'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Friday, February 23, 2007


The Aliens

I was walking through the fields
  On a cloudless summer night
When a light appeared above me
  And I felt a curious heat.
Plane lights shouldn't hover
  And they shouldn't be that bright.
And they're not attached to flying disks
  That land right at my feet.

A set of stairs descended,
  And despite the bright lights' glare,
I saw three smiling aliens,
  Dressed in white for tennis.
They looked like Ginger Rogers
  And they danced like Fred Astaire.
I fought them with a shovel
  Till they said they'd go to Ennis.

People say I'm crazy
  Or just stupid, but they're wrong.
I'm as sane as anyone,
  More intelligent than most.
Their idea of an intellectual
  Titan is King Kong.
They couldn't count to my IQ
  And that's no idle boast.

I tell them till my face is blue,
I don't use LSD or pot.
I've never thought of sniffing glue.
Though I have been eating flowers a lot.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Country Songs

Sarah loves to sing.
  She'll never miss a chance
To sing for other people.
  They can listen, leave or dance.

Many people leave
  Even though they truly love
The sound of her sweet voice
  Sent from heaven up above.

She only sings sad country songs.
  Her friends will often wonder
If she got her taste in music
  When the Lord made his first blunder.

Willie loves the country songs
  She sings with such great feeling.
Her friends think he deserves the taste
  He got when God was dealing.

He deserves his love of country
  Coz his taste in clothes is bad.
People should be punished
  For being so poorly clad.

They think that he deserves his taste
  In clothes because he smells.
He's ignorant of deodorant,
  Of shampoos and shower gels.

And he deserves his smell because
  He once said to a poodle,
"God made blueprints for Great Danes
  But you were just a doodle."

And the dog had better taste in clothes
  And far superior hair.
He told them that at least he's not
  Gone grey like Richard Gere.

Implying that he's better
  Than the man they'd like to wed.
For that he now deserves
  An anvil falling on his head.

Sarah writes her own songs,
  Which she'll happily perform.
A set comprising mainly
  Of her own songs is the norm.

And other people's songs,
  She sings a few of those,
But it seems to her a lot like
  Wearing other people's clothes.

She agrees, on principle,
  There's nothing wrong with that.
It all depends on the person
  Underneath the cowboy hat.

She hates the songs of singers
  Who look as if they sweat.
She can't sing songs that feel as if
  The clothes she wears are wet.

Willie loves her look.
  He's the fan in her fanclub.
He wears his cowboy hat
  When she sings in Cleary's pub.

He'd love to sing himself,
  But he doesn't have the voice.
He'd give a leg to get it,
  If God gave him the choice.

He'd be a tall, one-legged
  Country singer on the stage.
He'd travel 'round the world
  And leave behind his weekly wage.

The cowboy hat he wears
  Would be like an extra limb.
Or it could be a lamp shade
  To keep his head-light dim.

The shade would stop the moths
  From flying 'round his head.
Sarah's friends say it's a dump
  Where headlice find their bed,

And the 'moths' are really flies;
  It's the smell and not the light
That draws them to his presence.
  It's certainly not the sight.

He'll never be a singer.
  He'll keep both legs and knees.
So he writes a song instead.
  It comes to him with ease.

It opens with this line:
  'D  I  V  O  R  C  E.
I'm free at last now that I've
  Overcome illiteracy'.

Sarah loves the song
  And she loves him as a friend,
But in her mind she sees
  A capital E to start an 'End'.

Singing it would feel as if
  She's wearing Willie's clothes.
The image is as welcome
  As the company of crows.

Her face turns slightly pale
  When she tries to sing the song.
She always gets the feeling
  That she'll faint before too long.

So she takes him to the clothes shops.
  He needs to dress to kill,
And not as if he killed the thing
  That's cooking in his grill.

When Sarah's friends see Willie
  Looking very sharp and new,
From head to toe in black,
  They all think, "Richard who?"

He tips his new black cowboy hat,
  And country music seems
Like the perfect summer soundtrack
  To accompany their dreams.

Sarah loves to sing his song,
  And Willie loves to hear her.
Her friends love him. The smell is gone,
  So they can get much nearer.

Friday, February 09, 2007


To Find a Wife

Joe would like to find a wife
  To live with him on his small farm,
For life and not just Christmas.
  She'd fall for his peculiar charm.

His brother Jimmy met someone
  And married her last year.
He thinks he is Brad Pitt now,
  Despite his thinning hair,

And all the noises he can make
  Using just his face.
Film stars don't bet on
  Half-drunk hens to win a race.

Joe is on the lookout
  For a wife to make men jealous,
To let them stare in wonder
  And to make them whisper, "Tell us,

"Where can I get one of those?"
  This tale he would relate,
Of a restaurant in Dublin
  On a candle-lit first date,

Where all the waiters look as if
  They'd kill themselves for honour.
One dropped plate or drop of wine
  On clothes and they're a gonner.

But no one would believe it.
  He's not that sort of man.
The only time that he eats out,
  The food comes from a van.

Her eyes would sense his aftershave.
  The smell's so strong it stings,
And he doesn't want a woman
  Who'd expect the best of things,

Someone who'd complain
  If he brought home something dead,
Who constantly sees places
  That she'd never dare to tread.

He wants a simple woman,
  Someone down to earth.
Jimmy's wife wears high heel shoes
  And faints when she sees dirt.

Someone who'll be happy
  With an evening in the pub,
With people who'd get thrown out
  Of a fancy country club,

Those who always look as if
  They've nearly drank too much,
The single men who smell of things
  You wouldn't want to touch.

And those who have to touch the things
  That bring disease and bite,
And those whose brains rely on
  Mental anguish to stay bright.

