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
Put your arms around me
Hold me 
Tell no-one else 
I asked you to
Everything has turned to ashes
It has all come down to you

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

Put your arms around me 
Hold me               G7
Pretend that lies are true
Make believe for just a moment
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


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,


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.


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.


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judit beheading holofernes.caravaggio.


images (1)lucretia


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
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.


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


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.


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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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