'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Thursday, October 29, 2009


Unlocking Memories

Sometimes when perusing the files in my mind
  I'll find some obscure memories.
Once I remembered my mission to make
  A fortune from my slimmer bees.

I put the bees through a tough training regime.
  My A-Team-like bee team could beat
The bees from the hives where indiscipline thrived,
  Where honey would taste of defeat.

People could easily tell from the noise
  That my recruits were the bee's knees.
Others were toes. Their buzzing was prose.
  Mine filled the warm summer breeze

With poetic buzzes in old red brick gardens
  Where slow-headed people will pause
To listen to verse that's composed with a grasp
  Of nature's strict metrical laws.

The bees in my hives were as busy as beavers.
  They were high achievers who glowed.
They thought of MacGyver as their ideal leader.
  I've seen webs of spiders explode.

I hoped to make money from their golden honey
  That had the sweet taste of success.
But people reacted as if I was selling
  Glass jars that contained a duck's mess.

Before I discovered these memories of
  My doomed-to-bust bee industry,
I wasn't aware I had done such a thing.
  My mind tells me that it must be.

Unlocking these memories leaves me in shock.
  I gasped at my bee escapade.
Once I discovered that I once invented
  A scissors with one extra blade.

The files that I find in my mind help explain
  My feelings for hot air balloons.
I raced a balloon against people allowed
  To bring guns but not their harpoons.

Some former whale-hunters took part in these races
  To chase the great whales of the sky.
These vast levitating leviathans left
  From Munich one day in July.

Thousands of people turned out at the start
  To see us depart and wave flags.
Some of my rivals brought kitchen utensils
  In countless suitcases and bags.

One of them brought his piano, his oboe,
  His double bass and his bassoon.
He'd be near the end of his list of supplies
  If he'd started reading last June.

The basket that hung from his massive balloon
  Had fireplaces for freezing weather.
The four spacious rooms had impressive oak chairs
  Upholstered with soft maroon leather.

My only luggage was one huge red bag,
  And this contained nothing but air.
Discontent reigned in the minds of my rivals.
  I sensed it from my airborne lair.

Lacking their weight I went straight to the front.
  Our two-month-long race seemed decided.
Newspaper hype helped inflate my repute.
  My rivals were harshly derided.

In my head the yearning to fly in the sky
  Was not to defy God's directives.
I loved seeing awe on the faces below.
  I felt the warm glow that respect gives.

But as I flew over a snow-covered peak
  I feared God's contempt for my flight.
I'd dreamt I would die on a diet of wine.
  My future did not seem this bright.

It wasn't a heavenly hand from above,
  But many strong men down below.
Through aerial fishing they landed a whale
  And dealt my grand race plan a blow.

Their hook hit my basket and they pulled me down.
  Their task was to intercept me.
My rivals had hired them. They didn't believe
  That airborne whales must be kept free.

They led me away down a steep mountain slope.
  I made my escape with a leap.
My soft landing left me with hope that I'd meet
  The nice death I'd seen in my sleep.

I followed a path that led into a forest.
  Those fishermen followed me in.
I told God I'd certainly settle for death
  With dark chocolate gateau and gin.

Before I'd gone far I encountered a woman
  Who dragged me away from the path.
At first I thought this must be God's final offer.
  I wasn't disgruntled with that.

But she had a great hiding place in a hollow.
  We heard my pursuers run past.
The sound of their footsteps soon faded away.
  For once I was glad they were fast.

Her name was Brunhilda. I owed her my life,
  And maybe a dark chocolate death.
I sensed that a Black Forest gateau was looming.
  We hadn't escaped the woods yet.

Hunger and cold were still threatening life,
  But she had a knife and a match.
Brunhilda soon killed a wild boar and she lit
  A fire for cooking her catch.

We spent that cold night in a desolate clearing,
  Warmed by the heat from the flames.
At dawn we set out to retrieve my balloon.
  Millions would soon know our names.

The crowds were ecstatic when we won the race.
  We went to great banquets with princes.
We received accolades, honours and plaudits.
  I learnt what her mischievous grin says.

She needed adventure. She easily found it.
  We faced an array of grave dangers.
Ghostly grave-diggers worked hard to confine us
  In tombs with mysterious strangers.

In doom-laden rooms near an old fog-bound wharf
  There loomed a most serious threat.
We fought off ten henchmen and fled on a boat
  Without getting injured or wet.

For years I did not have the slightest idea
  That these events had taken place.
I still can't remember remembering them
  Before I remembered the race.

