Very late posting today’s poem for Paul Brookes’ challenge. We were watching the Branagh film Belfast. Great film, great soundtrack. This one was inspired by Gaynor Kane’s Belfast docks and JPL’s smoke stacks. Go to Paul’s blog and read all the responses, it’s always are treat.


There are stars deep the sky,
deep the grass beneath the hedge,
sun dapples on water,
glinting in wild eyes.

Green spreads without begging,
trees, climbing vines,
rivers run.

Light pours from sunsets, sunrises,
lies cradled in the petals of a rose.

We spread grey and grim,
smeared with smoky fingers,
leave rims of plastic filth, our tidemarks,

and at night we create our own stars,
cranked up and humming,
like aircraft aping birds.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

13 thoughts on “Fake”

    1. Thank you!
      I enjoyed Belfast far more than husband did. He found it too saccharine. The opening upset me so much I forgave it the rest. My school was full of kids whose families had been firebombed. We never saw it on the news, the BBC didn’t do live coverage of what was going on. As a child, I couldn’t imagine what it was like for them, but as an adult, I can.
      I felt for the mother, feeling that she was leaving everything and going to a place where people wouldn’t understand them or like them for stealing their jobs. Still, they were Protestants, going to England of their own choosing. The Catholics who were bombed out had nothing, and they went to face hatred and distrust, no compassion.

      1. I think my husband may have enjoyed it a bit more than I did.
        You would feel this more than I did. I remember seeing reports of that time and all the fighting going on there, but it didn’t mean anything to me as a child–except it seemed another distant, violent place. Yes, it is always different seeing these things as adults and mothers.

      2. It was an awful time. The UK government kept a lid on information and the true figures for sectarian murders probably won’t ever be known. It was an utter mess, with the army going its own sweet way, like it did in 1921.

    1. I know it started as a security measure, in the days when you could get your throat slit anywhere outside after dark. But there’s low level street lighting and the light shows that cities seem to think necessary these days, just to be attractive.

      1. They’ve also shown that lots of “safety ” lighting actually doesn’t help at all. And of course as you note much of it now is”look at me” lighting.

      2. City municipalities do everything they can to encourage people to stay out as long as possible. Preferably going from venue to venue spending money.

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