Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Government to Lead by Example

Civil servants to decentralise

Relocation, relocation, relocation –
Harsh music to a civil servant’s ears.
The Government’s attempts at mass plantation
Have not addressed our culchie-phobic fears.

“The countryside is lovely,” says the Minister.
“Not charcoal grey, but vivid green and brown.
Please do not think it underhand or sinister
That we are trying to get you out of town.

‘Facilities outside the Pale are ample,
There is no need for city centre trekkin’
The Government will set you an example
And relocate en masse to Termonfeckin.

‘The Termonfeckin countryside is bracing,
The traffic doesn’t pass by at a crawl,
Though one of the great challenges we’re facing
Is where to build our Termonfeckin Daìl.

‘The local GAA has volunteered
To let us use their clubhouse twice a week,
And a megaphone will needs-be commandeered,
And passed around when someone wants to speak.

‘The Termonfeckin natives are delighted,
The local landlords rub their hands in glee.
Their love for us will not go unrequited –
We’ll help to bolster their economy.

‘Protestors now will chain themselves to railings
Outside of Ma O’Reilly’s corner shop.
The Termonfeckin Daìl may have its failings
But the march of progress can’t be seen to stop.

‘Presidents will come to Termonfeckin,
Heads of state put up in Keenan’s pub.
Some might find the ceilidh quite head-wreckin’
But Molly does a lovely bit of grub.

‘So follow our example, Doubting Thomas,
Fill your lungs with Termonfeckin air.
Let us all augment our rural commerce,
And give the Termonfeckin lads their share.

County Louth has such attractive scenery,
With grassy knoll and lovely shady dell.
I guarantee you all that wondrous greenery
Will not become a Termonfeckin hell.”

Yes, the Termonfeckin Minister has shown us,
Our inertia is attributed to greed.
How can we claim a relocation bonus
When our Termonfeckin TDs take the lead?

I’ve Seen the Future of Eurovision

Heavy metal act wins Eurovision

Those manic Finns
With monster grins
And high-watt insurrection,
Have turned the whole of Eurovision
In a new direction.

A lilting song
‘Bout Ding Dang Dong
Or raindrops on a petal
Has now been rendered obsolete
By thumping heavy metal.

From Ballyfree to Roumanie,
From Iceland to Albania,
They’ll grow their hair in homage to
This retro metal mania.

The powerful ballad’s
Last year’s salad,
Banging heads makes winners,
While Iron Maiden records serve
As textbooks for beginners.

Our Daniel oughta
Feel the water,
Get his act together,
Don the knuckledusters and
The whips and chains and leather.

The bonny air
Is far too square,
Oh Dan, give up the preaching,
Grab the mike and give us all
Some high-falsetto screeching.

For Europe’s sweet
On driving beat
And shouted, twisted vocals,
And Mammy’s charms and loved one’s arms
Will not impress the locals.

So, like the Finn,
Let’s all buy in,
And make a bold decision
To swan around in Death’s Head masks
For next year’s Eurovision.

Mary Wasn’t There

Mary Harney fails to attend the nurses conference in Ballyconnell

In Ballyconnell, things were tense,
Suspicion filled the air.
In drizzling rain,
They searched in vain –
For Mary wasn’t there.

From Bawnboy up to Cavan town,
They searched each park and square,
Those fools who thought
She could be caught! –
Ha! Mary wasn’t there.

The matron did not see a thing,
As far as she’s aware.
That icy blast
That just blew past?
No, Mary wasn’t there.

They grilled each nurse and checked I.D.
And tugged all facial hair.
Deeds underfoot
Suspected, but
Bould Mary wasn’t there.

Detectives monitored the hall
And noted every stare,
And cameras panned
And swept and scanned –
But Mary wasn’t there.

Shop stewards loudly gnashed their teeth
And broke down in despair,
For she’s too smart,
A dame apart! –
Sweet Mary wasn’t there.

Who is that lady muffled up
Beyond the spotlight’s glare?
It couldn’t be!
For patently
Bould Mary wasn’t there.

That damned elusive pimpernel
Prepared her ground with care.
That’s risible –
For Mary wasn’t there.

Her aura settled o’er the stage,
So palpable and rare.
But no-one saw
Her features for
Bould Mary wasn’t there.

Big Chief Sitting Bull

Bertie's mascara bill shocks the nation
They say that the total’s ridiculous,
And comes pretty close to insanity,
His make-up expense
Doesn’t make any sense,
And why, in the name of humanity,
Should we pay for our leader’s great vanity?

But Bertie defends the extravagance,
With arms waving round like a thresher.
Despite the great mirth, it
Is clear that he’s worth it,
And under political pressure
To make his appearance look fresher.

It’s ever been thus, he says blithely,
Way back to the High Kings of Tara.
A man needs his blusher
When visiting Russia,
And, when in the burning Sahara,
A leader must carry mascara.

Eye-liner is part of the armoury,
A decided political plus.
DeValera wore rouge
On State Visits to Bruges,
Without such inordinate fuss,
And nobody called him a wuss.

