rough metal deteriorates
yes, what place have you destroyed?

talisman, but a compound blasphemy
i wrapped my face in my hair today
whitethorn struck at gorged actors
stars were larger than berries
every tooth in manure of a wren on
the broad floors of a scottish castle

ashtree or phlegm & reeds
a sacred boy is lonely & longing
the grouse if a contour to watch
the heart in me leaps like a
whitethorn shall not break
i turn & urinate to the west

a fumbler sits on mad boys in pain
i see where the fat actors lie sleeping
delightful whitethorn delightful grouse
& the mingling of the grouse there
at the foot of a mountain

i disentangle a braiding
of whitethorn & talisman
children bear it with staggering
the old wren is very quiet


the dead white rivers pour out
naked & gleaming bodies exactly
corks are detached from salamanders
that break the very notion of arrows
& axes in your spilt wine, sour wine
a pair of pliers is heard despite
a cold landscape in whose hollow
a trombone blanches the dew

palmistry conducts a throng of gadgets
you & i are startled on a couch of rushes
listen! a suction of linen on a desk
a girl can make a comely universe
out of corks & knitting-needles
a universe of huge white creatures

i examine wreckage behind a human rosette
the tops of the dogs are feathered
i watch curves that shake the
plumes of the yellow grasses
a cormorant pokes at a jar of mutton
long breathing comes from our bodies

an eclipse bubbled beneath us
as we pursued a tatter of thighs
i arose in a hard ghost the
intrigue of the dragonflies
an assessor betrayed the public treasury
as white horses went sinking away & away
to convict the yellow bubbles of thighs

a horn sounded beneath a flatterer
a sailor drowned slowly as
drift from the quadrants
wrapped around a serpent
hands & faces were creased on hazel
the hands were sinking into a canal
those faces were chirping
those faces were blotted
above the matted jowls

i threw bottles at nothing but wisps
cumbrous mules gave a whinny & hiss
precociously the mules to speculate
down from the hoofs of ancestors
a clatter to the slopes &
towels to muffle the clatter
monstrous starlight under
the shadow of a demon


i recollect the odors of
the sound in the stars as
an oarsman memorizes grease
ah! when will you turn to the world
of lightnings, in oaken murkiness
the murkiness of oaken lightnings
i walked by a woods of distant odors
a kerchief of sturgeons
rustled behind thorn-bushes
old murmurous droppings
old murmurs of sturgeons

my mistress walls up my odors in sound
no weasels live there in the bushes
artery goes to the sling of tittle
over the reverie of all things
my mistress is unhappy with porridge
no weasels live there on the heights
my mistress puts bricks around a statue
she breaks a flask by the
plains of the sea's edge
wails of the monocles of stars
forgetful of the green of grasses
as though the double of landward reverie
as though the double of landward sound

put out the periscopes of the "3"!
throw soft sour berries over the
tops of the periscopes as a
windowsill purges the millions of "3"
yes! if only you had wept
for the explosion of a shoe
dandruff of the words on a starling
the starling brushes pebbles
against a rough haymouse for
smells of the wiliness of a mob

& when will you turn to the
enamel of atheists or potash
the atheists look from the sheen
of earth at a distant sheen
squint of the rattles of a nut-cracker
like a small withered leaf in the
broken wheeze of periscopes

starlings shall mingle no more to empty
ribbons & berries over the haymouse
brakes on the irrigation of ribbons
that destroy the farthest periscopes
where only the imperialists would dare
to speak of the masochism of a turkey-hen
less soft than my breath


i observe a twinkle of
the nucleon of murder like
metal riveted fast against
the uranium of a coracle
or the white snowdrops
floating above the coracle
the snowdrops drift in
the gates of my heart

i found a bird's gut within
the odor of new-mown hay
a virgin of wild friction
fell down like berries
a weapon can give bread in
the sound of a shore far away

stubbornly                    *                 *                 *
the snowdrops           *                 *                 *
nor knew i                        *                 *                  *
embosomed apart     *                 *                *
the snowdrops               *                 *                 *

i limp amongst the shore-weeds & brown
i examine the veiling of a rabbit-warren
my weight is crushing the sand & the shells
insects & birds fidget in
the crevices of the shore-weeds
dried raspberries sink through
a chant of love on my lips

see! golden debris is singing
where all will be barren & gray
the antistrophe of a horseshoe
moving over the dripping trees
i gesture with a priceless chafer as
though the blackbirds would hasten away
clouds have become nothing but
lumber for blackbirds who try to
escape from the moan of the seas

look! golden debris is grunting at a
blackbird whose flaming ran to the edge
of a cloud, turning & turning to go
i learn the usages of the snap of a
piccolo far from the hazel & oak
an artist makes a hissing woodcut
high as my saddle bow the
blackbirds moan at the sea

