Showing posts from 2012


SUNDOWN Her name was May, but she called herself   June. She was the kind of woman who dated buskers and tourists and giants.   The daily slog to the hospital was wreaking miracles on her bathroom scales.   One day she had arrived in the orange side car of a Harley Davison   to much amusement while she tried to fluff up her helmet hair.   August was a scorcher and the car park was as full as an egg.     She passed the open ambulance with only a cursory   glance and spotted the usual suspects in the covered   porch. The deaf man slumped sideways in the wheelchair had prevailed on yet another unwitting stranger   to wheel him up for a   fag.    The people in pyjamas with the bags of blood and liquids still attached-   some with nasal tubes and oxygen   - sat companionably smoking   on the window ledges swapping horror stories about their injuries and operations.     June eased herself through them, smiling and enquiring and sanitized her hands. In the foyer the procession of anxious fac

Eric the Cleric

Her name was May but they called her June. She never missed breakfast so turned up at noon.   She kept house for a Cleric with a gruesome face, hairy clusters of warts all over the place, Afflicted with machine-gun, wild doses of sneezes,Which everyone discovered -     alas     Never ceases,   Oh Father, says she -   wiping   snots   with a towel, your hockers   are   making me loosen my bowels- while buttering soda she ate lumps of corned beef, using the butt of a match to ready her teeth,   Ah now, “May June”, t’is   the month of July, and the   basterin pollen is flying so high ,   tis wretched   I am –with   this curse   I am damned. T’would be a release just to die -   Put an end to your sighing, leave me in peace with my   crying, and oh,   is that rashers you’re   frying? Rashers me eye, says June with a sigh, and gave him a baleful look, as he slobbered   all over his book.   He gave it right back,   cried alas and alack and unlatched the door from its hoo


Flashback   I hear her crying in the toilet, this fat woman who says she is my daughter.   Sometimes she   burns   the   pungent stuff that makes my eyes water. Peace, oh blessed peace where have you gone. My lovely dream     gone and I wake again to this. I’ll have corns on my backside from    sitting. She is prateing    away while I watch condensation trickle into the lip of the sill, catching fragments of it, but the other voices are still there. Banging and clattering in the hall, sticks and wheels, an unholy procession of walking wounded. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will always hurt me.    The woman in white who shouts into my face with a breath that is pure minty tobacco is at the door. They talk about me as if I were not back from the dream, not here at all. When I try to talk the words won’t come. They are pulling me now, pulling me up from the warm darkness and the memories. Nancy D is below swinging on the gate.   Oh,you’d a good innings alright.   Break

Beannacht - (Blessings)

Beannacht   On the day when The weight deadens On your shoulders And you stumble. May the clay dance To balance you. And when your eyes Freeze behind The grey window And the ghost of loss Gets in to you, May a flock of colours, Indigo, red, green, And azure blue, Come to awaken in you A meadow of delight. When the canvas frays In the currach of thought And a stain of ocean Blackens beneath you May there come across the waters A path of yellow moonlight To bring you safely home. May the nourishment of the earth be yours May the clarity of light be yours May the fluency of the ocean be yours May the protection of the ancestors be yours And so may a slow Wind work these words Of love around you, An invisible cloak To mind your life.   John O Donohue 1997                         My favourite of his poems.   Image of Wexford copyright MDMahon
Between Nethertown and The Lane of Stones the   small white cottage shifted softly in the baking August heat.   Peggy Ellard walked out her back door and blinked. The shirts and sheets were starched by sun and salt into stiff shapes on the blue line.   She pulled them off their pegs in a sudden burst of impatience. She had barely slept and was up for first mass to drop the boys to the Island for the bus to Croke Park. All night she had been tossing and turning beside her sweating snoring husband.   Peg got up early to make a start on the packed lunch. With the young lad   gone down for a sleep wearing only his nappy, she should have had time out for an hour or so but everywhere she could see things to be done. She had stood at the door watching the hot child settle   under the breeze from the electric fan, his damp curls blowing up off the top of his head like a question mark. He was a ringer for his Da, they all were.    Now back at the line under the constant wheeesh and shush of the
‘ Allo Vera .......             “I’ve been down so long, it’s starting to look like up” are the chorus lines from a Seasick Steve song. In this case you could just substitute my name as I was lower than a snakes belly just after Christmas this year. A combination of illness, infection, exhaustion, mood swings and general lethargy and depression had seen me lose my joie de vivre, suffer constantly with pain and stiffness, insomnia  and weight gain. A chance meeting in a coffee shop would lead to more than the consumption of pecan plaits. Vera Whelan is quiet. Unassuming, grounded, stable and in fact the polar opposite of me. Which is good. “Come to me for a session, I may be able to help” . (I should at this point add that I had met her before when I signed up and paid for a series of Yoga classes and attended only 2 !  -  Self sabotage  at its finest. Through a series of phone calls where she desrcibed my Heart energy as a beautiful Emerald green I ascertained where her

Forget- Me - Not.

Forget-me-not. “As life grows longer - awful feels softer”, but some nights the mountain  in my chest feels magnificently monstrous.  It was on one of those evenings that my Mother would have described me “ as having my tearbag too near my eye ” that I first saw the Angel of Collections. It was a moonlit evening where the sky resembled a Monet canvas.   A blur of light, a warmth, a presence, he sat slowly  waving his wings  to catch the memories as they flew like butterflies into his outstretched net. It was the formless and  the stillness, in the  maelstrom of dancing lights that surrounded my mothers bowed head.   The water is  always  like lava in the nursing home taps  and I run the soft white flannel under it for a hand-scalding  minute. We all cry in the toilet here, except my brother who cries at home. The Angel is nestled  betwixt flowers and  photographs on the window sill.   Sparkling iridiscent pinks , lilacs, greens and golds, a myriad of coloured vibrations tha

Marcie's Date with Destiny.

Interior : Living room of country cottage strewn with cushions, throws, bric a brac, candles and lit incense. 2 women are kneeling behind a couch and only their voices are heard. A man’s shadow is seen through the window tapping on the glass. Sherry: Stay down, Stay down I think he’s going. Marcie: Jesus I cant get any downer. Sherry: Did you close all the windows? Marcie: (Sighing) For the thousandth time YES, and I taped the letter box shut. The man taps again and again. There is a pause and then the sound of a car door closing and an engine starting. When the noise gets fainter 2 heads come up from behind the couch. Marcie: Christ on a crutch, that was close. Sherry: He’ll be back. Marcie: That it may stay fine for him. I’ll deal with him when I’m able. Help me up will you? Marcie and Sherry emerge from behind the couch.  One is huge and one tiny.  The huge one Marcie is rubbing her knees and stretching her back. Marcie : Fish Oils how are you............. S

YouReport, Where will your story take you?

YouReport, Where will your story take you?
FERRY TALE ENDING On a night when the rain was blowing sideways she watched him board . Hanging over the passenger staircase looking down at the parade of soaked humanity oozing out of  lifts clutching bedding, Cassie kept her jaded roving eye at high alert . She was a woman who holidayed alone watching people.  Listening  to snatches of conversation while she flirted with the  gypsy violinist and bought three cd’s from his pebble eyed child.   She stared at her fat freckled arms in the short blue blouse and sighed . Spain couldn’t come fast enough.  She ran past the cluster of crew to lock her cabin and once inside the small neat space quickly smoked half a cigarette. Unlike the majority of her colleagues whose cabins were strewn with toiletries and discarded uniforms, hers was visitor friendly. She  straightened the patchwork throw brought from home and folded down the page of her book .                                  At  the Bureau de change she waited for pound coins to be coun