Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Ballad of John Waters a True Irish Martyr

Oh, Caitlín Ní Uallacháin, your sons have been martyred,
their lives cruelly taken or cynically bartered.
Your tears fill the Foyle, the Boyne and the Barrow
with stories that chill righteous minds to the marrow.
The country’s awash with the cries of your daughters
for Collins and Connolly, Wolfe Tone and Waters.

In the year that we’re feting the struggles of Larkin,
John Waters fell foul of the laws about parkin’.
Our hero was randomly handed a ticket
and forthwith decided it just wasn’t cricket.
And so at the very next magistrate’s session,
he took a brave stance ‘gainst this savage repression.

From the dock, this unflinchable journalist fashioned
a speech from the heart, both inflamed and impassioned.
“I won’t doff the cap to this fiendish knavery,”
he cried, as the multitudes gasped at his bravery.
“I must take a stand on behalf of the weary,
the sat-upon, shat-upon folk of Dun Laoghaire.”

“Then you leave me no option,” the judge spat out viciously.
“We cannot have citizens acting seditiously.
Your words are insidious, base and subliminal
and we have no choice but to brand you a criminal.
Your words are pernicious; you’ve shown no repentance
and now you are facing a long prison sentence.”

And so, John was brought under Garda protection
to a gloomy, voluminous house of correction
and thrown in a cell, there to ponder and languish,
a soul in dark torment, alone and in anguish.
“Oh Father,” he cried, “See where this stand has taken me!
In my hour of need, why hast thou forsaken me?”

A felon on his right hand, a felon on his left,
he descended to Hell, alone and bereft.
But courage and strength may be found when you need ‘em,
as when you are cruelly deprived of your freedom.
And just as his thoughts were enveloped by gloom,
the boulder was suddenly rolled from his tomb.

Weakly, the bars of authority yielded
as our hero emerged into sunlight, eyes shielded,
his spirit unbroken, unquenched and undaunted,
his face deeply lined with the look of the haunted.
Three cent in his pocket, kept safe from the beadle,
he could easily slip through the eye of a needle.

But suddenly, families started appearing,
unfurling their banners and raucously cheering
and they lined all the streets on the south of the city
for the man who had faced down the Parking Committee.
Oh Ireland, bow down to the man who has taught us
to fight for our freedom! God bless you, John Waters.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The sad end of King Richard III

An ignominious end for a King,
more fitting for a fool or court jester.
No devil born deserves that final sting –
to end up being laid to rest in Leicester.

(It has been officially verified that the body found under a Leicester car park is that of Richard III)

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Lismore Tidy Towns Committee

Oh, the river walk by the Owenashad
was a lovely place that one time had
speedwell, toothwort, anemones
and flowers so rare and pretty.
The people came to stroll and dream
beside the gently lapping stream,
till it caught the attention of the Lismore
Tidy Towns Committee.

Now, the LTT is a body that
has improved our urban habitat.
They’ve tackled well the problems
that beset both town and city.
They’ve planted boxes, trees and shrubs,
improved the look of shops and pubs –
oh yes, we’re very grateful to
the Tidy Towns Committee.

But then they decided, off the cuff,
that nature wasn’t tidy enough
and Waterford County Council found
some money in the kitty.
And in the great bulldozers roared
and bushes and wild plants were floored,
courtesy of that well-meaning
Tidy Towns Committee.

Woodrush, garlic, pignut too,
along with the famous Lismore Blue –
all were cleared to make a path
both rubble-strewn and gritty.
Gone are the speedwell, ferns and sedges,
gone the birds that nest in the hedges,
tidied up quite neatly by
the Tidy Towns Committee.

And now I walk in the aftermath,
along this rubbled, soulless path
and passers by inform me that
they feel it’s such a pity
that the lovely walk that we one time had
by the peaceful, lapping Owenashad
has been vandalised completely by
the Tidy Towns Committee.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The real X factor

To those who sweat in pubs and clubs
and grubby half-filled village halls
where recognition never calls,
I clap politely. Stardom snubs
but, in your picking fingers, you
have far more talent than the climbin’
wannabes who dress like Simon
thinks they should. To art be true,
learn well your trade and you will find
a joy that will sustain you till
you die. And you will surely fulfill
the dream that needs no contract signed.
I beg you, don’t throw in the towel –
there’s more to life than Simon Cowell.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Please stop asking me to approve treaties

Please stop asking me to approve treaties –
my head’s in bits and my stomach’s in tatters
and I’ve got a really bad case of the DTs.

Grubby old men, stop offering me sweeties!
I feel like Alice in a room of Mad Hatters
when you keep asking me to approve treaties.

We had a great night over at Cousin Beattie’s
and I really can’t focus on such matters,
suffering badly, as I am, with the DTs.

I need camphor oil and cups of sweet teas,
not all this shyte you’re throwing at us
about whether or not I should approve treaties.

Bleary-eyed, my face resembles E.T.’s
(a comparison, alas, that only flatters
when I’ve a really bad case of the DTs.)

So stop! Heed my earnest entreaties,
all ye Joe Higgins and Alan Shatters.
Please desist asking me to approve treaties
when I’ve a really bad case of the DTs.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


“He’s turned the military on his own,”
says Cameron, sincere and open-handed,
“and thus this madman must be overthrown.”

We will not mention the example shown
in Derry, when the Government demanded
the military turn upon its own.

But rather let the unspun mind now hone
in on the view that Qadhafi should be branded
a madman who must now be overthrown.

When there’s a revolution ‘gainst the throne,
how should this treasonous act be countermanded
if not by turning soldiers on ‘their own?’

Mobilise the dentists? Maybe phone
the carpenters to get the rough wood sanded?
Would this stop ‘madmen’ being overthrown?

From desert scrub and toppled inert stone,
see how the hopes of Libyans expanded
since Qadhafi made the military his own.

But Cameron / Blair says we cannot condone
the use of force Qadhafi has commanded
and thus the madman must be overthrown.

Look how much the fledgling state has grown
since foreign occupation was disbanded,
then tell me the military’s not his own
and why this ‘madman’ should be overthrown.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bertie and Ash Wednesday

(For me Ash Wednesday always reminds me of Bertie Ahern getting the ash mark at Mass in the morning and it alternately fading and strengthening during the day)

Where did Bertie keep his ashes
to top up his mark of Lent?
Did his aide arrange small stashes
everywhere the fecker went?
Did he stuff them in his pocket
after Mass, when he was leaving?
Did he keep them in a locket
like a widow who is grieving?
Did his secretary buy them
and secrete them in her bag
till he needed to apply them
when his penance seemed to sag?
All the papers would wax lyrical;
some claimed it was black paint!
But perhaps it was a miracle
and he really was a saint?