The televised Daìl shows no mercy,
The cameras zoom in without pity,
And only a dipstick
Would not apply lipstick,
For though the discussions are gritty,
It’s vital the speakers look pretty.

George Bush comes across quite assertive,
When speaking in south Mississippi.
With face caked in powder,
His voice becomes louder,
And, if he’s used plenty of lippy,
He won’t come across wet and drippy.

No five o’clock shadow for Bertie,
The toner goes on pretty straight.
Like Mohican or Sioux,
With his face in full view,
There’s one thing he needs to look great –
The foundation (he says) of the state.

So lay off attacks on our Taoiseach,
His motives are pure and untainted.
For Chirac and Blair
Both aspire to look fair
And people with whom they’re acquainted
Say they’re not as bad as they’re painted.

The Ways of the World will Apply

A euphemism that came out of one of the Tribunals for a bribe...

When I was a lad,
I went up to my Dad,
With my brow in a bit of a sweat.
And I said, “Daddy, please,
If I went on my knees,
Would you buy me some form of a pet?”
He glanced idly down
At my deep, worried frown,
And remarked with a wink in his eye,
“A dog or a cat?
Well, I hope you know that
The ways of the world will apply.”

At driving-test time,
I committed the crime
Of ascending the pavement in error.
And I drove through the town,
Knocking old people down,
And spreading sheer panic and terror.
When the test was complete,
I glanced down at his sheet.
“Have I passed?” I enquired, by and by.
Well, he paused for a while,
Then intoned, with a smile,
“The ways of the world will apply.”

I courted a lassie
From East Tallahassie,
A raven-haired, bright Southern belle.
I fancied my chances,
So took her to dances,
And brought her McDonalds as well.
I asked, when we’d done,
“Do you fancy some fun?
I do hope, my dear, you’ll comply.”
She replied “Kindest sir,
I’m inclined to concur,
But the ways of the world will apply.”

We had a fine daughter
And strove to support ‘er,
As any good parents would do.
But she turned out to be
The ruination of me,
When I had believed her so true.
I came home one night,
Unbelievably tight,
After too many whiskeys and rye.
I said, “Don’t tell your Mam!”
She said “When in a jam,
The ways of the world will apply.”

In my bed, nearing death,
As I faced my last breath,
My family summonsed the priest.
And I said, “Father, tell,
Am I destined for Hell,
When my poor aching body’s deceased?
He looked at me oddly,
Expression ungodly,
Then, jingling his change, did reply,
“Sure, God has his ways,
But to use an old phrase,
The ways of the world will apply.”

The Fianna Faíl Circus is Back in Town

Self evident...

The Fianna Faíl Circus is back in town,
Always guaranteed a decent clown,
Ringside tickets only half a crown
When the Fianna Faíl Circus is back in town.

Out comes the elephant into the night,
The crowd all holler with great delight.
Oh, never was seen such a wonderful sight
It’s the P-Pars elephant and it is white.

Ivor the Cannonball kid was tired,
He couldn’t get the help the job required.
Despite his protestations, though, it transpired,
That Bertie lit the fuse and he was fired.

Oh yes, the Fianna Faíl Circus is back in town,
Leotards shimmering and noses brown,
The acrobats tumble till the sun goes down
When the Fianna Faíl Circus is back in town.

Sean’s upset, he doesn’t know what to do,
He’s sick of cleaning out the lion’s pooh.
He says he wants a job with the performing crew,
But Bertie will not grant him an interview.

Síle says to Bertie, “Won’t you help me please?
I need someone to catch me on the high trapeze.”
Bertie says, “No problem! It’ll be a breeze!”
But he gives a sly smile as he hangs by his knees.

Oh, the Fianna Faíl Circus is back in town,
The Chief Whip appears in his dressing gown,
The price of admission may cause a frown
But the Fianna Faíl Circus is back in town.

From up in the cheap seats, there’s heckles at
The murky machinations of the acrobat.
Bertie shields his eyes and he waves at Pat,
But Enda isn’t too impressed at that.

Cracking the whip is the ringmaster’s art,
Though you mustn’t upset the apple-cart.
In top hat and tails, he’s dressed for the part,
Though many people say he’s too Billy Smart.

Oh yes, the Fianna Faíl Circus is back in town,
A Big Top performance of great renown,
They don’t have a net, just an eiderdown
When the Fianna Faíl Circus is back in town.

The Chinese Year of the SSIA

Not everybody has a SSIA
It won’t be too long till we’re all feeling flush,
And by golly, we’re counting the days.
The banks won’t be able to handle the crush
When we queue for our SSIAs.
We’ll be buying new motors and building extensions,
Jetting abroad for artistic conventions,
Dining out daily and topping up pensions,
And we’ll all act a little bit flash.

They’ll keep the shops open all day and all night
To cash in on Ireland’s new wealth.
Champagne corks will pop to an excessive height,
As we drink to our financial health.
We’ll be counting out notes with our palms hot and sweaty,
Twirling them round on our forks like spaghetti,
Throwing them up in the air like confetti,
When we all get a hold of our stash.

