'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Thursday, May 29, 2008


Rick's Tuba

Rick tried to learn the electric guitar.
The sound made his sister take up the crowbar.
He took up the tuba because he liked brass.
He'd use it to cover the sounds from his ass.

His donkey, that is. A pet they called Slade,
Who never got tired of the noises he made.
When Rick played the tuba it frightened the donkey.
It frightened the neighbours when played in the wrong key.

But sadly for Rick it went slightly wrong.
His tuba inhaled him when playing a song.
He struggled for weeks but he couldn't get out.
He sighed and it sounded as loud as a shout.

He learned to accept his sad fate and he found
That people were thrilled with his voice's new sound.
One night he got drunk with his best friend, who tried
To play this great tuba with Rick still inside.

They both said they liked it. They tried it again
They woke at half-nine and regretted it then.
They wished they'd seen clearer in their drunken haze.
They tried to avoid all eye-contact for days.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I'm Being Followed By An Ostrich, Or So The Papers Say

I'm being followed by an ostrich,
  Or so the papers say,
But all the world's a stage
  And life is just a play

And the press re-write the story
  Just to make it more exciting.
They dramatise the boring bits
  And add in fires and fighting.

I don't believe there really is
  An ostrich right behind me.
I can't see how an animal
  Would have the skills to find me.

Although it would explain
  What's been knocking on my head.
If I thought it was an ostrich
  I would certainly have fled.

I have a better theory
  To explain the constant knocking,
A theory that is neither
  Too sensational nor shocking.

I've been working as a lumberjack.
  I love to be outdoors,
Even in the bitter cold
  And when it rains or pours.

I built a wooden hut
  In the woods so I could stay
And sleep there every night
  And work a long hard day.

I had an old accordion
  That I no longer needed.
I requested a shop keeper
  To display an ad, and she did.

The ad described the instrument
  In intricate detail.
It outlined all the selling points
  And said it was on sale

For only twenty euros.
  The ad also outlined
Directions to my dwelling
  So it's not too hard to find.

My theory is as follows:
  A blind man came to buy
The accordion for sale.
  He would have wondered why

After following the directions
  He could not locate the place
Where I'd built my wooden hut
  And established my own base.

I had to move the hut.
  It was in a hedgehog's path.
I'd wake up to the sound
  Of my greyhound barking at

The hedgehog who would stop
  And the barking wouldn't cease
Till I took the dog away.
  I needed rest and peace.

But the blind man wouldn't know
  Why my dwelling disappeared.
He'd try to solve the mystery.
  I'm sure he would have feared

That some unruly teenagers
  Put roller-skates beneath
The corners of my hut.
  Instead of their own feet

They've been putting the old roller-skates
  Beneath some garden sheds,
The phone booth, tumble dryers,
  Antique furniture and beds,

And they've pushed these things down hills.
  Some crashed into a tree.
The blind man would have thought
  That they played this trick on me.

He'd go back to his house
  Where the accordion cupboard's bare.
While walking down a hill,
  Taking in the country air,

He'd get the smell of timber
  That has recently been cut.
He'd naturally assume
  That the smell comes from my hut

As it slowly rolls away.
  He is simply not aware
That I always smell of timber.
  There is sawdust in my hair.

Reliance on a sense of smell
  Would lead to this confusion.
One of its results
  Is the unfortunate illusion

That my head is my front door.
  With this I can explain
Why he's knocking on my head.
  I've asked him to refrain

From continually knocking,
  But he must be deaf as well.
I only wish he'd try to find
  A knocker or doorbell.

His sense of touch is lacking
  If he thinks my head is wood,
And he can't see or hear
  But his sense of smell is good.

There's only one slight flaw:
  If it's true he cannot see,
How did he read the ad
  And then make his way to me?

Someone could have told him,
  Knowing he was seeking
A second-hand accordion.
  They'd overheard him speaking

Of his love for this fine instrument,
  And how he'd like another.
Accordions were his children
  And he made a loving mother.

It's not all that unlikely
  That a man with such odd views
Would be profoundly deaf
  Or be partial to strong booze.

I could just turn around
  And put my theory to the test.
I could also run away
  And give my head some rest,

But this would be surrendering.
  The press would win again.
Their sensational stories
  Should be aired inside a bin.

Last week they said they'd found a man
  Who claimed to have three legs,
But he was just some tin foil,
  Plastic buttons and clothes pegs.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Imaginary Friends

Roger and Annette
  Bought a crumbling manor house,
With grounds ideal for gardening
  And shooting ducks or grouse.

Annette prefers encountering
  The garden's sweet delights,
With imaginary friends
  Who would rather shots and fights.

They love to rant all day.
  The glass is always full.
But it's full of boiling anger
  That would frighten any bull.

They hate all other people
  And they really hate themselves
For being just as fictional
  As leprechauns or elves.

They make fun of her real friends
  And the woman down the road
Who'd lose a beauty contest
  With an overweight dead toad.

They tell her that young people
  Are as useless as small toes,
As vacant as a vacuum
  And as beautiful as crows.

