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By John Dullaghan


Dedicated to

My wife, Frances


my children

Katie Marie

and John Robert


Poetry Sections

Best (Of The Rest) pg. 9

Family pg. 59

Football pg. 81

Politics pg. 91

Misc. pg. 99

Group Home pg. 123

Early Poems 1992 - 1993 pg. 143

Early Poems 1994 pg. 168

Early Poems 1995 pg.189

Early Poems 1996 pg. 199

Early Poems 1991 – 1st yr pg.207



(Of The Rest)


Our Life


Our life, is


And our life, is

A constant


And our life's a relation

One with unending


And fleeting elation; but life

When at it's best

Inspired by love -

Is creation.


Future Success

Never let someone

Else’s anger

Provide for your

Un happiness

You can, and will

Find your very own...

And never allow

Someone else’s pain

To prevent you from


To achieve

Your dream...

And never


Allow someone else’s failure

To ruin your future


Published by “The Advocate”, NY

and “Parnassus Literary Journal”, GA

Correct Usage

I saw a friend

And called him

"Sir" -

He said

Not me -

Don't call





for a living...

I told him

That is exactly

When the expression




Published by “The Advocate”, NY


My Duty

I didn't do my duty, see

Because I didn't write


I had to sell some shoes

And shirts,

Today, you see?

Uncomfortable situations

I did avert…

Many issues, did I skirt, because

Evidently, my opinion

May pervert

Or convert some simple soul...

I haven't done my duty, see

I didn't live my word, today

I held opinion back

And followed a narrow track

I gave the world the best of me, now Nothing else is left in me, but


I've done my duty


May not pay, but...

Handed a book of poems the other day to the older black woman who lived across the street the one who’d always been nice to us when no one else would even speak

to us whites at the end of the block, we heard whispers and Spanish whenever we were within earshot, would insure the proper distance, but not her,

and the next time we saw each other She said, “That one about Death and dying and your friend in the ditch accident and can’t take all the death anymore...

that one I really liked, that

one made me cry...

My son died, you know

he was young, your age, just turned thirty four and I get depressed now, I see a therapist and all that but those were so true, I loved them...

Thank you so much

for sharing them with me.”

after I thank her for the compliments I thought...

Money, sure as hell

isn’t everything.



Not Like This

(Martin Grenzhauser, 7/17/96)

At first, his feet

Must’ve sunk a good foot

or two. And he probably didn’t think Much would come of such

A stupid thing as mud

Sliding up around the ankles

Steady climbing velvet noose…

Rest assured he did not panic.

But next the sludge broke open

the six inch gushing water main

Filling the eight foot ditch

With water, 1,500 gallons per minute As mud caved –

Graves were made

In a matter of seconds

The water rose up to his head…

Panic. Anchored to the Earth

By less dirt

than he’d shaken off his football pants Less than he’d scraped

From his fingernails

In his short life…

Not him –

Not now…


Like this.

No More (Tired)

I’m tired of death

Friends dying, kids

Of friends dying, I’m tired

of dying

a little bit inside

Every time

I’m tired of not


And sometimes

When I can take no more




Great Divide

I know what not to make of death

I only know I feel his breath

As one more somber friend of mine

Marches toward the great divine.

Smoking Selection

Without a smoke

I reach, into

The overflowing tray

Fertile ground

From another day

For a butt to smoke

'Cause I don't mind

The wasted rind

If, and when

I am in

This kind

Of bind.



Our lives

Are in such

A delicate

Sort of balance

That we have become


Fearing any

Kind of change

Cowering, before

The unknown


Published by

"Parnassus Literary Journal", GA and "Writer's Exchange", IL

Love and Kindness

The smallest act of kindness

Can turn the darkest day -

Enlightening the sorrow filled

With love as sunshine’s ray.




As men we are fooled -

(Women and Children, too)

By fact and perception

Ourselves and our minds

-Our Ego-

At the source of deception.


What The Hell Was That?

I sense a figure fleeting,

But the image is evasive -

And turning quickly

From the meeting

I confront my senses,


What the hell was that?



Déjà Vu (Don't I Know You?) The game we are playing, well

I've been here before -

And your attempts

At lucidity

Reflect instead

Your stupidity…



Sugar coated sugar water -

Mountain Dew, I gotta have it

Warm, cold, or a little old

I don't care...

I just need it

Need it

Need it.



Now THAT'S Nasty

A sneeze

I saw


Unsightly disease

Through the air

With the greatest

Of ease...

So cover your goddamn mouth


A Quest(ion) for Love

If not lost in love

Is not love then lost?

If love is but a halfway measure

At what cost the smaller pleasure?

And is it love

And love alone

Through which people live?


So the quest(ion) remains


Endless; At every turn

We cannot ignore

The gnawing yearn...

