Friday, 26 October 2012

The Caretaker

    Pat Brady asked me to keep an eye,
    and keep an eye I do,
    On trees and leaves, twigs and paths,
    streams and anything new.
    I walk on green and brown and gold,
    a carpet of fallen life,
    from oak and beech and sycamore,
    from willow and his wife.

    From boughs and branches, forks and stems,
    and limbs of lichen; yellow,
    We fill the fabric of forest life
    from wild, to calm and mellow.
    Stags and does and fawns
    abound, pine martin and kingfisher,
    The sultry mink, the bushy fox,
    for every well, a wisher.

    Sometimes I meet the evangelist,
    not Matthew, Mark or John,
    Tall as a tree, and straight as a rod,
    a Déise man and strong.
    Newcastle forest is in good hands,
    Sitka sheen and holly gloss,
    Every time our Saviour dies,
    pine or cedar is His cross.

    Germination of seeds and nuts
    bring us from winter to spring,
    Sprigs and buds and tiny sprouts
    start it all over again.
    They give us life, the air we breathe,
    Timber and fire and fruit,
    Here before us, here when we’re gone,
    Every mighty oak, every tiny shoot.


Sunday, 21 October 2012

Failure to launch

Cleopatra was lover to
Caesar and Anthony too,
She ruled half the world,
dressed in turquoise and blue.
And the skeptics who tried
and failed Cleopatra to woo
predicted her downfall
and claimed her a
‘Failure to launch’.

Joan of Arc, stripped the bark
From the deep rooted tree of convention,
And nobody watching her
Ever guessed her intention,
But she remained satisfied
Left to her own invention,
And the doubters said, watch, her certain
‘Failure to launch’.

Mother Theresa came good in Calcutta,
that city of lepers and slums,
Never knew mathematics,
but was a past master of sums.
She lived with the dregs, the harlots,
the down and out bums.
And the sisters said guilty, guilty of
‘Failure to launch.

Elizabeth the second ruled
For a lifetime or more,
And many detractors decreed her
a failure for sure.
Her courtesans claimed she was
Little more than a whore,
And told all the Commonwealth, merely a
‘Failure to launch.’

And I hear there’s a lady
Who lives in a riverside lane,
Who is purely a winner and winner
And winner again.
And some people tell her
Her efforts are surely in vain,
And wrongly predict her a guaranteed
‘Failure to launch.

Dedicated to ladies who believe in themselves. per exampla: Mad maddie!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

On Shannon's Bank

She perched on the bank, shameless; to dive is to fly,
Naked and shameless, as the naked sun in the sky.
Mute she said “look at me, look at me”
A pale back-front slash, fleshy thong,
And the Shannon said “look at me too,
I won’t be here for long”.

And she postured and pranced, hands joined, knees slightly bent,
And some people stayed on the bridge and some people went.
An older man shouted “piss, or get off the pot”
A younger girl whispered “I think she’s losing the plot”.
She rushed once again, ready to dip and to duck,
And the Shannon said “I’m moving on, you’re out of luck”.

She said “I can do it, I’ve often done it before”,
And the old-timer grimaced, was she a mermaid or whore?
An old nun passed by, never altered the angle of head,
“Heat to an ageing virgin” somebody said.
And the river still rolling, not waiting, not waiting at all,
“If you don’t come and join me I’ll soon be an old waterfall”.

And she summoned her courage again in her pale birthday suit
And the goose pimples went on parade; took the salute.
“Just give me a chance, all I want is a suitable wave”
So we all ‘waved’ our arms, on her way to a welcoming grave.
And the Shannon kept moving, moving in the very same bed,
He said “I’m in a hurry, I’ll ferry the living or dead”.

Then the Gardai arrived; took situation in hand,
The sergeant looked sombre as befits a man in command.
They wrapped a shawl round her and led her gently away,
And the crowd ambled off for more diversion that day.
And the river was sombre and sad and cheated and more,
“Today I lose out, but I’ve claimed her often before”.

And the man from the Corpo said “thanks be to Jesus for that”
We don’t need a scandal, remember Diageo’s vat.
We’ve closed all the barracks, police stations, hospitals too,
All they’ve left is the Shannon; we need it for Guinness’ brew.
We’ll close down Kilkenny; Dundalk is next on the list,
And the natives won’t open their mouths except to get pissed.

And the Shannon glanced, skywards, winked at his maker above
And the Lord said “don’t worry, I am the lion and the dove,
The plans of mere mortals are as a nod in the night
You’re still my creation and by you I’ll do what is right.
If they had their way your arteries they’d sever apart
But when its all over for them you’ll still have your heart”.

In gratitude to "Dasies and Vinegar" for her interest.