Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Al's Place

I got an e-mail from Al,
Zheimer’s at dot eye e.
It read “you’ve outstayed your welcome there,
Now you must move in with me
For a spell.”
It read, “Consider your baggage carefully,
I don’t have a lot of land,
What you don’t need, leave behind
You must come hand in hand
with the water; not the well”.
I resurrected my valise and trunk
From the cobwebs in the loft
One to go, one to stay,
Hard decisions and soft
Down to me.
William Trevor is indispensable
Heaney, Joyce and Yeats,
There may be room for Mark Twain
Robert Frost, perhaps John Keats,
Or Robert Kee.
Mothers auburn hair must come,
The smell of ash and beech
Bubbles on a blackberry
The pinnacle of speech
on Attenborough’s velvet tongue.
Pain and regret must stay in the trunk
With all the failures, accounts overdrawn.
A myriad of wasted days and years,
Every bishop, rook and pawn,
Each hymn and psalm ever sung.
The words of honest men will fit
A pair of speckled eggs
One drop kick from O’Gara
A glimpse of stunning legs
On Jolly Angelina.
The voice of Leonard Cohen
The notes of Matt Molloy
The box of Sharon Shannon
The small unbridled joy
Of concertina.
Weddings, divorces, giving up for Lent,
I’ll leave these all behind me
With hypocrites fools and fakirs
Don’t need these to remind me
Of sins of the past.
Porter and gin, whiskey and rum
No room for that much trouble
Maybe a pint of Ratharney well water
Or the smell of a stew a bubble
After the fast.
Trade Unionists, usurers, teachers,
Politicians, rapists of the earth,
Will have no function where I’m bound for,
Better a handful of dirt
in my overnight bag.
My children as children I’ll bring
That way there’s room for all,
A panorama of Irelands face
From Dingle to Donegal,
One valley, one crag.
The Inny’s a must and Newcastle wood
The heavenly blackbird song,
Gaelic and soccer I can do without
As well as the two faced throng
At funeral mass, mercy lacking.
Lots of room for a smile, a joke, a kiss,
A strait flush or winner at ten to one,
The truth takes up little room
Now that I’ve begun
To start packing.
Angela’s mischief; priceless;
Shannon’s incomparable smile
Goes in the going bag
With Barry John’s unique style
Of hanging down his clothes.
The sea, the sun, bog and canal
Green grass, cerulean sky.
There must be room for these
To travel when I say goodbye
To the land of ‘I suppose’.
My glasses, China and Niamh,
Are tucked in my valise
Everything else left behind
Perhaps room up my sleeve
To carry ‘Amongst Women’.
I’m almost packed now, ready to go,
One way ticket in hand
Al will be expecting me
To join his forgetful band
He knows I’m coming.





  1. Thought provoking thought -- though serious, it transmits the spark of life.

  2. Thank you for the comment. Would that we could be positively selective on an ongoing basis. Time is the greatest loss that man can sustain yet we all spend so much of it unwisely

  3. I thought you were referring to the Camino at first but as I read with delight I saw a different but similar journey.

  4. I thought you were referring to the Camino at first but as I read with delight I saw a different but similar journey.