And we seem to deplore

The constant burn

Could it be that man

Will never learn

Just what his love

Is for?

Published by “The Advocate”, NY



Yeah... Well

With friends

You get


And with the good

You'll find some bad

But only love can bring

The worst you ever had.

Published by “The Advocate”, NY

and “Parnassus Literary Journal”, GA

The Eyes Have it

One needs

Tangible proof

To accuse

And have someone believe

You; But I have all

The proof I need,

-I've been convinced-

The proof is in

Your eyes; Although they try

To lie

To me.



Again, This Time With Feeling

I enjoy most a feeling

To set my mind reeling

Intense and creating

A vision from someone

Who is truly believing.



o Out And Play!

Inside, outside

It's all the same to me...

Just don't you sit and watch -

That fucking TV



Oh, yeah…

There is an underlying


To the world, to

This life

And to allow

Any extended

Feelings of happiness

Towards it

proves to be

a grave mistake...

I gladly make

and regretfully


I Can't Get No...



All pleasure

Somehow defies


And elation

Of minute


Soon passes us by...


Learning Nothing, Knowing All

We need the quick review

We need to know the score

We want it in a paragraph

And we want nothing more...

Published by “Parnassus Literary Journal”, GA


Take your lot and like it –

The world would seem to say...

And if you can't, just fake it –

Can't change it anyway...



I need someone to listen

Someone to lend an ear

But no one cares to hear me

No one will shed a tear

If all my work's for nothing

As in my heart I fear.

Madness (Genius of Heart)

Most madness has

The scent of sorrow

As madness steals

Dreams of tomorrow...

What madness means

Is lost on man

Yet he seeks it out

Whenever he can; we see

Life tears apart

The genius of the heart, until

All that one has left

Is creation of their art.

Published by

“The Advocate”, NY 9'93


Afraid To Disagree

(Repression & Denial)

Most people would rather

Be in line with popular opinion

Than to be unpopular

-ly and factuallyCorrect

Never contradict about

What really matters; never

Religion or

Politics, of course, no no no

(Focus on your favorite

Distractions, sports or pop culture BS

Whatever keeps you sleepwalking…

Anything but what really matters)

Go along to get along

Agreeing to agree

Afraid to be uncomfortable

Afraid to disagree, we


Scurry off to work, and back

Moles blindly gorge and rest; Hide

Quietly, and all too briefly

Then out again, life is constant

-ly demanding, we are led around

By the nose, and

It would seem that no one notices

It would seem that no one knows

But I know

Repression and denial

Whenever I smell

It’s stench.



An Idea of The Relative Importance of Things

I only deal in facts

In the way that I can sense them

What I see is my perspective

If nothing else...

We own interpretation.

Food like substances”

(Affect the bottom line)

Cheap food is usually unhealthy

Food. We spend much less per capita Feeding ourselves and our families

than most countries –

At great cost to our health.

Packaged, over processed

Less nutritious, it’s no longer

A question, to me

Of what are we thinking, it’s obvious…

We are not giving our food, or

Ourselves, any thought.

If it’s true that we are

What we eat, we are our own worst…

Suicidal enemy

We are allowing ourselves

To accept cheap, corporate

Waste; Packaged into

Attractive “food like substances”.

The corporations will never care

Except about their bottom lines


We force them to…

Make it right.



The Difference (wannit?) The thing you can’t


The thing you don’t, and cannot –


Is just how bad

A person real y wants


Desire is immeasurable, yet…

Makes all the difference

In the world.

Talent, dedication and


Finding your true talent

What you love to do

Dedication to the practice of your talent And aiming to exceed

Your personal best

Topped by your heart felt enthusiasm Wil lead to happiness, and

Maybe, even success

Beyond your wildest imaginings.


Look Within

(Understanding God)

Our Elders like to say they know

These mortal men who try to show

They were not sold on mere fools gold Retell these lies ‘til they grow old…

Religion does not know

Or show –

The way to God; Religion

Gets in the way of knowing God

They worry now, as blood thins cold The “sacred” words begin to mold

Just over the shoulder, they sense the breath And see the truth in impending death Religion does not know

Or show – The Way

to God; and your Religion, certainly Is not the only way to finding God

Cling to the lies, they still hold dear Open their eyes, too late, it’s clear Now feel alone, to face the fear, they see Finally! There’s no monopoly on faith.

Religion does not know

Or show –

The way to God; religion mostly

Gets in the way of understanding God.



True enough (Truth Hurts) Everyone claims to love

the Truth

But everyone sure seems to hate

To hear it, when the truth

Hits home so bad, that it



You Never Know

Get used to someone

Saying no...

It's a part of life

The way it goes...

Remember, though

You still must ask

Because, in life –

One never knows...

Published by “The Advocate”, NY


Blind Spot

What are you hiding that everyone sees?

What can’t you see that you scream to the world?

