'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Thursday, July 31, 2008


I'm a Harpo Marxist

I'm a Harpo Marxist.
I am nearly always mute.
In silence there is beauty
And undoubtedly there's truth.

When I speak there's falsehood.
I become a well of lies,
Shattering the silence.
I create a wall of noise.

Silence has its music.
I hear it in my head.
I play a silent harp
To express what can't be said.

This music is enchanting.
Women can't resist.
I say so much with silence,
Or at least I give the gist.

I say too much in sentences
That badly need full stops.
I get myself in trouble
When conversing with the cops.

I've lied about my height, my weight,
The colour of my skin,
And why I burnt some documents
And papers in a bin,

And how many stale cakes I ate
To win a stupid bet.
Many times I've claimed I won
A game of chess with Death,

That I've seen saintly visions
And a moving garden gnome,
And that I used expletives
When I met the Pope in Rome.

I've claimed to be a doctor,
Tennis player and an actor,
Bono's biscuit-maker
And the man who drives his tractor.

My memoirs were all fiction.
I called them simply 'Me'.
I claimed that I'd been working
In a pub since I was three,

And that I'd started drinking
Shortly after turning four.
The house my parents lived in
Had a roof but no front door.

The former door was serving
As the roof above our heads.
We used potato sacks
For our clothing and our beds,

But we didn't have potatoes.
Instead we ate the grass.
My father made a fortune
Making gold from bits of brass.

But then he lost this money
When he bought some magic peas,
Believing that when put in locks
They'd turn into brass keys.

His one life-long ambition
Was to be a top-class thief.
But much to our misfortune
His career was all too brief.

The peas tried hard to change,
But they were all beginners.
He took them from the locks
And they ended up as dinners.

My memoirs were undoubtedly
A long, depressing book.
At other times I've lied about
My massive wealth and luck.

I claimed to own three mansions,
Two Rolls Royces and four Bentleys,
Two ocean-going yachts,
Fully crewed, and I sent these

On a race around the world.
I never found out why
Only one returned.
They brought me back a pie.

Like the boy who cried out 'Wolf'
I told the truth right after
Telling far too many lies,
So it only triggered laughter.

But I swear this really happened.
I bought a cake last year.
Before I'd even cut it
I was filled with dread and fear.

I noticed something moving
And a little mouse came out
From the side of my new cake.
There was icing in his mouth.

He looked as if he'd recently
Been woken from his rest.
He hid when I said 'hi'
But he's still a welcome guest.

He lives behind the cupboards,
In fear of being chased.
The cake was full of tunnels
But I didn't mind the taste.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Mobile Phones

I'm always surprised at the size of new phones.
They're getting too easy to lose.
Despite their small stature their grating ring tones
Wake comatose men from their snooze.

I recently lost a small phone in my ear.
It's actually owned by my cat.
The A-Team's loud theme tune is all I can hear
When one of his friends wants a chat.

I struggle to sleep when I venture to bed.
Most of his calls come at night.
Once I heard twenty-three calls in my head
From midnight till dawn's first daylight.

On Saturday I missed a match when I slept
From noon until quarter-past-three.
I find this annoying. I have to accept
That he's much more popular than me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Daphne's Dinner Party

Daphne is only too happy to tell
How her dinner party went perfectly well,
Despite a slight fire while preparing the food.
It failed to affect her convivial mood.

At least it ensured that the veal was well done.
Leonard still panicked and got out his gun.
He shot at the fire, to little effect.
He told her he meant it, and she should have checked

To make sure the veal was undoubtedly dead,
And not just asleep in a cosy sun bed.
The turkey at Christmas had formed a good plan.
When it left the oven it just had a tan.

She thought it was dead, but it was just bluffing.
It ate roast potatoes and some of its stuffing.
The guests didn't mind the few holes in the veal.
Daphne served port at the end of the meal.

Dilly got drunk and she shouted abuse
At Uncle Sean's portrait of Eve, his pet goose.
Ernest proposed to his girlfriend, Yvette,
Who couldn't wait till they'd be parted by death.

Charlie sold watches that fell off of trucks.
He had at least twenty concealed in his tux.
He also sold rocks painted emerald green.
Jeffrey wrote cheques dated twenty-sixteen.

Jilly sang X-rated songs that she heard
From an Icelandic, one-eyed little bird.
The songs concerned heroes and villains and thieves
And actresses dressed in long black gloves and leaves.

