'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Thursday, November 29, 2007
Darren sells things from his van,
His mobile multi-purpose shop.
People go to him to buy
A record player or a mop.
DVDs of Pet Shop Boys
And sweat shop toys with minor flaws.
Teddy bears with staring eyes.
Instead of ears they've sterile gauze.
Basketballs and blow-up dolls.
A train set with the wrong sized tracks.
Hats and rain coats and umbrellas.
Cups and jugs and plates with cracks.
Foreign Santa stickers.
Christmas crackers that explode.
A tiny Santa outfit
On a glowing plastic toad.
And also on a Christmas theme
A guillotine for turkeys that
Darren purchased from a man
Who wore a Prussian army hat.
Scuba diving gear with holes
And women's swimwear prone to tears.
Driving gloves with minor burns,
And crutches for the teddy bears.
A parrot's cage, a pirate's hook.
A china dog and two stuffed foxes.
Books on birds and tattered prints.
Chess sets stored in cornflake boxes,
With bishops played by Yogi Bears
And plastic Supermen for kings.
Used thumb tacks and tennis rackets
With wool or thread instead of strings.
Heart-shaped lockets, almost gold,
Inscribed with 'Brian' or 'Isobel'.
Computers left out in the rain.
Fax machines and phones that fell.
He once acquired a severed head,
And though it looked extremely real
The head was just a film prop.
You'd only know that when you feel
The rubber skin, synthetic hair,
And two blue eyeballs made of glass.
Darren put the head on sale
With a hat and rubber ass.
But still he failed to sell the head.
It made a lot of people scream
When they saw it in the van
And later in a vivid dream.
Others loved this minor being,
This harmless, armless, legless chap
Who looked serene and dignified
Despite his body's gaping gap.
The ones who liked the head all lacked
The cash to buy it, so it stayed
Unsold in Darren's van for months.
The head's unmoving face displayed
A growing boredom with the van,
So Darren often brought it out.
He made a film that starred the head.
Food was put into its mouth.
The camera focussed on the head
While it consumed Italian food.
The camera then panned down to show
A scene that had a horror mood.
The food was dropping from the neck.
It landed on the cold hard ground.
A little dog was there to eat
The undigested meal he'd found.
Darren sold the DVDs
Of the first short film he'd made.
It sold as well as Rush Hour 2,
Or CDs like The Best of Slade.
That's why he made a proper film.
The head would play a leading part.
He also used an old fake arm,
A rabbit's foot and horse's heart.
His friends were glad to help him out,
Some as actors, some as crew.
His brother always looked for ways
To turn the film a shade of blue.
Late one night, near Halloween,
They filmed within a fairy fort.
The fairies turned up unannounced.
It soon became a fairy court.
Darren's brother wore a suit
And shirt that went above his head.
The fake head rested up on top.
The mouth and ears and nose all bled.
The head fell off and hit the ground.
It landed with a frightening thud.
The fairies stared in disbelief
As they were spattered with fake blood.
And then the body felt around.
It found its head and put it back.
It terrified the fairy folk.
It made them halt their planned attack.
They ran away without delay.
Darren filmed the head's last kiss.
The movie proved to be a hit.
It outsold Pride and Prejudice.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
The Berry in the Hall
She walks towards the door
But she has to stop and stare
At the berry in the hall,
On the table near the chair,
A single bright red dot
On the polished table top.
It gives the line of afternoon
An unforeseen full-stop.
She lets this small red globe
Be the focus of her gaze,
And lets all other thoughts
Be enveloped in a haze,
Lets the small red berry
Fill the space inside her head,
Beneath her windswept hair
That itself is slightly red,
Blonder than the sunburnt grass
In fields beside the sea,
Not as blond as sunlight
When the day decides to be,
Not as red as sunburnt skin
Beneath a dome of blue
That stays unscarred by clouds.
It seems to be brand new.
It shelters this small planet
On its orbit round the sun,
Looked down upon by God.
His badge says 'Number One'.
She looks down at the berry.
He sees a small blue ball.
Does the thought within God's head
Fill the mind down in the hall?
Does the same idea
Make their mental workings tick:
"If I were to eat that,
Would it make me sick?"
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Derek likes to talk for hours.
He knows the Latin names of flowers.
He'll lecture them on lawns and life.
He talks when walking with his wife.
They walk each day at eight o' clock.
