Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Streetlamp’ and other poems by Kevin O’Keeffe

By: Kevin O’Keeffe


I’ve long admired him,
This steely Atlas,
Denying the dark its nightly ambition.

He is like a footman, stiff
With some serious duty.
Trusted, and attentive.

Are we so different, he and I?
He eyes the conic territory 
To the front

And to the back
Of his splendid center.
Gaze both ways.

I pursue my own illuminations;
The past and the future
Lie always in the light

Of my useless attention.
How I wish I could limit its reach.
I want a cross section

A liminal lamina
Pitched in the present
Exquisitely flat.

Not this glaring two-way torchlight  
This sapping compound
Of anxiety and regret.



I tile the time with fissured lids,
All thoughts and yawns,
Unalterably on;
Tonight I am the guest 
Of a drumful of pugilists —
And clubbing. 

I scurry on my old plateau
Itinerant, alone. 
A pillow
Takes me in, yet, 
Its feathers 
Inexpertly soothe 
And the moon winks and stings,
Her silvered vigilance,
More known to me than home. 



Are not atomic, cracking
Half-wise at random
With murderous

Glares; they swell in time,
Double lives,
With keenly steeping yield.



Ours is an ill-fit age. 
We are stunted, and urban —
Misanthropes, in crowded tins. 

Our homes are forgotten;
The timbered bliss of old
Is fractured, rarified. 

I walk among the oaks.
They are kind, and smile
With stone-old hope.   

They are a poultice
For our lot-clot minds;
Their fractaline infinities 

Remind me of my place, of its,


Leave a Reply

Related Posts