Spellbound

colgan girls>sprites

The faerie  glen, from enchanted sleep,
stretched and yawned,then  came to,
blinked his eyes in sweet surprise
and regarded this strange  world anew

What miracle broke the magic  spell
what wonder,what wild beauty,
so pure in heart  could rend apart
the charm that  bewitchéd me?

Soft laughter trips  from a shady grove
the faerie glen’s  shot through with love
for  those who ‘d  set him free
no  sprites nor nymphs nor even elves,
but exuberant  girls a’ sporting themselves
as fit  and fine could be

such  delight, ah!, wistful  sight, to see.

Now  little birds and  faeries
come fluttering  from every tree
and a hare strides by,all proud disdain
his master restored to rule  again
a blackbird throats a jealous  refrain

the faerie king has back his crown
the stars are still in county Down
it’s agin  the law to wear a frown
stands  a guard of honour by his high decree
for them  Colgan girls, of Lisnacree.

10384818_10154913873560012_5045436597511828800_nfaerie glen

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For Willie John

Barney Sloan’s youngest boy
was bonny and blythe and true
with kindness born of a simple faith
in God, in me,in you.
Ninety-seven years I’m told
yet it always seemed to me
that Willie John stopped growing old
about twenty-two or three.

He used to come in from the big old world
like he’d been a day at the fair
he’d always treat the children
and ruffle and muss your hair
he’d crack his knuckles by the fireside
even a rabbit might appear
and the music of his laughter
chased away our childish fears.

But time slips by so swiftly
all things fall away
leaving only memories
of sad and happy days
and of other things,unspoken
things hard to call to mind
things we pass to our children
to defy the wrath of time.

No tilly lamp in Lisnacree
no sunset in Drummanmore
will bend it’s light about him
throw his shadow near the door
but it comforts us,consoles us
to know,away beyond the sun
that Willie John and Lily
and all the Sloans,are one.

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New York’s finest

sophie &laura

There’s something so right

so pearly white

too much delight

for Broadway’s daylight

poor saturday night

will give up the fight

overcome by the sight

of two girls taken flight

god damn holy fright,

Big Apple, they bite! 

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Rasta Man.

10384025_10152475523404211_1057449371759955309_nsoph
You and me,we gonna take a
Li'l trip down to Jamaica
Have oursel' a little breaka
Bacardi rum,peppered steaka
Give the thirst a good ol' slakea
Swim blue lagoons,dive in lakesa
Chew some weed,eat some cakea
Watch the day go all opaquea
Sometimes asleep,sometime awakea
These reggae boys aint no quakers
A ceilidhe band of rasta shakers
Will play all night for Finnegan's wakea
Partay right through without a breaka
It's heaven here an' no mistakea
Where the buccaneer,Francis Drakea
Big him up,like arab sheika
It sets our hearts all to achea
So soon these dreams we must forsakea
Hello New York,goodbye, goodbye Jamaica.
10600412_10152475523879211_2812979106300681298_n

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Beatrice

Dante_and_beatrice
Every palace,every jewel
Will shrink and pale away
Those flee that are cruel
Those innocent, shall stay.
 
Conversation hush and falter
Each glance become a gaze
All drawn to your altar
Held there, rapt, amazed.
 
Rich men and haughty princes
Will scowl and curse the day
They saw,but could not possess you
Could not spirit you away.
 
To some secret ivory tower
Where their dominion might hold sway
Steal strange solace from your power
Which few artists can portray
 
Perhaps a Mozart or Beethoven
Might create a symphony
And there,by grace, imprison
Your elusive quality.
 
How then,to possess you
To get to enter in?
Pass some secret test to
Attain you, without sin?.
 
She lies  there, between the pages
Where any fool can look,
Lies hidden there,through ages
A sleeping princess, in a book.
 
When once from lips so tender
You taste her first sweet kiss
You shall be in thrall forever
To imagination’s bliss.
ivory-tower (1) 
 
 

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No country for young men.

 Scourge. (To the tune, Brennan on the Moor)
Benjamin-Constant-The_Throne_Room_In_Byzantiumthrone room Byzantium
A fleeting hush informs you
As you enter at the door
That you’ve been sussed,religiously
At the speed of light,or more
And every mother’s son of them
Thinks he knows the score
And you could be getting what you came for
That,and a whole lot more.
chorus 
Head her up for the border lads
The girls are mighty fine
Their easy laugh so natural
Good and genuine
And their spirits are untainted
By false piety of mind
So you can stick all that scripture
Up where the sun don’t shine.
 
And there was me just lookin’
For a girl,white ,black or brown
Always liked the redheads
With that wee inward frown
But a chill, too familiar
Tells me all I need to know
T’is no place for a questing heart
You may take your brogue and go.
 
Head her up for the border boys
Life’s too short to waste your time
To bother to allay the fears
That warp a planter’s mind
They will steal your grapes and crush them
Then sell you back the wine
It’s a cold,bitter climate
North of the borderline.
 
Even if a lad should pull
Across that great divide
What appears on the cover
Ain’t the story inside
Coco and Dior
Can no disguise provide
If one is not  living honestly
Admit it; One has died.
 