The neighbours kids still call him Spock.
He pretends he doesn't hear.
He thinks he looks like Richard Gere,
And not like Spock. He's sure of that,
Especially when he wears a hat
To hide his ears and hair and head,
A new roof for his mental shed.
It's full of odds and ends he stores.
He'd out-bore the biggest bores
With stories, facts and histories
That seem to solve life's mysteries,
Or at least they'll drain away
Your will to live and love and stay
Wide awake to take in life,
To be as sharp as any knife.
He'll make you want to fall asleep,
And he's as good as counting sheep
For making eye-lids cover eyes.
His voice is like a humming noise.
With eye-lids closed, the curtains drawn,
The room in darkness until dawn,
The dream's projector fills the screen,
Starring cats and Charlie Sheen.
He dreams of being in a book.
He'd fill the boots of some bad crook,
A man found in the works of Dickens,
Or someone known for stealing chickens,
A man adept at picking pockets.
He'd steal the eye balls from eye sockets
Without their owners noticing
Until they stand and go to bring
The sheets and clothes in from the line,
Or when they need a glass of wine.
They reach out for the bottle and
They look but fail to see their hand.
They realise their eyes aren't there.
They curse the man who stole their stare.
They try to form a glare or glint,
A sense of menace, just a hint,
But strong enough to burn a hole,
To make their eyes like red hot coal
Within the pocket of the thief,
To burn his hand and bring him grief.
Their own two eyes are then bought back,
Selected from a long eye-rack
In an eye-stall in the square.
They're guaranteed to last a year.
They'll buy the eyes and wear them home.
They're free again to freely roam
Over moors and hills and vales
And look for holes with holy grails.
They'll look into a looking glass
And curse the thieving lower class.
They'll see they've bought their own two eyes
From the eye thief in disguise.
Sometimes Derek plays the part
Of a gentleman who steals great art,
Seducing women with a wink,
Evading captors when they blink,
Surviving duels -- he has nine lives.
He'll take the art and give the wives
An enigmatic smile that stays
In place upon her face for days.
This is Derek's form of painting,
Portraits that are prone to fainting.
He becomes a wanted man.
The finest minds have formed a plan
To catch him and imprison him.
They've realised he isn't dim.
He once was captured by police.
He somehow filled his cell with geese.
He left them with an 'au revoir',
And slipped into a warm boudoir.
They fumed but when their tempers fell
They thought they sought the Pimpernel.
When poor street urchins call him Spock
He'll leave them in a state of shock.
He'll use his Vulcan death grip and
He'll kill a Klingon with his hand,
And whistle as he walks away.
The urchins won't know what to say.
When their eyes return to sockets
They'll empty out the Klingon's pockets.
He'll inspire respect and fear,
And he'll be played by Richard Gere
In a book about his life.
Meryl Streep will be his wife.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Familiar sounds of summer days
Will form a song for those who laze.
For those in love, each day presents
A chance to use the present tense,
Inhabiting the 'here and now',
Allowing every day endow
Each mind with perfect sunlit sights,
The opening act for summer nights.
Parties start as daylight fades.
Minds as sharp as razor blades
Lose their edge when doused in drink.
A golden haze in which to think.
A golden age of falling down,
Where people see their head, their crown
As just a hole for alcohol,
To fill and thrill and then enthral
By filtering all the words and sounds
Of people, birds and Basset hounds,
Allowing us to bear the bores,
And talk to her who he adores,
And clear the floors when he begins
To sing to her a song he pens
On a perfect mental page,
A product of the golden age.
And yes, it sounds like Dire Straits,
And yes, he looks just like Bill Gates,
But he exudes a glowing charm
That's growing on a mental farm.
His song reveals the fields inside,
With views extending far and wide,
A tulip farm where all the flowers
Will dance in summer breeze for hours,
Despite not having knees or feet
And wilting in the summer heat.
There's a chance they'll dance tonight.
His bait will work; the fish will bite.
And Dire Straits will be his king,
Replacing Elton John or Sting.
They're isolated from the throng.
'The Walk of Life' will be their song,
The soundtrack to the summer days
That represents a healthy craze
For spending all the day outdoors
On beautiful flower-covered floors,
Admiring nature's summer style,
Hearing sounds that make them smile,
Happy cries that scatter crows,
The sight of brightly coloured clothes,
Hearing tennis grunts and screams,
More sinister when heard in dreams,
Where all the summer signs seem wrong,
Just like a happy, carefree song
That's sung too slowly, out of tune,
Suggesting night is coming soon,
Heralding an impending end
When Death will be your only friend.
