Nine Lives We Hope



 for Nadya, Katya, Masha

Johannines Three

On Orwell Road

Saint Liz, she looks down at them …


Nine Lives    We  Hope

Lest  We  Forget . . .

Nocturnal  for  Nadya’s Day

On Learning that Patriarch Kirrill Sent Nadya a Relic in Her Confinement . . .

Because you, mon frère, are neither hot nor cold . . . Sunday 20 Oct 2013 . .

A Call to Songs and Poems and Dances . . .

After a Line by Peter Levi and a Phrase by Cohen

VON  for Nadya

and Sofia rocks

Zima Junction Revisited


None Curse the Czar

Of Joe Hill and Nadya


Jubilate in Punk Minor

Nadya in Krasnoyarsk  “I Fell in Love . . .”

Masha Appeals . . .



“ Shit, shit, the Lord’s shit!

Shit, shit, the Lord’s shit!”

Pussy Riot in Christ the Saviour

Here’s to the boys now swinging their censers

Here’s to their harems now all candly-lighty

Here’s to the boys now and their gospelly answers.

Here’s to the boys still demanding your apology.

Here’s to the boys now, on your shoes now meaner than dog-shit

Here’s to the boys now up the candlesticks dragging their scrota

Here’s to the boys now knee-deep in the male spoor of the pulpit

Here’s to the boys now lifting legs on altar rails for the pee-rota.

Here’s to the fat cats, the sleek toms, that did Pussy Riot on trial.

Here’s to the gates of Mordovia open for them too just a while.

Here’s to the boys now that give dog shit a bad name.

Here’s to the boys, their chants and their chants now part of the game.

O Curse o’ Christ on you, that threw the women into prison!

O Curse o’ Christ on you, that threw the women into prison!


   for Nadia, Katya, Maria

What you did is the best icon for our times

For the Galilean, long lost in credal factions,  arguments over bread

Who strode in like yourselves, Hooligan, caused a riot in the temple,

For that droopy-eyed female of the males his mother’s long become

For self-serving artists hosting after finance from the sanctuary,

Mary who called her other kids after revolutionaries the Romans killed.

But when you climbed up under them to punk on the altar

Where the Blasphemer, and  his  apostle Voltaire linger still –

I will defend to the death your right to say what you will –

They might have added where, and if one could sing it all the better

For Putin, Kirill, caught up in their own whirlwind.

But you’ll endure, even if caged all day in the mind

Crushed now to apologise. Nor will he matter, Nikiforov,

Nadia will, and Gera, lost these dark days for her love.

                                               Johannines Three


Frankly, I used to think you, John, ended up in dotage, a right old cod

cranky at that, given to rambling on forever about an entity called “god”-

“love”, – all the besotted rest of it. You’d a right though. Young fellow, you stood

gutsy to his last breath, stood by him, hugged that gutted side of bacon dripping blood

and when you saw the chief priest climb up to taunt your dying lover

the eagle flashed from your eyes on Golgotha, did a little hover,

“Get lost, shit-face, with your poxy balls, this is not your place,

Or is it you still envy me my embrace

And if you’ve come up just to mock

Him, ponce round the hilltop, go put a sock

In it, back to your palace, safe tonight

As you’ll always be, you pile of shite!”

Would you expect any less from a Boanerges

would you just, the loved one, or his rioters, down through the ages.

Have to admit too you’re not far out about the Beast, how its tentacles

worse than ivy bring many’s the good yggdrasil down, its manacles

numerous as betrayers talking petrine, their way back in, catechumen,

Indifference. Assembling a temple, a church, a new mob behind them.

Young fellow, at the edge of the limitless Awesome, galaxies and stars –

some still call heaven, – unlikely, I know, old  paradise; yet still, if, just if you are,

spirit to Nadia and Maria, as you do to him, wrap a lover’s arms round them

same as you embrace him, breathe on those brave women the scent of him.

                        On Orwell Road

When we few had shouted our piece for Pussy Riot

And the youth with the loudspeaker could catch his breath

And telling it straight from the IWP, young Madeleine Sigursson

Spoke to the converted with convincing eloquence, –

With the girls in riot headgear, we were left to gaze through the bars

Of the railings, where the County Dublin grounds were ample,

The embassy amid the tall trees evergreen and deciduous, and it was hard

Not to think back to the author’s fable

The last immortal paragraph where Napoleon

Plays his cards at the table, and the humans concelebrate what’s done

With him, but this is no last supper gnawing its Judas bone,

Just the smelly orthodoxies come to the trough in their prime

And our twin revolutions, what’s left of them, a long time

Ago, that last orthodoxy, oneself, swill in its primeval slime.