Head her up for the border lads
There’s a busload up from Clare
When god created women
He left the best ones there
And when we get to talkin’
Let’s all head on way out wesht
We’ll not stop till we hit Galway
And our Byzantine soul’s refreshed. Yo!
download
 
amelia earhart

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Manhattan High Line

sophie 

 Walkin' yo' high line, Manhattan
 Big ideas in mind
 Likin' you Manhattan
 You harsh but you kind.
 Look, and admire me 
Treasure my stay
 I'm strollin',stridin',steppin'
 We be sharing these days.

 Manhattan,you gotta love me 
You needs what I got
 You gonna pay for the gettin'
 And, I got the lot.
 But I know you be fickle
 You betray me one day
 No kiddin' the Irish
 We who builded Broadway 

I be puttin' it out there ,Manhattan
No foolin' around 
There is gonna be sad streets
 When I shake off this town 
Up on your high line
 Love runs both ways
 Your sidewalks be callin' 
Stay,Sophie,stay. 

So come across, Manhattan
 I dare you,let me down 
Give it up, your treasure 
Call yourself a town? 
Stroll with me,hand in hand
 In love, down avenues 
Down by the Village 
Or by  Maya Angelou's.

 But hear me,Manhattan
 I be passin' through
 Tho' high on your high line 
And in love with you.
 Know walkin' this high line
 Is given only to few 
A gift,old Manhattan
 From this Sophie to you.

 Yeah,one day,Manhattan
 You gonna be blue
 Without me on your highline
 You swearin' you true
 I won't be there, to hear you
Forlorn, you will cry
Bitter yo' tears
Heavy yo' sigh.
 You be lonely, Manhattan,
 No more you and I
Oh so lonely,Manhattan,
No more you and I.
ny2 ny

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Golfing in Greenore

 greenore greenore-golf-club old greenore

Justin swept up the driveway

He skipped in through the door

Disinter them clubs , boyo,

We’re on the tee at four.

Away down then, by Moygannon

Alongside Narrow Water Shore

Swing left at the Cooley Inn

In no time there’s Greenore

Go easy now, past the Gantry

There is an air about this place

Harking back to an older time

Before the damn rat race.

Slow down the crazy backswing

Put your head in a cool space

Here is an Irish Shangri-la

It moves at a slower pace.

The first, broad as a runway

A three club breeze straight into

Down the shaft with Bertha

Right at the stick she flew

Follow that, young fella

It’s been a month or two

But class, they say, is permanent

Let’s see what you can do?

Justin took his metal three

And sent it down the pipe

Through the green, thirty feet

Not  a puritan in sight

But the greens they were  lightning quick

We could not contain our cries

Talk about a glass staircase

Augusta, dry your eyes.!

By god the greens demand respect

You must set your putter down.

Then caress it in your fingers

As soft as eiderdown.

And the ball must be dying

As it wanders to the lip

Or you could run past further

Then a tour bus on a trip.

Then chatting with a three ball

It was pure delight.

Recalling  how McManus

Played the monster hole at Bright.

Three woods and a bicycle

The green still not in sight.

We were both still laughing

Did I clear the pond? Not quite!

And turning away in anguish

Behold, what did I see

The Mournes in all their glory

Smiling down on foolish me.

For though  I’d seen them often

From many arts before

There is no vantage point in Ireland

To match the sixth tee in Greenore.

The hogsback was it fourteen?

I was on it twice and off

Justin calmly took his birdie

‘You just throw it high and soft’.

And at the next he rifled one

‘Just call me McIlroy’

He will soon be hard to live with

His hand- action is sheer  joy

.

And then on up to  seventeen

We are both out  past the stone

Where is that bloody four iron?

James left in Enniscrone.

And while we talk a great game

The stroke count’s mounting  fast.

Sure as long as they were stylish

We’ll  gaze  through tinted glass.

The last then, a Cathedral

Be brave and play a fade

Slide her out around the trees

‘Stay out of it’.  I prayed.

A nine iron to the final green

Played high up on the blade.

To the approval of an   audience

In the bar, on lemonade

Out with the wand then,

Twenty feet to go

Rap her on the sweet spot

Putt for money drive for show.

She’s rolling now, she’s tracking

Takes the borrow and slows up.

Does her little horseshoe

Then, obediently,down the cup.

And so to you, you innocents

Who know not of this great game

You merely scratch the surface

Your existential quest is vain

For there’s poetry, passion, beauty

And other things, hard to score

There ,beneath  the long woman’s grave

On the fairways of Greenore

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The Windy Gap

magic mournes1    08

One day out on the mountain

I was sitting on a stone

Seeing all there was to see

And some other things, unknown

When, holy cow, stone the crows

What do you know or say

A little man on horseback

Came trotting down the brae.

He had rosy cheeks and dimples

And a pert wee turned up nose

His curly golden locks fell down

Carelessly, I’d  suppose.

His eyes sparkled devilment

His gaze was sharp and true

How are ye sir,this fine day?

I’d like a  wee yarn  wi’  you.

Nimbly  he dismounted

And hopped up on my knee

He was about the size of fourpence

Two inches,maybe three

Nor was he shy or timid

As bold as brass could be

He clapped his hands together

Let’s get to it, now, says he.

