Belfast and Agent Provocateur

I've illustrated two poems here with mixed media artwork and photos of my performance at Belfast's Crescent Arts Centre in 1982. 

Belfast

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
From The Second Coming. WB Yeats.

We welcome the first quiet
after our frenzied exhibitions.
Statements on walls to make sense
of what we are going through.
My boyfriend dozes
into a second sleep.
Bang of Lambeg drums
and whistle of whistles wake him.
Sun shines through a skylight.
He curses the Twelfth of July,
and how God looks down
on Orangemen.
I hush him,
bid him sleep some more,
for sleep comes hard in this city
of broken dreams.
We live over a Post Office
on the Ormeau road
often lit by
hovering helicopters.
Saracens park against our front door,
set up a check point,
block our coming and going.
Bullets rat-tat in crossfire,
a surety every week-end
Before all this we sauntered
through city shops.
Bought fabric in the Spinning Mills.
Lunched in a Chinese restaurant
near the Black Man.
Now, gates and body searches
by uniformed women with grumpy faces
reeking of smoke and hate.
Today we’re away from this,
in our attic room watching
sunlight and shadows,
as the bands play on.
He pulls the eiderdown over us.
After the drums cascade,
incendiaries explode, snipers shoot,
we shut out the last star
and sleep for all of Belfast.


Agent Provocateur

Night is dark with danger.
The coleus dies in the window,
cats slink under cars for shelter,
sinister stars shine on the leafy avenue.

Daylight brings the bitter bomb.


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