Knee-deep in money, we’ll wade through the land,
With great wads sticking out of our coats.
And sitting room walls will look stylish and grand
When they’re papered with ten Euro notes.
The good times are coming, we’ll be in the pink,
We’re all going to spend a small fortune on drink,
Your missus will hoover the house wearing mink,
And your car will look sporty and brash.

All through the country, there’ll be such a buzz
When our SSIAs all mature.
We’ll all come up roses, though many of us
Might still catch the whiff of manure.
No need to be stingy, from that great day hence,
We’ll hand out the plastic with great confidence,
Oh, we might well have Euros, but will we have cents
When we all get our hands on the cash?

But out there, forgotten, are thousands of folk
Who will not share our celebrations.
Half of the country is constantly broke,
As if there were two different nations.
That old Celtic tiger passed by, round the bend
For those who weren’t part of the general trend,
And they will look on as we spend, spend and spend,
Displaying our bounteous panache.


Lap dancing club comes to Dublin
I heard that they gave him permission
To open a new dancing club,
A bare boob and bum exhibition
For many a red-blooded Dub.

There’ll be big, bouncing backsides all week,
Despite all the moralists’ flak,
Some say that it’s just bare-faced cheek,
Some say they’ll just go for the craic.

But the Equal Opportunities chaps,
Can’t figure the legal controls –
How can they have pole-dancing Lapps,
But they cannot have lap-dancing Poles?

Lets Go Penalty Point Crazy!

Penalty points for a host of new traffic offences...

The Minister has flexed his joints.
All credit, I suppose.
He’s introduced these penalty points
To keep us on our toes.
I’m sure he’ll be delighted
To receive my firm endorsement,
Provided it’s united
With the threat of real enforcement.
For yes, a problem does exist,
He needs to show he’s tough,
Though really this extensive list
Does not go far enough.
Let’s give our Gardaí extra power!
Ignore the legal questions!
I’m sure there’s many who will cower
At my proposed suggestions: -

For anyone who picks their nose,
A youngster or old fogey,
Traffic wardens should impose
A point for every bogey.
For anyone who does their hair,
Or re-applies their make-up,
Man or woman, I don’t care –
Two points should make them wake up.
Those who use the left hand lane
To overtake at junctions
Should really get to feel the pain
Of law-enforcement functions.
Rolling back a foot or so
When starting on a hill
Deserves a point or two to go,
In my new traffic bill.
And those who will not indicate
When on a roundabout
Have little cause to get irate
If points are meted out.
Cracked exhausts that belch out smoke,
And youths with music blaring.
Yellow cars are just a joke –
In fact, I find them glaring.
Windows that proclaim ‘No Fear’
And fluffy dice a-dangling,
Drivers stuck in second gear,
All leave the nerve ends jangling.

I well accept the list above
Might have a few detractors,
And I’ll admit I’d really love
If everyone drove tractors.
But one transgression outstrips all
And cannot be forgiven.
It’s seen from Rathlin to Rockall,
Wherever cars are driven.
Yes, Minister, you are the man,
The only flame that flickers –
You must enforce a total ban
On Man United stickers.

An Unprovoked Attack

Astronomers fired a missile into a comet for scientific research purposes

‘Twas only a comet, a poor harmless comet,
Searing a trail through the blackness of space,
All kinds of gases were streaming out from it,
This poor, harmless comet we chose to deface.

It wasn’t a danger to human existence,
Trajectory-wise, it would come nowhere near.
It gave no offence and it showed no resistance,
The sizable distance held nothing to fear.

It minded its business, while shining out brightly,
Its orbit a million miles distant from ours,
But scientists charted it daily and nightly,
And thought it unsightly, compared to the stars.

The ambush was sprung and the signal was triggered,
The missile flew out in a one-sided war.
The large, gaping hole in its surface was figured
To render it jiggered right down to the core.

Why did we attack it, this beautiful body,
Slicing through space in its innocent bliss?
The arguments for it are futile and shoddy –
In truth, there’s nobody can justify this.

It still stumbles blindly, this sad, wounded comet,
Shot down inhumanely for human conceit.
Great oceans of red blood are streaming out from it,
This poor, harmless comet now dead on its feet.

Dolores MacNamara

The multi-million Euro lottery winner

Dolores MacNamara has found instant wealth and fame,
Her name’s on everybody’s lips this week.
The solitary winner of the Euro lottery game.
The subject of each media critique.

Hypothetical discussions, what to do if in her shoes,
Should she go ahead and spend, spend, spend?
Will she handpick villas with incredible sea views?
Or will the money drive her round the bend?

We’ve all dished out the millions to relations and to friends,
Discussed the charities that we would choose,
Vowed to take cognizance of the economic trends,
Once we’d spent a fortnight on the booze.

The thing that stuns me is she’s only number seventy two
In the current list of Ireland’s super rich.
How can so many people be so bleedin’ well-to-do,
While millions more complain that life’s a bitch?

It’s hard for us to fathom such a many-zeroed sum,
While squashed in on the number twenty two.
Hanging on for hours with a pushchair up your bum
And a brolly dripping gaily on your shoe.