I’ve come to you with an offer

A proposal, you might say

Someone I serve  has chosen you

This could be your lucky day

She’s a princess of our people

Strode  in your shadow  many times

She’s followed you about the glens

She sees  what’s  in   your mind.

But mostly she’s beheld you

Seated on this very stone

Looking through the distance

Into canyons of your own

It is in those lonely canyons

That she desires to dwell

Where you and she may wander

And of your secrets tell.

She can take what shape you want her to

She can cross both space and time

But she can never leave the mountains

While the heather blossom shinesChoose from the most used tags

She is beautiful and gentle

With a voice like Tuscan wine

She can ride the wind on horseback

Or on a nimbus cloud, recline.

You may count me too extravagant

Too generous I may seem

But the secret of my people is

We are cursed  –  we cannot dream!

And you,  you art  a dreamer

We believe you can break the spell

Reopen the gates of Paradise

For us,and for you  as well.

dk mourne3

But consider now,against all this

You must leave this life behind

And live with  us for a thousand years

Beyond the grasp of time

I’ll be going on my way now

But I’ll be back this road again

Think long on my proposal

As you roam  across  the glen.

And when you’ve made your mind up

Come and sit back on this stone

A  princess will appear to you

In an image of your own

And if ever in the meantime

You feel a soft breath  on your brow

Our Princess steals among those dreams

Only you can disallow.

Then off  he skipped  , saluted

He cantered off down the hill

Astride his little connemara

With nothing but  time to kill

And as he departed from my sight

The whole place was suddenly still

A breath of a breeze brushed by me

There came over me a strange thrill.

So I know, now,where I’m going

I know who shall walk  with me

Beyond  the hills and valleys

Where the braes  meet Lisnacree

And wherever my soul may trespass

It is there my dreaming will be

Where the purple Mourne mountains

Stand  over a mystic  sea.

imagesdark mourne

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3311-934xpuss puss
Hold me.

(fast waltz)6/8
C
Put your arms around me
    Am
Hold me 
C
Tell no-one else 
           G7
I asked you to
Everything has turned to ashes
                        C
It has all come down to you

I was a fool
        Am
I was a lover
C                 G7
I imagined she was too
I was wrong
I was too hopeful
                    C
Why is the sky still blue
                   F
The Gods, are they laughing
         G7               C
A sudden breeze chills me through
                G7
Betraying an old story
     D7               G7
They say it's nothing new
C
I am leaving soon, 
I'm happy
           C7               F
It will be fine, I'm telling you
                     C
Tell no-one that you held me
   G7              C
So close, so tender too

Put your arms around me 
    Am
Hold me               G7
Pretend that lies are true
Make believe for just a moment
                           C
That you love me and I love you
     C7                 F
That the world's a place for lovers
   G7                 C
And you love me and I love you.

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June 30, 2014 · 11:57

Bad things

hannah                           .anne frank

hitler youth

Bad things.

The worst thing about evil is it loves itself. And yes, it’s banal.

Bey-nal as the yanks pronounce it.But more to the point

and whatdoyoucallher,that bloody beautiful,gorgeous

clever Jewess that that closet nazi smart fella ,Heidegger

was shafting,she missed it in Nuremberg.And it staring

her straight in the face.God,I’d love to have met her and

see how she’d handle  a few Jamesons  with ice.In Rostrevor,

or else,in  Nice.Poor girl, never seen the fairy glen.

Digression incidentally, is like the fairy glen.Beautiful, because you

get the feeling there is more to come and you might never

get to the end of it.It’s that wonderful   feeling,what’s this

you call it?-I keep forgetting things I used to know in a

flash- ah yes!,anticipation.

Anticipation is never depressed.If only you could bottle

it,sure like fresh water, you could describe it advantageously

and flog it all over.I bet the Chinese would lap it up.And

wouldn’t it brighten the horizon?.Capitalisim can be a good

thing,no?.

But that lovely Jewess was at a disadvantage.She was a reporter.

She was coming from America,from outside,observing the trials

at  Nuremberg,a spectator.She saw that fat  German boss of

the Luftwaffe in his fancy garb,a real diva who told the bombers

to stay away from a castle in Kent  that he had picked out for

when the war would be won,and Hitler in Piccadilly.

Evil is something that can be imagined only by those

who have direct experience of it and even they are at a loss

.Rebecca West,  with a mind of Shakesperian power and scope

confessed herself bewildered by the German psyche.

Anne Frank.She could speak of it, and did.

Any obvious Catholic stranded up the Shankill or maybe

even a Prod caught about the Ardoyne on a hot day might

think  he knows it,but that’s stupid  passion,riled up,

provoked.

Evil is different.You don’t provoke evil.It’s there already,

primed,hungry and cold. It has a cold passion,it’s

heartbeat never quickens,but it’s skin glows with pleasure

when suffering emanates It keeps company with no-one.

It is always lonely,hungry and must eventually turn upon itself and fall apart.

I’ve run across it once or twice in my travels and it’s not nice.

..Bad upbringing I put it down to,because,it’s hard to think

of anything else, that would explain it.