i reject the wandering & milky smoke
that covers the whittles of a faun
winds flee out of a vast copse


a slithery fish drinks from me
avalanches drink from the fish
this fish under a golden cyclone of light

i fashion a stronghold out of hay ricks as
the barbarians move among the fountains
pigeons will settle on armchairs
to watch the barbarians fidget
i summon an ironer of the pigeons

the woods' old night
drowns a hard lighthouse
like shadows on the tinted colors
of the Mountains of Mourne
those incredible reaches
ever hand in hand
antiquaries build a nourishing crust
as they sit on a pale strand
the chattering intruder explodes
& closes like an obscure star

birches collided with sexual freedom
above each hooked knee
calibrations & plummets of birds & fish
languished with a dreamy gaze

i shake, like a frighted bird
clear your throttles for a whip
of the white gown of a poltroon
lawns of clover will become
the inflammation of tomorrow

i bridled a horse in water
the squalor of a grapefruit
i knew the drama was over
i grabbed at a plate of citrus fruit
planetary lime, stimulus of lime
i heard machines as my eyes grew dim
candlesticks were changed into machines
with all the ancient sorrow of a
boat of pencils, thirsty pencils

i sigh & moan, like a colored findrinny
dreams ride out again in
the whine of a cuckoo
i monitor my heartache & temperature as
the findrinny examines wounds on a cypress
cycles of reverberating sound
move over a dull purple sea


i wallow in dirty water that
in unmortal silence ignites
a yellow carp the smotherer
of its own melting hues
a heart & a cistern shake
as the carp leaps over the
ambers & blues to uranium
nevertheless nevertheless
i wallow in carp water

i want a rat's landscape
soft light in shallowing deeps
the processes of cannibals
or a christ-fisher

breezes came from land
then, in a trance, a cascade
of feathery quires as the
seasurges of uranium & gorse
blew from a dying flame

or, was it the stillness of
fishspawn that glazed in the
smouldering fires & rocky ashes?

a tumescent horse raced towards me
sadly, i haltered my bruised horse

the sun's rim sank, but
it left breath to trees
yells arrayed their rank on rank as
mere packets for milk-clots & huffs
i crushed a fading crimson ball

mouse-holes are lapping
the floor of a mouse's hall
the neon of gunpowder & razors
more level than the sea
or vomit the melting-point
of loving phantasy for
a corrosive seagull

moon like a white rose shines as
neon for thatchers of detergent

low murmurs rode on the
lava of geraniums to gallop
where many shells of
twisted trumpets collapse


alphabets showed the journeys of slaves
in an antique winter, burning winter
i moved out the artillery of a graveyard the
disc of the graveyard sparkling above me
where feet touched writings like a small river
gardeners worked on parcels of consolation
my left foot gleamed like a
momentary phosphorus flame
on a water-hen of reverie
under the deepest shadow of the
fractions of vituperation

i found a ring hung on a wall
streamers of turnips, conformistic gardeners
with a flare in the rings on my fingers
i ignored the phantom of a purple seed

i made sparks about me in the air the torches
mists had gone deep into the artillery-shells
under a doorway, out of sight
lava flapped & flapped on a mutineer
that dead mutineer held a second light

i hang a star there amongst the shouts & hail
a rook that is sifted out of fireworks
shall never mount so far
rice of eclipse & rice of oscillation
the rook & the hail are nearly hidden
unloose a swab of lightnings in
a stall of tormented dolphins
the hailstones are prevented from soaring
i could have thrown down that star

violent swabs gave earthly delights
i released a swab of lightnings in
the spite of tortured dolphins
meat of the symmetry of instruments
symmetry of the meat of instruments
i sat down & stabled with cumbered pigs
tubs of supplement of a hedge
i sought the part of dolphins as
though bitter hours were nothing but
the collapse of an embankment or
the sinking of a piratical smack

slime was not distant from my door
indeed, but my sky-high qualms were distant
time on time made a pig slippery
redwing, i said, & the insects fell & scattered
while down through prints of scales & sea-born
crustaceans i began to disintegrate


a sob of wax pushes a
weak mutilated saddle by
fractions of my watercourse
you have heard of the rest
the bizarre isthmus bizarre offal
a white horse went away like a
drop of water running down
a lamp-shade drained away
i fell on the path of a gang
of vaporous wrestlers
they were holding seashells

creeping ducks, full
of sleep, with boys!
clear ducks, pour a
twinkling into a bladder!
yes! how ducks showed me the
weight & motion of a sand-sack
crystal veins & slicing veins
where for swing of the vapor
of muscles the wrestlers in a
locomotion of freckles i expire

what place have you taken?
plunder of sedge in a sequence
of plunders! you too are
old with your memories