But Dolores MacNamara, I just wish her all the best,
She represents the hopes and dreams of all.
Her conscience and good judgement will be soon put to the test,
When the letters start to pile up in the hall.

But will it make her happy? I hear many people say.
Would she not be better off with nowt?
I cannot hand on heart give any answer either way,
But I’d love to have the chance of finding out.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Grim Warning to all Others

Clock changing time

‘Twas in the small hours of the night,
I saw a blue and flashing light.
And then began the klaxon’s wail,
Like some demented nightingale.
Throwing back the crocheted spread
I clambered quickly from my bed,
And to the curtained window flew
To get a better, grandstand view,
For crime, thank God, is very rare
Along our quiet thoroughfare.
I watched the squad car turn the bend
And make its way toward our end.
I squinted round the curtain’s drop
To see exactly where he’d stop.
Perhaps those lads at fifty four
Were on the wrong side of the law?
Or maybe him at sixty one
Was really someone on the run?
But holy moley, saints alive!
The squad car turned into my drive!

I put on socks and dressing gown
And very sharply hurried down
To answer their insistent knock
At very nearly two o’clock.
The neighbours would be wide awake,
Not knowing this was some mistake.
They must have seen the squad car come
And heard the pandemonium,
And now my name was likely mud
Throughout this genteel neighbourhood.

I pulled the bolt and turned the key
And opened up the door to see
Two burly cops, grim-faced and armed,
Which made me very much alarmed.
One yelled my name, and I said, “Yes?”
And in my state of half-undress,
They pushed me down upon the floor,
As shock ran through my every pore.
I felt as though I might be sick,
On hearing those strong handcuffs click.
They read my rights, and when complete,
They hauled me brusquely to my feet
And bundled me into the car,
As neighbours gawped from near and far.

I sit here in my prison cell,
A malcontented ne’er-do-well,
And wonder what ungodly fate
Awaits this surly reprobate.
At first, I’d claimed my innocence,
But knew full well I’d no defence.
The clocks they brought into the court
Exposed my guilt in words and thought.
There really was no need to show
That they were all an hour slow.
And sweet Anne Doyle, from RTE,
Stood on the stand unflinchingly
And told the jury to peruse
The transcripts of the evening news.

Yes, I’d been warned and paid no heed,
A criminal in thought and deed.
The clocks were changed at one o’clock,
And I admitted from the dock
That though the hour had come and gone,
Oh shame! I’d never wound them on.
I face a future breaking rocks
For daring to ignore those clocks.
Ironic though, that this foul crime
Will mean I end up doing time.

Who’s Next After Baghdad?

Politicians urged to pull "our boys" out of the Aussie Rules series down under due to the violence
Those images of blood and violence
Screamed across our screens in silence.
Numbed, we all in horror studied
Pictures of the bowed and bloodied,
Gasping pain with every breath,
Praying for a quick, clean death,
While we, safe in our pristine houses
Hugged our parents, children, spouses.

Kofi Annan, dodging flak,
Condemned this unprovoked attack,
And said that he could not endorse
This unrelenting use of force.
The United Nations, he said grimly,
Viewed this situation dimly,
And very soon it would begin
To send the first peacekeepers in.

George announced that he was vexed,
And threatened to invade them next.
How could he allow this schism
Propogate such terrorism?
The Allies, he announced to cheers,
Would move to quell our darkest fears,
While Tony Blair, thus subtlely prodded,
Sagely looked around and nodded.

Back at home, the campaign grew
To make sure that our boys withdrew.
The coalition vowed to strive
To bring survivors home alive.
And Bertie showed distinct unease
When hearing anguished parents’ pleas.
But still maintained the great pretence
Of sitting blithely on the fence.

Flags of freedom were unfurled
At embassies around the world,
As millions joined in the procession
To condemn this base aggression.
And as the world recoiled in pain
It struggled madly to explain
The reasons for the dismal failure
Of Compromise Rules, down in Australia.

Too Much Budget, Not Enough Ronan

Cutting the Ronan Collins radio show for the Budget...

When innocent, and very young,
The Budget left me stewing.
Though I was forced to hold my tongue,
It spoiled my TV viewing.
And still, though quite advanced in years,
I bitterly begrudge it.
Where’s Ronan gone?
He should be on,
And not the bleedin’ Budget.

Okay, we should show int’rest in
The economic axis,
And listen to bold Brian’s spin
On pension funds and taxes.
But a big decision must be made.
Oh RTE, don’t fudge it.
The world stops turning
When Brian’s churning
Out the boring Budget.

Put it on the Six One News
And quiz financial analysts.
Certainly, let’s hear the views
Of Prime Time’s expert panellists.
But Ronan’s far more popular,
As far as I can judge it,
His song and chat
Far outstrips that
Most soporific Budget.

So RTE, next year pay heed
To list’ners to your station.
This Budget overkill doth breed
Significant frustration.
That dial upon the radio –
It don’t take much to nudge it.
From three to five,
We don’t need live
Transmission of the Budget.