Sometimes I wonder did I really race
  A hot air balloon at high speed.
But it would explain the 'Brunhilda' tattoo
  That I need a mirror to read.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Good Deeds

Dan gladly spends his free time helping friends.
  He rightly takes pride in his labours.
He's always performing good deeds, such as warming
  The houses of elderly neighbours.

He lights homely fires and fights flames on tyres,
  And tries to end warming that's global.
He plants many trees after trips overseas.
  His aim to build wind farms is noble.

He cycles, recycles, lets nephews be rivals
  To see who'd do most to decrease
Their carbon footprints. Their father put tents
  Outside where they wage war in peace.

They're growing potatoes and learning to hate crows
  Who pose as respectable chaps.
Their power is solar to save all things polar,
  From poor little bears to ice caps.

Dan's stocks of spinach are often replenished.
  His green fuel is crucial for saving
The lives of bad swimmers or masterly slimmers
  Who've learnt to resist every craving.

Their sub-zero sizes leave them in disguises
  As cardboard cut-outs of themselves.
He earnestly preaches on spinach and peaches
  Till they crack and empty his shelves.

He feels ten times bigger when filled with the vigour
  He gets from the spinach he eats.
He'll do any deed if it helps those in need.
  He frustrates the progress of cheats.

His trousers got wet but he be-devilled Death
  When he rescued Sue from the river.
When her breath was bated he knew she awaited
  The warm kiss of life he could give her.

With no need to share his recycled air
  Their first kiss was slightly delayed
Till later that night as a waiter in white
  Was counting the money he'd made.

After their dinner the strong feelings in her
  Came out in a rapturous song
That captured the mood. Bright stars had been screwed
  In skies where they feel they belong.

Everything seemed as if it had been dreamed
  By someone who's prone to romance.
His gift of a rose might nauseate those
  Who waste student loans and blow grants

On imprudent ways to induce a nice haze
  And make them feel nauseous and blue.
The rose-hued romance and impromptu slow dance
  Were much better suited to Sue.

Ronan was raging and planning on waging
  A war to defeat his new foe.
He'd win back Sue's love by distressing the dove
  Who longs to see harmony grow.

He shattered the peace and he scattered wild geese
  With his battle cry to foretell
His forceful assault. It came to a halt
  When he paused to ring Dan's doorbell.

Their battle began. Ronan and Dan
  Fought bravely in graveyards and playgrounds.
They fought for a week on a snow-covered peak
  Till they became thinner than greyhounds.

With neither the winner they paused for their dinner.
  The spinach worked wonders for Dan.
When fighting resumed, an ending soon loomed.
  Ronan surrendered and ran.

Sue was delighted and Dan was invited
  To lunch with his number-one fan.
She sings frequently and she keeps weekends free
  To see the great deeds done by Dan.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Edgar's Sense of Humour

Edgar enjoys telling terrible jokes
And working to pull off a prank or a hoax.
No one will laugh at his humour but him.
At best he's offensive. At worst he is grim.

But he thinks he's blessed with a great comic flair.
Others feel cursed when he chooses to share
His jokes about wakes when the corpse lets out gas
And makes the priest faint at the funeral mass.

Because of his pranks his friend's dog is now blond,
And his cousin's bed is in his uncle's pond.
He's unpleasant medicine, maximum dose.
His family wish that he wasn't so close.

They'd like to be able to view him through Hubble.
Bursting his bubble would treble the trouble.
The practical jokes and the pranks that he plays
On his enemies will receive words of praise

From armchair commanders whose minds have been skewed
By make-believe wars representing a feud
Between them and family members who claim
That their wives have tarnished the family name.

It's best to pretend that you find Edgar funny,
That days on his planet are placid and sunny,
A great place where acid's not needed to get
As high as a kite or the mightiest jet.

People who cross him will soon get a pot
Of noxious revenge that is served piping hot.
Terry, his brother, once told him he had
A head full of hair that would suit someone mad.

Edgar's expression soon suited his hair.
Urges to shoot could be seen in his stare.
Purging a root would eradicate thorns.
Using brute force to get rid of it warns

All other plants and his chance-loving brothers
That he'll bring them bother and he knows their mothers.
He'd tell her when they're bad, and they'd rather be
Shot in the hair half of their heads for free,

And have heavy shot-putters stand on their foot,
And see their white T-shirts meet goth-friendly soot.
They'd laugh if the air half of their heads was shot.
It's frequently hit and they're laughing a lot.

Edgar's mad air half is proud of its hair.
Never suggest it will leave his head bare.
His brother's barbed words made him ponder a plan
To make Terry wonder should he leave his clan.