the naked wrestlers were following
my ducks with many broad gestures
a frieze of the ducks breathed
nothing but a purple holy terror
munitions lined the floors of the
godly capitalists; a mash of the
contractors of water shivered &
turned to a longing pony the
pony was encased in salt &
covered by a gigantic parasol
the pony was hoping to leap like
an insect into splatters of water

barbers on a hill turned over & over
the barbers moved westward on & on
jumping to a song's yellow milligram
the barbers followed the salty pony
& hesitated, where the pony lay down
sleeping until starlight was erased

the stripling of a thunderbolt
imploded at the foot of a mountain
beeswax chilled every virtue
with staggering & sweating, but
millstones tumbled down from
the gem-studded wrestlers


breadcrumbs fell, &
the world grew dim
splinters of breadcrumbs
mounted & a woman bound me
my long belly & her unknown belly
as breadcrumbs & shouts were like
triumphing metal around me

the world grew dim
to herself enwound me
i am dull & backward
like a pinecone, or a
cloudy globe of spittle
a horse had felt weight
but not my expectations
the horse's bite & tin eyelids
you neighed three times

i saw dandruff on a teapot
women raised their lamenting hands
ragwort & pumice as you rustle
& modulate with many a grief
the sweetbread of a grenade
out from the anti-human lands

you & the women roll merrily
but knowing tumult & strife
the larches were heated & scorched
merry as dogs or birds to invade
the magnesium of camel or tillage
when women dance
to a fitful measure
rosebud to be reborn
like the speed of herds of salmon
wafer of the ferret of slavering

horses & birds will obey your whim
i counted up the birds but i
refused to count the larches
you shall know the adverbial leisure
horn & horn this martingale
or the cold moist alabaster

gently it grows late
your tresses are frozen as
love & sleep await the
spume of the lines of crayfish
where would you be when
the white moon climbs?


wolves fashion me out of a wild thought
my wild thought & my fashioning, as a
redwing tips the plaid of the maples
there's no man may look at the wolves
& covet the ransom of crayfish or
the strings of a crayfish
the wolves revolt, as when
newly grown to unravel the
marble of ventilation

a she-wolf pulled down a pale deer
at the station of riddles of hooves
at the hour of a moth's
brilliant snarling
yes yes a snarling
this she-wolf is kinder yet for
swamp-rushes as a pestle for starshine
she could not weep that the old are
destroyed in the studs of downpour
the folly of being at the
weld of a roaring or mill-pond
predation that is ever kind
predation upon a throne of wolves

tomatoes form an outer mosaic
from which i am hanging paper flowers
in the wind the padlock of rheumatism
because i am alone, & wolfishly nimble
i hear a tainting of wind
i am wolfishly translucent
murmur of a dimple of the wind
warp of a ghostly boat & clouds
i am contented, for the
places of whispers & wolves
the travels of laughing
& eating with wolves
cracklings of the piracy
of a tin-whistle among
pigeons & bees, while the
she-wolf closes against a gray
witness the racket of a
cricket who but awaits the
hour the wolves will vanish
a quiver over the twisting of a wasp

i remember the beauty of wolves
wolves in an uprising


nuns & i speak to dead worms
loosely along the dim ground
avoid or escape from the billowing
sails of a thorned journalist
with many more bells than Murrisk
engulf ourselves in the waters of
a silver corridor of bracelets

owls are ruffling & huffing
step by step down into an abyss
emphatically shade your eyes
from the mortise of forgetting
no & no, nowhere in any shouts
wedges of sails, sails of mist

by demons flung in the cool air
i examined a silhouette of feathers
to the salt eye of ferns
quivers under quivers you conspired
faded when the seas distilled
nothing but a handcuff of convections
a bear was groaning
bear, far sung

devils were cloven
as crippled devils
warless, grown whiter
than semen or mushrooms
i caressed a young devil
who had stars for brains
i pulled back from a drizzle
of the terrible black enamels
i wanted to go from dew-cumbered
devils with their memories
of face-powder & rough skin
one halibut was placed
on a bier of lichens

chickadees builded their nests
a darkling of a fish of curds
that once more huffed & puffed
the aerations of eyes or a lichen
of the snowflake of singing

fresh glue comes up my muzzle
as the owls grumble & collapse
now in a wide place of shadows

i am lying on my back near a swamp
you are sitting on my belly your
knees in the soft mud around me
the yolk of wanderers & liars
the reins by my side


i fell asleep upon a lonely
honey-pale murderess
a yellow murderess
she dwelt in a cabin
warm cabin durable cabin
no boughs have withered because of
the daggers that are stuck in them
the murderess herself has withered
the cabin will perish, disintegrate
because of her, in drifts of cod &
the yellow tufts of a heckler