And for a while after it you don’t feel any anticipation.

You’d nearly rather be gone te fuck out of it,altogether.

View of Olympic Stadium and Spectators

( Nazi crowd salute Hitler’s arrival 1936  Olympics.)

But you can’t let the bastards win,can you?.Even if you

wanted to.And sure, isn’t there always hope,remaining?.

The dog,a lovely savage Rhodesian just wandered  in and laid his chin

on me knee.For a minute there I thought he loved me but he was only after

me sandwich.And the pup is eatin’ me trousers.I’ll have to

go and feed them.Ta Ta.

ps.

I nearly forgot.There is one thing I didn’t want to mention

But I suppose I have to.Evil has another quality.It knows all about

disguise.It could be right beside you and you’d never guess

and it can sit tight,watching and waiting.And it never goes away.

Some things you never forget.And you shouldn’t.

And  the beautiful Jewess was Hannah Arendt.

Some woman.

hannah_arendt71

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judit beheading holofernes.caravaggio.

 1024px-Judith_Beheading_Holofernes_by_Caravaggio

images (1)lucretia

Lucretia.Rembrandt

The Fair Sex

Being not a woman
I do not understand
Why should a woman
Marry any man?
Why collude in servitude
To a superficial fool
Whose noblest art
Is to eye some tart
Disgustingly,and drool?

And then,ye Gods! his needs,
Some perversion,some menage
When a woman would proceed
On the promenade or plage
Savour french fromage
Contemplate decolletage
Not feigning convulsion
Disguising revulsion
To appease a man’s ‘equipage’

Why should a woman
Entertain a man?
Would it be so wild
To procure a child
In a pristine laboratory
Disdaining his ravage
Plus collateral damage
To flatter a savage
Lately down off a tree,
A hangover from history.

Tut-Tut,you say
That is no way
To malign your better half.
The truth be told
He’s as good as gold
Sometimes,he’s good for a laugh.
If he gets any worse
One may have recourse
To assist his demise in the bath.

Where then, your little deceptions
Your myriad devious ways
Your furtive narcotic confections
Intrigues, potions and feys.
When behind the throne with bangled claw
You did instigate and scheme the laws
By which the world is run
Pulling the strings,surreptitiously,
Ah! So much delicious fun.

But now the women of history
Throw down a gauntlet to you
Lucretia,Judit,Salome
Clytemnestra, Angelou
Who needs a man
To carry the can
When there’s Sappho
And Amazon too
Paddle your own canoe
If he can, so can you
Grant Holofernes his due
The girl is a goddess,the man is an ingénue.

Clytemnestra1

clytemnestra”you can go now,cassandra,agamemnon’s sorted”.by john collier1882

 

 bugatti tamarainthe green bugatti

 tamara de  lempicka girl in a green bugattitamara-de-lempicka-the-model-1925-1352374079_orgpower woman

unlike a man style is quite essential.

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June 17, 2014 · 13:34

Ford Transit Rolls Royce

Card_Players-Paul_Cezanne

Cezanne -the card players.

