Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Armistice Day Event on Nov. 11th.

* A talk by Donal Hall, author of "The Unreturned Army: Co Louth War Dead in the Great War 1914-1918 with following Q+A

* Letters & stories from the Front

* Readings/ Selected War Poetry, including Tom Kettle and Francis Ledwidge by Steve Downes

Boyne Books
56-57 West St.
Enquiries: 041 987 3835

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Of it all
the maddening ceaseless noise
a million humming birds drilling
for oil five inches behind you right ear
cute little fuckers
the bully buses breaking the stream of cars
taillight to taillight
you could walk on the flat metal heads
from here to wherever the city ends
if it ends
the sleepless walker will never get there
not through the rushing hours
with his entourage of humming birds in tow
and the drag factor of his lazy eyelids

you’d think the bastards would be in tune

Monday, October 26, 2009

Death of Democracy in Ireland 2009

Slogans mirror Stalinist walls
black and white
headlines avoiding any issues
any real issues
blurred by bullshit celebrity cultism
the rhetoric of the idiocracy nation
no culture unhomogenised
no individual unassimilated

The old tricks
slight of hand and lie in mouth
Smile - Grin
good suit and look to camera
and the plebs fall for it again
just different places
different forms of usurpation
a treaty a bill a right a vote
means nothing
just lip service to your liberties

The slobbering cow of bureaucracy
grazing on relentless
all the voices of disparity pushed aside
by the wallowing beast
vote yes – munch
vote no – munch munch
vote nothing and lie to yourself –
munch munch munch
it’s all a meaningless march
to the milking parlour
and the death of an ideal
I don’t believe has ever been realised

The Premiersh*ts

and now for those Premiership results in full:

Birmingham Bluenoses 2 – Sunderland 1
(Sunderland get a win due to having the handicap of Niall Quinn +2 goals)
Burnley 1 – Wigan 3
(good first division clash there)
Chelski (formally KGB FC) 5 – Blackburn Flatcaps 0
(Chelski win by technical poisoning)
Hull up North 0 – Portsloudmouth 0
(Portsloudmouth win there by a riot and two heads kicked in)
Tottenham Jews 0 – Whothefuckarewe Stoke 1
(Spurs failing to turn up for game)
Wolverhampton Wonders-what’s-for-tea 1 – Aston Villa 1
(still playing due to extended lunch break)
Bolton 3 – Everton 2
(win for the BNP candidate there)
Liverpool 2 cars set on fire – Man Scum-bags Utd 0 cars
(The Scumbags failing to steal anything in a disappointing ram raid)
Saudi Arabia City 2 – Egypt Mafia 2
(both teams had their feet cut off after the game)
West Ham Skins 2 – French B team 2
(no winners there!)

Monday, October 5, 2009


See my snot coloured hair
I don’t care
I don’t care
my jeans make a statement
my T-shirt is a protest
I got a cockring
it’s a shock thing
I am different
same as all my different friends
I’m a fashion punk
my clothes come pre-distressed
got no opinions
won’t riot in Italian boots
got no opposition
I’m a weekend anarchist
a vodka and lime atheist
a funny cigarette socialist
I don’t care
I don’t care
if you look at me
come look at me
this stuff is expensive
and don’t think
I care
don’t think
don’t care
and my cock hurts from this stupid ring!
but it’s alright
my snot coloured hair says
I don’t care

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Poetry Slam (in detail)

Boyne Books in Assosiation with Drogheda Creative Writers and Louth Arts presents:

The Great Drogheda Poetry Slam!

This forthcoming Thursday is National Poetry Day, and we will be celebrating this event here in Drogheda with a Poetry Competition, or “Slam” as it is more commonly known. Basically, this involves local bards battling it our for a top prize of €100. Adjudication is by members of the audience, selected at random, with two rounds, the first of these being an eliminator…It will be fun! Guest poet for the evening is well-known local celebrity “Dixie” Nugent. Participants are required to bring along a max of 3 and a min of 2 pieces of their own work..................