He didn't use guns he'd concealed in fake nuns
Who'd offer his brother a choice of iced buns.
He didn't rely on his mother to make
Terry feel terror and shudder and shake.

He got his revenge with his own sense of humour,
By steadfastly spreading the credible rumour
That Terry taught cats how to smoke cigarettes.
This angered the people who spoke to their pets.

Edgar's 'Plan B' was a punch in the face.
But Plan A worked well and events moved at pace.
Terry keeps laughing. You'll know from his glee
That dozens of people enacted Plan B.

Thursday, October 08, 2009



Rebecca's always full of life.
  She has a great proclivity
For instigating anything
  Resulting in festivity.

A bevy of the recently-bereaved
  Would find that revelry
Was greatly to their liking
  With a little dash of devilry.

She doesn't use exotic spells
  Or pills or magic potion.
A single swirl or pirouette
  Can bring a whirl of motion

To the limping legs of those who are
  Opposed to dreaded dancers.
Ask her simple questions and
  She'll sing you lengthy answers.

The most reluctant singers
  Never persevere for very long
When straining to refrain from
  Joining in with her endearing song.

Scrooge himself could not resist
  The blissful sound surrounding him.
He'd cast away the shackles
  And the mocking demons hounding him,

And break the rocky ground inside
  His heart where human feeling died.
He'd sing and let his spirit soar
  To clouds where flying boar reside.

Trevor thought that feelings were
  Reserved for those with time to spare,
Who think it's quite tyrannical
  To shorten lengths of long free hair.

He used to be anaesthetising
  Mice with sheer monotony,
A feast of information on
  The finer points of botany.

But then he met Rebecca
  And she broke his opposition
To the notion that emotion
  Should be freed from inhibition.

When he heard her singing
  He was captivated by the sound.
He let his legs go dancing
  And he tried to follow them around.

They never strayed too far away
  From where Rebecca put her feet
When she would utter poetry,
  Entreating guests to sit and eat,

And treat themselves to nights
  Devoid of dread and great anxiety,
Abandoning bewilderment,
  Restraint and their sobriety.

He danced with her and he professed
  A love to last for evermore,
A feeling she had spotted in
  The dreamy smile that Trevor wore.

She'd seen it many times before
  In men who can't resist her charms.
They start to hear the angels sing
  In screaming kids and car alarms.

They'll cast aside a past of posting
  Hateful mail to Santa Claus
And frequently supporting
  Opposition to a worthy cause.

They get a craze for doing good
  And filling days with worthy deeds.
They find holistic remedies
  To satisfy sadistic needs.

Trevor realised that he
  Had rivals for Rebecca's heart.
He started to despise them when
  He saw them strive to get the part.

His rivals hated him as well.
  Undoubtedly they all were dim.
He needed to impress her to
  Ensure she'd trip and fall for him.

Some men simply plead with her
  And tell her that they need her,
Whereas others serenade her
  Wearing leather like the leader

Of a motorcycle gang
  Whose only guide is 'Easy Rider'.
Those in Lederhosen
  Feed her lies on what's inside her.

They tell her that her eyes are like
  Two windows to her soul's retreat,
A sunlit land where little lambs
  Will leap for joy when angels meet.

Trevor couldn't bring himself
  To say these things or sing a song
About the way she made him feel
  Alright when all around was wrong.

He thought she might be happy
  If he wore his best grey suit for her.
He'd visit her and dazzle her
  And maybe play the lute for her,

Or else he'd play the kettle drum
  As softly as a petal falls,
Rising to a noise to rival
  Devils kicking metal walls.

Or else he'd hire an orchestra
  To play when darkness starts to beat
The daylights out of daylight
  In the blue sky's undisguised retreat.

And he could hire a choir as well
  To light a fire inside her heart,
A sound that swells to reach its peak
  As church bells ring and fireworks start.

But he found that his favourite
  Elaborate devices
For enticing her into his life
  Were scuppered by high prices.

So in the end he baked a cake
  And added lemon icing.
Her heart would melt when tasting it.
  To make it more enticing

The top would need a word or two.
  He couldn't think of what to say.
'Happy Birthday' wouldn't do
  Unless he were to wait till May.

He chose to write 'hello' on it.
  His simple prose beat poetry
And songs performed by lovesick men
  On rose-strewn rugs below a tree,

And all the other plots and plans
  Employed by those who played the game.
The capture of Rebecca's heart
  Became their one and only aim.

Trevor was the winner with
  His cake that said 'hello' to her.
They ate it after dinner and
  It clearly brought a glow to her.

