The Space Left By You.



The space left by you


And so the small leaves come fluttering down

to quietly cover the place where you lie now.


Your disappearance expected for so long,

all the same has caught us by surprise.


Thoughts now occur of the absences

of our talks,  of your  tottering walks,


your love of a joke, the ease of your smile,

your anger too for a government – so cruel


of its rough trod  way of breaking poor  people,

of trying to destroy, a small community –


that birthed you, succoured you, raised you,

and the close knit family from which you grew.


And this place left you the memories of its people

until it was time for you, in your way, to leave too.


And so the small leaves come fluttering down

to quietly cover the place where you lie now.


Peter Lenaghan   2nd August 1938 to 20th September 2019

And so another adventure begins….




Earth is burning



Last verse of four verse poem


Etudes 4 (Après Arvo Part – Stabat Mater for Choir and String Orchestra)


Earth is burning

my heart is crying

Earth is in flames

and there are not enough tears

to put the flames out

Earth is burning

my heart breaks

Earth is burning

There are no tears left.



Cae’r Blaidd or ‘field of the wolf’.

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Cae’r Blaidd or ‘field of the wolf’.


The last wolf died in this place

but the hour of the wolf remains

and the wolves call for us, call for you

calling haunting us with their calling

calling for us over and over again


It is the time when we cross over

as some people say of the passing away

in the early hours when coldness

an imperceptible drop in temperature

loosens our will, loosens our grip on life

and the wolf crosses with us too

it has nowhere else to go after all.


A time we no longer speak of

the easing of souls young and old

the hour of the wolf remains taboo.


It is a way with our family at this time

that we sit in vigil, a candle burning

talk of remembrance, of memories

of life and the sadness of leaving.

But whatever we say the wolf remains

at the door until our time comes too.


And the wolf patiently waits for the hour,

waits at the door to call as it must do.



Published in The Learned Pig 2017


Rain Poem

All my childhood it rained.
The tall women in the family
fluttered between the wires
taking out the clothes. And sweeping
towards the patio
the water that flooded the rooms.
We put washbowls and chamber pots
to gather the dripping of the leaks
and when they overflowed we emptied them in the drain.
We went about barefoot with our pants rolled up,
all of our shoes protected on a shelf.
Mother rushed to the living room with a sheet of plastic
to cover the encyclopedia.
The light of the flashes of lightning came through the roof.
Under the flood from the sky
my grandmother lit a candle stub
and her prayers did not let it go out.
The electricity went off all night.
I was lucky enough to have a rubber raincoat
my father made for me
to be able to go to school
without my notebooks getting wet.
I wore out shoes by just putting them on.
One day the sun came out.
My father was already dead.

Translation: 2006, Nicolás Suescún

Jotamario Arbelaez