The War is a Class War

David G O'Sullivan


This war is a class war

Because he could not find a girl to love

Or a friend to greet,

Because his father left after one night in his mother,

He took a gun to school

shot at those he thought were happier

those once happy teens

dying in the halls, screaming with terror.

The boy with the gun had nothing to lose

So what could be done to stop him?



Because he saw his father lose job after job

And turn to drink

Because his father hit him

As he was hit by his father before.

Because the time the police stopped him on his way home

And he was already angry.

He pulled away and struggled and was shot.

No hero, bad enough to knock you over and rob you

But the hungry need a place at the table.



The prisons stand as…

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Angie of office 93

David G O'Sullivan

She works in office 93,

A third floor view of a parking lot and a tree.

It is nice enough. At least she can see something.

A cold cup of tea upon her desk

A telephone and a computer

Stare her in the eyes

And ask her, ‘what is the point of all this?’

He left her last week, emailed her a note,

‘Get checked,’ it read, ‘I may have given you…’

She shudders.

‘I got it on the night I didn’t come home.’

She thought about the email and sighed.

Now she looked at the cold cup of tea

And dreaded having to get another

She didn’t want to have to talk to anyone.

The street at five was terrible and cold

The clouds hung on the tops of the buildings

And the advertising signs glowed redder than hell.

She let herself into her small cheap room

with no…

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For Stella, who makes the stars fall.

David G O'Sullivan

A star fell in the field behind our house

But it fell silently,

Only lighting up the sky for an instant.

I was lucky to have been watching the night

And see the flash come.

I went to see our son

Asleep in his bed

He slept softly, gently, unaware of the universe.

His mother sits reading by a window.

When she was young, she fell in love with a statue of Jesus

In Saint Patricks

She took me to see the church, and I looked at the statue

Jesus stood, thin, melancholy, beautiful.

She told me the story of how she would come and pray

Because she loved his face.

She looks up and smiles at me

And the world spins as if I am drunk in a dream.

I walk out into the night field

And look for the star.

I find a glow in the woods, but…

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Below the city clock

David G O'Sullivan

She has a dream in her eyes

And heaven in her lips.


Treat her gently

So her love will grow.


The window, wide open

Allows the breeze to wander in,

Lifting the white curtains and reminding me of childhood.

She has a pair of jade chopsticks on the dresser.

Her books line the windowsill

And fill her bookcase.

The time has come to go,

Rain falls gently in the street

Turning the world black and shiny.

When it rains

Go to your window

And watch the drops rush down the pane,

They race and join, until they disappear.

Breath on the glass, my love,

And see the world mist.

Your sweet breath, your sweet touch,

Hides the world and I can rest.

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Walking home to you

David G O'Sullivan

Along the streets of the city

I pass the open windows and see the yellow lights

Blazing in the cream rooms.

I can smell dinners cooking,

I see the children running to the front doors of home

after playing, the afternoon sun lighting their games,

but now the long shadows of the buildings create pools of darkness.

I hear music playing as I pass, someone speaking Russian,

A young couple fighting, their shouts rattling and short,

I hear two people making love, somewhere upstairs.

These are the sounds of the city.

Nothing is happening that will make the news,

But these are the things that keep the city rolling.

Roll on great city,

With the dreams of teenagers in their rooms, eyes of their idols on the walls.

The cars are parked

Pray in your Church

Hold your eyes to heaven

And remember your room as a teenager

Where you…

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The search

David G O'Sullivan

She held me and searched my body for a tattoo

And found one.

It sits on my right hip

It reads

Age Quad Agis.

She laughed and ran her fingers over the words.

“What does it mean?” she asks.

“It’s Latin,” I answer. “It means, what you do, do well.”

She looked at me, listening to what I said, listened still

After I had finished speaking.

The wind blew the curtain back and we could see down into the city.


There is something changing out in the streets

The world is moving toward something new

A world where every phone sings the same warning

To twelve million at once

Where every eye is fixed on the end result

Where incompetent and mad Caesars strive to rule the world

Where Augustus and Lincoln have died, and we wait for another great person

But what wars, what insanity must we live…

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David G O'Sullivan

They put the boot in when you are down

They know just where to kick

And it hurts so much more.

Give me a truck on a busy city street.

It’d be so quick

A couple of tons at speed to smash me into darkness.

It’s the slow death

Of a thousand pointless conversations

Of being stuck somewhere you don’t want to be,

Of being in a job for thirty years

And waking up too late to find

The hundred thousand cuts have finally led to your death

That is most painful.

Throw open the window

Climb out and run.

They might say you’re strange

But they didn’t love you to start with.

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Volt Lane

David G O'Sullivan

The town shut off a lane and threw a party.

1000 strangers, eating, drinking, listening to music.

Humanity squeezed between two tall buildings.

I stand in a crowd, utterly alone.

A small man and a blonde woman stand next to me.

The small man is a doctor.

I turn and look at the lights strung between the walls.

The lights change colour. Above us, the night sky shines with the last rays of sun

mixing with the moon.  

I feel in such a position of weakness as I always do in crowds

And I feel…


Out of breath


Like walking

And I walk.

I think of her, she is away, gone a long way, maybe she won’t come back.

It is alone that we feel most frightened.

We have to be alone many times,

Some die alone.

Even in a crowd you can die alone.

My idea…

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Mostly Mr. Hyde.

David G O'Sullivan

There’s a guy I know,

And he sits around all day getting mad,

Or he works at some store or wherever he can get a job

And then he goes out at night running.

He looks for fights; he looks for trouble.

He’s crazy, and he’s angry

He’s never been in a stable relationship.

He starts dating girls; then he starts to agonize about their past boyfriends

Or over thoughts that he’s not good enough for them

Or they’re not good enough for him,

And he starts to break them down and drive them away.

I tell him he has low self-esteem

I tell him not to worry about the things he worries about

But it only gives him more things to twist over.

He tucks a knife into his running shorts

And then he’s off into the night, running all year around,

In summer heat or winter rain,


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