Monday morning.Ten to six.There were a few new lads in the back.One particular gent,with a Belfast accent,without regard for the hour,was whining on about how the people of Castlewellan had chased him out. Some time before.I explained to him that it might have been something to do with his tone.I didn’t catch his name.Branley,up front beside me, demanded the driver pull over at the crossroads.Out he got ,vaulted the fence and began to chase sheep about through the field.Pure badness in him.He soon climbed back in,announcing in his deep baritone ”  ’tis a great mornin’ for skull draggin’ cats.” He was a three day-a-week man and it had nothing to do with Maggie Thatcher.Pints surely. But he was wonderful when he did come in for he was ,in his own parlance, gifted.          Two of the English chippies,who were against blood sports and could not therefore comprehend Branley,sat still, dumbfounded.It was clear to me that they would be unable to deploy him properly on a cricket field.First slip I would have said,or wicketkeeper if he were not hungover.A foreman is expected to know these things.Like how to get a man out,or how to put draw on the ball.                       None of the Irish lads let go even a chuckle at Branley,to keep the tans in the dark.Sure why enlighten them? They’d have you weeping in sympathy when they got down near their last fifty thousand.Might have to sell the Honda or increase the mortgage.A lot to worry about.                                                                     Having heard my accent when  I had admonished the refugee from Castlewellan a man called Joe the Bear spoke up ,” you wouldn’t be far from Rostrevor if you were at home.” We were on the M20 now, in Kent.Turned out to be the same Joe the Bear over whom Jimmy Hughes cried tears telling how he had carried four bags of cement on his back one dinnertime, to put a boaster in his place. And he was indeed the kind of man you could weep for,with his great broad white head and kindly eyes.A right royal refugee banished by want from the fairy glen to this cursed place.He was barred from every pub in Ashford and had redd most of them at one time or another.He was death on Kerrymen in a huddle,gobbling on and talking about him and would go to battle over a slight.He once showed me how to keep your thumb inside your palm in a melee,so as not to catch it on something and break it.This kind gesture was wasted on me but treasured just the same.Perhaps I had become too highly evolved,too much bloody Hamlet.Anyhow,I had crossed over.I was a thinker now.I never did get to tell him how much he reminded me of my mother who was also a Sloan.He cried when I left him in England.” About  six mile out the road looking over at Greenore”, I replied.He was quiet then for a while and we both could hear the foghorn out in Carlingford bay.                                                                                                                                                                   ” What does d-i-a-p-h-a-n-o-u-s mean?”,inquired a gypsy lad who was a dead ringer for Ryan Giggs and liked crosswords.He was a decent footballer too  and could speak Romany.He guessed the answer  when I explained,chastely,that it was like a woman’s dress that you could see through.It was sheer.Sheer delicious sometimes. Fitzgerald woke up and went to get out at exactly eighty-four miles per hour.He had the door half open before we saved him.A motorbike we had been passing was blown off up the embankment.But it was not possible to save Fitzgerald.He was far too beautiful.His middle name,I suspect, was Caravaggio.Women he had known for just a few hours would turn up  for weeks looking for him.And did he cut a dash.He’d remind you of the Spanish Don of the Madre Dolorosa in Westward Ho!,a high ,proud, swarthy, moustachioed aristocrat bent by a will of iron on victory or destruction.
As sure as the speed of light is the crux of the universe,he was born for the stage.And he from Limerick too.With a voice like Richard Burton after a Cuban cigar,which voice he could propel like a shimmering javelin through space,across any raucous tavern.Gerald Fitzgerald.With a ring and an echo to it.Gerald Fitzgerald!. And he knew the Peri system better than anyone and could take or give orders and get the work done.As for subbies he knew “’em all”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 All the while,spewing roll-up smoke and snot about the back of  our chauffeur’s infinitely patient neck,perched Bootsy,all seven besuited stone of him,cursing and spitting vitriol at traffic and fortune.He had not washed after the war and shit himself frequently,for he ate poorly and was in continual fear of jeopardy.He had crossed the Pennines on foot, starving, in the sixties, after the hiring fair.So you would never insult him,only take the gentle mick.I never saw a man who loved a woman as he loved Mary.It made me proud to be married to her then.He would never  let me buy a drink. And ,with a grace bestowed  only on the debonair ,and those in love,he would exclude me,out of the room.By this means he restored my faith in human nature and from that day on I knew, when the time came I would lie contented in my grave

A bottle of poteen appeared beside Keohane,who could fathom all about a job or a man with a sideways glance.Mondays were not good for him and he was, I feared,beginning to slip.The finer the man the sooner he is undone by slight deficiencies in the promise of hope or expectation.Calamity he can withstand but the dull ache of emptiness destroys him, inexorably.Sometimes,even the love of a good woman cannot repel disaster.When he cast his eye across me I knew he had lost the fight today and would be heading for Basher’s.” Take James and send him back after,”says I.

About noon the police came on to the job and arrested a Scotsman who had killed his wife over the weekend.He came on into work anyway.He was bereft and knew not what else to do .His was no cold heart and he had no history of violence.A bit of the Dane in him, maybe.I had been slightly acquainted with him and had seen his wife once,a fine handsome girl.They found her in a field of ripening barley nearby,in the evening. I heard later she had given her love away, to someone else. Tennessee Williams once said that the greatest difference in people, he found, was between those who found love in the world and the rest, who did not. But he never rode in a Ford Transit Rolls Royce or worked with Joe the Bear. Still, like me, he loved,but could make neither head nor tail of Hart Crane. Sure , isn’t a glimpse now and then enough to be going on with.

 bhutan_himalaya-glimpse

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Lord Soper

downloadlord soper
When I was young and handsome in lonely London town.
For solace of my spirit to Hyde Park I’d go down.
And there at Speaker’s Corner  free speech was in full flow.
And a hungry soul might  hop aboard and let the sadness go.
 
The issues, they were high and fine,  Immigration, Ban the bomb, 
Apartheid, Euthanasia, Bangladesh, Strontium.
And any man who owned a box and spoke the English tongue
Could build a castle in the air and converse with everyone.
 
The first one to fill my eye was a giant Irishman
He had found religion, all evil could withstand
His God , not a tailor, could not understand
How such a very  small coat fit so big a man
 
And if Benny, the heckler, would try to raise the sneer
“Now Benny that’s enough from you – I’ll come down and clip your ear!” 
Eschewing valour for discretion, Benny would lope away,
A hyena on the prowl, for a more enlightened prey.
 
The next was an Englishman, he liked to stir it up.”When in Rome be Roman, and do as Romans do,
or else get out of England, go back to Timbuktu.”
And he could handle Benny if he tried to open up,
“I’ll use your wiry hair, boy, as a scrubber for my cup.”
 
And with the sunlight now cascading,
Its blessing through the air,
From China, the Indies, Africa, tourists came to stare
To wonder and to marvel at freedom’s  bosom  bare.
 
The cameras clicked on incident and high and low debate,
And no blood spilt – t’was holy, this side of heaven’s gate.
And to cap it all Lord Soper, a man both good and true,
His mind filled with a pure white light, and a sense of humour too.
 