Saint Liz, she looks down at them …

Surpliced and long stoled with long beards for solemnity

Priests chant from dubious texts their art eunuchs embroid.

This flowering of clerics, much given to eternity,

It’s work for them just to dispense the bread.

Micks daily given to their maleness, and all it might stand for,

The way they might look at you, brides of c. with a baleful eye

And where would you be then? Like moths wrapped in camphor

Balls, you’d be spirited off to Stalin’s gulag. Goodbye, goodbye.

Hold on, hold on! Black Pangur arches himself, roughs you up

Like any laureate writes the court to go light on you at sun up.

Find out what the so-and-so’s up to when you go bottoms up.

But Liz, she does a Duchamp like the Nude down the staircase,

Roots for Nadia, Maria and the come back of the female diaconate.

Fat chance. Knots the beards of this lot, cracks male pate on pate.



Came by Kirrillspass, where we’d the dust up,

And you sang out for me when others would not

When the sanctuary head honcho like a long green snot

Vestmented the body incarnate and he, like a pampered pup,

Stood pissing on my bread and all memory of me.

I see our mother tear up her canticle for you for the fire, hear her cry,

She’s off for a burn up with other prophetic rubbish out the back

Since the times they do not want for many’s the hack

Lording my name.  That’s why I gather for you in some haste

Scones she’s newly baked, these I break, praise, – they’d suit a vegan taste, –

Rob a bees nest or two for you as I did for my imprisoned cousin in the past.

Think of me as I sweeten your lips with every mouldy crust,

Can’t make it to you. So let water, or whatever prison bilge it is, be your wine.

For your lot, whatever is to be, it is also mine.

                                      Nine Lives    We  Hope

(Fated by Kirrill and Putin to Hard Labour, Often round the Clock, Nadya, it’s reported, fell to Exhaustion, and was Force Rested)

Circling with others then, your face spittled, you lot, from those seen, or unseen

That finger the prison batons still, like gods, the powerful ones

Unspat yet every pomp of office, altar, whatever courtly scene

Lords it, wherever the leftovers on combs, the hefty drones,

None,- a compliant populace,  -to turf these out of the hives.

So, you must slop the long dark, until exhaustion comes

Only there’s more and more of it to take a cat’s nine lives

Slopping shitspeak from skulls beneath their comfy whited domes.

I hope the easter sun at Mordovia it lasers a path

Somehow into your cell, or to your hospital bed.

Memorials, magnificats are made of this, in truth,

Your beautiful eyes sunken in like one half dead.

I hope the sun re-kindles your bones, lingers above you.

To your good health!   Rise, Nadya.  You’ve work to do.

Lest  We  Forget . . .

Putin, Merkel and the Naked Woman

Babe, you’re  less to him

Than babes tossed man to man  on  halberds of Spaniards

In the Low Countries once, all the newborn, innards

Warm from cots, or prams,  straight from the womb,

Macho practice.  Before your man seeks out his tomb

Though, he’s well chastity armoured, his own guards

Circling at the ready, guardians, angelic bastards,

Blades.  Nor were all the Sabine Women to come

What, blond, brunette, at bold Vladimir, all the one

Full nude, say, even  a few unfashionable brown,

He’d display all just a modest Kirrill’s thumbs

Up, departing  to matters of state, yours the bums

Rush. Spits of his eyes , they say what’s on his mind.

The old  mills grind slowly for you, but they grind.


Nocturnal  for  Nadya’s Day

after a poem by John Donne

No te conoce  . . . Federico to Ignacio,

only the ghosts of moths for company,

your spirit may it hover summer free

pollen- flowery- stubborn somehow

as it did at your Moscow trial

-when you put Russia on trial –

your eyes bold Lucy’s still

if plucked from the world.

Hope you dream that kitten curled

somewhere by a good fire made.

Conceits are just superfluous

stock in trade plucked by us

to-day the old saints parade

like a gay carnival across Red Square

impossible in the calendar

odd balls most some swear

by still.  No word of, on you.

Silence thunders, that obnoxious crew

the hydra-headed Putin ghouls

kirrilled even if their eve is over.

Dawn’s not far, like your lover

helpmate, he hopes  all souls

that we see you, unversed, unsung

climb the shaky steps  rung by rung

with your Kid, when tinsel’s hung.

