Anonymous on Sarsfield Bridge, Limerick

For T 

In winter rain for the walk

on embankments dressed,

commingled and knew,

shallowed breath and conversation.

Cold and warm the darkness came,

pillowed steam of hob flame.

Woollen heavy, fragranced with spice.

Gave way to petrichor.

The Curragower Sonorous

and we danced from the vine

On the slip in limerence, 

illicit and supine.

But in our harbour sheltered 

and this before the glow,

Hiraeth I know you,

you call to me from then.

– Anonymous

1 - s 2 -s 3 - s 4 - s


Talk as part of Pixelache Living Spaces Festival

Lotte giving a talk about Street Line Critics On Tour as part of Pixelache Helsinki Living Spaces festival.

Photographs courtesy of Steve Maher.

Day 3 of Street Line Critics On Tour in Helsinki

Day 3 of Street Line Critics On Tour in Helsinki. Some fantastic contributions from our Street Line network and some very inspirational additions from passers-by.

Featured Pieces:

“If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are.”

Wendell Berry – Selected by Rochus van der Vaart


Almost Time To Change

What is this?
A girl crying at the edge of the night
With a scissors in her hands
A father running through the firefight with his baby in his arms,
Tell me what it is?
And how could you expect anyone to forgive
Or understand
When heaven and hell
And all those kind of things are
At your command
Tell me jesus
How humanities little man lies face down washed up on the sand,
When time began, was this fate?
Are you fucking there at all?
How can you expect to forgive or understand
When heaven and hell and all those kinds of things
are at your command

Cormac Lyons


A stop sign with the words” just be” ,all around it where the red is usually. (Just be and stop in Finnish?)
Kieran Carey


Passing Through Places

On uncomfortable
Mounted plastic chairs
Making rows of seats
To watch train races
From besides leg-bopping
Paper readers
With grim paper faces
Sits a young boy
Wonder at the world
Reflected in blue eyes
As mother searches frantically
For the ticket stump
Lost somewhere in the
Depths of a designer purse
Unlike him
She’s unaware
Of the spillage of
An ever-busy society
Pouring out of
Mechanical snakes
Headed heedless to
Fulfil already lost pledges
To heartless concrete creditors
They’re just
Rushing by people in
Passing through places
Unaware of
The boy with the blue eyes
Who holds the wonder at the world
In the clutching slippery paws of
For as long as he can
Before the tidal waves of
Societal sewage
Has him jaded, fumbling
For a ticket stump
To take him somewhere
To forget the
Rushing by person
In the now littered
Passing through place
In his chest
The yellowed ticket
A promise of
Letting him tend to
Long lost pledges
Made to satisfy
The stranger spouse
Who’d left
Without ever being there at all
And maybe then, he’ll become
Just another one
Of those heedless, empty
But content
Rushing by people in
Passing through places

Ethan Glavin


‘It’s only a job’ – Elaine Reidy



Tiny fish
In a low – light land
Land of fins
Land of bells
Millions of tiny fish
Live again
Slipping through
Your fingers
I love those tiny fish
Swimming into words
I love those little fish
In Finland.

Brendan Hayes


“The tired old story of a city’s first Starbucks.”

Chris Hayes


The Handbag Shaped Like a Gull

Excuse me sir, but have you seen a woman
with a handbag shaped like a gull?
She would have been holding it by the tip
of its wing, and from its beak it would be
spilling the sky. If you see her enter
the underpass, do not enter after her.
Do not reach for the sky that spills
from her handbag, for it will slice
the ends off your fingers. She keeps
the sea deep in that handbag too,
and a thick sediment of money.
Be warned if you see sediment spilling
from the eye of that handbag shaped
like a gull. That is no money that you
can spend, but the blindness you get
from looking down from above.
The woman with the handbag shaped
like a gull is late for a meeting. The meeting
she is late for is the person she meets
on the way to the trains. Do not meet her.
Excuse me, my darling, but have you seen a woman
with a handbag shaped like a gull?

John W. Sexton


The Love we withhold is
The pain that we carry.

Paul Massey


A place that transports you anywhere. An instant TGV through Europe to the US, from the home of Nokia – staying connected at high speed – with your family at home, knowing you are safe.

Gerard Garrett


‘When the wind is low and the sun is high, with our backs held straight, facing the sky, stepping cautiously into a land unknown, soul beside soul, I know I’ve found home, exploring the world, our eyes at their best , looking for that one place to make our nest , let us sit alone, with the seasons passing us by, into our autumn years, looking back on a life full of highs.’