He would first rephrase your question more articulate, more refined,
Than answer it succinctly both rigorous and kind,
And smiling down benignly on inferior intellects,
Yet according always, evenly, to each his  due respect.
 
And Benny would never fence with him, engage his repartee,
He had seen too many pretenders fall to the Lord’s epee.
Myself I never listened close to Soper’s true attest,
I never knew  spoon feeding compare to a mother’s breast.
 
And belong to a Celtic breed that don’t acknowledge sin,
And  naturally run  contrary, are wefted hard agin.
But I loved those hazy afternoons, melancholy eased  to joy,
When  reverie rekindled the innocence of a boy.
 And the times at Hyde Park corner when I wandered there to seek
What a lonely soul hungers for and the strength for another week.
 
 

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For Ruth

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The Greeks they launched a thousand ships                 
To bring Helen back to shore                                               
If she had been a patch on Ruth
They’d have sent a thousand more.
 
And the Trojans would have left the horse
Outside the walls of Troy
And kept Ruth hidden in their hearts
And disguised her as a boy.
 
Then stole her away to Egypt
In some fragrant caravan
And built for her a pyrmaid
While she burnished off her tan.
 
Cleopatra would have sulked and stormed
And berated Anthony
“Who is this sphinxy beauty
She dare invade my territory?”
 
And as she shimmered in the desert
Like Salome’s silky veil
The Greeks, now all crestfallen
Turn for Athens and set sail.
 
Ah, then would Heaven heave a sigh
Of cherish and release
And Ruth  recline across the sky
A goddess, at her ease.
 
Laocoon 
Laocoon”beware of greeks bearing gifts”.

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Precipice

Excuse me (1)
The other day, a Wednesday
Was it last week, or this,
I found myself approaching
The edge of an abyss
 
I peered down in the darkness
There was nothing there to see
I felt an awful feeling
I desired to cease to be
 
There was blackness, only blackness
There was no other choice
No good shouting questions
No one to hear a voice
 
I teetered on the brink awhile
No strictures and no kiss
It occurred upon reflection
I must give this a miss
 
Behind someone was calling
Come back and get your tea
There are chores to be attended to
More things for you to see
 
So now I’ve had my little peek
I will embrace a short reprieve
Try to live like a simpleton
Wear my heart upon my sleeve
 
And what I’ve seen or didn’t see
Or think or speculate
Right now, before the darkness
It’s time to love, or hate.
 

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For Aine

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Her skin is alabaster
of finest china bone
her hair a darker crimson
than any ruby stone
 
Paler than Nicaragua
gaze of Valparaiso
I speak now as a child
Whose wonder is unblemished
And pure and undefiled
 
For no words I have learned since then
Can even part convey
What beauty this girl bestows
Upon the light of day
 
And somehow yet more exquisite
More fetching even, still
She bears O’Reilly blood in her
You trifle, she will kill.

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For Sophie

 

 

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We lit the fires on Formal
They burned across the brae
And left the hillside blackened
Now Sophie’s gone away
 
There’s a stillness and a sadness
In the air here left behind
The place is all in mourning
The flowers to earth incline
 
Their petals and their blossoms
For they are lonely too
Now Sophie has taken flight
Away into the blue
 
But soon she will return again
And when that day arrives
The flowers will raise up their heads
And the hillside come alive
 
From the ashes of the bracken
Like the phoenix bird of old
The green shoots will spring forth anew
As the strays rejoin the fold.
 
10359417_10152128546459211_3275808474234987045_nsophie

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For Justin

justin

When Justin was a baby

he could see between the skies

oftentimes a dreamy gaze

would infiltrate his eyes

But now that he has found his Maebhe
and made himself a plan
I’ve got to say the girl has turned
the boy into a man

And there will be time for dreaming
Somewhere, farther down the line
And I know he will recall again
Back there, and that nice time.

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Australia needs a leprechaun

Ruth, I hear you have the longest main st in australia 12k. We hear all in lisnacree . I get all the lowdown online to follow your itinerary.wiki tells me there is maybe a social experiment going on in mildura with so many races thrown together.at least they have a golf course and a pool.good that you met some nice folk on your travels.planted some garlic in january and the shoots are about a foot high and should .just be ready for your practiced skills in september. And some tomatoes too .do they grow many spuds.ha ha..good character  building stuff with a little italian thrown in.but the weeks will fly by and you will look back on these days and smile. Maeve binchy died only last year she was a native of south dublin not what you might call a serious writer but popular and very successful.she used often be on talk shows promoting her latest novel and she could talk for ireland.have been reading some of your books from the university bookshop sale,irish writers too james clarence mangan and william trevor.happy days.no people on earth possess a sensibility like the folk from the west of ireland.i came across a great poem written by anthony raftery for mary hynes who was thought to be the most beautiful girl in the west.you can see liam clancys version on u tube .we”ll just change her name to ruth. sarah has a monopoly with the mourne observer and she and kirsty have taken to pounding the pavement around the mill road. sophie has caused a minor eruption in attical if the tooting of car horns past our gate is anything to go by.young and old alike are reassessing their existence and her casual remarks are repeated as gospel. she got me two corporate tickets for balmoral show at the maze.justin is ambling around canary wharf for a few weeks and has threatened to take me golfing on his return.he bought a new set of clubs and can really clout a ball.but i will take his money.ella lost her bank card but has a number of accounts, fortunately. liverpool has worked wonders and she is progressing on all fronts if she can only survive the hazards of british airways.she will be home again about the time you have worn out your first pair of overalls.(sorry, couldnt resist).i knew you wouldnt need all those bikinis .