My verses, dead flowers they are,

yet dare to hope, hope to dare

as you dared the thirty seconds

rocking sanctuary and state

hand in glove, early and late

pummelling their commands.

Hope, a punk-dress screw,

not the breed about you,

hell holes, a shitty crew:

nocturnal, the password

wherever love is poured.

On Learning that Patriarch Kirrill Sent Nadya a Relic in Her Confinement . . .

Herewith this lonesome morsel back, with my gratitude,

Dear patriarch, I know you hurried it from your plenitude.

Repent, heart to heart is it? Withered ball or tit? You sped

Me saintly skin off the shin? Funny bone?  So I might

Hold, whatever, close to me these endless days of fret

Me trembling beneath the Awesome, night after night

Prison lorrries rev up for us, or the gov’rnor hints of death,

Your KGB pieties in the stomach for my better health,

Privileges revoked sister inmates creep up with stealth

– Let another speak -vent on me their petty hate.

I’m sealing this priority to you with what grace

I can fast-track.  Promise, put it in a safe place.

Free, I’d punk a prayer over it. Better still,

Give it, as you’d give me, a decent burial.

Because you, mon frère, are neither hot nor cold . . . Sunday 20 Oct 2013 . . .

Read where Kirrill is concerned about the loss of faith in Russia – be of good cheer – he needn’t be, it’s near D-Day again and some American Evangelicals are winging to his aid – those that believe in modern-day crusades to rid themselves of the bothersome

And so the Christian juggernaut rolls on across the highways of the mind, there are Videlas to be bowed and curtsied to by Francis, Benny has his guns to man, not ask the names of the latest batch from Dachau

And today all the kirks, chapels and cathedrals they will fill and empty, all the more intimate spaces where hymnsters meet to praise You-Know-Who, indifferent as the temple head honcho who clambered up that much-trodden hill, saw  with his own eyes, through lenses of relief, just one less wannabe-messiah

Nailed for the common good, and now he can hammer the other eleven ranting and wandering the wastes of Judea  or wherever, well, I’ve good news for you lot, as bees still live in their hives

 Nadya lives, Nadya lives, Nadya lives, Nadya lives, Nadya lives, Nadya lives . . .

A Call to Songs and Poems and Dances . . .

If they must have their pound of flesh

let it go rancid in their mouths

let the worms assail them before their time

or their ash dissipate by a February wind:

those that have nailed  Nadya  to the bitter end

her only crime to sing up for those

who’d none or too few to speak for them,

who donned the headpiece of the Galilean

rocked the Herodians with her mildness,

for such have made of free song a crime.

Within days now she will be free  –  let’s count

them down,  -the one hundred or thirty or so.

Each day a song for her, or poem, or dance, just one more heave

at her cell door, whose songs would not singe a sleeve.

After a Line by Peter Levi and a Phrase by Cohen

“Nobody’s suffering is bearable,”  Kirrill

Knows this, it’s in the joint hymnal

Of KGB and Guantanamo,

So the Patriarch sends her a relic of some ho – ho – ho

Nadya on her train or transport east of Beara,

Aeons ago she’d a home,  a kid called Gera.

But what is all that to another  Nicolas in black

Or to the one that wrestles bears, his side-kick.

Bigger and better things on their mind, like State and “God”

And the world goes on anyway,  ipod to ipod,

And poets write their verses, songsters their hits

Or wannabe ones.   That you are on the rack, in bits

Is forgotten news. The two pray for you “It is enough”.

The two boys kiss, embrace, dance to the end of love.

VON  for Nadya

              after Sigur Ros and Har

Von is the saliva of the wolf’s mouth, so says

old Norse wisdom, so we wait in clearings

for the bright eyes, and to taste it, Tuesdays, Thursdays

say, any day in the spot a lone wren sings.

But he never comes, old bright eyes,

he has not appeared to us

except in a mirage that never dies

the moment we reach out a hand in the house.

So, abandon hope as the leaves

choke the gutters, no one believes

in that Norse crap anymore.

Sit at a lonely table, write it forever more:

that line, a hundred times like his infant lines, Bart:

the wolf in us lingers on, heart to heart.

and Sofia rocks

 22 / 23 October 2013

for the Sofia Symphony is no Medusa young one

and the Scorpions with garlands are back in town

“Our folk came here with tanks”. They joke aloud

(and miles upon miles of strangulation cord)

for the women and kids they wrote home about,

Hans did). Klaus waxes lyrical. Big boy with a grin,

sometimes just the five of us, sometimes plug-out

acoustic.  Tonight it’s full blast, Sofia rocks with us, a real Berlin

  1. Round Gorky, you have a big heart for the ballad.

We, we just play music.  Politics, none of our Stalingrad.