Patrick McElligott


‘Wrapped in a blanket of hope, asleep in a bed of dreams, my step into eternity is not what it might have been’

Kylie Minogue – selected by Patrick McElligott


Church of Rock
(Temppeliaukio Kirkko)

A spaceship descended
Onto the centre of earth
And beneath its
Disc of copper wire

Crowds gathered
Found refuge
In its vastness and sacredness
With candle light and natural light

Grey stone walls were
No more chilling
Natural rays streamed
Through vertical eyes

Shot through its belly
Like those of Irish New grange
And Brought hope to
All those who thread softly

In this spiritual setting
Beneath the earth
With soft noise, serenity
And Tongues of many strangers

Evelyn Casey


A space that fills the excess, where there is an absence of Place. – Sarah Ward


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Day 2 of Street Line Critics on Tour

Day 2 of Street Line Critics on Tour in Helsinki at the Kulosaari metro underpass. Photographs Anastasia Artemeva and Lotte Bender.
Featured pieces:
On the metro in the rush hour
On the busiest line
Crammed clack clacking carriages
Passing sign after sign
Commuters lost in thought
Doors open, doors close
Getting on, getting off
Sharp tempers, sharp elbows
Margaret O Driscoll
Co Cork
‘It’s only a job’ – Elaine Reidy
Kulosaari Metro Station
The dawn breaks over Kulosaari Metro station
catching the vibrant colours and casting its golden glow
waiting for the nation to arise and go,
to start the day and be on their way
to destinations far and wide
the early commuters sometimes bleary eyed
Now there’s nurse Mick
for the hospital he is bound
where he spends his day tending the sick of the town
Every morning he’s at Kulosaari Metro
Planning the day ahead
Thinking of the patients he’d lost
and grateful for those now ready
to leave their beds
Many a true love blossomed in Kulosaari Metro
in the heady days of youth
In the springtime of the year
when the sun seemed to shine forever
and the lovers will part …never!
many a writer and poet
and people of note
have stood on that platform ….and mused
with a bit of luck they could plot their next book
the main character could be you!!
If only Kulosaari Metro could talk
It would have many a tale to tell
they say’ the ghosts of the past patrol at midnight
checking that all is well
Rita Ryan
I’m an exo-skeleton
My own walking x-ray
A long way from Mulgrave street
My heart at the wrist
Crown of thorns on my feet
My soft parts in your fist
Now shed an icy tear
And tell them I was here.
Brendan Hayes
“Corners shadowed in summer;
clouds radiate in winter.”
– Trista Hurley-Waxali
The Cyclopean Train Approaching Kulosaari
The man with the umbrella made from bats’ wings
is shaking the rain into your face. Each raindrop
is the memory of a missed train. In each train
is a woman with freckles like the spots on a lynx.
Then her face is a lynx’s face; there’s a pleading
songbird between her teeth. The umbrella
of bats’ wings takes to the air, makes a path
through the clouds of flies that have been deputised
as the sun. Suddenly the sun is shattered
into fragments of black glass. You pick a piece
from the ground and your finger bleeds straight away.
It bleeds uncontrollably and you have no choice
but to put your finger into your mouth. Then a train as red
as your bloody finger enters the platform. It is the train
that you have missed all your life. The doors open
with a hiss. The sky above is a deep green. Now is now.
John W. Sexton
From the ticket office
To the stairs
The Labrador
Confidently guides
Then at the escalator top
The blind man
Gathers up his dog
Like Irises
‘Don Marcelino’s Daughter’ – Peterloo Poets, 2001 – Tim Cunningham
From the ticket office
To the stairs
The Labrador
Confidently guides
Then at the escalator top
The blind man
Gathers up his dog
Like Irises
‘Don Marcelino’s Daughter’ – Peterloo Poets, 2001 – Tim Cunningham
1. You are important to so many people.
2. Take a moment to say hi to a stranger.
Michelle Glasheen



Day 1 of Street Line Critics on Tour

Day 1 of Street Line Critics on Tour in Helsinki. Photographs taken by Anastasia Artemeva and Lotte Bender.
Featured Pieces:
They who rushed around, showed me the importance of their goals.
They who looked around, showed me the beauty of my place.
Rochus van der Vaart
The train approaches the station, but I am not ready to board. I’ve packed my suitcase like an actor acquiring props, just for show. Everyone around me, once motionless on benches, rises to the arrival of the long, red box. No longer safe amidst the cover of sitting, I feel exposed in my uncertainty. Maybe I should turn back and go home; “going home” is something my feet prefer to do. But the red box waits on the tracks, patiently, as if it were privy to all of my thoughts, all of my troubles. “All aboard,” it smiles.
Natalie Woociker
New Orleans, LA
What’s that noise?
Whoa! Look at that!
Is it a bird?
Is it a plane?
No, it’s a train,
Here it comes,
The red, long, brick shaped machine,
Proudly gliding to its next stop,
Towards the gates of the earthly heaven, it goes.
By RoBo
If you’re not having fun, you’re not living,
A smile on your face, will show you are willing,
To pass through this station, that ticket you’ve booked,
Shows life rushing by, and you never even looked.
Christy O’ Donnell
A Message From A Far
Hello! So it is You.
Yes You ! Standing there on the platform Looking back at me.
You are the one, for whom I have written this poem.
Yes You!
I am so glad you noticed me And paused for a little while to be with me.
Could this have been a missed moment if you had just past me by unnoticed?
I have spilled -out my thoughts to be carried across the chalk – white ocean like a message in a bottle so you could find Me.
Even though the distance between us is vast.
Still we connect.
And an ocean of chalk away.
Yes it is true! I wrote this poem for you
Only You.
Sheila Fitzpatrick O’Donnell