Author Archives: John A Fingleton

About John A Fingleton

Born in Cork in the Republic of Ireland. Now living in Paraguay . Waiting to move again.

Soul Womb


I love when mist rolls in to kiss
This wild West rugged shore,
And Atlantic waves come crashing off the sea.
Seagulls screech like long lost souls,
Above this shrouded land,
Where the passage of time, could never be.

Shadowy shapes from the grey escape;
And flicker just beyond my eyes,
As if tempting me to join them in their dance,
Dé Danann and the Fir Bolg ?
In their first battle of Mag Tuired?
Diarmuid and Gráinne, sadly in their lost romance?

I feel their time; although it is not mine
Like Oisin, I have an urge to go,
And reside within the soul womb of that place.
I mark my steps, then hesitate,
Like trying to hold a shadow in my hand,
It draws me but just stays out of reach,

Dé Danann and the Fir Bolg
First battle of Mag Tuired
Diarmuid and Gráinne,
The above are all references to events in Irish Mythology

Picture: CLIODNA of the fair hair, in Celtic mythology she is the Goddess of the Sea, the Afterlife, and as the Celtic Aphrodite, a Goddess of Beauty. One of the Tuatha de Danann, resides in Tir Taingaire, the Land of Promise, an Otherworld where there is no violence or death.

© Fingleton (januar 2017) (Löst Viking)öst-Viking/746104845419195




At Stamford Bridge – The Lost Saga of Bergþórr




Poems from the Norse-lands

At Stamford Bridge – The Lost Saga of Bergþórr

York had now surrendered,
Hardrada’s army controlled that land,
He demanded food and hostages;
Before continuing his campaign.
Three-hundred ships of Norsemen
Had come to fight the English there;
To claim the crown that Harold wore
When Edward died without an heir.

Tostig Godwinson, brother of the new crowned king,
Joined his forces with the Norse,
He had wanted that same prize,
But in the contest he had lost.
While William Duke of Normandy,
Another claimant for the throne-
Was assembling his great army,
For a decisive battle, yet to come.

Agreement for the hostages,
Stamford Bridge – was the selected place.
And Hardrada, confident that Harold was far away,
Left large troops and armour, at their Riccall base.
Their deployment at Battle Flats,
Again was not the best;
Some on east bank of the Derwent,
Others were on the west.

But Harold drove his troops at speed,
To reach there in four days;
And took the Norsemen by surprise,
They were totally unprepared.
Those on the west bank suffered first,
Some escaping by the bridge,
Others tried to form a shield-wall,
But without armour – all were killed.

It was then that Bergþórr, took his stand,
Alone he blocked the bridge,
This Dane axe swung a thousand times
And took many English heads.
Again and again they tried to pass,
But they fell, while where Bergþórr stood;
His mighty axe cut through the air,
The Derwent, ran red with their blood.

Then one earl on the English side,
Saw a way to kill the large invader,
He put spear-men in half-barrels tubs,
That floated down the river.
Their war spears took him through the balls,
And pierced his fighting heart,
And Bergþórr (although unnamed by some)
Went to his final rest amongst the Gods.

They trampled on his broken body,
Attacked the Norsemen’s final stand,
And although ‘Orre’s Storm’ came to their rescue,
They were outnumbered three to one.
Hardrada and Tostig fell;
Harold took the day.
Of the three-hundred ships that came there,
Only twenty-four ships sailed away.

But Harold’s victory would be short lived,
For William, also came,
And within three weeks of his victory;
He would also fall amongst the slain.

© Fingleton (novembre 2016) (Löst Viking)öst-Viking/746104845419195

Historical Note: Battle of Stamford Bridge, East Riding, Yorkshire, England, on 25th September 1066. Battle of Hastings, 14th October 1066.

Bergþórr, has never been named in any of the sagas until now.

A Scuttling Noise




A tremor of moonlight has withered on the farmyard.
In its passing gray shadows appear
Dropping from eaves,
Scuttling from the straw and between the fallen leaves.

They follow a path only seen by their pink beady eyes.
Hunger for the most grotesque items
Driving their desire,
Shapes already dead, mist from rotten food.

They speak as if insane
As if a rat moon had processed them;
Then they find the grain and fruit,
And quarrel endlessly in the darkness.