Gareth was praying and Humphrey was crying.
Christopher was almost certainly lying
When he told a story about his adventures,
The time he attempted to steal diamond dentures.

He did it to help a poor woman in tears,
Drowning her sorrows in cheap foreign beers.
She'd lost a small fortune. The person to blame
Was a man who possessed much more money than shame.

He sold her a race horse who'd run in the Oaks.
It turned out to be an old donkey who smokes.
Christopher promised to get her cash back
From this mean old man who had lied at the track.

This man often drank at a club for the wealthy.
After a whiskey and soda he felt he
Could do with a rest. He started to tire.
He slept on an old leather chair by the fire.

Christopher entered the club by pretending
To be a rich count who's intent on befriending
The great and the good, those above mediocre.
He'd share a cigar with a talented smoker.

While the man slept, Chris stole his false teeth,
And left there as quickly as his two left feet
Would carry him safely away down the stairs
And over the up-turned card tables and chairs,

Chased by club members, security guards,
A few poker players still holding their cards,
Waitresses, waiters and some kitchen staff,
And a chef who unleashed a maniacal laugh.

They chased him down alleys and over parked cars,
Through theatres, brothels and dimly lit bars.
He lost them all when he assumed the disguise
Of a dancing girl wearing a look of surprise.

It soon became shock but he couldn't refuse
A dance with a gangster he'd seen on the news,
A man who'd been linked with some beatings and killings,
A dentist who practised extracting gold fillings.

Because Chris protested against a brief kiss,
The gangster suspected he's Mister, not Miss.
So Chris had to flee and be chased once again
By twenty-one well-armed and muscular men.

His previous pursuers re-joined the pursuit.
He took off his heels to escape with the loot.
He feared they would catch him. He never could tell
Why three circus clowns came to chase him as well.

He wished he could borrow some lives from street cats.
But his fellow dancers produced baseball bats
And chased off the clowns, the club members and goons.
They gave him his life and a bunch of balloons.

He went to the woman the old man had conned.
He felt like a Santa who looked like James Bond.
He gave her the diamond false teeth and he said
There's no better thing from the bad old man's head.

It took Chris three hours just to finish this tale
Because of digressions and pointless detail.
He wouldn't reveal the false teeth's hiding place
When he was a dancer in bits of black lace.

The room was in silence when he finished speaking,
Apart from some sobs and the sound of tears leaking.
The guests started leaving, with muttered goodbyes.
Lingering longer would not be so wise.

A man was unconscious, but no one had died.
With only one ambulance waiting outside,
Daphne felt sure she could safely declare
That this was the best party she'd thrown all year.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Lucky Charms

I went on a date with a woman who lacked
  Two eyebrows above her blue eyes.
We got on quite well but I struggled to tell
  When she was expressing surprise.

She didn't have eyebrows or patience for fools.
  She did have four legs and a tail.
She kept them for luck. They stopped her pet cat
  From being blown away in a gale.

The rabbit who lost his four legs and his tail
  Didn't have luck on his side,
And neither did she when she lost her eyebrows.
  When they departed she cried.

Our date was successful. We went out again.
  This happened when I was eighteen.
But I don't know what I was eighteen of.
  I can't say what I once have been.

A friend of mine used to be seventeen squirrels
  When he was just fifteen months old.
As time passed he grew into one human being.
  This happens quite often, I'm told.

Thursday, July 03, 2008



I showed my gun to Porky Pig,
And shot to make him dance a jig.
I blamed Bugs Bunny for a fire.
I tripped Roadrunner with a wire.

I threatened Top Cat with a blade.
I poisoned Daffy Duck and made
Donald cry. I broke his mind.
I kicked Fred Flintstone's fat behind.

I put a tack in Shaggy's shoe.
I filled a bag with Scooby's doo,
And left the bag at Popeye's door.
He threw away the shoes he wore.

My manic smile made Scratchy panic.
I made Itchy watch Titanic.
I glued Tom's paws to his food bowl,
Filled Jerry's house with earth and coal,

Taught Mickey Mouse a naughty word,
Left Tweety Pie a broken bird,
Subjecting him to tough repression.
It's three weeks since my last confession.

Since then I've caused some strife and trouble
When I blackmailed Barney Rubble.
I carried out an idle threat.
I took Sylvester to the vet.

Elmer Fudd's confined to bed.
I dropped an anvil on his head.
I flattened Snoopy with a lorry.
For these and all my sins I'm sorry.

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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