'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
Click here to buy the paperback or download the ebook for free.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Ben's Career

When Ben was young his teachers said
Some bulbs had blown inside his head.
They said, at best, he'd be a dot,
And he should put the short word 'not'

Before his dreams and aims in life,
Like 'Finding some Miss-World-like wife'.
'Not' would help him reach his goals.
He'd end up working digging holes.

His father said to set his sights
Below the brightly coloured lights,
And work in some dark, smelly place
Where things with fangs might bite his face,

In pitch-black rooms with vampire bats,
Or angry rats the size of cats,
And feral cats the size of dogs,
And vicious dogs the size of hogs.

In school he was perceived as dim.
His fellow pupils voted him
Most likely to be killed by ants
Or something he put down his pants

After gamblers placed their bets.
The medics present would be vets.
They said he'd end up living in
A tree, a box or in a bin.

They thought he'd die and leave a mess,
But he's become a great success.
His brand new house is not a tree.
He won the National Lottery.

And all it took was his dumb luck.
He couldn't give a flying duck
To all the duckless people who
Believed his brain cells were too few.

His garden's home to ducks and swans,
And many statues made of bronze.
Peacocks roam the perfect lawns,
Where butterflies enrapture fawns.

His butler buttles flawlessly.
Ben will drink and fall asleep.
He spills the beer from his gold cup.
His clothes are clean when he wakes up.

He pays a fortune for his clothes,
And for the suits on his scarecrows.
He built a pub inside his house.
He's working on the 'Miss World' spouse.

He's seen now in a different light.
His stature's at a record height.
Those who said his head had broke
Now realise this was a joke.

Thursday, August 23, 2007



They say that I was born
  When the autumn moon was full,
When the nurse said 'push'
  And my mother said 'pull',

When the wolves in the hills
  Went back to their caves,
And the great white horses
  Went to hide in the waves.

I learnt to talk in Irish
  At the tender age of nil.
I grew up in a town
  That was perched upon a hill.

The hill was very steep
  And I hated looking down.
Up was good but I was always
  Falling out of town.

Falling out of town
  Has become a local sport.
A line around the hill
  Marks the outline of a court.

People are the balls
  And they're called as 'out' or 'in'.
No one's really sure
  What would constitute a win.

Some will claim a point
  When their ball says 'I'm alive'.
Judges will give scores
  For the standard of the dive.

I sang and jumped for joy
  When I found out I had feet.
I walked for many miles
  Through the fields of corn and wheat.

And I never had the worry
  Of a fall so I was free
To think in big thought-bubbles
  That would tempt a wasp or bee.

The bubbles took my thoughts away
  And left my head a blank.
I felt so light I thought I'd float,
  But sadly, to be frank,

I couldn't float, as I found out
  When I returned to town,
An hour of walking up
  Before a quicker trip back down.

So instead I filled my head
  With ideas and information.
I studied every subject
  To advance my education.

I started wearing glasses
  And I read a lot of books.
The things I said weren't funny
  But I still got funny looks.

My head was full of knowledge
  But I felt it weighed me down.
Each time I tried to swim,
  I'd sink and nearly drown.

For too long I'd neglected
  The other end of me.
I took my feet out running
  In the fields where I felt free.

I ran through streets and hallways.
  I never missed a chance
To rest my head and use my feet.
  I took them to a dance.

I went there with a woman
  Who had many scenic views,
But her hair was just a wig
  And her eyes were just tattoos.

She left with someone else.
  His name was Brad or Brian.
He pushed me out of town
  And I landed on the line.

So he claimed a point as well,
  Which made me feel much worse.
The weight of all my knowledge
  Lay upon me like a curse.

But with my mid-air dance
  I scored a perfect ten
From all three of the judges.
  I could claim a brilliant win.

I won a Christmas hamper
  And a solid silver cup.
So now a sense of pride
  Is the reason I look up.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Twenty-Seven Daves

He does a jig to say he's here,
And when he's gone away to there
He shouts 'I'm over here' and waves.
He feels like twenty-seven Daves

Who all reside in just one man.
The rooms inside are open plan
So every Dave can interact
And enter into any pact

With any other Dave inside.
There's nowhere for a Dave to hide,
Like those in the Big Brother house.
Unlike an owl or mole or mouse

Their aim in life is being seen,
To be and then to be has-been.
Some inner Daves will swear and shout.
He'll drink too much and let them out.

