Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Corner Boy

Willie is the Corner Boy,
Surveyor of the street,
Tenant of the Bog Lane breeze
Defector to defeat.
Nally’s is the meeting place,
Parlor of the free,
Where men and boys of idle grace
assemble and agree.

Willie knows the business
of every passer-by,
The jobber with his soft tan boot,
The knacker, by his tie.
He scans the moving face
and reads it like a map,
He can measure person-panic
by the angle of a cap.

He knows the name of every child
from Kenagh to Moyvore,
The number-plate of every car,
The price of every whore.
The chancey men who work and draw
to feed the hungry horde,
And every lover’s lover
who pays homage to the Lord.

Willie is the Corner Boy
who scorns gain and loss,
A crutch for passing cripple,
A Christ for every cross.
A thousand woven wrinkles
are his testaments of care,
And still the mobile masses pass
as if he weren’t there.

Friday, 20 April 2012

That's where the magic is.

When dusk his solemn curtain draws
The grey mare drinks, a welcome pause,
And man accepts his man-made flaws
That’s where the magic is.

When baby toddles and falls down
When face forgets to practise frown
And Niamh’s dress becomes a gown
That’s where the magic is.

When fresh clay overcomes the stench
Of rotting soldier in the trench
A heartless judge comes off the bench
That’s where the magic is.

When weeping willow weeps no more
The storyteller spills his store
Of flotsam on mind’s island shore
That’s where the magic is.

When green and brown and yellow blend
And on each other must depend
To dress the hawthorn on the bend
That’s where the magic is.

When man and brother think out loud
And shelter from a common cloud
Then pride is taken from the proud
That’s where the magic is.

(Dedicated to Turquoise and 'Dirt Roads In April'.)

Monday, 16 April 2012

Heaven Or Hell

I ponder the clay, earth’s memory mark,
And hear the dawn chorus of linnet and lark,
And say to myself, I knew this man well,
But is his brave soul in Heaven or Hell?
When he was with us he made his own rules,
He scorned all the Clergy; “those poker-faced fools”.
He claimed that all mortals were spits in the night,
Conception considered could never be right.
No question of man could merit reply
When no one could forecast the best time to die.
He dismissed all book learning as squandering time
When monkey and parrot were able to mime.
He set his own standards of right and of wrong,
In mainstream of morals he didn’t belong.
But the light in his eyes when he felt as in dream
The time textured touch of a stone in a stream.
Or the pleasure he got that he couldn’t explain
When he dangled his toes at the edge of a drain.
And I knew that he knew the beggar man’s lot
Of rejection and scorn, and striving for what?
He shared the blue hunger of tinker and waif,
That need to be needed, that greed to be safe.
And the way that he’d smile at the game of a child,
Or the fire in his face when he preached whiskey wild
Of the hypocrites, two-faced, and liars abroad,
Who sacrificed souls to a relative God.
And all that was in him was savage and free
And pure as the earth that holds him for Thee,
And now his own service, with resonant bell,
Yet I know he’s in Heaven,
He’s a long time left Hell.

("The nights were dark and lonely, the days were lonely too,
But now they're oh so bright, cause all i see is you")

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Fame on Friday

They all bowed low
As I passed by,                                
And called me Lord
Much hue and cry.

From many lands
Came to listen
Kissed my hands.

Soon all changed
The rabble, boss:
Nailed me
To a wooden cross.

The laurel crown
Above my head
Has fallen down
Its leaves are dead

And no one comes
Here, night or day,
Not even to sweep
The leaves away.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Nan And Me


      I skipped from supper
      on the bank of the stream
      near the bridge at
      Mulvey House.
      Cheeky, I peeked through
      The clean clear window
      And saw Nan sitting,
      Quiet as my neighbour,
      She looked with kind eyes
      But a little sad, I felt,
      As if remembering
      a forgotten loss,
      her mother perhaps,
      or the place of her youth,
      somewhere a carved stone
      overgrown with moss.
      Her heart is too noble
      to be this heavy,
      Her shoulders too strong
      to bend with the load
      of troubles of others,
      my family has known
      generations of humans
      she’s apart, a special one
      a queen among mothers.
      I’ve had my family too,
      Long gone, they never come back
      to visit the nest on the bend,
      In this Nan is blessed,
      she has one more addition,
      She’s become my guardian and friend.