Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Michael J. Whelan

Michael J. Whlean served as a peacekeeper with the Irish Army in South Lebanon and Kosovo. He was 2nd Place Winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2011 and selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series in 2012. His poems and short stories have been published in Cyphers, Crannog and The Moth. (

Raindrop – a poem

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

RAINDROP I hold on by day, but in the night when lonely shepherds tend their flocks bending low from arching lights under an iron sky, the blackness criss-crossed with prayers, laced with phosphorous tracer and laden with soldiers metal, I listen to mosquitoes choosing their moment. The sirens begin to wail but I am dead […]

Bad Days – a poem

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

BAD DAYS The mist peels back for the rainfall, I feel the craziness once more.   In the wild eyes of an old man’s face I see his mirrored thoughts fouled by the bad days just gone, still trapped here in this place.   The sky is falling, lingering mist slowly revealing pain as it […]

Hill 880 – a poem

Monday, February 18th, 2013

HILL 880 (Irish UN position South Lebanon)   Tonight, senses steeled against the black sky, we listen for the warring shadows. The storm is almost upon us. Bursts of coloured tracer attack the hill, bouncing over lost horizons. Phosphorous lights explode, illuminating battered landscapes of death. Below the thunder they cower in the dancing veil […]

Tread Softly – a poem

Friday, February 15th, 2013

TREAD SOFTLY It’s raining, always is, that sticky hazy rain that gets down your neck, behind your ears and saturates your face, your hair as soon as you step from the vehicle even though the uniform is multilayered, your boots get soggy straight away and the pistol grip on the rifle resting in your arms […]

Skeleton Head – a poem

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

SKELETON HEAD Kosovo minefields Out there in the black field a metal skeleton with a helmet on its head studies me – anticipates my every step, tallies my birthdays.   Its grave is tracked with stakes like candles on a cake corralled by barbed-wire lace and yellow tape, waiting for the balloon to go up. […]

The Tide – a poem

Friday, February 8th, 2013

The Tide Silver bodies float on the surface driftwood- reflecting sun. Soldiers fish with hand grenades as shadow birds cluster   flying on white sands under water. I stand on the feet of my shadow arms outstretched – resting on a still sea, bearing no weapons,   the tide is undecided. Identity disks hang from […]