Curriculum for Excellence

Written By: Tamb - Aug• 13•13

With  out­stretched arms she opened

 a world at first above our heads.

‘Leap before you Look’ she read

and we flew

cap­tive in her hands for a year.

In back rows she found Romeos

will­ing to die before their peers;

pig­gies, lost or cast away

were offered other parts to play.


We fol­lowed lines knowing

there would be arms

opened to us

if we should stumble

or fall.






Tam Beirne copyright

Waking up on Portobello

Written By: Tamb - Aug• 01•13

I ran on sand with saf­fron monks

fly­ing kites we’d spent that morn­ing making.

With paper and sticks bear­ing Bud­dhist wheels

we car­ried birth­day greet­ings for a man

who just sat still.

In unfolded chairs par­ents watched children

splash and build cas­tles made to timely fall.

Shaded, a cou­ple with faces red

from too much drink

toasted our daft­ness with their cans.


Taut between fin­gers grasping

on to tales of others

I heard the chimes of a Mr. Whippy van.

Let­ting go, I took the path most travelled 

and that has made all the difference.






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Ticket to Hide

Written By: Tamb - Jun• 23•13

Leave me please

hud­dled in the cor­ner of a bare room

hands tied to feet

naked, of course, for the poetry.


Leave ‘what if’ out there.

Wave it like a flag on the ‘if only’ parade

or place it like a sick note in a child’s

out­stretched hand:


Please excuse _______,

she/he is unable to do today

because of yesterday

and all the days before.





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Just Cry

Written By: Tamb - Jun• 21•13

As teardrops grow on lashes

heavy we hang suspended

in a solu­tion of our own making.

A fallen drop lets a sense of self

seep through Rush­more ways.

Dry your eyes’ a child hears and the adult

remem­bers a hand or any­thing to hand

restor­ing sur­face agreements.


Observe the father who sips through the day

stag­ger­ing and scat­ter­ing his chil­dren away

pound­ing the ice for a child in his care

sod­den for­ever in his hole of despair.


Whose hurt is stopped up in a bro­ken down home

where a toy break­ing infant play­ing alone

finds a pros­trated mother lying stripped bare

under some pass­ing uncle’s repair?


Lie on a blan­ket and cra­dle your brother

hold him in sleep as you once dreamed together

of sweets and treats and flags in the air

before words became weapons and fam­i­lies could tear.


As teardrops fall

cries burst on a moment’s penetration

are touched and dried

foun­da­tion applied.

But sift the ruins of a pro­tected site

re-find old earth with care­ful digging

touch the wells of our ancient selves

and evolve ever gen­tly through a tear.





Tam Beirne copyright

Man and Boy

Written By: Tamb - Jun• 16•13

For­ever framed on a piano never played

a dim­pled judge in toi­let roll wig

sus­pends judge­ment with a hammer

just like daddy’s.


Still know­ing not to carry wet

through the house, he strips by the fire.

Taller than me he smells of trees

and sweat lost in clothes drying

crum­pled on a horse, like the paper

I now stuff his work boots with.




Tam Beirne copyright


Written By: Tamb - May• 24•13


like you or them

makes me anonymous.







Tam Beirne copyright



In Dreams You’re Mine

Written By: Tamb - May• 15•13

Each night I dream comfortably

tak­ing your face off with an axe:

one-two-threeing an image

that hacked into all I hold dear

under me and mine.


You have my back-up now.


In play­grounds softer than before

chil­dren still hide or hurt or lose their treat

when cap­tured by your size; but I know

what all old teach­ers know–

the fat boy always squeals when pinched.


Through dif­fer­ent bars I see you pull

till oth­ers spill and bleed a cut

rare for dis­clos­ing at improper time.

You have no need to break a trust

some once held safe in your hands.


Come, roam with me in soft­est sleep

through lul­laby and rhyme

for­ever lies a place for you

when­ever I incline.

Rest here at peace in break­ing light

bound by propriety’s way–

but I will call when dark

and with mer­est whimsy








Tam Beirne copyright.





Saturday Take-away

Written By: Tamb - May• 01•13

A red bull crashes through The China Palace

scat­ter­ing chips curry sauce no lice please

over those who look down.

On a shelf, Simon sim­ply says

OK’ to a woman danc­ing with a dog

and a nation takes his lead.


Later, in Casualty,

police­men sit chained to youths

plas­tered and unaware

of the sar­coma rendering

an out­wardly well body








Tam Beirne copyright




Indian Sleeper

Written By: Tamb - Apr• 22•13

To car­riage to car­riage to carriage.


I walked through classes like a Head

see­ing a new day open in a drawn world.

On softer bunks fat men farted and scoffed

with stained fin­gers while cov­ered women

plaited daugh­ters’ hair, preparing them

for the sta­tion they would in time arrive.

In the  lower form

I saw hun­gry young men

break­ing  into new  businesses

on line next to babies  still feeding

from empty breasts.


I stood on the plate with excluded men shar­ing bread and cigars

watch­ing boys play cricket in pass­ing fields.





Tam Beirne copyright




A Nation Groomed

Written By: Tamb - Apr• 09•13

Now then now then now then

no one can hear

lis­ten to the music:

‘There’s a kind of hush

all over the world


Let’s play that again.


Now then now then now then

sit nice



Hold it

nearly done

and smile.


Now then now then stop it

the game’s up

everybody’s talk­ing.

Now then

set­tle down

close your eyes

not a sound.





Tam Beirne copyright