For those poor anoraks who crave
Financial absolution,
Put it on the Medium Wave –
Sure, that’s the best solution.
That Budget Road is long and hard,
So please don’t make us trudge it.
Please hear our voice,
Give us the choice
Of Ronan or the Budget.

The Journey to the Fianna Fáil Árd Fheis

Fianna Fail Ard Fheis time..

Beside the coach, the TDs all assembled,
All sniggering at Minister McDowell.
With holdalls clasped in hands, they quite resembled
Some third years on a day trip out of school.
They had their cheeks all squeezed by Mary Harney,
Who straightened up their ties till they looked neat.
Mary O’Rourke could not go to Killarney,
Because, she said, she hadn’t got a seat.
The Minister for Pre-School Education
Admitted that he hadn’t found a crèche,
So his daughter, who was three,
Sat forlornly on his knee
On the journey to the Fianna Fáil Árd Fheis.

The traffic on the quays was quite atrocious,
The coach was overtaken by a snail.
And Micheal Martin’s slagging was ferocious,
Although he blamed it all on Fine Gael.
Poor old Seamus Brennan got his hair wet
When someone sprayed him with a can of ale.
He kept on asking Bertie, “Are we there yet?”
Although the coach had not yet left the Pale.
Mary Coughlan sang a mournful ballad,
About a heart that beauty might enmesh,
While the messers down the back
Feigned a vomiting attack
On the journey to the Fianna Fáil Árd Fheis.

Brian Cowan went around collecting money
Which, people said, was one of his great talents.
Though everyone declared it was quite funny
That he couldn’t get the final sums to balance.
Then with the bus approaching Monasterevin
They stopped to take an urgent toilet-break.
The hedgerow there that bordered the N7
Soon found that it was standing in a lake.
And when the haze of steam had dissipated,
And everyone had put away the flesh,
Bould Síle turned to Mary
And said,”Blimey, that was hairy!”
On the journey to the Fianna Fáil Árd Fheis.

Down the back, there was a brief kerfuffle,
As several people sneaked up on Dick Roche,
And after quite a brief, one-sided scuffle,
A pair of trousers flew out of the coach.
Then through the loud guffaws and hearty joking,
The pungent whiff of stale tobacco blew.
Someone naughty on the coach was smoking,
And Micheal Martin went to find out who.
But the messers down the back were most indignant,
Proclaiming that the air was sweet and fresh.
But when Micheal had gone away,
They all lit up a Craven A,
On the journey to the Fianna Fáil Árd Fheis.

A squad car flagged them down on leaving Nenagh,
The constable kicked up a mighty fuss.
He swore that in his headlights he had seen a
Crowd of people mooning out the bus.
And as the crossed the Limerick / Kerry border,
Bertie rose, with can of Bass aloft.
The Chief Whip very loudly called for order
(“Make mine a Gin and Tonic!” someone scoffed.)
“Dermot’s getting visas,” stated Bertie,
“And next year’s bash will be in Marrakech.
So, if you all still follow me,
You will get your duty free
On the journey to the Fianna Fáil Árd Fheis.”

The Board of Irish Ferries to Lead by Example?

The Board of Irish Ferries are laying off all their Irish staff and replacing them with cheap Baltic labour

The Board of Irish Ferries has been blasted from a height,
Accused of shabby practices by all.
But let us reconsider if just maybe they are right
To give the lads from Latvia a call.

Their message is quite simple – everyone can be replaced
By cheaper staff from Vilnius and Riga.
The truth, though quite distasteful, must be resolutely faced,
Those Baltic lads are ready and they’re eager.

Our football team’s new manager, whoever he may be
Should maybe start to realign his goals.
Perhaps we’d get to qualify for tournaments if he
Replaced our back four with a set of Poles.

Yes, Eddie from Estonia and Tom from Tallinn Town
Have skills that are impressive and extensive.
Far be it from me to run the Irish workforce down,
But Jaysus, we’re incredibly expensive.

These fellers will do anything to earn a full day’s pay,
Like hosing down the streets or picking cherries.
They’d even run the Government, or play in goal for Bray,
Or maybe run the Board of Irish Ferries?

Yes, let Irish Ferries management stand up and show the way,
A shining light to every friend and neighbour!
Let them all resign en masse, forego their massive pay
And replace themselves with cheaper Baltic labour.

Oh Ivor

Ivor Callely, Government Minister of State, allegedly tries to bribe a member of his staff to stay on...

Oh Ivor, won’t you buy me
A Mercedes Benz?
At least run it by me -
No way it offends!
I really don’t care ‘bout the signal it sends,
Just go ahead and buy me a Mercedez Benz.

Oh Ivor, won’t you buy me
A spanking new Jag?
My pushbike is grimy,
A bit of a drag.
Throw my coat over puddles and carry your bag,
If only you’d buy me a spanking new Jag.

Oh Ivor, won’t you buy me
An Audi A4?
I’m Peter, so fly me,
Your slave evermore.
I’ll deliver your leaflets to every damned door,
And all for the price of an Audi A4.

