How are you going on?

repartee the troubador

The French we know they have it
they call it repartee
the English they converse at length
the craic to you and me

It’s the sweetest of ingredients
round a table decked with ham
aye sweeter if it’s possible
than Nigella’s breast- of lamb

And when old and young men gather
and women are let in
there is no music finer
than the hubbub and the din

Of wanton careless chatter
or profound philosophy
there’s nought to beat a natter
or a yarn or two,or three

It’s the heartbeat of the country
the lifeblood of the town
it even makes the city wheels
keep on going round

Go on and get it off your chest
or bare your very soul
a little chat will banish stress
and repair your spirit, whole.


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A matter of taste

Our ones often laugh at me. My tastes are, apparently, esoteric. Correct and right, I agree. Esoteric is a word to which I ascribe, quite arbitrarily, the feminine gender. I can remember the moment when we first met and what she was wearing  at the time. I fell in love instantly. She has some gorgeous sisters, and I may,in due course, if the mood takes me, after I cut my nails, introduce you.

She was hanging about the debating hall doorway in the students union, a doorway which stands, conveniently, adjacent to the union bar. Rather scantily attired too. She indicated no intention of making herself known to me. Shyly, (I always feel shy when I feel real affection. When I don’t care, I don’t give a damn) I pushed past her in time to witness a fantastic occurrence.

A tall blonde chap rose up and addressed the speaker from the back of the hall with the words, “You overwashed public effing schoolboy! When the red revolution comes I will save a bullet for you…” He continued his tirade until, realizing that his pint glass was empty, and bristling with chagrin, (justifiably so in my view for there are few predicaments more irritant than the stewardship of an empty beer glass), he made a glorious exit, straight across the foyer to the bar, to which he administered a severe thumping while demanding “four pints of wallop and be damn quick about it!”

He went on, you’ll not be surprised to hear, to pursue a successful career in television and unbeknownst to himself,has borne with him all this time, some of my esteem. No mean feat, for it is frequently withheld.

Returning then to another, more ephemeral recipient of that same esteem, Miss Esoteric (I am tempted to add an ‘a’ to embellish her attractiveness and emphasize her gender. Oh, those dimples!) I was absolutely delighted to discover as I came to know her better, that she was known only to very few, had unusual taste, and, happily, reciprocated my affections. More about her sisters, Panache and Beatrice, anon.

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Down that long and lovely

lonely canyon

That lies alongside time

Where peaceful, kissful arroyos

Attend and stretch and mime

The desire of wonder’s yearnings

It’s there I’ll surely find

What meaning is and sense is

And warmth I may decline.

If it suits me I will wear it

And never pay no mind

To other noise and fretting

Which assails your heart and mine

And in some lonesome valley

With humming bee and swine

There I will disport myself

With honeyed milk and wine

And this that’s now about me

Will lie aghast, behind,

Unreal,Unseen, Supine.

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September 11, 2013 · 21:44

For Brian Varry

In a place untrod by Shakespeare,
In upper Attical,
There dwelt a man more vaunted,
Than anyone, atall.
And rightly so I tender,
And perhaps you will agree,
As time betrays his passing,
And wipes out memory.

There lived no one his equal,
In art, to coin a phrase,
He was quoted across the pigeon rock,
And even down the braes.
“The widow was so neat” he’d say,
The ferguson was too,
If only our young Eddie,
Would put the brute in two.

From Spelga Dam to the Windy Gap,
On down by Aughrim hill,
The legends of his exploits,
Recounted, echo still.
The cha cha cha of his quick step,
As he blithely swept by,
Was as pleasing as a muscle,
On a pretty woman’s thigh.

And a wink from him would lift your heart,
Like a nod from Christ himself,
And if we should meet again, boy,
We’ll lighten the top shelf!
If you want to add a verse on,
It’s easy, feel free,
It’s simple like the quick step,
You just go one, two, three.

Like, Brian,if you’re up there
Call the lofty choir to sing
Command the bar stay open
And we’ll make the rafters ring.
Or,you’d meet someone far from home
About Vancouver,or in Japan
They’d ask:’Did you know of Brine Varry?
Wasn’t he some kind of man?’.

He would appear in the doorway of Attical Club of a Sunday Night. Dapper, fashionably late and when the appropriate hush appertained, he’d tap his tanned leather boot on the floor and announce “the widow, she was neat!” Cue laughter. All’s right with the world.

Away for a burl,
Let the drink flow,
On with the show,
Put her in two,
Here’s good luck to you,
Yee ha! Hallelujah!
Conversation. Hubbub.

A nod and a wink,
A shine to your wife,
Boys this is the life!

More quotable quotes than the bard himself, and more fondly recalled.
Someone inquired whereabouts in Canada was “the nephew?” Retort. ”On the left, just as ye go in.”

Did he look like Lee Marvin – or was it Anthony Quinn? That light in the eye, the lop-sided grin.

All gone now. The stage is quiet, the doorway cold. The flock scattered, the land is sold. But there was some craic in Attical.

“When was that, Brian?”
“Ah, just before Cocaine.”

Here’s to you Brian, and Eddie too. These are my mountains!

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I was walking on the hillside
I sat down to catch my breath
I was just about to rise again
When who came by but death

He sidled up so casual
Just as if to shoot the breeze
I pretended not to notice
But my blood began to freeze

Then up spoke he so civil
I could scarce believe my ears
It’s not your time just yet, my boy
You can wipe away them tears

I was going up the hill he says
To recruit another soul
But as I’m in no hurry
Let’s take a little stroll

He swept me up to a high high place
There were people far below
And as they toiled and troubled
They didn’t seem to know

That each on his right shoulder
A wingéd angel bore
On one I will not mention
His angel was no more

And death now whispered softly
Mind you your angel well
For he alone can save you
When time rings out the bell

Your good deeds make him stronger
Your bad ones cut him down
You’ll want him in the best of shape
When next I come around

For when it’s time to go to heaven
To escape from gravity’s grip
Your angel must uplift you
Or you’ll never get the trip

Death left me where he found me
With a different point of view
And I’ve made some resolutions
And maybe so should you

For since that brief encounter
It’s crystal clear to me
The way things always have been
Are now, and will forever, be

So I’ll scurry down the hillside
A chastened wiser man
With an angel at my shoulder
And a somewhat altered plan

angel guardian02

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