At other times he's good as gold,
Quieter than a mouse who's old.
He looks as if the softest butter
Wouldn't melt where Dave will utter

Words of peace and harmony.
To hurt a fly or harm a bee
Would be beyond this tranquil man.
For global peace he has a plan.

This one's head could hold a halo,
But there's a Dave who'd like to lay low,
The one who broke his friend's guitar,
An accident with his crowbar.

He dared his neighbour's new au pair
To set fire to a garden chair.
She prefers the Dave who's good,
Who's like a monk beneath his hood.

The other hood-clad Daves are bad.
The one who tries to be a cad
Was seen when Dave broke up with June
Beneath a snow-white summer moon.

He said to her, "It's me, not you."
This wasn't strictly speaking true.
It was Sue. He'd tried them both
Before he put it to a vote.

Both required a long test-drive
To let his electorate arrive
At a broad, considered view.
A majority of Daves chose Sue.

Sometimes he sings on city streets,
Recites in pubs the poems of Keats.
He wanders lonely as a cloud.
He always brings his inner crowd.

Sometimes he's quiet and sits alone,
Or at the lake he'll skim a stone,
Watching ripples reach the shore,
Then strolling slowly home to pour

A cup of tea before he goes
To bed to snooze and use his nose
To snore and keep the Daves awake
With waves of sound, without a break.

They're left to run around in dreams
With sound effects of guns and screams,
The monk-like Dave will pray for peace.
Others look like men from Grease.

Some will gladly shoot at things,
Trained assassins, ducks or kings.
One is itching to attack.
His monkey army watch his back.

They managed to evict the Dave
Who never ceased from being grave,
And often left them all depressed.
He had to get things off his chest

And talk about the world and all
The reasons why we're soon to fall
In our environmental hearse.
His existential angst was worse.

There's a Dave who likes 'N Sync.
It makes the others take to drink
When this one Dave begins to hum.
They'd all be deaf if he's not dumb.

But all in all they get on well,
Despite the constant noise and smell.
And all their different views on life
That could bring many hues of strife,

They manage to enjoy each day.
It's full of fun, not dull and grey.
Though some may frown on having fun
They all think Dave is number one.

Thursday, August 09, 2007



Jane always follows advice when it's free.
Her horoscope tells her to go to the sea
To meet a dark stranger while out on the strand,
Beneath the blue sky and surrounded by sand.

She goes to the coast and looks out at the sea,
Glad of the fact that the view is for free,
Unlike the pay-per-view satellite shows
That promise great action, but when the wind blows

The land outside windows exudes raw emotion.
Sailors show caution and leave the wild ocean.
They head for the land, somewhere dry, somewhere warm.
They know Mother Nature's performing a storm.

The smile on her face has a faint hint of menace,
Scattering those playing bowls or lawn tennis.
She makes the trees dance, while removing their clothes
By taking their leaves to reveal a nude pose.

The little birds rise to a natural high,
Surfing the waves of the wind in the sky.
They mock all the surfers attempting to ride
The mountainous waves of the incoming tide.

The wind-surfing birds are the bards of the air,
Writing their lives in the sky without care.
A black mass of cloud soon envelopes the land,
A T-shirt supporting a death metal band.

It suits Mother Nature. The storm can now rage.
She enters the mosh pit and dives from the stage.
Black cats and dogs will come down with the rain.
Wear a good hat and avoid the Great Dane.

The surfers can no longer stay on their boards.
They're deeply afraid of the way their head hoards
The water that enters their head through their ears.
The leaks make them sink. A torrent of tears

Flows from their eyes when they're thinking of death.
They don't need to fear the grim reaper just yet.
As long as their tears drain the water away
They'll keep riding waves to the beach in this bay.

Jane sees a stranger approach where she stands.
He's tall and he's dark and he loves metal bands.
The stranger is Death but he's hit by a brick.
He falls to the ground. She uses a stick

To poke him and see if there's life left inside.
The brick was a gift from the surfers, who hide.
But Death doesn't move and she says with a grin,
"My horoscope got it just right yet again."

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Lazy Days

On a hike through sun-lit hills,
  He stops to see the view.
It's full of stunning thrills
  Underneath a dome of blue.

He leans against a boulder
  That the builder in the sky
Made to give some shade,
  A place to lean or lie,

And to doze into a daze
  And then slip into a sleep,
Where a message can be left
  On his mind after the beep.

