'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
Click here to buy the paperback or download the ebook for free.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


Tip-toe through the garden

Though Stan lacks education
  He's been blessed with common sense.
Some believe he's thicker than
  The planks nailed to his fence.

But Stan knows well his ten-foot fence
  Will keep him safe from strife,
Keeping out the leprechaun
  Who travelled here from Fife,

A crazy Scottish cousin of
  A leprechaun called Peter
Who poses as a pint-sized man,
  Drinks whiskey by the litre,

And shows great feats of fortitude
  With night-long jigs on sheds.
The sound of boots on iron roofs
  Wakes flowers from their beds,

And makes them grow with evil thoughts
  And plans to cut down trees,
Schemes for farming beetles and
  Electrocuting bees.

Peter's dance enhanced the place
  In front of Stan's abode,
A beetle-farm-filled wilderness
  Where menace overflowed,

Regarded as a garden by
  Its owner, who was proud.
Stan admired the daisies that
  Released a noxious cloud.

He loved to see the sunlight on
  His apple tree's black branches.
They only make their rotten fruit
  To drop in avalanches,

And land on lawns of neighbours who
  Complained about the briars,
Those ever-roaming tentacles
  That tended to start fires.

Peter's dance made sneezing plants
  Appear in even rows.
They'd wait until they got a chance
  To sneeze on strutting crows,

And smear black clothes with some strange goo
  That sticks to feather coats,
A style that suits the parrots who
  Reside on pirate boats.

When Peter's cousin Cormac came
  To visit for a week,
He spent the first month telling tales
  Of trips to Mozambique,

And felling trees in Canada
  Where children panned for gold,
While grizzly bears grew beards and bowler
  Hats to fight the cold,

And when his stock of tales were told
  He ventured out for air.
He hoped he'd meet the neighbourhood's
  Fedora-growing bear.

Instead he found the wilderness
  Where Stan goes to unwind.
Its strange mystique applied a hold
  On Cormac's funny mind.

He spent three weeks exploring it,
  In search of deadly creatures.
He built sand castles with the stuff
  That flowed from water features.

His never-ceasing researches
  Made Stan feel ill-at-ease.
He'd put up with unwanted guests
  If they paid rent or fees.

To extricate his visitor
  He followed Cormac's route.
Days and nights of daunting jaunts
  Made up this fraught pursuit.

After Cormac's exit Stan
  Built up the fence with planks.
He's seen this added safeguard used
  On all the local banks.

Friday, October 08, 2010


Written in the Stars

An often-correct horoscope
Told Monica she would elope
With Willie, a welder,
And each time he held her
She'd smell his aversion to soap.

Soon she felt flustered and harried.
Her tea leaves said they would be married
By Ron, a dead rector,
A spine-chilling spectre
Who stroked the strange hedgehog he carried.

Her crystal ball's view made her quail.
The church would be used as a jail.
The rector would roar
And the hedgehog would snore.
A banshee would whistle and wail.

But she saw an end to her plight.
The cake looked immense in moonlight,
And she'd have recourse
To a court of divorce
In a graveyard on their wedding night.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


A Life of Comedy

My greatest wish was that each day
  Would leave me with a lighter load,
And I'd avoid events that held
  The sense that something would explode,

And that a life of comedy
  Would come to me and make me laugh,
To bring a tingling buzz as good
  As those supplied by Van de Graaff.

It seemed my wish was granted when
  I won a highly-valued prize,
A cruise across enchanted seas
  And days as light as butterflies

That flutter into twilit skies
  And grace the views of setting suns,
Far away from relatives
  Whose greatest skill is getting guns

And pointing them at animals
  And leaving walls with massive holes,
Missing out on free fresh meat
  They'd hoped to cook in casseroles.

The bar on board the ship was home
  To sombre people dressed in black,
Men espousing misery
  While drinking wine and rare cognac.

They revelled in advising me
  To yield to our impending doom,
A looming ending soon to start,
  A constant night about to bloom,

With meagre light illuminating
  Waiting rooms for tours of yards,
Estates of tombs where garden gnomes
  Wear uniforms of prison guards,

And these eternal building sites
  Would never be the welcome host
To any type of building work
  Performed by man or beast or ghost.

I had to hear these cheerless folk
  Explain their bleak philosophy.
Some would speak in technical
  Expressions that were lost on me.

Some of them used simple words
  With ample time between each one.
They'd reminisce on days with books
  That reached the peak of teenage fun.

For some a light and easy read
  Would be a book by Wittgenstein.
Some said life's a jigsaw and
  You'll laugh when all the bits combine.

The final scene will be revealed.
  You'll see that it's a sinking ship.
You'll never find a fuller stop
  To punctuate a stately trip.

Late one night I had to laugh
  Despite the sense of shock I felt.
A massive ice berg shook our ship.
  It wandered over seas with stealth.

The men who had been hoping for
  An end to life to come their way
Were all in floods of tears and praying
  Loudly to extend their stay.

They didn't need to be afraid.
  Our boat would win its bout with ease.
It beat the berg and kept its course.
  It ruled the waves of icy seas.

The quality of ice bergs now
  Is not as high as in the past.
Because of global warming they
  Are not designed and built to last.

I smile when I mull over all
  The harm to Father Nature's wife,
And future cataclysms that
  Might terminate all human life.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


The Futility of War

Grace became the nanny for
  A family in Kerry;
A mansion near Killarney where
  The granny lived on sherry.

The parents led chaotic lives
  That threatened to unravel.
The unrelieved upheaval came
  From constant foreign travel,

Busy sealing business deals
  Or sailing seas on yachts,
Getting tangled up in nets
  And complicated plots.

The kids ran wild with Grace, whose nerves
  Were frayed around the edges.
Sam and Sue put keys in cakes,
  Or so the cook alleges.

They'd try their best to leave a room
  Arranged in disarray,
While Grace despaired, but all would change
  As brunch began one day.

The plethora of crackers placed
  Upon the silver platter
Were swiftly aimed at Grace's face
  And thrown with feeling at her.

Something snapped inside her head.
  Her fury overflowed.
A dark, forbidding mood impaired
  Her caring nanny mode.

She started throwing bread at them.
  She only lost their trust
When she threw wholemeal bread without
  Removing all the crust,

So they threw jam and Parma ham
  And Parmesan, ungrated.
At times like these, when armed with cheese,
  They're frequently elated.

They'll improvise and try to use
  All weapons within reach.
Sam threw shells and batteries
  He'd gathered on the beach.

Grace fought back by throwing books
  And magazines left scattered.
She looked at all the titles though
  Their contents hardly mattered.

The war went on till lunch was served.
  They stopped for soup and salad,
A time for trauma-laden troops
  To sing a mournful ballad.

When they surveyed the mess they'd made
  They felt both pride and shock.
Even Gran had fled to hide
  In her grandfather clock.

Carpets, curtains, rugs and walls
  Were scarred by shards of cake.
They'd smashed to bits the priceless vase
  They dearly hoped was fake.

Chairs had suffered injuries.
  They'd soon be amputees.
They'd have to get new wooden legs
  But they'd get used to these.

Sam and Sue agreed with Grace
  When she proposed a truce.
She cursed the crackers and the force
  Of madness they let loose.

They signed their names to seal the peace,
  The first accord of many.
They promised they'd forget the fight
  And blame the mess on Granny.

Many weeks went by before
  She exited the clock.
Inside she'd found some diamonds and
  A terrier called Jock.

(Another change: I'll be updating this site every three weeks from now on).

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Come back next week

I've decided to update this site once every two weeks instead of every week.

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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