The sky has hints of purple hues.
The young news reader on the news
Is talking in a voice that shows
No sign of life. The jet-black crows
Flee in terror for the hills.
With smiles suggesting dentist drills
And sudden, terrifying fights,
Their sparkling teeth and tennis whites
Are glowing under purple skies.
On the news two pale-blue eyes
Suggest a mind intent on murder.
The old news reader overheard her
Plot and plan her victim's death,
And now he's gone. His end he met.
The tennis players' manic smiles
Make poodles cower and run for miles.
At parties there's a dark foreboding,
A sense of evil near exploding.
Couples tell each other lies.
They look into each other's eyes
In fear that one will pull a gun.
Two is company. So is none.
Life is just a list of hates,
From Elton John to Dire Straits.
Even Sting is Stephen King.
His songs of hate and death will ring
A dull funereal mental bell
That conjures scenes of deepest hell.
Danny sees it all at night,
Lit up by his mind's spotlight.
He feels as if he's seen the truth.
He's seen the set, the film shoot.
In waking hours he only sees
The finished film, the scenes that please
The senses and the censors who
Prefer the lies to what is true.
He thought the scenes of waking hours,
Of summer days and fields of flowers,
Presented all there was to see,
Our contact with reality,
But now he knows it's all a lie.
He sees the truth and wonders why
In the past he'd never seen
The grand illusion on the screen.
He thinks he's seeing something real,
But this dark dream stems from a meal.
Specifically, a slice of cake.
Earlier, when wide awake
He ate the cake, despite the smell,
And even though it fell as well.
While on the floor, his pet dog, Fred,
Helped make sure the cake was dead.
He stood on it and left it there,
Attached to dirt and bits of hair.
The cake may well have caused his dream,
His terrifying drawn-out scream.
But this is just a theory too,
And there's no guarantee it's true.
Perhaps he's right. His case is strong.
But when he wakes he thinks he's wrong.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Hello Mr. Owl.
The weather's turning foul.
Have you seen my rain coat?
The hood is like my brain coat.
Have you seen my shoes?
And have you heard the news?
A badger stole my lunch box.
That's why I've made these punch socks.
They act just like a punch bag.
One will be my lunch bag.
You have to punch them hard
And exhibit scant regard
For the safety of your body.
These actions say to God he
Has made a great mistake
Or else he's not awake.
You may well look insane
When you're standing in the rain,
And consequently bringing
People out to see you,
But the process may well free you
From your grudge against the Lord.
You pulled the golden cord
That's supposed to ring a bell
Up in heaven, not in hell,
And get the Lord's attention,
Allowing you to mention
One or two complaints
About the way fate taints
Life with all-out farce
When you end up on your arse.
Sometimes you can laugh.
You can make your mental staff
Build up strong defences
When the inner person winces.
You can laugh off most defeats
When you haven't learnt life's cheats.
That are caused by God's creations
Are easily ignored
But some will leave you floored,
When they hit you by surprise,
Right between your eyes.
Your defences are too weak
And the aftermath is bleak.
And God won't do a thing.
Does the golden cord bell ring?
So in the rain you stand an'
You punch with wild abandon,
And tears roll down your face
But they fail to leave a trace.
They blend in with the rain fall.
Let a single punch sock enthral.
And let out all your feeling
Underneath a stormy ceiling.
It'll make you feel much better.
Have you seen my sweater?
I thought I had it on
But it seems as if it's gone.
I probably should explain
That I'm standing in the rain,
Near an old oak tree
Where I'm living nearly rent-free.
I share it with an owl.
We also share a towel.
He reads O'Brien and Joyce
While eating flame-grilled mice.
He watches DVDs,
About the lives of birds.
He uses Latin words,
And he talks above my head,
But when I go to bed
He talks about Camus
In the style of Nancy Drew,
And the sound puts me to sleep.
I'm done with counting sheep.
At times his late-night hooting
And the sound of hunters shooting
Can influence my dreams,
Triggering midnight screams.
At times he drives me mad
But all in all I'm glad
That we're sharing this oak tree.
Only I require a key.
He enters through the top
When he comes back from the shop.