'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Thursday, July 27, 2006


Debbie's Aura

Some human beings are being hues,
Merely auras in the air,
Small auroras, ghostly blues,
All around their clothes and hair.

Debbie sees herself as red,
Or glowing orange, and yellow too.
Green once occupied her head.
She's been known to be dark blue.

Once her aura looked like lightning.
Just like the fire in stormy skies.
She says her puppy found it frightening.
He used his paws to hide his eyes.

It only happened once, by chance,
While she yawned one Tuesday night.
Since then her aura's failed to dance
In such a blinding flash of light.

She tried to repeat this lightning trick
While at a car boot sale one June.
She bought a broken walking stick,
A clock shaped like a crescent moon.

An empty old blue bottle that
Once held some alcoholic drink,
A slightly torn bee-keeper hat
And a stopper for her kitchen sink.

She bought a small blue statue too.
A graceful horse that stared ahead.
The man who sold it said it's new,
And not to call it Mister Ed.

"His name's Van Gough because his ear
Is slightly chipped. He doesn't mind.
He doesn't care that all his hair
Is this bright blue from head to hind."

As she walked towards her car
She let her puppy meet Van Gough.
Their friendship hadn't gone too far
Before the horse's head fell off.

She went back to where she bought
The horse before it fell apart.
The body and the head, she brought.
She said the horse would need a cart

To hold his head, or he'd forget
To bring it with him when he goes
To get a drink or place a bet.
He'd surely need his eyes and nose.

The man said, "This one's not a duff.
Van Gough cut off his head as well.
A single ear was not enough.
When he removed his head it fell

"On his foot. It hurt his toe.
He cursed his head, or it cursed him.
He managed a self-portrait, though.
His shoulders held his straw hat's brim."

"I'd like my money back," she said.
But this he didn't seem to hear.
"Choose another horse instead.
I pride myself on being fair.

"This one's ears are both intact.
And yes, they seem extremely large.
He makes up for what Van Gough lacked.
For these ears there's no extra charge.

"His name is Big Ears. This one's Noddy.
His bright red hat he'll often doff.
He's very proud of his grey body.
And when he nods, his head comes off."

She said, "I want a refund now."
He asked to see Van Gough's receipt.
"Without receipts I don't see how
I'll stay clear of a con's deceit."

"You know you didn't give me one,"
She said with anger in her voice.
He said to her, "What's done is done.
You took your chance and made your choice.

"You probably broke it as you played
With poor Van Gough, your little friend."
Completely quiet and still, she stayed.
Soon, she thought, this game will end.

She tried to make her aura look
Like a terrifying lightning flash.
For this there's no instruction book.
The time had come for something rash.

She strained as hard as she could strain.
The man stood back, with Noddy too.
Thoughts of lightning filled her brain.
In her face, a trace of blue.

But still her aura lacked the light.
The lightning strike remained well hid.
Her puppy sat just to her right.
She said, "Attack!" And that he did.

Or so she said when we first met.
But I doubt it very much.
He seemed a happy, playful pet,
As peaceful as the Swiss or Dutch.

I met her at that car boot sale,
Where I was buying paper clips.
We hit it off. She told her tale.
I tested all her finger tips

To see if they possessed a charge.
I thought I felt a current flow.
And though it wasn't very large,
I wouldn't call it very low.

I'd like to be a constant grey,
And only say the blandest things,
And blend in with a cloudy day.
I'll talk about what each cloud brings.

She likes that too. She likes to talk
About the grey surrounding me.
On rainy days she loves to walk,
And clouds bring electricity.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Mind and Body

Your brain and ears determine
If you're good at hearing things.
You'll normally need your fingers
To be adept at wearing rings.

The rings are gifts from loved ones,
So their presence always lingers.
Your toes don't do a lot,
But what they're not is little fingers.

They do a bit when you're barefoot,
Or when you're wearing sandals.
They're not equipped for pointing,
Or operating handles.

Your brain is well protected
From the wind and from the rain.
The extension from your shoulder
Is essentially a crane.

Your knees are very clever
In their own peculiar way.
They endeavour to ensure
You're perpendicular by day.

At night you're horizontal
So your knees can take a break,
And your toes can dance and play
Until morning when you wake.

For digging holes and finding grails
Your finger nails are handy.
They're effectively your claws.
If your name is Jill or Mandy

You can paint them any colour,
You can grow them very long.
On males long coloured nails are odd.
That's not to say they're wrong.

The mouth has many uses.
You need it when you breathe.
You can use it to form sentences
So people will pay heed.

And if they fail to listen
To your thesis, which you've checked.
It's their brains that are defective.
They've rejected intellect.

They say I'm plainly wrong,
But they're patently mistaken.
That cats are evil beings
Will be blatant when they waken.

I've double checked and tested
In laboratory conditions.
I've followed cats and kittens
And revealed their evil missions.

Their ultimate ambition
Is to dominate the world.
After much investigation
Their evil scheme unfurled

And unfolded in my brain
Where I've held it ever since.
For the feline armageddon
I've prepared by buying tents.

And food to last a year.
I've a hide-out on a mountain.
I've assembled countless ammo
And some weapons I can count on.

Some suspect their dogs,
And monkeys too, of course,
Of involvement in a plot
To form a government by force.