If you are interested in participating, please contact us here at the bookshop between the hours of ten and six. Should you not wish to participate, we would welcome your attendance nonetheless. Admission is a modest €5 and wine/refreshments will be served at the event. 8pm Start. All welcome.

Hoping to see you on the 1st

Monday, September 28, 2009

Poetry Slam

Poetry Slam on this thursday to mark International Poetry Day, with yours truely taking part in a poem-off!!!!! for the first time in many many years ... should be fun, will post poems here afterward.

Callen's Bookstore/Gallery, Drogheda 8 til' late

Saturday, September 12, 2009


ElectroVerse a New Concept multimedia collection of Poetry by Steve Downes as a free e-book. The site will also contain illustrations by artists/photographers which represent individual poems and the overall character of the collection … watch this space for more details soon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Drogheda-Stand-Up for Poetry.

Locally-based comedian Joe Rooney (aka Father Damo from Father Ted) will host an evening of comic verse at Boyne Books/Callan Art 8.pm. on Thursday, September 10th

Poets and non poets are welcome to contribute their own funnies or recite a piece that has tickled their fancy in the following categories:

2.Comic Irish Poetry
4.The Life Cycle
5. Bawdy Verse (careful now)
6.Yer Own Funnies

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Two Hilltops

A white wedge glistening
under a great yellow bulb
it squats on the clifftop
clinging to the raw rock as if
some lair of a Bond villain
claustrophobic squares of glass
and iron
puncture the faceless blocks
a hexagonal tower broods
over its nest of thorns
its green metal hood palpable
above the black volcanic stones

‘Her majesty’s prison Grenada’
someone points out to me in passing
It would have meant nothing
just a curiosity
not even a photo opportunity
for my digital tourist eye
but for the history books
those silent whispers of truths
Maurice Bishop
unborn child in the womb
lined up
gunned down
in the basketball court of the wrecked
St. George’s fort
where I stood

I suppose
unjustly perhaps
it’s a poet’s moment or
maybe all who stand here do it
wonder if the executioners stare
from the barred windows
across the picturesque valley
a short distance to the scene
to where the blood ran
and the bodies were thrown from
the old English walls

Two hilltops close to each other
in a constant eyeless vigil
the dead shadowing the incarcerated living
the triggermen and the would-be leaders
with guilt or vengeance or nothing at all
I try to put myself there
inside the white wall
inside the trapped mind
finger on the trigger
but I fail
as I was bound to
and just keep my own brief but
intense watch

Monday, August 17, 2009

top 50 books

Inspired by SJ's '100 books to read' post, I've put together my top 50 book I have read, some obvious and some ?, see how many you have read; they're in no order in particular, although the last one is the first book I ever bought.

Lord of the Rings
Long Dark Teatime of the Soul
Hitchhikers Guide
Brave New World
Animal Farm
Down and Out in Paris and London
The Outsider
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog

The Republic
Waiting for Godot
A Snail in My Prime
To kill a Mocking Bird
Origin of the Spices
I Claudius
Hitler: My Part in his Downfall
The Anubis Gates
The Colour of Magic
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Gulliver’s Travels
Fall of the Roman Empire
The Iliad
Lord of the Files
At Swim-two-birds
Naked Lunch
Catch 22
A Clockwork Orange

A Christmas Carol
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Histories
The Satanic Verses
The Time Machine
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
A History of Britain

The Divine Comedy
The Canterbury Tales
The Odyssey
Dead Souls
Oedipus Rex
All Quiet on the Western Front
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
The Crusades
Ogre Ogre
In the Cravens of the Snow Witch
(first book I owned)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Campaign to Repeal the Campaign to Repeal the Blasphemy Law

..... Campaign to Repeal the Blasphemy Law ... please sign up and show your objections to the Catholic Church attempt to re-take control of Irish Law

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Blasphemy Law

http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0723/crime.html .. Ireland now medieval state .. catholics/dead-jew-worshippers see this as step forward
I call upon all right minded Irish men and woman to actively break this new Catholic State Blasphemy Law as a protest against gov. bigotry

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pan-terror-alert-epidemic Sketch

Four men in a room, having coffee, sitting in a bored hush. For a few moments they sigh and yawn out of tediousness, then one of them breaks the silence.