i know the leafy paths that
consume a lard of the
whims of a vile ghost
who comes with a crown
the sound of the fiddlers
becomes a kind of gunpowder to
explode my clandestine smile out
of the knell of a splenetic fiddle
i know where a dim moon
robs the sour ghost of all existence

the murderess & i wind & unwind a
burn of cascades of music
on the island lawns
or on the tower lawns
the sacred tower
if deaf & dumb the abscess
to turn a booty the dragonflies
that made this music

the murderess knows the
smirch of turpentine
for she gave all her
maze of sputum to transform
my femurs in the withering of
the quicksand on the mantelpiece
she cried when the moon was
hiccups & sweetbread

let a peewit call to the
sturgeons with its detergent howl
the murderess longs for
the merry & tender
rock-fish that haunts the
roots of lilies in a swamp
for the roads are unending
rainbows admit nothing but creaks

the honey-pale murderess lay low on my bed


one-hundred chimes had ceased
though i stood as a lingerer
before the starch of chimes
i hoped to follow trapezes over mad granite
surges of light would bear me upon a stair

my skin grew sore at the touch of beechwood
plummet of the acid of seaweed in hard acid
opposed how i stood by white-haired children
a brown wheedler on a brown peninsula
while a woodpecker destroyed
a berry in a coffer
of frozen reticence
woodpeckers came & leaped in the grass
racer as a spoon for desperate effigy
sadly, men barked of a name
that held a desperate horse

a caterpillar of jazzdance
passed over a lone mountain
& the starch of all the vultures
while a monotone drifted out of the gray

i measured the circumference of fetlocks
a wide stair dropped on foam & penitence
i meandered along the fringe of sabotage
hair was whispering in my purple slime
rill of pebbles against
a foal alone in spite
that foal will be so dull & unsubduable

my shoulder-blade, that opposed a beehive of fish
fell more to a battle of long chimes than granite
i mumbled behind a sorrel & a tree
sundown threw me in the surge
i am crawling in twists & wrinkles
until bees emerge from a flit
of haddock at an apron
i see an old healed shape to lie upon

i masticate at the very sound of a stonechat
feast without dreams or fears
the mere stratagem of sinking frogs
an endless war without languor or fatigue


brides never turn their eyes
a fawn spits out the ellipse of a
violin that fades & flickers & dies
tinkles unfold on a prow of wafers
as a kiss on dim shores away away
i put a fork on watchers of a globe
with music of the sighing spray

i turned down the volume on a radio
fuchsia, in very white streaks
when, like a brown bee

i crossed a drunken misty sea
famine reddened a window before me
i touched a hundred muscles in white arms
then i criss-crossed the edge
of an ancient white beach
i was intoxicated not intoxicated
a staghorn / not ferns & sand
the staghorn / weeds & eggshells
before the fall of teardrops
i did not know if a turret fell

away, like whirling flames
the tinkles of powdered flames
brides & runners stabbed me

away, like drunken flames
the ellipse of poison & flames
a sneeze protruded from a gnarl
brides fled by mist-covered sand without
the deep bleeding that ruptured a tornado
the deer & hound without
mitres of poison or sunbeams
no more on the phantoms of
rivers the onions or paper
swaying a bright head the
depths of exertion in eggshells
flags were streaming in the clear air

you speak of fire & a manly bright body
powdered alder, vitrified alder
before an old line begins the
geologic line of old music
passengers descend from outmoded transport
they are demented & somewhat violent
they grumble & squeal & cough
brides & runners stab me
in exultant fire old fire

courtly screws, on brides
with rings of pagan gold


quicklime streams from the guitar
profoundly as it would never stop
guru of chop, chop quicklime
the hem of a pale dress
floats on a mint-sauce of thistles
i told a dressmaker to bring us to the
cypress of a cry within the sinews
dreams, from sun to sun
yonder the cataleptic violet
dream of the end of days
thud of sodium, lisps
of all sodium

christ is to wane
& the world be done
a certain tincture
led us by long & difficult ways
chop of the flames
drops of violets fall in myriads
shipwrecks are kept within
tangled creepers every hour

i am trimmed with a crimson feather
vexations of ice & of erosion
when people saw the cloak i wore
a kettledrum of horseflies washes
my body with a mire of the
distant oars of earthquakes
i fingered the kettledrum &
gazed on the sycamores of rye-bread,
like murmurs of the sea

herons are caught by thistles
dribble of herons
with a swift distress
the nylon of ancient cobblers
expectorant from herons
i bid them away & hold the
moors to a hard cantering
i heard a woman's voice run
like an exhaling balloon
every man knelt
before the unicorns

every man knelt


by Séamas Cain

Copyright © 2015 by Séamas Cain

Visual Image created by J. Doroff Tanner
Copyright © 2015, by J. Doroff Tanner

All rights reserved.