You'll be terrified of mice
After 'Pinky and The Brain'.
Felines seem effeminate
And fearful of the rain.

Despite their friendly guise
As a lazy ball of fur,
Beneath, there lies a genius.
There's menace in each purr.

Cats and mice will fight
In their global power game.
I think the crows are helping
The cats achieve their aim.

People say I'm mad,
But the truth lies in their hearts.
Let's leave this and return
To the brain and body parts.

You can use these parts together
On the sporting field or court.
You can always curse your ankles
When you finish last or fourth.

You can also aim abuse
At opponents or the ref.
You'll have to use your hands for that
If one of them is deaf.

And if you're playing soccer
You'll need to learn to dive.
Your head must orchestrate a move
That says you're not alive.

Your head can be conductor
And performer all in one.
Balls from corners require headers.
It's a job that must be done.

Your head can be a weapon
When it comes to words and deeds.
With words, water flows from eyes.
With deeds it's blood that bleeds.

Your head is very leaky.
It's something to remember.
Along with dates of birth and days,
How many has September.

If your head works very hard
On the outside, not the in,
What's in will decompose,
Like the contents of a bin.

You won't remember birthdays.
They'll hit you with a pan.
And only make your head worse.
You'll forget the feline plan.

Or too long in the sun
When you're used to cold and rain
Can seriously diminish
The performance of your brain.

So wear a hat or helmet.
It's what your brain deserves.
It never gets a break
From lighting cells and reading nerves.

Blocking footballs with your hand --
It's your brain that gets it done.
And when you see a cat
With a hand grenade, you'll run.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


He Lives in a Shoe

He lives in a shoe, a very big one.
He gets lots of air with the laces undone.
He likes to wear sandals, and rarely wears socks.
He puts on his good shoes when somebody knocks,

Or rings the front doorbell to call for a chat,
Like Lucy next door, who lives in a hat.
She's deeply in love with this man in a shoe.
She's certain he's destined to feel that way too.

She speaks in a sweet Transylvanian voice.
Sometimes in her hand she holds two red dice,
And rolls them away, and says, "Two and four."
She slowly retrieves the red dice from the floor.

Some people would find this behaviour quite sinister.
And call an austere Presbyterian Minister.
He finds it entrancing. He's dreaming of sinning.
Thoughts and desires go dancing and spinning.

Between his two ears are the words he should say.
From there to his mouth they get lost on the way.
They often come out as a faint sighing sound,
While she tries to find the red dice on the ground.

One night in a candle-lit room in her hat,
They eat a dessert and a chocolate cake that
She made to encourage the death of all doubt.
They finally kiss and the candle burns out.

At last they look forward to one future life,
Living together as husband and wife.
They talk about buying a much bigger hat.
Together they'll pay for the mortgage on that.

They look at a hat on a hill with a view
Of a valley nearby and a neighbouring shoe.
A hill-climbing boot with a shoe for a shed.
There's room for his shoulders but not for his head.

A two-storey top hat with stairs in the hall.
You could swing a cat. There's space on the wall
Where paintings and ornaments will one day be hung.
She says that her latest cat loves to be swung.

They both can imagine a happy life here.
They'll make it a home and treat it with care.
She feels for her friend, who just got the key
To her newest love nest high up in a tree.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


The Keeper in the Zoo

The keeper in the zoo
  Is a very nice man.
His name is Bill or Bob.
  Let's assume it's Stan.

People like to talk to him
  And he talks too.
He says, "My name is Frank
  And I'm a keeper in the zoo."

Stan's name isn't Frank.
  I'm fairly sure of that.
In the zoo, he looks after
  All the fish and a cat.

He keeps the cat away
  From the fish in the tanks.
People pay to see it
  But the cat is merely Manx.

He goes home to his wife
  For his dinner and his tea.
When she calls him Alan,
  Stan says, "Who is he?"

"He's just," she says and stops.
  And then she says, "He's you."
I'm fairly sure he's not.
  Stan is certain too.

"I'm Frank," he says, "I'm fairly sure.
  In fact I'm even certain."
He turns around to stop the cat
  Who's climbing up the curtain.

"I get this all day long at work,"
  Stan says to the cat,
Who leaves the living room and goes
  To sleep in Nora's hat.

Nora is Stan's lovely wife.
  He knows her name is Nora.
Other people know her as
  The woman who once wore a

Hat with something moving,
  But the cat has since killed that,
And then moved in himself,
  With a tiny welcome mat.

Stan says 'bye and leaves
  For his Amateur Dramatics.
He's glad to get away
  Before watching what the cat licks.

He finally finds some peace
  When he's appearing in a play.
People get his name wrong.
  They're supposed to. That's okay,

Because he's playing someone else,
  Someone who's not him.
His mind can be at rest
  When they call him Bess or Kim.

He stands on stage with confidence.
  All his lines, he knows.
He loves the lights and atmosphere,
  And wearing women's clothes.

Very Slight Stories

Henry Seaward-Shannon

The East Cork Patents Office

The Tree and the Horse


Words are my favourite noises

Previous Poems

Poems from 2004
Poems from 2005



Gizmo's (Non)sense

Pretty Cunning

The Dossing Times


Cruiskeen Eile
Kevin Myers' blog (sorry, Colonel Kevin Myers).

The Chancer

Sinead Gleeson



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A Walk in the Rain

 | poetry from Ireland

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