I see the terror warning is up again.
What too?
Oh five … or maybe even six.
Six, isn’t that when all public transport is in danger of being blown up by terrorists or meteorites or something?
No six is black death outbreak or mass shoe bombings in out of town supermarkets, seven is in danger of being blown up by terrorist or meteorites … and poison in supermarket foods.
[silence, they all swig a drink]
What kinda foods?
Ohhh you know eemmmm, everyday things, that most people would use, I suppose the terrorists or separatists or whatever want to kill as many innocent people as possible.
So …Tea! would be a good one.
Yes I suppose it would, [snorts a laugh] good job this is coffee.
Coffee would be a good one too.
[all four stop drinking mid-sip, place their mugs down and push them away in disgust]
I think I’ll have water.
I heard you can get bacterial infections from tap water.
And the fluoride can give you brain rot.
What! You can’t get brain rot form tap water!!
My mate Phil got it, …. now he thinks he’s onion.
Actually I’m not that thirsty.

I had a glass a few minutes ago!!
How many minutes ago?
Ten, fifteen.
Oh I wouldn’t worry, it’d have effected you by now, or killed you outright.
If it was a mutant strain, lethal those mutant stains, have you not seen X-men!
Oh yeah, if it was mutant strain it might liquefy your organs first, then kill you.
How long would that take?? I mean, when would I notice?
Ohhh two hours. Tops.
More like one and half.
You’ll be lucky to see out the day after that glass of water mate, I wouldn’t have risked it.
Jesus! I’m going to die.
Yeah, I’d say 75% likely.
You might just be isolated for the rest of your life, so you don’t infect others.
Shit!! I’ve got a date with Carol on Tuesday.
Don’t panic, we’re all still more likely to be killed by terrorists than poisoned by chemicals in the food or water.
Bobby. Stephen. & Keith.
You’re not just saying that to cheer me up?
Yes, we’re all for it you know, they’re everywhere. Militant sects of Islam, Christian Pro-life extremists and ‘animals-are-people-too’ revolutionary armies.
Even the Isle of Wright republican separatists.
Or the Isle of Wright Sectarian Loyalists.
Emmmm. [in agreement]

Oh yes, they could be targeting this building as we speak.
[all four look nervously around]
Holy shit, a sniper could take us out at any time, we’re sitting ducks.
[Dives under the table]
He’s right you know, we’re wide open for an RPG, … whatever that is!
[All four now go under the table. Silence]
Something just occurred to me. What if they fly a plane into this building?!
Yeah, like they did it that movie.
[The others looks at him questioningly]
‘The plane that flew into the building’, it was on last night, it was in black and … ohh you mean 9/11!!
I don’t think this table will protect us.
He’s right, Ikea didn’t designed this baby to withstand a fully laden 747.
What about an empty 747?
Probably much the same.
Right then, in light of a certain attack by animal-loving, Islamic Christian separatists …
… From the Isle of Wright!
Yes. We need a plan.
We could panic.
Panic, by God he’s got it.
[They all scream and get to their feet running around like headless chickens bumping into each other.]
[after a moment]
Wait … wait … wait … Let’s think about this a second, why would an extremist terror group fly a plane into a sewage works cafeteria?
He’s right.
That’s a fair point, that and we’re in the second basement.

