Sentinel Poetry (Online) #39

The International Journal of Poetry & Graphics

February 2006. ISSN 1479-425X. Editor: Amatoritsero Ede




Eammon Stewart


Fear of Victory


Nike alights on the

Prow of a ship at sea,

Sick with inspiration –

After Pascal…Libido Dominandi

On honeymoon, how it shocked me!


What Pygmalion would dare

Wish her alive?

As a child, Galloper Thompson

And headless nuns had me terrified;


As a man, victory scares me

Most of all:

That bronze apparition

In the Louvre,

Or “Tiocfidh ar La”

Daubed on a wall.


If that thing alights

On The Ship of State

It must sink.

If not, I would jump overboard

Into the drink.



Disturbed Earth


When they release your name

The soul departs

But it is loathe.


The Big Bang fizzles out

And creation maunders into reverse.


Now boffins say there is

No peace in the grave –

And there is water on the moon

And I’ve bought shortcake

In Brigadoon!



Through a Glass Drunkly

(Old school friend seen on the street)



A shopper threw change between his legs,

In the flood, coins in the wishing well

A maundering hand panned the gold:

10p spinning a blow-fly colure

he swatted aside to the road.



This miracle of Canaan

Happened in The Holy Land

Though I was the only gospeller

To invest the pishy talents.

Like a post-modern Samaritan

I also passed by.


At night, in the rain

He fell through the pavement’s chasm.

John Barleycorn’s ectoplasm materialised

In one superlunary spasm.


We’d have hid beneath the river

And breathed through straws

But your liver was a vinegared

Sponge offered to your childhood on the cross.


One, to break the camel’s back

One to slurp the Sukie at the back,

One to grasp for excaliburs you lost.


Camel in the crib,

Sukie in a blue moon

Sword of destiny

Chasing your wages in the walls –

The Falls is more wired-up

Than  you and your jaws.



*The Holy Land is the college district of Belfast. “The Falls” is the infamous Falls Road,Sukie” was the cartoon mascot of Express Dairies – suppliers of free school milk to malnourished kids. The Sukie bottle was only given to the best behaved in the classroom. “Chasing” is a technique used by electricians to bury cable. The subject of this poem was an electrician. 10 p means ten pennies, a UK coin.




Nothin’ wrong with a drop in yer hand”.

But the folk singer’s nectar – “mornin’ dew”

Lies heavier on these lads

Than Shelley’s chains of those who

Were visited with Peterloo.


If not beyond your ken

You’d be appalled at one drops’ infusoria

Reduction ad absurdum – for they – in your macrocosm

Are infusoria too.


From afar, at the crack of dawn

Drops you see are really slugs –

(they would have been wine gums years ago)

They never froze when the drink froze.


Slugs have degraded them all along –

Exchanged  at a snails’ pace

And in their occasional slow-motion brawls.



Einstein in the Wilderness


With slide rules for wands of sceptres

They worshipped the new Molten Calf

Tethered miles off, un-protected

From The Pillar of Fire and cloud, and the blast


The new Arc of the Covenant explodes:

Raining fire and brimstone on the innocents’ abodes,

Making the desert superlatively so.

When the dice in Las Vegas cast themselves

The snow glowed but The Earth grew cold,

Einstein looked at this luminous watch, then froze.



The Lock-In

(At the Submarine Bar)


When my phone went-off in the bar

Vibrate and ring;

The ASDIC* beam ping

And poltergeist shower of stones.


Where my surface thoughts crash-dived

To Albert Street in 1975

When Stevie ran from the toy barricade

And a Pippin Fort* soldier

Did something depraved.


This databurst* phantasmagoria played

On the meteorburst mirror

Brock’s Fireworks made:


The hopscotch grid’s ouija board,

Passing the votive candle’s

Treacly strobe

The search barriers turnstiles


Re-integrated the dead

That bombs had unmade


And I had to get out

Of that lock-in.


Tired eyes I rubbed

Once Aladdin’s lamps

Became the wreckers’ lanterns*.



*A lock-in is an illegal drinking session.

* ASDIC: earliest form of sonar; an acronym for Allied Submarine Detection Investigation Committee.

* Pippin Fort was a toy soldier base in a very popular British TV show.

* Databurst is a military communication technique that uses air ionized by meteors to reflect radio waves in a certain direction.

* Wreckers Lanterns. In the 19th C people would lure sailing ships to their doom at night by pretending to be a pilot with a lantern.




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