'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Thursday, July 30, 2009


My Time in Parliament

When I was elected to parliament
I lived in an empty beer barrel and spent
Weekends in a tent. At least once a month
I'd capture my food in a weekend-long hunt.

Apricots, crows and ice cream would be caught.
All of these things would be put in a pot.
I'd make a nice broth that would last me for weeks.
Still I can savour the flavour of beaks.

My colleagues in parliament all spoke in song.
The way to be heard was in singing along
And hoping you'd get your own solo so you
Could speak without banging a desk with your shoe.

We wrote our own musicals during each session.
To pass legislation we did an impression
Of stars from the cast of a top Broadway show.
We passed laws to make sure that hamsters would glow.

We brought in a law to provide new hair styles
For people who always display manic smiles,
Escape routes for people who go on blind dates,
And nappies for monkeys who use roller-skates.

Our much-admired Speaker spoke only in tongues,
Tongues that resided in dens in his lungs.
They'd come out and shout words like 'liar' or 'cheat',
Hoping to lure juicy flies, which they'd eat.

I miss those old days. They're lost to the past.
I knew at the time that the fun couldn't last.
People who go into politics now
Don't debate how to amuse a bored cow.

Appearances are all-important these days.
Feigning concern has become this year's craze.
They never conduct their proceedings in song.
They're all filled with fear that they'll say something wrong.

And yet what they say never seems to be right.
They'll never point out what is black and what's white.
They're not allowed have manic smiles and a perm,
And they can't bring games on the last day of term.

I lost an election because camera crews
Were there when I outlined my strongly-held views
On sweeping up deserts and spring-cleaning farms,
And using relaxing harp sounds for alarms.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Poor Little Fred

His parents decided to travel the seas.
Despite his repeated emotional pleas
They left him behind. Poor little Fred.
He had to live with his aunt, who was dead.

They didn't have much. To get pocket money
He trained twenty spiders to make their own honey.
He sold spider honey in marmalade jars.
He made enough money to buy chocolate bars.

But he needed more. He wanted to buy
A black Batman mask and a cape for his fly.
So he got a job he could do at weekends.
He sacrificed time he would spend with his friends.

He had to sweep carpets, cut lawns and wash dishes.
He took up his new post against his aunt's wishes,
But she couldn't stop him from taking this job.
His weekend employers were Martha and Bob,

A friendly old couple who lived in a house
Along with a dog and a quick-witted mouse.
The mouse wasn't welcome, but he wouldn't go.
He turned out to be an exceptional foe.

They left out a trap. They felt sure he'd sniff
The cheddar and its overpowering whiff.
The mouse extricated the cheddar with ease
And left a note saying 'IOU some cheese'.

Fred manufactured a trap of his own,
A small shoebox room with a miniature phone.
When the mouse answered the phone he could hear
A warm female mouse voice massaging his ear.

The mouse didn't notice that he had been trapped
Till he was set free. He'd have to adapt
To his new life in a house where a ghost
Loved to blow his runny nose on hot toast.

Fred made a fortune from his new invention.
His spending attracted the neighbours' attention.
He bought his aunt flowers and things made of gold.
She came close to forming a smile, so I'm told.

And he bought some gifts for his parents as well:
A carton of perfume without any smell,
Chocolates that tasted of parsnips and chives,
And porcelain cats who had lost many lives.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


The One Thing She Wants

Liz had a house overlooking a bay,
A ten-year-old cello that she couldn't play,
A garden with pumpkins, potatoes and peas,
And plenty of pollen in flowers for bees.

She also had mice and a dog with a hat.
Most of her friends would be happy with that,
But she wanted more. It wasn't enough
To have such a dapper housemate who said 'woof'.

She wanted a coat that was navy or black
With a luminous blue lightning bolt on the back.
She found such a coat in a second-hand shop.
The sight of the bolt made her skip and then hop.

She wore it for weeks and she kept spinning round.
The lightning bolt went from her neck to the ground,
But after a while, spinning round lost its thrill,
And wearing her coat while she stood very still

Wasn't as good as she thought it would be.
While she was standing she started to see
The thing that she wanted was one Viking helmet.
Her neighbour's black bull was undoubtedly hell's pet.

He'd eat in one bite all the dinner a whale ate.
Her war with the bull would be stalled at a stalemate
If she had two horns on her head just like his.
Her days would be filled with a beautiful fizz.

So she bought the helmet and walked past the gate
Where her foe was passing the time being irate.
They stared at each other. His eyes were on fire,
A frightening gaze that could easily fry her.

But when she returned later on that same day
She watched as the mighty black bull looked away.
She started to gloat to a dance music beat.
The new Viking headgear was working a treat.

But after a few weeks it lost its appeal.
The bull stayed away and she started to feel
That horns on her head were no longer required.
There was one thing that she greatly desired:

A cuckoo clock in which the cuckoo has been
Replaced by an owl who will keep the clock clean.
She bought such a clock but it didn't take long
For her to grow tired of the owl's hourly song.

Now she believes she's discovered the truth.
Being a crime-solving amateur sleuth
Will make her feel happy, just as content
As nuns who give up eating chocolate for Lent.