Oh yeah.
[They all sit down again, dejected]
What is bird flu anyway?
Well, it’s a flu that you get if err … you’ve been within ten feet of a bird.
Ten feet!
Maybe wingspan then.
Would that include chicken wings
I wouldn’t eat em.
What about this swine flu then, they don’t have wings?
I read in the ‘what to do if you’re inflected with swine flu’ information leaflet that you can get it form kissing pigs.
I think that’s what it said.
What about bacon?
[Bobby gets up and walks to stage side, he exhibits the symptoms described by the others]
Yeah, I heard it can be transmitted from pigs to humans through pork sausages.
Bobby [to himself]
Bloke down the road from me, knows about these things, said you can start acting like a pig, oinking and all that.
And claw around on all fours.
Yeah and wallow in mud until the germs from the mud make it worse and you have AIDS too.
Lying on your back, with your legs akimbo, helplessly dying of … AIDS and swine flu and … and … and that disease that turns you into a living tree.
No hold on, now that I think of it, all those are the symptoms of pink-frog fever.
[The three notice Bobby lying akimbo on the floor beside them]
What on earth are you doing Bob?
I had two slices of bacon this morning.
Don’t be ridiculous, sit down.
[Bobby sits down]
I’ll be alright so?
You’ll be fine.
Noting to worry about.
No need to fret old pal.
[They resume in the positions they started off in, a silence]
Unless of you have a heart attack brought on by the cholesterol.



Friday, July 17, 2009

Blasphemy Laws Sketch

John is relaxing in his sitting room watching the football; his team miss an open goal and he screams out
“Jesus Christ! I could hit that with my eyes closed, for God’s sake!!”

The doors bursts open and the windows implode, special forces-like men suddenly surround John, but they are not carrying guns, instead they are armed with crucifixes and bottles of holy water. The men, in black military attire, are also clan in priest’s collars.
“On your knees!” screams the Leader of the God-squad.
John, in shock, drops to his knees.
“Now, hands together and don’t you lace those fingers boy, I want to see palm on palm action,” adds the Leader.
“What going on?” asked John, clearly shook up.
“Should I zap ‘em Father?” asks an acolyte.
“Yeah give it to him.” replies the leader.
“Nooooo.” John expects to be shot but acolyte drenches him in holy water from his bottle.
After realising he’s not being riddled with bullet but rather water John looks up and says, “What the Hell is going on?”
“Ah he did it again sir, should I give ‘em another zap?” shouts the over-enthusiastic acolyte.
“Careful with that Father, that bottle’s gotta last all day you know.” Leader.
“Right sir, sorry sir.” Acolyte.

John “Are you guys nutters?”
“Are you aware sir of Ireland’s new Blasphemy Laws passed just last night, while no-one was looking,” says the Leader.
“What!” John.
“Let me explain; it is illegal in the State of Ireland to take the Lord’s name in vain,” The Leader opens his reference book, “Did you or did you not speak the Lord Jesus Christ’s name as a blasphemy just a few moments ago?”
“Maybe.” says John.
“Lucky our Swears and Sacrilege detection van was just passing by at the time sir, or you could be in for eternal damnation. As it is you’ll probably get away with crucifixion.”
“Get away with Crucifixion!” says John.
“Don’t start that Monty Python shite with me. Now let’s go through some other suspect activities of yours, shall we sir!”
“All I said was Jesus Christ.” argues John.
“Oh sir, he’s at it again, shall I give him the book.” shouts the acolyte.
“Yeah give him a taste of the book, see how he likes that!” Leader.

The Leader steps back and large Tome is brought forward, John cowers at the site of it and thinks they are going to hit him with it.
The Acolyte opens the book and begins to read like a dyslexic child.
“The words … of Jere…mi…ah, the son of Hi…lki….'ah, of the priests who were in An'…ath…oth in the land of Benj..a…m..in, to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josi'…..ah the son of A…mon, king of Ju…dah, in the thir…teenth year of his reign.”

John sits looks complexly perplexed.
“I think he’s had enough.” says the Leader. “Shall we talk about the masturbation then!!?”
“Masturbation???” John.
“Did you have one off the wrist this morning?” asks the Leader.
“What?” John.
“Lost sperm makes baby Jesus cry.” adds the Acolyte.
“Look, you lot are obviously mental, I’m not even a member of the Christian Church.” John
“Heretic!” scream the priests, pointing their fingers down at him. The Acolyte half-hearted throws a few more drops of holy water onto John.
“Stop that.” John.
“You’re only making the punishment worse for yourself,” shouts the Leader.
“Worse than Crucifixion, what are you going to do nail my dog up!!?” John.
“Right,” says the Leader to one of his men, “Get his dog.”
“What!” John.
“Now my son, have you any last words before we cart you away for final judgment.” Leader.
“Yes I have actually.” says John calmly, “Why don’t you lot of religious loonies just FUCK OFF.”


