'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Thursday, August 27, 2009


Pond Patrol

Don't question this. Don't ask me why
I think your tailor sold your sty.
These visions come to me sometimes.
Some are scenes of future crimes.

I've seen scones taken by a bird,
A week before this theft occurred,
And once I saw a pirate raft.
A lawless crew controlled this craft.

I've seen grandfathers and grandmothers
Operating oars and rudders,
Chased by pirates 'cross a pond,
Stunned by how their grandson conned

And tricked them into purchasing
This old row boat he said would bring
Long afternoons of relaxation.
They'd watch the problems of this nation

Evaporate before their eyes.
Even energetic flies
Would be too lazy to pursue
A course of action they might rue

If it upsets and thus incites
The rowers to turn out fly lights
And flatten flies whose flight paths pass
Right over heads or round a glass

Of lemonade that women made
For floating picnics where a raid
By wasps would spread great panic and
Make rowers head straight for dry land.

I saw this happen in my vision.
The wasps sent them to their collision
With the old ramshackle raft.
The pirates commandeered the craft

And made grandparents part with cash.
I saw their plunder of the stash
Of lemonade and homemade buns.
They showed delight by firing guns.

I saw it all. I had to act
To stop these scenes becoming fact.
Despite the dangers and the fears
I found some willing volunteers

For my police force by the pond.
Some recruits think they're James Bond.
They talk like him, but that's okay.
We keep the pirate rafts away.

While standing by the pond at night
The visions come in lurid light.
I had a vision of a crowd
Of teddy bears, their voices loud,

A symphony of joyous noises.
Mother Nature gave them prizes:
A sunny day, a cloudless sky
Left soaking in a deep blue dye,

The sounds of busy honey bees,
The music for a life of ease
To drown the sound of grinding gears.
The teddy bears had left their fears

At home to entertain pet scarecrows.
Every tiny teddy bear nose
Smelled the cheese in picnic baskets.
The battered tartan Thermos flask gets

Used for lemonade in June.
Some teddies hummed a happy tune
As they were walking down the paths
Towards the woods, past sleeping cats.

They made sure they weren't crushing bugs
When they put down their picnic rugs.
They ate iced buns and jam-filled cakes
That only Granny Bear still bakes.

Sugar made the young ones run.
Parents let them have their fun.
Their motto is to spread a light
In lives of friends, to quench the night,

And only take if they can give,
To live and let all others live,
Let Nature mollycoddle all
As teddy bears play volleyball.

Some teddies sang while others danced,
But things turned sour as hours advanced.
The ones who had been drinking beer
Destroyed the happy atmosphere.

A fight began and soon it spread.
A bottle bounced off one bear's head.
Impressive fighting skills were shown.
Punches, kicks and stones were thrown.

Many suffered injuries.
Some were hiding in the trees.
I saw it one week in advance.
My vision gave the bears a chance

To leave the woods with memories
Of carefree fun amongst the trees.
A day of peace: this was our goal.
Some officers from Pond Patrol

Were there before the fighting started
To make sure that the drunk bears parted
From the woods. They had a choice:
To head for home as meek as mice

Or face arrest and great distress
If they refused to acquiesce.
The trouble-makers left the woods.
Some heads were hidden under hoods.

The ones who stayed behind all praised
The pond's police who had erased
The violence from this summer day
That soon will feel the sun's last ray.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Richard and his Authors

Richard held a party
  In a club where snooty waiters
Made shirtless lager drinkers
  Feel like lowly, worthless traitors.

A happy six-piece jazz band
  Kept the drinkers entertained.
The waiters kept the guests they liked
  Well fed and well champagned.

Richard danced on tables,
  Drank from shoes and fell off chairs.
The night became a blur,
  Free of memories and cares.

He woke up after midday
  With reminders of the night.
The warm glow of the party
  Still emitted heat and light

That fought the aches and pains
  And defused his brain's landmines,
And infused a rosy tint
  In mental scenes of sampling wines.

He whistled, smiled and skipped until
  The club sent him the bill.
The sight of all those zeros
  Left him feeling slightly ill.

They wanted twenty grand to pay
  For all the damage done.
Some friends of his discovered
  That destroying things is fun.

This bill included all the food
  And alcohol consumed.
Unless he grew a beard and fled
  He feared he would be doomed.

Some very shady people
  Owned this club and they explained
That they would not look kindly
  On a person who refrained

From paying bills in full.
  They'd be like bulls who feel
A burning, red-hot rage
  At an obvious raw deal.

And they'd insist on borrowing
  Some favourite body parts.
They've been known to get a loan
  Of livers, brains and hearts.

Richard didn't have the cash.
  He didn't want to lose
The body parts he hoped to harm
  With years of drinking booze.

He rounded up his authors
  And explained his latest plight.
He put them in his study
  And he made them work all night.

He spent that night at parties.
  He was able to forget
About the fact that bits of him
  Were clearly under threat.

He woke up in the morning
  And had breakfast in his bed,
With remnants of his happy dreams
  Still lighting up his head.

While Richard drank his tea and ate
  His toast he heard his authors
Summarise the story that would
  Calm these troubled waters.

They said he'll find a treasure map
  Inside an old sea chest.
He'll leave then to retrieve the loot
  And on his lonely quest

He'll encounter many dangers
  And partake in speedboat chases.
He'll face the wrath of pirates
  And of snakes inside suitcases.

Despite the constant gunfire
  And explosions all around him
He'll finally find the treasure.
  Gold and diamonds will astound him.