Oh Ivor, won’t you buy me
A Renault Megane?
I never would stymie
Your electoral plan.
Yes, I’d be forever a Callely man,
If you nipped out and got me a Renault Megane.

Oh Ivor, won’t you buy me
An Opel Kadett?
Oh please don’t deny me,
My heart is quite set.
Your seat in North Dublin won’t come under threat,
If you’d just see your way to an Opel Kadett.

Oh Ivor, won’t you buy me
A Daewoo Matiz?
There’s no need to ply me
With crates of Bucks Fizz,
I’d shout from the rooftops that you are the biz,
If you’d hand me the keys to a Daewoo Matiz.

Oh Ivor, won’t you buy me
A Honda Accord?
If you would just try me,
You’d reap the reward,
My ride needs a-pimping and you can afford
To buy me, oh Ivor, a Honda Accord.

Leave them alone, they’ve suffered enough

"Take That" announce they're playing Belfast's Odyssey Arena

Traffic jams deliver strife
To Roscrea and to Nenagh.
Inflation, so they say, is rife
On down in Argentina.
Moscow ganglords flout the law,
Ignoring each subpoena,
And tensions bubble to the fore
In Mecca and Messina.

But Belfast is the toughest place,
The streets are so much meaner,
Although they now no longer face
The terrorist hyena.
Not long now since suspicion fell
On every Ford Cortina,
Emerging from that living hell,
Their hopes are so much keener.

They’d all expressed the hopeful views
That now the air was cleaner,
But now this latest piece of news
Has shocked the Belfast Fianna.
This quite disgraceful coup d’étât
Could not be more obscener.
Imagine putting on “Take That”
At the Odyssey Arena!

Leave our Trousers Alone!

Women commenting on the unfashionability of men's trousers? Whatever next?

Everybody knows the passion
Women (bless ‘em) have for fashion.
Shape of skirt or style of blouson,
Should I put my high heeled shoes on?
Leather, suede, acrylic, wool,
Every style imaginable
Is stuffed into their wardrobe’s lair,
Although they claim there’s naught in there.

But now, I see, they’ve started staring
At the trousers we are wearing.
Apparently, it seems to rankle
That we show a shapely ankle,
And it is deemed a tad unpleasant,
Flashing socks with women present.
And no, our flares do not conform
With what should constitute the norm.
They’re far too thin or far too wide
Or trail the ground with every stride.

And belts should sit upon the hips!
What? Even when we’re stuffed with chips?

We should tell our errant spouses,
To get their eyes off menfolk’s trousers,
Or else we’ll tell you, plain and pat,
That yes, your bum looks big in that.

I Had a Dream

Our Transport Minister's vision of a gridlock-free transport system may well come too latefor many of us...

Last night, as clouds pulled hazy shrouds
Across the Milky Way,
I dreamt I flew with wonder to
A bright but distant day.
I hit the ground and spun around
Beneath the rosy skies –
A sparkling world lay there, unfurled,
Before my startled eyes.

No traffic jams, just shiny trams,
All programmed by computer,
A nice, plush seat laid out to greet
Each laughing-eyed commuter.
And Dart trains, too, straight by me flew,
So fast I almost missed ‘em,
‘Twas win, win, win, with this great in-
-Tegrated transport system.

Trav’llers beamed and truly seemed
To be a bit more sparky.
“More time in bed,” an old man said,
“Means people aren’t so narky.
No workday blues in sodden queues,
There’s buses when you need ‘em.
And hence the buzz – it’s given us
A new-found sense of freedom.

I picked up some far-distant hum,
And was, at first, quite puzzled.
Beneath my feet, beneath the street,
I sensed it, faint and muzzled.
A far-off sound, deep underground,
Beneath the nitty-gritty.
The Metro? No! Now in full flow
Way underneath the city.

Across the land, great networks spanned
The country’s once-choked by-ways.
At massive cost, the land was crossed
By wide-laned superhighways.
No lengthy queues on travel news,
No roadworks of frustration,
Just transport bliss inspired by this
Improved communication.

No trucks break down in Mallow town,
The Jack Lynch Tunnel’s flowing.
The Dublin quays all move with ease,
Despite the fact it’s snowing.
With no delays on wintry days,
The A.A. Roadwatch ceases.
With naught to do, the traffic crew
Give up and go to pieces.

But here and there, I sensed despair
Among the opposition.
Fine Gael had gone quite pale
And knelt down in contrition.
For all along, they had been wrong,
And now they were quite sullen.
Where others quivered, he delivered –
The blesséd Martin Cullen.

His statues stand, austere and grand,
At every railway station,
And people pray throughout the day
In silent adoration.
The deaf and dumb (and daft) all come,
Petitioning for kindness,
Because his image, once in Kimmage,
Cured a man of blindness.

Then I awoke, but naught I spoke,
Enveloped in great sorrow,
Because I faced untimely haste
To get to work tomorrow.
Oh yes, we’re cursed, so deep immersed
In gridlock and frustration,
For it is clear, alas, that we’re
The static generation.

And thus I call on bold Michéal
To implement this vision,
To speed the plan as best he can
With consummate incision.
This scheme, one fears, will take ten years,
And only come in phases,
By which time, I’ll be too senile
Or fertilising daisies.