She wouldn't mind the fights about
  The placing of wire fences.
Jimmy's wife drinks wine each day
  To slightly numb her senses.

The frosted contact lenses
  Only keep so much at bay.
Jimmy likes the way she looks.
  He tells her so each day.

She liked that when they met at first,
  When they were only flirting,
But now she finds his comments
  To be slightly disconcerting.

He has the same affection for
  The way his tractor looks.
He rates the latest models
  In the magazines and books.

And she's worried by his lack of care
  For where he puts his hands.
She won't let him come within
  Two feet of where she stands

Until he has a shower,
  Wears clean clothes and combs his hair,
Till then her eyes and lenses
  Can create a frosty glare.

She has often told him that
  She could have been an actress.
She nearly got a part
  As a woman in a black dress,

Or simply as a woman,
  And nothing more than that.
He could have been on TV
  If he hadn't shot a rat.

Joe's new wife won't be a maid,
  Unpaid for what she does.
He'll tell her every day
  That she gives a higher buzz

Than drink or drugs or digging holes.
  They won't have fights or rows.
He won't teach her to shoot things,
  Or make her milk the cows.

He sees her very clearly,
  But he wonders how he'll find
Someone in the real world
  Like the woman in his mind.

Josephine seems caring
  And she's not afraid of mud,
But Jimmy says she sacrifices
  Chickens and drinks blood.

And even if he moved his search
  Beyond the local area
And met someone who meets with
  Almost all of his criteria,

How would he convince her
  That she should be his wife,
That a farm with its old house
  Is the place to spend her life?

Jimmy says he'll help.
  He says he wrote the book.
He's teaching Joe his chat-up lines
  And working on the look.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


The Play

In Dublin's fair city where fittingly pretty
  Young people can glide through the parks,
The breeze and hair dryers fuel internal fires,
  Infernos where eyes are the sparks.

Confetti-like leaves fall on Ciara's and Steve's.
  They wave when they recognise faces.
They fleetingly meet when their two flitting feet
  Allow them to rest in quiet places.

The music of youth speaks of beauty and truth.
  They slide, swoon and sigh, and then sleep.
With the world at their feet. Or two weeks in Crete,
  Where it's too dark to look when they leap.

Some stay in their rooms as late afternoon looms,
  And evening descends from the stars.
The streetlights are on and the shoppers are gone,
  And the internal fires light up bars.

For those all alone with a deaf and dumb phone,
  Who stay in and dream of their fame,
Life can still burn in an external urn.
  They don't need to feign a bright flame.

They write their life story. 'I Don't Mean To Bore Me'
  Is what Joey's calling his book
About his own days, their permanent greys,
  Persistently lacking in luck.

Each day stays the same as his hair style or name.
  It's difficult to write something new.
He could leave his head to paint the town red,
  Or at least try some almost-grey hue.

He could try some sport on a pitch, course or court,
  Throwing a ball through a hoop.
He could take up art but instead he takes part
  In an avant garde theatre group.

With a whole play to fill they mostly stand still.
  They're mainly as mute as a brick.
Joey's one word, which is just barely heard,
  Is 'tock' in response to a 'tick'.

Sometimes he blinks. He eventually thinks
  That he could do this in his room,
Or at a bus stop, or at home with a mop.
  Babies rehearse in the womb.

He's tempted to say that they should do a play
  With characters who speak, shout and dance.
With sun, bees and birds, and many more words.
  He's sick of the language of stance.

He can't help but say it when on one dark day it
  Gets so dull that somebody faints.
He says it at last and the rest of the cast
  Are pleased with the picture he paints.

It sounds quite inviting. They set about writing
  A script full of light, love and fun.
The ideas won't flow. They write what they know,
  And stick to the things that they've done.

Like standing on stages for what seems like ages
  And saying the word 'tick', sometimes 'tock'.
They could write about that, or wearing a hat,
  Or a day in the life of a clock.

So Joey says they need to get out and play.
  He's been here before and he knows
They'll need to do things before their play sings
  With beautiful highs and not lows.

He hoped that he'd find new ideas when he joined
  This theatre group he's now with.
It won't work for them, and it didn't for him,
  Or maybe just a small bit.

They could try some sport or drink gin and port
  And dance through the streets at midday,
Or start a new band and spend half a grand
  As they paint the town green over grey.

They're tempted by vices. They vote on their choices.
  A trip to the country, they choose.
A weekend away, and the whole group will stay
  In an old country house full of booze.

Their weekend is fun, coloured in by the sun.
  They talk to the hens cows and sheep.
They sing songs and drink and forget how to think,
  And see plays performed when they sleep.

On Saturday night at the end of daylight
  They go to a pub near the house.
In a warm, happy haze, one of them plays
  The piano, some waltzes by Strauss.

At one they're all gone, but their party goes on
  Back at the house until four.
Some items they break but they wait till they wake
  Before clearing the bits from the floor.

It's worse than they thought. A brush, mop and cloth
  Won't un-do the mess they've created.
The front room's been trashed. The piano is smashed.
  The decor had seemed very dated,

But they've made it worse. They look on and curse.
  They're full of regret and they're tired.
The owner arrives and they fear for their lives.
  Some improvised acting's required.

They say a mad thief brought a pick-axe and grief.
  He trashed the place looking for cash.
He spoke in loud French and emitted a stench
  Of motor-oil, gravy and hash.

He had a glass eye and they all wondered why
  He wore it as if it's an ear ring.
Their story is good but their acting's like wood.
  They're more used to standing and staring.

He tells them it's fair that they pay to repair
  The things that they tore, burnt and broke.
But they write a good play about their short stay,
  And a one-eyed French thief in a cloak.

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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