She can't resist a slice of cake
  With lots of icing placed on top,
And Trevor's tasted nicer than
  The cakes she purchased in the shop.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


The Hovercraft

Ben and Bob liked tennis.
They argued over scores.
One Saturday the menace
From the clouds kept them indoors.

Their goth friends who adored doom
Would enjoy these rainy days.
They sat in boredom's boardroom
And they tried to think of ways

To spend their afternoon,
To make the time fly by,
Until the crescent moon
Would embellish plain black sky.

They thought about attending
A display of dance routines
By Owen, who'd be mending
Broken engines and machines.

The engines always won.
Their victories enraged him.
For others it was fun
Watching power tools upstage him.

He couldn't stand a gloater
Or the resolute defiance
Of a small lawnmower motor
Or an obstinate appliance.

His anger made him hammer
Bits and pieces into place.
His garage lacked the glamour
Of a large performance space.

This didn't hold him back.
The crowd would call for more
When he'd finished his attack
And he'd let out his last roar.

Ben and Bob agreed
That these dances would provide
The diversion that they need
Till the rain-soaked day had dried.

But they missed Owen's show.
When they reached his garage door
He had finished with his foe.
It was scattered on the floor,

A former tumble dryer
That refused to be repaired.
He showed his inner fire
And his grievances were aired.

Ben and Bob saw tears
Welling up in Owen's eyes.
They get appalling fears
When another person cries.

They wanted to abandon
Owen's garage with great haste.
They'd rather climb Mount Brandon
In their bare feet while being chased

By savage dogs and manic goats
And women they had riled
By telling oft-told anecdotes
That once left them beguiled.

But Owen started talking
Just before they could retreat.
A course of steadfast walking
Was abandoned, and their feet

Engaged in steadfast standing
As he spoke about his life.
He said it needs re-branding
And a sharp decrease in strife.

He told them many tales
Of his father's skill with tools.
His father's gladness fails
When he has to suffer fools.

But he reassures his son
When Owen fails to fix
An engine or a gun
Using spanners, shouts and kicks.

His father's name is Edward.
He's known for miles around.
Statues and the dead heard
His machine to dig hard ground.

It used to be a drill until
He modified its parts.
It could bring fear to a hill
And to mountains' granite hearts.

It took ten men to man it.
These men were hard as nails.
The government had to ban it
After hills turned into vales.

Edward spent ten years
Working on his hovercraft.
People were in tears
As they rolled around and laughed

After seeing Edward's blueprints
For his boat that lacked a hull.
They looked to see if new dents
Had been added to his skull,

Or else he'd opened mental doors
To ghosts who live in fumes.
His hovercraft would have three floors
And twenty-seven rooms.

The bar would be adjacent
To the gents'. He was emphatic
That he couldn't have a basement
So he planned a spacious attic.

A snooker room and music hall
Were also planned beside
A prison cell where drunks could brawl
And criminals could hide.

Edward didn't take the chance
To gloat when he unveiled
His hovercraft where friends could dance,
Play snooker and get jailed.

People would applaud
When they saw the mammoth gears.
When he planned a trip abroad
And he needed volunteers,

Seven friends assented,
None of them faint-hearted.
Their heads might have been dented.
Undaunted, they departed.

They travelled for a year
Over foreign lands and seas.
They learnt to lose their fear
Of the leaves from talking trees.

They came across magicians
Who could make a mouse grow tall
And men on expeditions
To retrieve their cricket ball.

They brought back many presents,
Like plants and magic bells,
And statues made by peasants
Who reside in giant snail shells.

When Owen reached the end
Of his tales about these trips
He'd lost the will the mend
All the leaks where water drips.

The sun came out again.
He left his fierce guard cat.
He went with Bob and Ben
Down a narrow, winding path.

A line of trees and bushes blocked
Views of the hovercraft.
The bar on-board was still well-stocked
And it remained well-staffed.

Edward and his friends were there.
Ben and Bob felt awe.
They both were seeing something rare
In everything they saw.

Edward spoke of foreign lands
Where days could last for months,
Where mighty men with many hands
Took part in daunting hunts.

The bar man pointed out
That the jukebox needed fixing,
And he was plagued by doubt
Without songs for cocktail mixing.

Owen said he'd do the job.
He seemed extremely keen.
He entertained both Ben and Bob
With his new dance routine,

A dance that left the music dead.
Edward watched and cried.
"That's my son," he softly said
With undeniable pride.

Very Slight Stories

Henry Seaward-Shannon

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The Tree and the Horse


Words are my favourite noises

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Pretty Cunning

The Dossing Times


Cruiskeen Eile
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The Chancer

Sinead Gleeson



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A Walk in the Rain

 | poetry from Ireland

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