Open your Scorpion heart to the big country. Volgograd,

No great news she’s bound for Siberia, your Nadya,

Fans must rock to music.  Like the shrines, their candles.

Hit after hit. Gays in a barrel.  Kveikur, it never dwindles.

Zima Junction Revisited

remembering the young Yevtushenko

The trains roll in and out of Zima Junction

As they always will, and some carry prisoners

And some, freight, and some, cattle and some, dead mutton

As they always will, along with ordinary passengers

A dwindling commodity, for to look into their eyes

You’d be hard put to distinguish in the pupils

Any rationalisation of the species.  But the paid up

Soldiers know where they’re going and the stop

For Kingdom Come, where they alight to embraces

Dragging their holdalls after them.  Disappear into the night.

But you are like the young woman a younger Yevgeny will  overhear

Every night he comes home, turns me over and then and then . . .

Rapine does up his flies.  One after the other, Putin

And Kirrill, bareback,  hold the reins, ride the wind.


Beatriz,  Nadya,  Masha,  Katya

Shaye,  Abdullah,  Shaker Aamer

Bassem, Anwar,  – name after name –  does it matter

Yes, for Jean-Claude set upon in the Cameroon:

Now I know I belong to a world-wide family.

Noxolo Nogwaza, raped, beaten, stabbed

Roma evicted in poverty and in despair

Lin Xia, China,wife to laureate Lin Xiabo

What cannot be said out loud . . .Shout it, God damn it

For them, each of you, set upon too, distinct dots,

Your coloured canvases, a bad case of the measles

When we were kids.  Human. Mites.  No George Seurats,

You’re in good company, if only our names to bring

To help you in Siberia with Flogging Molly, Sting.

None Curse the Czar

When the wind blows

From where you are,

So writes Mangan

On the streets of Dublin

Sharp scymitar,

James Clarence,

As the wind whistles

Over lengths of cardboard

Where without a word

Stretch like dead thistles

The young and homeless

By locked doors, vagrants

Like him and you, they still live

What does it take to survive

What cry of distant ants

Like ours, who can’t relieve –

Except maybe share a morsel

Of what’s in your head, – the pain

That drives you to complain

In your freezing hell.

These days they bleed you dry

Of your headgear

As the snows without

Drift like black doubt

Over Gethsemane in fear

Of what tomorrow brings.

For they have the power

To free you, yet will not

Putin and his Kirrill snot

Where mercury drops by the hour.

Rather, they’d freeze your tongue

With the anaesthetic

Of their punishment

And your banishment

One more statistic

Fluttering in their dual grip,

If brave enough

To punk within the rails

Of their cathedrals

Sing of love.

Of Joe Hill and Nadya

That sliding tomb gate, entrance, call it what you will:

It was designed to keep the dead tucked safe within,

Just one of those prison doors that shut on people

When their lot’s spelt out by court, incensed pew

Or society in tandem.   But in that deeper dark

Her thoughts are already vine tendrils through the bars

As in her letter to Slavej.

Cool out in the wars.

Nadya’s the root that drags sap from the soil.

She is Joe Hill roaring Shoot to the firing squad

Whose ashes they‘ll not handle in the post

Too hot, they complain.  Too hot to hold.

The butterfly mannequins parade Red Square.

But dream Joe Hill when you think of Nadya, post her your love,

Whose frailty is daily tested, more than enough.


                   Nadya’s partner, arrested now himself, reportedly inKiev      

Maybe your time is at hand, redemption as an Arnaut Daniel

Plunging back again into the Ukrainian flames of some Alighieri Hell

Or lesser P. and not for some petit bourgeois cleansing of the soul

But for Beatrice, the 92.3% of the People

Voting X on where they want to dwell,

Europe with its Daccau to haunt forever.  Europe, warts and all.

Pyotr.   Beatrice tosses you a balaclava from her penitentiary with a yell

Go, move your butt to Kiev. . . . . .   Today, each well-dished  lavish table

In Moscow thinks the bloody bludgeoning of every boy and girl’s

Just a little hoppípolla in international relations, or highway pot hole

For the wider Russia, and Stalin dines as ten million “Kulak scum” starve and fall:

“Ten times lower than the Indians”, says Father Morin.  Liz Bachinsky tells

it plain in the god of missed connections.  Putin at his wedding ball

Connect s as P. with his mates attempts to storm Kiev City Hall

To fly the People’s Flag.  With Nadya, or without, Pyotr’s call.