New Health Minister Mary Harney vows to clean up our dirty hospitals

According to some newly-published report,
Our hospitals aren’t quite as clean as we thought.
While doctors and nurses are tirelessly working,
Behind them, bacterial colonies are lurking.
They’re growing on shelves that are dusty and grimy,
Infecting the water to make it taste slimy,
And now they are creeping with sure-footed tread
On the fortunate few who’ve been given a bed.

“Good morning, Mrs. Wilson,” says Doctor Patel,
“I’m sure that your transplant will go really well.
This oil on my hands? Oh, there’s no need to worry,
I managed to fix my flat tyre in a hurry.
You’re right, I’ve no tissues, as you rightly perceive,
And hence the damp patch on the cuff of my sleeve.
Please don’t be alarmed, there is no need to shout,
You know there is nothing to worry about.”

All through the wards, great diseases are spreading.
They’re leaping with joy from the light bulbs to bedding.
A dung-beetle family is putting down roots,
Whilst an army of termites appeals for recruits.
Through grime-coated theatres, the insects are breezing,
And even the dust-mites are helplessly sneezing.
And if patients complain when the bedbugs appear,
They get sent away with a flea in their ear.

But wait! Who is this with a mop in her hand?
The scourge of all pestilence throughout the land!
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Oh my God, it’s the Minister,
Brandishing stainless steel buckets so sinister
Bold Mary will banish those festering gripes,
Armed with Domestos and surgical wipes.
With Brillos galore and considerable tact,
She’ll get the poor sisters to clean up their act.

The patients are bound to be keenly impressed
By this matronly figure with ‘S’ on her chest,
For though all the dirt is ingrained and quite old,
She won’t sleep a wink till she’s broken the mould.
Down on her knees with her carbolic soap,
In hard to reach corners, she’ll steadfastly grope,
And soon the hygienists will not need to blubber,
For Mary will show she’s one hell of a scrubber.

Eulogy for the P-PARS Lottery

The P-Pars Payroll system for the Health Service proved to be something of an expensive flop

And so we say farewell, sweet payroll system,
As you ascend with grace to software heaven.
Thousands wail, and thousands more assist ‘em,
The cortege moving slowly to Glasnevin.

You were beloved by many civil servants,
And stoutly and defiantly defended.
The minute’s silence, held with strict observance,
Was practically unanimously attended.

Here a hundred thousand, there a million,
You dished your favours out quite willy-nilly,
And every Doctor Joe and Staff Nurse Gillian
Denies the P-PARS Lottery was silly.

The H.S.E., proactive and inventive
Devised this scheme with governmental data.
Was there ever such a strong incentive
To join the staff at James’s or the Mater?

The wage-slips were distributed fortnightly,
As patients watched in ever-mounting wonder.
Prayers would be intoned with eyes shut tightly,
Before the flimsy slips were ripped asunder.

A feeling of excitement was injected,
From top consultants to the young beginners.
In theatre, great wounds lay unprotected
As surgeons checked to see if they were winners.

And then there’d come a roar from Radiology,
And everyone would think it was a crackpot.
But then the nurse would come with an apology –
“Dr. Ahmed Singh’s just won the jackpot.”

Sometimes there would not be one big winner,
Despite the imprecations to Jehovah.
But nails were chewed and hairlines got much thinner,
Every time a jackpot was rolled over.

The end was very swift and without warning,
There was no time for grief, or bedside dramas,
And flags will fly half-mast today in mourning
On many yachts now moored in the Bahamas.

And so the Last Post sounds above your coffin,
The sense of loss will be profoundly bruising,
Until of course, some other I.T. boffin
Comes up with something equally amusing.

This Sporting Life

Why can't we just imprison corrupt politicians like other countries?

There is a sport that other nations
Nearly have perfected,
And Ireland, through procrastinations,
Seems to have neglected.
Its worldwide popularity
Goes all the way to Thailand,
But now we see with clarity
Its benefit to this island.

Yes, jailing errant politicians
Ceased when it reached Wales,
As people in empowered positions
Tipped judicial scales.
But attitudes have altered
From the way that people thought,
As reverence has faltered,
So we welcome this new sport.

The public representative
Oft gave us the hard sell,
Taxation quite insensitive,
He gave the workers hell.
But now the sands have shifted,
We will raise a ballyhoo,
The veil of mist has lifted –
He can have a hard cell too.

We’re relishing the battle
And it’s great for our morale.
We’ll round them up like cattle
And restock the old corral.
We’ll break them in heroically
Until their spirit’s broken,
And lead them off quite stoically,
No words of protest spoken.

One’s political persuasion
Does not matter in this fight.
On such a great occasion,
No-one cares ‘bout left or right.
We’ll slap them gaily in the can
For showing no repentance,
And gleefully we’ll give them an
Uninterrupted sentence.

A chance to earn a few more bob,
We’ll hold the trials in Croker.
Get Ticketmaster on the job,
Or any ticket broker.
The public will come flocking in
And pay much more than tuppence
To see an erstwhile Gungha Din
Receive his big come-uppance.

