Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Skeleton Head – a poem

By 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. (


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.


My days aren’t numbered yet.

But the skeleton head yells at me


if you come to the party

you never go home.’