spring has arrived this week.i saw the first swallow on the21st and the hens are laying.the banty is sitting on nine eggs in her little nest.i expect they will all be hens as i came upon a fairy up in the forth in march. among the several secrets he made known to me was how to sex eggs.i believe a man in china made a great fortune in the 15th century from this singular skill.but i crave not wealth.
some other wondrous revelations i am forbidden to reveal except under strict conditions.they can be conveyed only in a whisper,face to face,to someone i love,, in the company of john jameson,a cold beer and some didely-didely music in Rostrevor.a bientot. papa

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For Christy Hennitty

 You could see his mighty forearm
From off a long long way
It was forged to lift a fetlock
Back in older days
He was quick of wit and temper
His knuckles were of iron
It was foolish now to cross him
But that’s a lesson learned
 
Boy he could swish the rapier
And he could crack the whip
Many a long toiling day
He’d shorten with a quip
He could throw the fifty-six
And likewise wield the scythe
And undisturbed about him
Few sleeping dogs would lie
 
And yes, a fly was dangled
For every passing trout
From any fool who took the bait
The mick was relished out
But all that said no furrow
Was ever straighter ploughed
With pride and care and love
And art and skill endowed
 
And humble, even gentle
That’s handed down some way
But sure, it’s only natural
His mother was McVeigh
And there in an old photo
I  see that same forearm
It was Peter and some others
When still the forge was warm
 
It’s timeless now, that  forearm
That impudent half smile
For feathers must be ruffled
As the rasp will smooth and file
And the mare will stamp her hoof afresh
And trot off now, clean shod
Here’s a quick up, edge, slow down salute
Aye, that was  some day, by God!

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Firteen I reckon(her 21st)

10385494_10203200586952032_5813325432739389926_ella bella

Little Ella bella she sure could yella yella

you could never tella was she poor or wella

Or just a bit rebella mad at oh!, any fella

who stole her pink umbrella

or spilt her sweet paella

made her scratch her left patella

She could raise a high fandango

or stomp a stroppy tango

the party could go mango

inducing some crossa bada lango

never heard in wild Durango

hells bells! English-Irish slango

Ah!, those days.But now,such pleasure

she’s transformed into a treasure

entertains us all at leisure

grace and beauty beyond measure

with laughing eyes,green ,hazel,azure

folks are bereft about Rostrevor

they love her,as do we,forever

she might have been a fella

love Ella,bella Ella

,bella,bella, Ella.

Little Ella bella

  1912177_10203396164361345_5805563150108458153_n ella bella

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Dasein

9833517_1chirico mystery-and-melancholy-of-a-street-1914 

Di Chirico( he liked Nietzsche)

 

Calvino said it beautifully
We sat around a sink
Then Mother Nature she arose
And poured us all a drink.
Then we got up and squabbled
Like pebbles on a beach
With things that command desire
Hung just beyond our reach.

Impelled by space and substance
Too much to understand
Like waves spilling from the sea
And singing on the sand.
Dissonant and jumbled
A melody sublime
Echoes here at present
Escaping out of time.

And then a silence gathers
Within and all around
Is it just the tide has turned
To an ancient order bound
Or are we overtaken
By a rushing universe
Remote, cold, indifferent
Or more plainly, just perverse.

And offered up in sacrifice
To a unity undefined
That we, now, being part of it
Cannot ourselves divine
By accident or purpose
This world ,still, spins so swift
So little time to wonder
To ponder Nature’s thrift.

 

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For Joe

joe's pic
Them high old Rocky Mountains
they think they’ve seen it all
but they’ve never seen Joe Ireland
rise up to fetch a ball

So right it was, in passing
to shout up and let them know
that compared to Mourne’s mountains
they have still some way to go

They have weathered ice ages
succoured the grizzly bear
smiled content as Sitting Bull
lured Custer to his lair

But know not of Gaelic football
never heard of County Down
are ignorant of a Kingdom
that wears a Celtic crown

Their heartbeat never quickened
as the ball was thrown up
when St. Louis’ gallant schoolboys
fought for MacRory’s cup

Where under Donard’s shadow
by Bignian’s craggy height
they might have caught a glimpse
of young Irishmen in flight

A flight that honours Indians
and madmen from the ‘Stone
and boys from Ballymartin
even lads from far Tyrone

And win or lose,no matter
they learned to play the game
to try to win with style and grace
if they lost,to do the same.

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Youth

youth

The easy road was easy

We took the easy road

We had no plan to harvest

Wild random oats we sowed

 

A ready bunch of lads we were

Friendship was our creed

Style was our only banner

A true heart and God speed.

 

But the road of life , it tears you

Rips innocence away

And leaves a scar of wisdom

By which our debts are paid

 

For the easy road ain’t easy

It’s a hard road in the end

No man passes by unscathed

Or a woman,  or a friend.

