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 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