Jubilate in Punk Minor

                                                   one father rejoices with another

Praise Masha first. She spurns their opening doors, stands resolute

At Nadya’s side, your flesh and blood, her Moscow punk mate

Masha, so many miles removed, Masha, oaken for her comrade

When the last card, or so, is played to silence your spirited Nadya.

The road that Putin paves with the dead leads to a hospital in Krasnoyarsk

And there are mouths, frozen mute in this man’s stony winter, who’d rather not ask

The horrors of every mile of it, brave women beaten, like the dead Roma

Woman. Her spirit’s more lucent  than any false-gilt sanctuary gleam.

“For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand”,

Yeats writes for a young Gera.   But Nollaig sa tSamradh is at hand.

Opening for all of us that groaning sluice gate chorus of our hope at last –

For all parents despairing of their kids tossed among the desaparecidos  –

“Wow”, Andrey shouts.  “Wow” as he sees his daughter’s jet-black hair cascade

on the video,

“Wow”. Least we can do is share with you “Wow” forever. “Wow”.

Nadya in Krasnoyarsk “[Her] face radiates peace and happiness”Andri, father)

“I fell in love

with the functional ward of a chest hospital”.

So wrote the rowdy poet of blackbirds and desolates

like Paddy Maguire.  And Kavanagh was in St. James’s

Dublin not for TB but for the removal

of a lung gone cancerous.  Poet of many loves and hates

like most humans despite their counter claims.

Looks like you’ll have mostly concrete

where he’d a gravelled yard to stretch his feet.

Hope when the sun it rises in the February sky a bit

you’ll find a suntrap too for a quick cigarette

if it’s bad again, the head pain.

Krasnoyarsk, girl, it looks just as functional

the hoarding walls (in ply?) of blue and white

the odd bus passing, car, a battered taxi beside a wall,

a visitor’s papers twice checked or more at the nondescript

side entrance.

But the miracle of your healing will be within the wards

among the bed-ridden outside of earshot of the guards

your new Tolokonnikova punk role, nightingale apprenticeship.

Gracing the hardback of Putin’s History, a young slip,

the story of your mad stomp round and round his sanctuary.

You are the original Yeshua in his passionate transitory

Sick thrown your way will grow to love you in that penitentiary.

Love you for what you did, for what you stand for, let the word for them be good or grim.

Love you, knowing your face is paradise, what they or we will ever see of


Masha Appeals Medvedev before the Supreme Assembly of the Druids in Russia

Your Patriarchships, who begat us all, I, Masha,  J’Accuse this man who is hell bent

In bulldozing your juniper groves. He acts the bollix in the holy places of Krasnador;

OK, OK, tit for tat.  And I know, it’s not for himself but for his bosom heaven-sent

Partner-in-Kirrill,  that she might witness with her lovely eyes the wild wolves roar

As she gazes from each of the high moonlit hundred windows of her modest palace.

What value our primeval  treescapes?  Your only juniper preserve in Russia? Unique –

Who would have thought just two mere humans needed so much space –

Stop this mid-age sanctuary bopper and his wild amazon running amok.

Yet, don’t be hard on Medvedev (as his boss advised on us), he’s

Just another Funny Man with funny money we read of in the press.

He likes to copycat the Man Above, the Supreme Hooligan,

Run riotous in your temples amid the juniper when he can

With hardly a loin-cloth on them both.   O, O ,O the naked  brutes

Who like to wrestle bears their size and twist their screaming nuts,

Good manly fun. Rifle-stalking naked now, today’s emperor or Czar,

Scare the living shit out of the woodcocks hiding in the juniper.

So, sing up, you Russian Choir of Choirs, to Juniper, with its resins and its tars

Bass voices deepening below your own aeons, and even Nicholas Alexander’s,

Boom it to the boys of Vladimir. No eco-maids. Good for bloating and the gas

As V.  grows old to stall of the bladder, joint pains, or, God forbid, psoriasis.

I plead your protection. He has it in for me, I fear, has Medvedev for my sign-up,

Train load of signatures, to stop him in his ministerial tracks with his pin-up

Desecrating your wild forest.  Is my work, all of it, and this prison, in vain?

Command our little junipers to trip him up with root or two, in their uprooted pain,

Permit both the boys to fall flat, just once (or twice) on their faces,

Taste on their deceitful lips a spot where badgers pile their faeces.

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