 

A curse then on this wisdom

Take me back unto that day

I heard an army laughing

Marching to the fray

 

And at the front the finest

The very best of men

And me not far behind them

How goes that song, again?

 

 

 

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Apocalypse

article-1255826-07DC0127000005DC-463_634x328battle of quiberon bay1759

39e5613f-de9f-4a0f-94a4-bab902053bc1-822x1020death on horseback

A fleet of ships slipped anchor

In the sea of doubt one night

Hove into the bay of certainty

As dawn unsheathed its light

And what before thought hard and fast

Unalterably true

Had vanished with  the darkness

Retreating from the dew

 

The first almighty salvo

It ripped across our bows

And suddenly the air was filled

With holy sacred cows

There were priests and nuns and bishops

We had trusted all our lives

So many were found wanting

Darkness behind  their eyes

 

The next they loaded grapeshot

It tore our sails to shreds

A once mighty celtic tiger

Crashed to the deck, stone dead

The banks had printed millions

And gambled it away

You and me, poor ship of fools

Must pay ,and pay, and pay.

 

At last , a cruel cannonball

Holed us down below

“Abandon ship!” the Captain cried

“Leave everything and go.”

And in the air about us

White dust began to blow

Cocaine,crack and heroin

And other stuff, like snow.

 

And now those ships went about

And sailed  off in the blue

And never thought to throw a rope

To the likes of me and you

They are owned by faceless men

Who rule the world by stealth

They hold more power than nation states

They covet only wealth.

        

For he who holds the purse strings

As any wife can tell

He’s the one who calls the tune

And the rest can go to hell

While away on the horizon

Remorseless as time

Rides yet another horseman

With destruction on his mind.

 

And we poor shipwrecked sailors

Stumble on the shore

And turn to emigration

To  keep the dog back from the door

As for  that paler horseman

He will come what time he may

We must be brave to  face him

And not try to run away.

massacre of the innocents-pisano

.giovanni-pisano-massacre-of-the-innocents

sunset ocean clouds nature ships boats sailing skyscapes sea_www.wallpaperhi.com_64

b87cc8a9-f0ac-4213-b142-afe7534cca1c-2060x1475triumph of deathBruegel. Triumph of Death 

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Passing Beauty

374-934xi dare you

About her lissome body

her dress hung and clung and swung

her movement irresistible

sure, innocent and young.

Her eyes were fierce and fearless

you could see so deep inside

no foolish doubts within her

could enter, or reside

Retrousse nose and nostril

swept fragile to a flare

high and flat her cheekbone

it isn’t nice to stare

But on through glory’s archway

she muscled, carelessly

all eyes followed, powerless

in raptured ecstacy

For as surely as heaven

is really here on earth

by the beholder only

is beauty given birth.

passing beauty

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For Kevin McEvoy

Oh he’d drop by of a Sunday noon

by the way for tea and a yarn

and we’d set out on a journey

the long way round the barn

For I knew he had a little gra

for one of the girls, or two

he didn’t mind one little bit

that I knew he knew I knew

He’d take his seat and produce the sweets

and the craic would start

and he’d play his part

and we’d take a cup of tea

and I was glad to sit right back

and be entertained with ease

by as sweet and fine a gentleman

as could ever shoot the breeze.

All of us grew more fond of him

as time swept gaily by

and liked to see, when the girls came in

that twinkle in his eye.

Ah, he has passed on by, now

on his considerate, careful way

and you’d miss his treats of a Sunday

and the surprising things he’d say

For there’s no harm done

to like someone

to feel that glow inside

like poverty or riches

love is difficult to hide.

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September 17, 2013 · 15:48

Honeybee

youth in shadow

I’m a honeybee so humble

And busy at my task

Let me be, I’ll help you

Is that too much to ask?

 

I may seem to you a loner

But I’m a socialist at heart

For the good of the greatest number

I strive to play my part

 

And even if I’m miniscule

And my life is short in span

I know that I’m essential

To this family of man

 

Will no-one speak up for me?

Don’t poison all the land

Don’t tear away the hedgerows

Stop biting Nature’s hand

 

For I have heard some whispers

And sobbing on the breeze

Gaia and her consorts

Have fallen to their knees

 

For we are all of us God’s creatures

Our fates are intertwined

Wherever bees are bound for

Man must follow, close behind.

448-eyes2

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Holy Heavens

Paul_Cézanne_034summer_fieldSMLShangri-la-small

Hereafter, in Elysium

by crystal streams with mossy banks

and shady groves around

there apple trees and grapevines

and virgins too abound.

Where no rain falls

or mist or cloud intrudes

and time stands still or dances on

according to our moods.

And as we proceed through pleasure

our shining shadows tingle-

no, tinkle in the breeze,

the stupendous and the intake of breath

are both so close to hand

which incredibly, delightfully also

clasps a magic wand.

Authority takes no hold here

there is no sorrow either, too

I wonder what in heaven

we are ever meant to do.

How wonderful, how terrible

how simply ice-cold blue.

It may be so here now already

and we who misconstrue.


 

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