The beep sounds in his head
  And a woman's voice is heard.
The sound is crystal clear.
  There is truth in every word:

"It always pays to pose
  When you're walking down the street.
Avoid the claws of crows
  And those of people that you meet.

"Aspire to self-improvement
  And your flaws will start to freeze.
Don't fall asleep outdoors
  Where the rats will gnaw your knees.

"Choose the finest ties
  And the shoes to hide your toes.
Elicit praise from people
  Through your careful choice of clothes.

"Exude an air of class.
  Appear serene and holy.
Don't eat pies with peas
  To avoid appearing lowly.

"Don't suppose the spies
  Aren't watching what you do.
These guys make little noise
  When they choose to follow you.

"Their masterful disguise
  Makes them look just like a broom.
Never show surprise
  When you find them in your room.

"Escape on skis to safety,
  To a tea shop or a bar.
Don't disclose to strangers
  What you do or who you are.

"Consume some herbal teas
  Just to ease your way to bed.
Foes are merely flies
  If they fail to sting your head.

"Woes can make you wise
  If you look and find their cause.
Those who charge you fees
  To identify your flaws

"Will say they'll ease your woes
  But it may just be a wheeze.
They could leave a mental bruise
  That will sting you like the bees.

"Choose to look for clues
  To solve life's mysteries.
Use the ways of Maigret,
  Sherlock Holmes' or Mr. T's.

"Ignore the 'fee's and 'fie's
  And the 'foe's before the 'fum'
Of giants on top of beanstalks.
  Choose instead to hum

"Or sing the 'do re mi's
  Like the cows do with their 'moo's.
Make a happy noise
  Like the readers on the news.

"Always shine your shoes
  When you go to see the shows
To seduce a chorus girl you love
  Before you will propose.

"If she's the one who shies away
  From all your overtures
Take her through a fragrant haze
  Of summer days on tours

"Of country lanes and lawns
  At the finest manor houses
Where mazes form young couples
  Who will leave as close as spouses.

"Heed the words of Moses.
  Read what now amuses
The latest generation
  As again it blindly cruises

"Through another bright-lit crisis,
  But it's true the best advice is
To pause and see the pros and cons
  When faced with many choices.

"Laze on boats in bays
  And then row your way to shore
When the blues vacate the skies
  And the greys begin to bore.

"Compose fine prose and plays
  To express considered views.
Expose your deep ideas
  That have weathered woes and blues.

"Come up with Q's and A's
  As an aid to organise
The thoughts lost in the craze
  Of the non-stop mental noise.

"Lay a trap for lies
  With the Q's that trick the cons.
In exposing those who lose
  You'll look cooler than the Fonz.

"A rainbow's many hues
  Can be seen around a hose,
Or cutting through the greys
  Where a semi-circle glows

"In the skies up high above.
  It descends down to the ground
To the gold behind the boulder
  Or beneath the grassy mound,

"Just behind your shoulder
  As you doze on these green hills.
You'll afford the cars and pools
  And you'll pay off all your bills.

"Roses have their ruses
  With their thorns beneath the petals.
Composers have their muses
  That will help produce death metals

"From the finest, purest gold,
  An inverse alchemy.
They'll lose the higher views
  From the third-floor balcony.

"Instead they're in the basement
  Where the postman fears to tread.
They'll wake the dead with music
  And they'll take their beers to bed.

"Their head is home to love.
  It goes in through their nose,
And haunts them like a ghost,
  Bringing highs as well as lows,

"Bringing dazzling lights to eyes
  And days to nights, and ties the knots,
And sounds of flying frying pans
  And shouts and fights with pots.

"You can always blow your nose to clear
  Your nasal passage-ways,
And clear your head of love
  And its all-consuming craze.

"The sight of leaves on trees
  And their shadows on the ground
Can fill your head instead.
  Small things can astound.

"Those obsessed with size
  Like to gaze across the seas.
You can close your weary eyes
  And appreciate the breeze,

"And see it all inside you
  In the memories that you've stored,
Kept on file for rainy days,
  For when you're feeling bored."

But this message is erased.
  Its advice he'll never know.
It's all recorded over
  By the words outlined below.

'There's something on your neck,'
  Which is good advice as well,
An alarm that wakes him up,
  A ringing verbal bell.

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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