Tom Moloney

A regular reader at the White House Poetry Revival, Tom Moloney grew up in Raheenagh, Co. Limerick, Ireland. He now lives in Broadford, four miles from there, where he has his own grocery business. He has primary degrees in Arts, Business and Social Science as well as a Masters degree in Cultural Studies. He is a regular contributor at poetry readings in the South of Ireland.



Published in 2009, Tom's first collection, 'My Register', was published in 2009 by Linden Publishing Services Ltd. (ISBN 978 1 905487349) 













It's Really About


He is simply like one in a hurry

Where the thought is always going to be

Blunt, its less-than-romantic circuitry

Making him a cut-to-the-chase lover,

Nicknamed after his one-way tendency

To ape Aristotle's imprimatur

To be the only premise of story.


But more than that model could ever be

He searches for the one word to be sure

To give him the voice to say it's about

The essence - one thing and one thing only

Even though other lovers may hail

The multiple chimes of a midnight bell

To be more like it than the one about.





Divine Comedy


Throughout his ex-life he'd heard about being

Assumed naked to a new beginning.

He'd stand there like one found-out, about to plea

How sorry he was for always doubting

Through body's words like the sure head-shaking.

He'd promise to make amends 'till the last day,

Be led by his new buddy Virgil, knowing

That the pits of the Inferno were just


What to expect from Dante's Comedy;

And even if he didn't see his way

He'd seek sanctuary, in between crying

"This place is no five-star hotel, damn it,

More like a 17th Century French dungeon;

And the smell; it smells of Charon's cargo.

Faulty karmic winds must have hurled me

Onto the path of someone else. I see


A gatekeeper, his latest job, checking;

Palestinian, Jordanian maybe,

 Short-tempered, left wife and everything;

Fisherman, first pope, keeper of the faith,

Messenger boy; said he wouldn't deny.

I'll ask if there's a Café on-site

For a cup of coffee, a place to rest,

To be quiet, to more fully die."








Balthazar told astronomers years later,

that he loved surprises in the way

The sky delivered Jesus up a mountain.


Outside the stable, on the night in question

He remarked to Caspar that he had never seen

A  new-born Child looking so divine;

Euphoric, as he confided to Melchior,

"The arthritis in my knees seems to have gone.

You saw how I struggled to kneel in there."

He spotted donkey dung on his sandals

But something told him to let well alone,

Just as he had left no e-mail address,

Placed no calling card on

Top of the frankincense during adoration,

 No contact number if the Child ever

Wanted to emigrate to Arabia for

Work, to see the wonders of the East,

To go on a student exchange for a year.


He took a deep breath, climbed on

Molly, his camel, then displaying

A bit of culture, he turned

To his star buddies, his right hand waving,

 Tongue-in-cheek, "long live the kings;

 au revoir. "

He reined Molly then to turn army left,

At the same time giving a final

Backward glance towards the sky, to marvel

A second at the brightest Star of all.


Molly farted, disturbed the moment's magic,

Jolting Balthazar to plan on his back.

He'd return home by a different route,

Turn left to avoid the M-1,

Its guaranteed checkpoints. To begin

He bent forward on Molly in order

To elude the cameras of Big Brother,

The foreign state he was passing through,

Comparable to a Nazi country of the future.

Remaining focussed, he held his nerve,

Whispered hut-hut to Molly.


Being a king of the desert, he spent

 Hours, days, weeks alone. It meant

He had developed the habit of talking to

Himself; a lot.

Molly was used to his self-debate.

Balthazar went on,

"if the media get wind of where I've been

I'll never get back incognito to my harem."

As he bent forward, he continued,

"I just hope, Molly, that the guards think you're

One of the many strays, in from the desert."   


Ten kilometres down the dirt road

Leading to the desert, he stopped,

Switched on his tranny,  tuning into

Desert news on the half-hour on Lyric.

He liked to listen to up-to-date bulletins.


The murder overnight of holy innocents

Was the lead story. Mass murder

Like the futuristic night of the long knives

In Germany.

His blood pressure rose to think

That might was right. He regretted

Not bringing his laptop when he set out.

He could have sent a message of protest

To his Twitter page or gone viral with it.

He left the goddamn country forever.


Thirty-three years later, while he was resting

In between writing and thinking

About justice and beauty and so on

In the company of the favourite one

Of his one hundred and fifty wives

He turned on, out of habit, the News

On the half-hour on Desert Lyric.

Charlie Arafat was reporting live from

The via dolorosa on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

By then Balthazar was relatively deaf

So he had to turn up the tranny to catch

What Charlie was reporting.

Balthazar gathered that the Passion was a play,

An unusual development for Desert Lyric.

He continued to listen, was delighted to think

That Jesus had grown-up to become

An actor with a lead role in a dramatic play

About good and evil. Balthazar mused,

"There was something about that kid

In the manger. I knew he'd be successful

At whatever he tried his hand at.

Just then Charlie Arafat reported Jesus

As saying, "weep not for me but for yourselves

And for your children." Balthazar thought,

" His performance is so authentic. Good Lord,

Correct me if I'm wrong on this one but

If he keeps this up, he's going to be around

For a long time to come."


They said:

'For years I have been listening with delight to Tom Moloney giving his thoughtful, humorous viewpoint on aspects of the human condition, at venues from the White House Poets in Limerick to the Poetry Festival at Newcastle upon Tyne. This collection brings those reflections together for appreciation by a wider audience'

- Louis Mulcahy


'Although 'after the boom came the recession', these poems hark back nostalgically to 1963, with a passionate innocence almost as defiant as Kavanagh's.

- Medbh McGuckian


'Tom's well-crafted poetry is always entertaining. His philosophy of true-to-life filters through on powerful emotive subjects and with a sweet uniqueness. - Donal O'Flynn

'Tom Moloney writes with the twinkling eye of a story maker and the voice of a storyteller. There is a community of awareness in his work, which is at once, modern and traditional. His poems say 'walk with me' rather than 'hear this'. If you do, you will delight in the journey and likely chuckle along the way. A sage in the making.' 

- Brian Blaney