Modern Paradise

We were brought up

On dreams of oysters

Big house after big house

Set in from the road

With fenced in fields

Of luscious gardens

Flickering by

As we made our way

Towards adulthood

And a tennis tournament.


“I’ll have that one.”

No, I like that one more.”

“And a long-legged husband”.

To improve

On short-comings.


And then there came

The time of cottages

Perched on cliffs

Overlooking bays.

In that moment,

I rather fancied

The life of my imaginings:

Staring out at sea

And painting my inspiration.


I haven’t found

such paths of dreams.

Lacking for

The want of looking

Or at least realizing

That it’s there

For the taking.


All that and more

Is sweat and power tools

Bending over

To achieve a look

Of a certain perfectness

And just when

The last crumb

Has been wiped away

A strong wind blows

A withered leaf

Up on to the balcony.
Nowadays the world

Allows me peer

Into the laps

Of any one.

Like the wings

Of a pinned-up

Butterfly spread

Colourful and dead

Their lives displayed

I see that some are there

Or almost anyway

With the dream.

Others are far away

From struggling

As they haven’t even

Settled on any sort of way.


I ponder how and why

Some people seem

To be already floating

Towards their paradise.

And I glean

The team of minions

Busying to maintain

At least the image of

The dream…


A dream, I suspect

We all came with


Of cleaness, beauty

Effortless existence,

Eternal happiness,

You know

The rhetoric of joy.


And we know

By now

It is nowhere here

To be found.

Despite our fumbled

Efforts to reproduce

Some hazy inkling

Of a better life

We cling to.


Our last attempt

Is virtual:

Creating the universe

Of our minds.

Heads and hands

Sucked in by microchips.


We hand over

Our present lives

In exchange for

The on-line search

For the dream

Of somewhere else.


  1. Noel Brennan

    Deleanbh, I have read and read and re-read this lovely poem and it seems to have multiple layers of meaning.
    Congratulations! The poem flows beautifully, full of ideas and thought-provoking. I expect I’ll read it many times more and still wonder where it came from.
    Your poem leaves me longing for more.


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