Featured Writer: Karl Parkinson

Coke Poem

04 Coke Poem

Nothing More to Say

11 Nothing More to say


The Tear

He looked older since I seen him
two weeks before.

Eyes closed,
arms by his side,
lying on white sheets in a hospital bed in Beaumont,
white covers draped on my Da.

A tear came out of his right eye,
his cheek
and off
onto the white cover.

His family was there,
all standing around the bed,
his eleven year old son,
and death smoking a cigar at the window.


Karl Parkinson

When My Poems Were Being Birthed

The medicine you gave me was a Mitsubishi driving on my
green pyramids in my palms, left stigmata stains,
but my feet were clean,
and the day was an enemy
that cut out our eyes and
rolled them like marbles down the drain.

At night we twisted our bodies into shapes of crocodiles,
grinned while watching televisions on the wall
that were hallucinations
projected by speckled sweets
we ate,
that tasted like Domestos
or Turpentine.

When the clock dripped like a runny egg
and Willy Wonka drove a car through the wall,
killing two Oompa Loompas instantly,
we knew it was time to go home…

What screams I heard then from the mouths of friends
who crawled in corners,
tossed bones to the wind.
One day a sun exploded from my navel
and burnt me
with the secret sign,
we began to dance that hour,
through the cloud of smoke,
atop the river of dark wine,
through the streets with maracas in our hands.


Death cuts down the flowers

& tips me on the shoulder,
‘Honour me as the friend that I am’,
I put my hand on his,
stroke the bony fingers
& say ‘OK’.

He leaves laughing
as I sing songs for the dead,
beat a drum made of butterfly wings
that hurls demons to the light
& I dance with myself,

(This poem first appeared in the second issue of The Poetry Bus.)


Ode To The Phoenix Park

Green sanctuary, where my artist’s eye first opened.
I come again to flirt amid the fauna,
to pass your stone phallic monument of war.

Mighty oak and beech tower over me,
as memories flower from the wet soil,
worms crawl beneath my feet,
the sky bends to my bellow,
the sun plays its angelic score.

Park where I scraped my knee as a child,
park where I had a butane gas brain vision,
park where I sit in an empty bandstand in a valley of white
park where I cover my face with muck, birds nest in my hair,
my toes twist to roots, my beard a pond filled with ducks,
my mouth agape to receive the communion of broken twigs
        and sap.


I Saw Walt Whitman Today

In a DVD rental shop, just as Ginsberg did once in a supermarket.
He was wearing a hat, blue jeans, brown boots of the worker,
a tin whistle in his breast pocket and of course the fabulous long white beard.

He browsed through the music section,
maybe he was looking to see if they had his songs there?
I wanted to go over and say “Hey Walt, how the hell are ya?
What do you think of the 21st century?”

Ask what he thought about the Internet, Facebook and YouTube?
If everything written about him on Wikipedia was true? Was he gay, bi or straight?
Would he place the laurel on my head, could I touch his beard?

What did he think of the states? Democracy? Was Obama doing alright?
But then I thought, nah, he probably doesn’t want to be bothered,
I’ll wait till I meet him again some night in a bar and have a chat over a pint.
So I blessed him with a smile, left the shop with a song of my own playing in my head.

Karl Parkinson

Karl Parkinson‘s work has been published in many magazines and journals, including The Stinging Fly. His chapbook A Sacrament Of Song was published in 2010 by Wurm Press and his first collection, Litany Of The City and Other Poems, will be out soon from Wurm Press. He has performed in the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City and in 2012 he performed at The March Hare Festival in Newfoundland, Canada. He won the Balcony TV award for the most entertaining video of the year in 2009.

Karl Parkinson's website »