What face are you hiding –

though there’s just no denying...

What lie are you telling that no one believes?

Blissfully Blind

What is my blind spot? What can’t I see?

Why do I feel the world’s lying to me?

What is important and just what is not?

I see that your lies are the things that I’ve got...

What makes a life comfortable, of course, I have not Body in pain and out of reach bills, those?

Those I have got, but above of it all, Great kids are my blessing,

so I’ve just got to mention

I still feel like I’ve conquered the world.


Still Broke

I own many things

That money cannot buy

Family, lover, many friends

My means are for these ends...

But what this money buys

It seems

Avoids me too



Be kind

and patient

These qualities are rare

And reap rewards

you've never known.


With, Thank You

There are no small


Each owns

A special taste...

There is a fullness

To every flavor

Just ask the man

Who would try and live


Published by “The Advocate”, NY

Viagra, Levitra etc. (sex pills) It’s funny when the sex pill ads

Tell us we need their product

But only if we’re healthy enough

Not to need them in the first place Kind of like a bank, I guess

Who wants proof that you don’t need The money

Before they can offer you any.



Be careful, when

Reaching for the sky...

Observe what's just -


You, because

You may end up -

With handfuls

Of shit.

Caution: Slow Pedestrians Ahead!

Autos have the right of way

Mostly just because

They weigh...



Bulls eye

Finding the easiest target

Or striking

At the weakest point, is

The most detestable

Of all attacks;

Proving only...

A glaring weakness -

In oneself...

Children, Children!

Rude and inconsiderate

With your flawless rationale

Running childlike schemes

And the tension ever building...

You can only run away

As your problems go unchecked

You are conquered by the day

Because of blatant selfishness

And your immaturity



I don't care about Ty Cobb.

I don't care about his racist viewpoints actions or afflictions. I don't care to see a movie about Ty Cobb. Not after I've heard two radio personalities, dwell on

babble on about

his life, about his habits (good,

work), about


At all.

On strike


and beyond ?

I don't care if Ty Cobb

ever worked

a day in his life. Or ever beat his wife. There is no baseball.

It's dead right now.

Ty Cobb?

Him too.



The first thing

That jumps into your mind

Isn’t always the best

Thing to say; believe what you know…

And its rarely the best, thing

You could have come up with; But on the other hand –

Too much time to think

Can also cause problems, of

it’s own

But as a general rule,

You should compose yourself

And think before you speak

It really can make all the difference.





Lost and Found

Lost my focus

Lost my way

I am

Without my wife and kids today

My lifelines are gone

Without a trace; I am

Surrounded by the echoes

Of their vacant space


I find myself when they get home

No longer face the world alone

My children share their sheer delight Through them I see what’s good and right Of course –

There are always better things to do When the world no longer calls to you Found my focus, found my way

My kids still always make my day



Rebecca (Niece at six months)

...And so, now

You have come to a place

Where one can say

"Look at your legs, baby

These are yours,

To do with as you choose...

And these are your hands, you see

This, switch

It will bring light

Into the room

Over and over

on off on off on off...

And look, there! in the mirror!

Those two are we

This one is you

And there is me."

We must never forget

That she is now and always will be Her very own entity

And we must teach this miracle, yes For now...

But her mind

Will always be her own;

And she has no limits, these

Are taught. She is her own

Universe; And the universe

Can be hers...

If we allow her to believe.


When Love Is True

Understanding is something

Whose value is great -

In silence, true love

Can still communicate...

For the purest of love

Has no need for chatter

All or nothing in common

It's just love that will matter

And our love is not shown

Through kind words alone

And a love is not shown

Just in common ground known...

But it's seen in the silence

When all words are spent

And you sit back and wonder

Where all the time went..

And in this awkward moment

You get a knowing glance

And know nothing can challenge

Your loves' anchored stance.



You, too?

Quiet moments spent

When words need not be said

Are cherished, and remembered

Fondly as the best

Times I've ever had.

Nothing Better

(Sweet Memory)

Life tastes just divine today

My troubles have gone far away

I think I’ll dream away this day

With memory too sweet to say

But here goes –


My family is my energy

Delivering pure life to me

The way they act, it makes me think…

My family is in love with me!



Thanks again (On Hope)

The Question of money

Rings clear in my head

Once again -

No money in

My poetry

And I'm out of "work"

Again; But my life’s'

Work, is in reality

"Cut out for me", because I wish to write

More poetry, and

She can never


Me, so I survive

On hope

Thanks to my girl

Friend and Family...

One and all.

Thanks again.


My Father

My father gave his life for me.

He gave his time -


For me and mine, working

Working, more

Work. Free time given

Away so we, may enjoy

Our time away, from the every day

School - Play. Providing us

with all we needed -

Sacrificing, where he could

The more he would, the less

We heard

My father gave his life