His Jacket and other poems

by Damien Healy

His Jacket

His smell lingers around the collar.

Hairs which once grew on that most beautiful of heads.

Now cherished in a napkin held close to my heart.

A torrent of memories overwhelm my senses.

The last time I saw him, complaining about his egocentricities.

Making fun of him about his lack of reality in this modern day.

His attitude made me so angry.

Probably because I was a carbon copy.

Receipts unveil his final journeys.

If only I could have voyaged on them with him.

I might have linked his arm and told him my inner affection.

I need to feel his embrace which seemed to get tighter as the years went on.

This jacket is empty but it is all I have left of him.

My voice is stifled by the lump in my throat.

Teeth knitted lips pursed eyes filling up.

How long will I have to wait to see his vibrant smile?

To hear his jocular tone?

To feel his tender yet strong touch?

I could be with him again if I had the strength and courage to follow.

The future is only something written on a calendar.

It has no meaning for me anymore.

The past is where I reside, hugging this jacket and regretting all my inactions.




Heart attack


My heart thumping with excruciating pain.

Back arching involuntarily.

Hands clasped at my chest trying to stop it from breaking through my ribcage.

Fireworks all around me, flashes of red, green and blue.

Sounds from the outside world become duller.

Overtaken by the beat of my heart.

Fast, slow, none, it’s back and fast again.

Willing my heart back into rhythm.

A warm comforting feeling reminds me of my childhood as I urinate.

Breath becoming shallower.

Euphoria and peacefulness arrives as my heart stops thumping.

Dark shadows and muffled sounds behind a veil of twilight.

Oh no, I’ve got a hole in my sock. How embarrassing.

An empty silent darkness embraces me.

And then there is nothing.




Beside me

Feel the breath of a lifeless entity.

In shadows it gestures for others to follow.

A systemic inconvenience defiling the truth.

With icy touch and lifeless aptitude.

To mumble inconsistencies and half-truths.

At a junction with no reprieve.

Forever an identity lost in the sounds of back channeling.

Where a pin prick can bleed the sands of time.

There we can meet and behold each other’s divinity.

This shadow grows and excludes the sun but it is true to the moon.

Feel the breath of a lifeless entity.




Damien Healy is from Dublin Ireland and has been living in Osaka, Japan for the past twenty years. He has an MA in Applied Linguistics and he works as an English language teacher in university. He has written three textbooks for the Japanese university market and has also published some papers on English language teaching. He has had poems published in The weekenders and Ofipress. He has just rediscovered the joys of writing and reading poetry and is fond of writing poetry about nature.

3 poems damien healy_Painting Samuel Barrera detail from Tu Otra Vez

Painting: Samuel Barrera – detail from Tu Otra Vez


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