Scenes of Moderate Violence

By John Moynes

A collection of poems ranging from the funny to the frightening

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Publication date: April 2019

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Scenes Of Moderate Violence is the debut collection from award winning poet John Moynes. Written between 2013 and 2016 it depicts a world recovering from economic turmoil and then collapsing into fear and despair. There is also a bit about a time travelling cowboy who can recite two poems at once.
Between the comic poems, and sometimes in them, themes of war, class struggle, insanity, fantasy and science fiction appear and blend and separate. Literature, or more precisely its practitioners are also given both praise and an enthusiastic kicking.

Many of the poems in this book were written for performance, but unlike many slam poets the author frequently uses traditional forms of verse such as sonnets, ballads and villanelles. As such they are ideal poems to encourage your family to memorise, especially if you want one of your children to be expelled from a good school.

This book is also a useful tool when evaluating a potential suitor. If they laugh at the funny bits and nod sagely at the profound sections then they are clearly a person of intelligence and compassion. If at any point they become aroused you should notify the authorities.

Remember also that a collection of poetry is also a source of peace and solitude in an increasingly hectic, noisy and terrifying world. Just read this book in public and people will give you a wide berth and do their best to avoid eye contact.

Poems from this book have been performed on national radio and onstage at The Abbey Theatre, and some have been set to music by artists working in styles from contemporary art music, to electronica to country and western.

Scenes Of Moderate Violence is a book that refuses to be pinned down, and it is aimed at readers who do the same.


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  • John Moynes avatar

    John Moynes

    A scriptwriter and comedian by profession John Moynes eventually turned to poetry in an attempt to earn even less money. Since 2012 he has been writing A Limerick A Day for, which makes him the most frequently read living poet in Ireland.

    He was the 2013 Leinster Slam Poetry Champion, and the Festival Laureate at the 2015 Lingo Festival. His poetry reflects his interests in history, trade unionism, science fiction and laughing.

    Moynes has no children, but one of his poems is framed on the wall of his local, which in his eyes is a far greater achievement

    Originally from Armagh, John now lives and works in early twenty first century Dublin, but is looking to move to a more peaceful era.

  • Sample poems


    Please think of this book as a western
    And know you’ll find no wisdom here
    For this is a page, not a lecturn
    If you’re travelling east then I fear
    That the stories I tell will not bring you
    Any peace or enlightenment or
    If just once you think my words ring true
    I’m telling a joke. Nothing more
    Than a man who just about handle
    A metre, a line and a rhyme
    Not a prophet who walks with a candle
    And guides you past space, beyond time.
    These rhymes at their best, they are what they are,
    Mere trifles to learn and recite in a bar.


    On The Economic Implications Of The Continental Breakfast

    In civilised locations like Belfast or Rathkeale
    A gentleman can wake up and eat a decent meal
    He'll start with half a dozen eggs and then begin to dig
    Into a dizzying array of things made out of pig.
    His cousin on the continent, Pedro, Pierre or Fritz
    Begins his day not in this way but staring at some bits
    Of sliced up fruit, a little cheese, a small cold square of meat
    A thimble of espresso is his meal's only treat.
    So Paddy's cursed to start his work already satisfied
    His mind at rest, his belly full, his urge to strive has died
    While European industry, fueled by a tiny meal
    Is why they make cars by the Rhine, but never in Rathkeale.



    We kill the children of unwanted mothers,
    Now take a breath and do not speak so fast,
    Those women were a stain upon their brothers,
    And anyway you cannot judge the past,
    Back then, you see, and here you must agree,
    Death didn't hold the fear it does today,
    Shame did, and so no one could ever see,
    A victim with a chance to get away,
    Unbranded and then maybe build a life,
    Unpunched by nuns. We know that way,
    Was barred to sluts. She should have been a wife,
    Before the rape. She knew the rules. Her choice,
    Was made. There's nothing to be gained,
    By half arsed token efforts to give voice,
    To those who had to die while old rules reigned.
    So close your eyes, recite the savage lie,
    Those prone to sin must watch their children die.


  • John Moynes has written 1 private update. You can pledge to get access to them all.

    3rd April 2017 Thank you all.

    Huge thanks to all of you for supporting this project so far. I'm now two thirds of the way towards my goal, so here's a bonus poem to enjoy.


    A Capital Idea

    The bolt of cloth spits at a well made coat

    Near Thomas Street, where workers’ flats remain

    A butcher subdivides the next month’s wage

    And clutches the dark pint that keeps him sane

    Enough to face a day of blades and blood


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