Life, they say, is pointless,
  But it's rarely ever painless.
A brain is like an open wound
  Within a world that's brainless.

It's a constant source of pain
  To be smarter than your peers.
When hit by life's absurdities
  Most people just say 'cheers'.

All remaining brain cells
  Will be lost when drowned in drink.
They're good at saying 'cheers'
  But can't remember how to think.

Stupidities, absurdities
  And all of life's iniquities
Make perfect sense to them.
  The stupid, bland ubiquities

Pervading modern culture
  Means that mannequins will thrive.
An age made for clothes horses
  Who can buy and feel alive,

Despite being barely sentient.
  They don't know who they are,
Defining their persona
  With a mobile phone and car.

The friends say she's like this,
  A mannequin who smiles,
A feeble human hidden
  Under many layers of styles,

Like layers of paint on walls
  In the rooms they wander through.
She'd be a cryptic crossword
  But she doesn't have a clue.

She whistles and she sings
  And she dances in the sun.
Despite the constant ranting
  She's intent on having fun.

She rarely pays attention
  To these venomous tirades,
But sometimes in the evening
  As the golden daylight fades

Her imaginary friends
  Will start fighting with the ghosts
Who've been around for centuries
  And see themselves as hosts,

And she will intervene
  To restore a fragile truce.
Roger starts to wonder
  If a screw or two is loose.

To say the house's influence
  Is evil needs some proof,
But many past inhabitants
  Went mad beneath this roof.

His very own imaginary
  Friend is Sigmund Freud,
Who's always smartly dressed,
  Often as a bride.

Roger has consulted him
  About his wife's companions.
He thinks there are some tourists
  Looking round her mental canyons,

But Freud says not to worry.
  "She's exceptionally sane.
There's nothing wrong with tourists
  Or with water on the brain.

"And it's okay to see me
  In my splendid wedding gown.
The Freudian explanation is
  You hate the colour brown."

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Diane is in Love

The sun is in the sky.
The grass is in the ground.
The mountain tops are high
And the world, they say, is round.

A dog walks round in circles
Till he finds a place to sleep.
Traffic, stress and work ills
Are all buried ten feet deep.

Amanda's hair is blond
And the dress she wears is white.
She says she's very fond
Of puppies, fish and night.

There's a twinkle in her eye
And a sparkle in her smile.
To shout or swear or lie
Simply wouldn't suit her style.

Amanda's on a hill
When she sees her friend Diane.
They both have time to kill.
Amanda forms a plan

To go to where Diane is
To see if she has news,
And ask her how her gran is,
And show off her new shoes.

Diane's news is this:
She's found true love again.
She's taken love's sweet bliss
Out of her recycle bin.

The man she loves is Freddie.
Right now he'd be in bed.
He often seems unsteady
On his feet and in his head.

But when he's fully sober
He can dance like Fred Astaire.
He promised he would show her
How to waltz with style and flair.

When he's at his local
He has little use for legs.
Some friendly legless folk'll
Empty two or three beer kegs.

His company is welcome,
And he'll always buy his round.
He's funny and he's seldom
Short of tales that will astound.

Her parents think she's crazy
To consider life with Fred.
They say he's rude and lazy
And he smells of something dead.

They'd rather see her choosing
A fine young man called Stan.
You'll never catch him boozing
And he dearly loves Diane.

He says she's like a flower
And he's sure that heaven sent it.
He's proud of his brain power
And the horse bra he invented.

She has to make a choice
But she can't make up her mind.
She could take her heart's advice
And accept that love is blind.

Or else she could take heed
Of her head's repeated pleas.
It says there is a need
To ignore her weakened knees.

Amanda says the future
Can be seen in clouds above.
These visions may not suit your
Deepest-held beliefs in love.

The clouds are better guides
Than the tea leaves or the stars.
You can make out grooms and brides
Or thieves behind steel bars.

They look up at the sky
Where the clouds are roaming free.
A white cloud passes by
And its shape is plain to see.

It's a horse who's wearing blinkers
And a bra, though lacking breasts.
Diane won't need great thinkers
To explain what this suggests.

But Amanda disagrees.
She thinks they should keep looking.
They face a gentle breeze,
Watching clouds that fate is cooking.

In one great cloud they see
A semi-conscious man.
Their faces light with glee.
"It's Freddie!" says Diane.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


If a tree falls in the woods...

While walking in a forest
  On an autumn afternoon
A tree fell down on me
  As I sang a carefree tune.

I would have made my exit,
  But no one was around.
I didn't hear it falling
  Coz it didn't make a sound.

I was trapped beneath the tree.
  I was well-and-truly stuck.
I tried creating F words
  That soon terminate in 'uck'.

But these were also silent.
  No one heard me shout.
I gave it all my lung-power
  But still nothing would come out.

I couldn't free my right arm.
  I had to wait for hours
Before I saw some people
  Out collecting forest flowers.

They saw me on the ground
  But they couldn't understand
That I wasn't really waving.
  I was clapping with one hand.

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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