He'll get back home to safety
  And he'll pay his bill in gold.
Richard thanked his authors
  For the story that they told.

He gave his full approval
  To this ending they had planned.
They made sure he'd be entertained
  When he departs dry land.

But they forgot to mention
  That he'd shortly get engaged
To a woman who was beautiful
  But easily enraged.

She'd wrestle with a crocodile
  And win inside one round.
Those who criticise her
  Often end up gagged and bound.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


The Crock of Gold

I found a crock of gold
  When I was walking in the woods.
I used the gold to purchase
  These essential household goods:

A silver bowl for caviar
  With caviar inside,
A clock that shows the movement
  Of the planets and the tide,

A jewel-encrusted bread knife
  That has known the blood of Orcs,
And many bottles of champagne
  With self-removing corks.

I hired a famous architect
  To make my new front door.
It has an elevator
  From the cat flap to the floor,

With 'Cat' in diamond letters
  Just to keep small dogs away.
This will come in useful
  Should I get a cat some day.

I bought a cement mixer
  With an engine by Rolls Royce.
Its full-time operator
  Likes his cocktails mixed with ice.

Late one night a leprechaun
  Arrived at my front door.
He failed to knock the door down,
  Which is why he curse and swore.

He tried to use the cat flap
  But he didn't realise
How fat he had become.
  His mirror told him lies.

He knew that this old mirror
  Was an unrepentant liar.
It reflected ice and water
  When confronted by a fire.

The leprechaun chose not to doubt
  The image that he saw.
His excellent reflection
  Lacked a blemish or a flaw.

The face lacked warts or wrinkles.
  The teeth were sparkling white.
The many throbbing bulges
  Came from muscles of great might.

He cursed the lying mirror
  When his flabby layer of fat
Left him lodged inside the cat flap
  Just above the 'Welcome' mat.

The two doors of the elevator
  Closed on his red nose.
He launched a stream of insults
  To dismiss his raging woes,

But still the woes kept mounting.
  His plight became much worse.
He was spotted by a cat,
  A black four-legged curse.

This cat passed by each day
  And he never paid attention
To the word in diamond letters
  That I scarcely need to mention.

But when he found the rear end
  Of the leprechaun it felt
As if he'd just inherited
  An uncle's creamy wealth.

He used this strange protrusion
  From the cat flap as a tool
For sharpening his claws,
  Just like he'd learnt in school.

He loved the sound effects
  When he sunk his paws' sharp claws.
For him this large posterior
  Possessed no signs of flaws.

The sound effects reflected
  The leprechaun's unease.
In between his chilling
  Maledictions, screams and pleas

He told me he had come here
  To retrieve the gold I took.
The nicest names he called me
  Were 'degenerate' and 'crook'.

When he'd exhausted all these names
  And curse-related jargon
I pointed out it might be wise
  To reach some sort of bargain.

His position had been weakened
  By the fact that he was stuck.
A deadly, dreadful drought had dried
  His reservoir of luck.

The cat ensured that our
  Negotiations were completed
In under twenty seconds.
  Agreement was then greeted

By a handshake and the leprechaun's
  Removal from his trap.
He swore he'd never have
  Another similar mishap.

The deal meant I could keep the gold
  I found, and I agreed
To act as fitness trainer
  In my small friend's hour of need.

I made him train twice daily
  In his little private gym.
Seven months of exercise
  Has left him looking slim.

The leprechaun is fit.
  He's lost a lot of fat.
He slides in through the cat flap
  Like a sleek and silent cat.

He avoids the elevator.
  He'll use the stairs instead.
He's working on developing
  A very healthy dread

Of all unhealthy foods.
  Junk food has been banned.
He says he'd rather eat things
  He has grown on his own land.

His mirror doesn't need to add
  Imaginary brawn,
But it often adds a cat
  Just to scare the leprechaun.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


The Interesting Badger

When the interesting badger comes out late at night
The boring barn owl always sighs
And says, "It's not fair. It just isn't right.
I know some more interesting flies.

"And yet he's been featured in ten magazines.
He does photo shoots every week.
The badger looks weird in his four-legged jeans.
His strange little face lacks a beak.

"A face with no beak is a lot like a gun
That's lacking a barrel or trigger.
Using this weapon would only be fun
If it frightened Pooh Bear or Tigger.

"About once a week I'll see camera crews
Following our 'interesting' friend.
His views on good shoes are regarded as news,
As is his ideal weekend.

"There's little of interest in this badger's life.
His life has a thick layer of dust.
Trees are intriguing. This oak tree is rife
With tales of betrayal and lust."

The barn owl is boring because he spends hours
Explaining the intricate plots
Of soap operas seen in the trees and wild flowers,
Acted by bees, birds and moths.

Every so often he'll pause to complain
About the unwarranted praise
Heaped on the badger, his unwitting bane,
Who poses with his thoughtful gaze.

The badger was cast in the leading male role
In a nature film shot on location.
This film brought him fame and more rooms in his hole.
He opened a brand new train station.

But I've been informed of a little brown mouse
Who's much more intriguing, I think.
He wears a top hat when he exits his house.
He'll doff it and smile with a wink.

His hobby is talking the frogs into buying
Full-length fur coats and fur hats.
That's why you'll see tiny clothes lines with coats drying
And ponds that attract jumping rats.

This new fashion fad for fur coats on the frogs
Is down to the mouse and his wiles.
He's turned his attention to magpies in clogs.
He'll be the creator of styles.

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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