Her sidekick will be a well-groomed magic fox
Who'll sniff out the clues like her dog sniffs her socks.
Waiting for her magic fox is exciting.
She thinks of the crimes and the wrongs they'll be righting,

The villains they'll catch and the victims they'll aid.
They won't run and hide from a hood with a blade.
They'll be good at sensing when play becomes foul.
They'll track down the cuckoo replaced by the owl.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


A Game of Lunch

Sean played a quick game of lunch against Ann.
He scored shortly after the first half began.
The way he achieved this surprise early score
Was simply reminding her of how she swore

When she was assaulted by one little moth.
It didn't touch her sister, Lucy, the goth,
But it attacked Ann on that warm summer night.
It thought that her face was a source of bright light

Because of the make-up that she had applied.
It flowed like red hot lava streams when she cried.
You'd damage your eyes if you stared at her face.
Her friends all wore shades when they went to her place.

He knew that he'd scored when a frightening scowl
Appeared on her face. She'd spotted a foul.
But she had to pick the ball out of the net,
And try hard to sharpen her offensive threat.

The score-line remained at one-nil until near
The end of the game. Spectators would cheer
If they saw her score such a well-taken goal.
She mentioned his grandmother's use of a bowl

In cutting his hair at least once every week.
She seemed to like it. For him it was bleak.
It made him look stupid till he was eighteen.
But now he just looks a lot like Mr. Bean.

The pain of the past could be seen in his eyes.
He wasn't expecting her to equalise.
In the top corner she'd buried the ball.
Their lunch was soon over. The score was one-all.

The replay took place over dinner that night.
Both were determined to put up a fight.
Ann scored the first goal, a biting remark
About being afraid of a Jack Russell's bark.

This is what Sean said to level the score:
"At Halloween fear made you slam the front door
Into the face of your niece, who was dressed
As a large Tweetie Pie who had sweets in a nest."

Ann didn't lose her composure and falter.
She mentioned his infamous fall at the altar
When he was best man on his best friend's big day.
He used an F word that made the priest pray.

They kept throwing insults and raking up dirt.
The score was eight-all at the end of dessert.
They went back to her place and coffee was made.
They needed it for extra time to be played.

He thought that he'd won with a goal near the end.
He brought up her worship of each fashion trend.
This had resulted in many strange looks,
Hats made of pencils and coats made of books.

But this just reminded her of all the times
He's been found guilty of gross fashion crimes.
Trousers with flares that had curious stains.
They emptied the carriages on crowded trains.

When he played guitar in a band with his friends.
They travelled to gigs in a van on weekends.
But unlike most other contemporary bands
They had a song about licking their hands.

He was afraid she'd recall other songs
And some of the band's more bizarre fashion wrongs.
And she was afraid that he would remember
The great Christmas party they had last December

When she sang the hand-licking song late at night.
She got all the dance moves and actions just right.
And so they agreed that a draw would be best
Before they discussed his disgusting brown vest.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


Chloe's Songs

Chloe writes a song a day.
  She sings them for her friends.
She sings in pubs and plays
  The concertina on weekends.

She wrote a song about the day
  Her cat burst a balloon.
She wrote about the joy she feels
  When staring at the moon,

And the woe of Phil the Fluter
  When the flow of water took
His favourite stick of dynamite
  From his garden's brook

To the mighty ocean
  Where it's surely lost for good.
She wrote about her uncle
  And his finger made of wood.

My favourite song by Chloe
  Is the one she wrote about
The time she caught a butterfly
  That flew into her mouth.

She was singing at a barbeque.
  She'd just begun a song
About a zoo with chickens,
  But it didn't last too long.

The people in the garden
  Were distracted by the food.
The song was background music
  In a lazy summer mood.

They didn't look towards her
  Till she coughed and then they saw
A creature from the depths of her,
  Defying nature's law,

Flying round the garden
  And defiling hearts and minds.
They wished their mental windows
  Had been covered up with blinds.

People chose to flee the scene.
  They ran into a field.
It seemed to them that distance
  Was the most effective shield

To protect them from the horror
  That emerged from Chloe's mouth.
I'm a little teapot
  With a handle and a spout.

This disguise protects me.
  It's the shield I always use
When I'm in a spot of bother
  Or when sailing on a cruise

And I'm trying to avoid
  A single lady who's intent
On making me her husband
  Coz she thinks' I'm like Clark Kent,

And that when I lose my glasses
  I'll become a Superman.
I'd cook for her and sing to her
  And bravely thwart the plan

Of an evil genius
  Who has a manic laugh,
Who sits behind a mammoth desk
  And strokes a pet giraffe.

The guests who fled the party
  Had to stop to take a rest.
They saw another menace
  Slowly coming from the west.

The fluffy clouds in summer skies
  Are spies in cloud disguise.
When they slow their pace you'll see
  Their terrifying eyes.

All the guests were terrified.
  They ran back to the house.
They felt they needed shelter
  Just like any little louse

Will need a head of hair
  If they're going to stay alive.
I've seen them having parties
  On the roof of my friend Clive.

The house's new inhabitants
  Located hiding places.
Curtains, rugs and table cloths
  Obscured the fear-filled faces.

Chloe and the teapot
  Stayed outside to guard the drink.
We'd many hours together
  To discuss our lives and think

About such weighty topics as
  The universe and time
And teaching quantum physics
  Through the medium of mime.

Miming came in handy when
  Our words were slightly slurred.
I filled a cup with tea,
  Added sugar and then stirred.

It tasted quite peculiar.
  I went back to the gin,
And then I tried the whiskey
  Before making tea again.

As night set in the people
  Who were hiding ventured out.
They could hear the stream of music
  Flowing from my spout.

They started to relax
  And the music made them dance.
They didn't mind when someone's cat
  Began to spit out ants.

In Chloe's song about these strange
  Events she mentioned me.
She says I fell asleep on chairs
  And woke up soaked in tea.

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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