Tom Kelly

The Holy Ghost

I didn’t know;
Christ had thorns stuck in his head,
God Almighty was in everything,
even Goblin pies I hated.

The Holy Ghost a mystery
until he came:
burning coals,
shuggy-boating above my bed,
placing his blood into me.

Smile
(For Father Conlin)

Our priest was a saint,
who else would wear suede boots
turned-up at the toes?

You could taste his prayers;
he bowed to the cross
in the presbytery
with no-one there.

His beatific smile,
like Jimmy Stewart
at the end of,  ‘It’s A Wonderful Life.’


Tom Kelly
is a Jarrow-born poet and playwright who now lives further up the Tyne at Blaydon. ‘The Time Office: New and Selected Poems from Red Squirrel is launched this month.

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