Monday, July 13, 2009


of the merciless sacraments
brides without consecrations
twisted from their frustrations and their tainted ideology

wombless womb-men

secreting their bodies
ashamed of nature
as Eve portrayed or
misrepresented by some Draconian social etiquette
smothering their breasts
sealing their vaginas and stemming the flow of period blood
what better way in their philosophy
to kill the fruit of the sinful apple tree
than let it bled dry
and wither without succession
to wipe clean the guilt of Eve
from between her whorish legs

wombless womb-men

There is no God
that would pervert such beauty as a woman
into such barren wastes
as these pitiful things

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fear is the Drug

Sheep are the addicts
they crave the run
in great wide circles
they crave the collisions
the criss-cross hi-jinks
and panicked alerts

The Shepherds
drunk on power
pretending the soldiers
are childish toys
shout and wave
‘the wolves are here’
run run run
‘the wolves are here’

The Sheep want to believe
they see sharpened teeth
in every smile
they hear stalking
on every padded footfall
silly … woolly minded … addicts

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Open Letter 17/6/09 Bandwagon Internet

open letter 17/6/09

Irish bandwagon internet campaigns for more secular Iran

In recent days internet sites (in Ireland and across the world) have been alite with messages, campaigns and rants of support for the ‘pro-democratic’ or anti-mullah parties in Iran, many of these voices have been silent during the blatantly similar injustices seen in our own State, committed by governments just as corrupt and a Church just as devoted to its own supremacy .
These bandwagon pseudo-political activists forget that this country has been dominated by an unelected Church for centuries, and that our constitution and laws are directed by the hierarchy of that Church and not the will of the electorate. Despite the flood of abuse cases proven by the law courts in Ireland we still maintain the status quo of 85% of national (primary) school run by religious orders, and a large percentage of our secondary schools deemed as Catholic and managed by the Church. The Catholic Church has burrowed itself into every aspect of Irish political and social life over the past two centuries and has continualy dictated law, ethics, morals and political principles based on it’s own bigotries and financial needs. It has also, unashamedly, abused it’s self-acclaimed position as guardian of the Irish people, from closing it’s doors in the Famine to closing its ears and minds to the ten of thousands of abused children in it’s care over decades.

Iranians like all people deserve to live in a free and democratic society where the stupidity of Religion is retained in the minds and homes of those who wish to practice their primeval faiths; but those in glass houses should not throw stones. The Irish pseudo-political activists (some of whom I accept are genuine in their conviction for world democracy) should look to changing the systems of their own nation before preaching to others how they can better themselves, or supporting campaigns for justice aboard while ignoring the injustices within earshot of there laptops and PCs. Perhaps it is time those on twitter, face book and other sites opened their curtains and faced the problems we have created in our own Nation.

Steve Downes

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

open mic

Boyne Books Open Mic Session on Thursday 25 June, Drogheda, yours truely is special guest ... I've never been 'special' before

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

new sketch

Pan-terror-alert-epidemic Sketch

Friend and Writer Roger Hudson

Thurs/Fri 11/12 June 6-8pm at Waterstones in Scotch Hall, Drogheda. Roger Hudson will read from his novel "Death Comes by Amphora" and about Ancient Athens. Questions welcomed.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Alone under a rainstorm on Loch Crew

The Gods are angry in me
sideways rain above Loch Crew
distant fingers of lightning
encaging Tara Hill
monsters and myths in spray and foam
die in epigrammatic agonies
broken on the beach of Dunany

They are all real
as valid as any Divinity or Demon
as corporeal as human flesh
as real as the strikes on stone
that spiral into infinity
an infinity as lingering as the ancient
lines on the hand that struck them

Steve Downes June 2009