© Fingleton (novembre 2016) (Löst Viking)

Photo: Georg Trakl (Reaction to his great poem ‘The Rats’)

Secret Sins




All my secret sins, are blowing in the wind,

And some will fall on virgin snow,

Melting, and leaving small black holes,

That in some way reflect my soul.

They sometimes haunt my dreams;

Even in closed rooms

They enter through closed windows,

And slider under doors.

I kneel in the dark confessional,

Not knowing where to begin.

‘Forgive me Father, for my secret sins.’

© Fingleton (novembre 2016) (Löst Viking)öst-Viking/746104845419195


Dusty Roads



I came down a dusty road and turned towards Memphis,
The first time I’d ever been in Tennessee,
I thought I saw the ghost of Elvis down on Jackson Avenue,
But then I saw him once again on South Front Street.
You were a country singer up from Texas,
Trying to make a name, against the odds;
While I was just a drifter, a failed writer and a poet,
Somehow our paths were charted by the Gods.
We found a small apartment just off of Greenlaw,
And I found a job working in a bar,
You kept trying to make it in the ‘big time’
While my life turned more and more towards beer.

Then one night, lady luck turned your way,
An offer in a big new travelling show,
When you came home, I could see the stars in your eyes;
And realised a poor boy like me, just had to go.
So I wish you luck, and all that it will bring you,
I hope some day to see your name up there in lights,
But I’m riding down these dusty roads
Looking for the highway-
I’m riding down these dusty roads again tonight.

© Fingleton (novembre 2016) (Löst Viking)öst-Viking/746104845419195

The Slab



What can I tell you now
of this place owned by the dead?
There’s a white slab
scrubbed and washed down
until it has no trace of red.
There’s a coldness there
that tries to seep inside
to chill your bones.
There’s a silence there
that echo’s from the walls
just like a tomb.
There is no sense of breathing there
as if the very air
had lost the will.
But that is not to say-
that everything is still.
No something is here
that cannot escape
although longing to be free.
And some nights when I awake-
sweat drenched, under white sheets
I think that it is me.

© Fingleton (novembre 2016) (Löst Viking)
( posted on Facebook as ‘Place owned by the dead’)öst-Viking/746104845419195

Funeral Rites – Death of a jarl




Poems from the Norse-lands

Funeral Rites – Death of a jarl

For ten days we lay him in his grave,
Until the funeral clothes were sewn,
Then we raised him, and prepared him,
For his final journey home.
The longship has been readied,
With the jarl now placed aboard,
The funeral pyre assembled,
In his hand we placed a sword.
The two horses are selected;
And now that the omens, say it’s good,
We will honour Hárek’s parting,
With the spelling of their blood.

Nuala, the Irish thrall girl,
Has been chosen from the rest,
But the ritual must be followed-
In accordance with our sect;
First there is the washing,
Then she is crowned with flowers,
Next she must go to the tents of men,
And be seeded with their powers.

Only then the Black One will arrive,
To perform the final rite,
And our lord, will sail for Asgard,
Where the Gods will welcome him this night.

© Fingleton (novembre 2016) (Löst Viking)öst-Viking/746104845419195

Berry Picking



We plucked the thorny blackberry bush,
Scratches – blood mixed with raisin sap;
Jam jars and tin cups filled to the brim-
Full of the fermenting fruit.
Stained mouths, from overeating,
Unripe red on our jerseys,
Tattered mostly from our toil.
Late afternoon on the Togher bus,
Home, with fruit rattling in their jars;
Now it was our mother’s work
To melt and squash the fruit,
Sugared boiling water;
Hardening until it could
Spread on brown bread,
And the pips would crunch
Like soft nuts,
Between our teeth.

© Fingleton (novembre 2016) (Löst Viking)öst-Viking/746104845419195

Shadows of a waltz



The Sun flickering through the leaves,
Danced shadows on my face.
While I hatless, and in brimless thought,
Let them choose their own steps.
A tango changed into a polka,
Followed by a slow waltz;
Birds twittered as if they knew the score,
Or were impatient for the next dance?
Foliage rustling,
Like disguised ballroom dresses in Vienna,
Swirling under the swaying baton, of the wind.

© Fingleton (novembre 2016) (Löst Viking)öst-Viking/746104845419195