So let’s embrace this new-found thought,
Immerse ourselves profoundly
In anarchic, good-humoured sport –
Incarcerate them soundly!
Let’s show our business acumen,
From Malin Head to Mizen,
Redistribute their pensions when
They’re languishing in prison.

The St Patrick’s Day Parade

Thank God my kids are too old to be brought to the Patricks Day parade anymore!

Great attention would be paid
To fixing on the green brocade,
And then the journey would be made
To watch the festive cavalcade,
A well-prepared, provisioned raid
Upon the GPO arcade.

Flag sellers did a roaring trade,
Enthusiasm was relayed.
We’d walk with eager step, afraid
We’d get there late and be dismayed,
Though with a fervent heart I prayed
Proceedings wouldn’t be delayed.

Behind the metal barricade
In Henry Street we always stayed,
Adjacent to the colonnade.
Then, hearing marching music played,
We craned and clapped and cheered and swayed
And jumped and laughed and shook and brayed.

We’d watch the lorries that conveyed
The floats embossed with felt and braid,
So colourful, yet well arrayed
With advertising brands displayed
Until, to call a spade a spade,
A sense of boredom would pervade.

Interest began to fade,
Attention very quickly strayed,
Tempers started to get frayed
And I’d launch into a tirade.
My hair was prematurely greyed
By Dublin’s Patrick’s Day parade.

The Spread of Avian Flu and How to Treat It

Shortlisted in the satire section at Strokestown

As I lay abed one morning,
The radio put out a warning,
And I was quite disconcerted
At the picture that it drew.
From the east, disease was spreading,
To the shores of Ireland heading.
Chicken farmers all were dreading
This new strain of avian flu.
Budgies were morosely shedding
Feathers, due to avian flu.

Down the stairs I tiptoed slowly,
Lest some foul, deranged, unholy
Bird should jump out of the shadows,
As such birds are wont to do.
Then a sound! A chesty wheezing,
In the kitchen, dark and freezing.
Then, the sound of something sneezing?
Ah-ah-aah, ah-Tish! Tishoo!
Or was my active mind just teasing?
Did I really hear “Tishoo?”

Long and hard, I stood and pondered,
Till I gulped a breath and wandered
Through the kitchen door, unsettled
By what might come into view.
There, beside the back door, groaning,
Like a distant aircraft droning,
Hanky poised and softly moaning,
Stood my daughter’s cockatoo.
There, I thought about disowning
My dear daughter’s cockatoo.

But as I stared at this sad creature,
Formerly a strident screecher,
My hard heart was moved to pity
By this bird from Timbuktu.
Unwillingly to me entrusted,
Outlook totally adjusted,
There it stood, distraught, disgusted,
Pondering its life anew.
Eyes awash and beak encrusted,
Looking at its life anew.

Though inclined to be quite cranky,
Round my face I tied a hanky,
Sore afraid that I might catch
The swirling germs that round me flew.
Then I wrapped a towel around him
Which at first did quite dumbfound him,
But I stood where I had found him
Till his trust and calmness grew.
My gentleness did so confound him
Till his trust and calmness grew.

Up the creaking stairs we ventured,
Him still snuffling, me un-dentured.
Into bed I lightly placed him
‘Neath my quilt of royal blue.
And, as his eyelids briefly fluttered,
As he to a deep sleep stuttered,
I do swear he faintly muttered,
“The blessings of the Lord on you.”
True as God, he softly uttered
“May the Lord be good to you.”

Throughout the day he lay half-dreaming,
Nose still running, eyes still streaming,
While I brought up scalding Lemsips
And some bowls of homemade stew,
All of which he guzzled meekly,
Eyeing me somewhat obliquely,
Wheezing hard and smiling weakly,
As I slowly nursed him through.
Coughing globules thick and treacly,
As I helped to pull him through.

That long night, this willing gopher
Slept upon the downstairs sofa
While that bird in my bed tossed
And turned, its feathers all askew.
Then, as light of day came creeping,
I awoke from fitful sleeping,
As a strident cry came sweeping –
Was that not a cock that crew?
No, it was the piercing cheeping
Of my daughter’s cockatoo.

So all of ye scared poultry farmers,
Spreading stories to alarm us,
Do not let your sneezing chickens
Make you turn the air bright blue.
Rather treat them with compassion,
Don’t begrudge their Lemsip ration,
Treat them in a kindly fashion,
With a heart that’s pure and true.
Love those turkeys with a passion
And fend off that avian flu.

The Price of Drink

Thieves rob a million pounds from a security truck while one of the guards is buying a coffee

The landlords may deny it, and get surly and defensive,
But no-one really argues that the drink here’s inexpensive.
It’s evident the situation’s grown into a crisis
When even Scandinavians complain about our prices.

In Dublin pubs, the pint of plain now costs a pretty packet,
The Government puts up the tax, and all the breweries back it,
And please don’t get me started on the shocking price of mixers –
Small wonder all the tradesmen spend their weekends doing nixers.

Now I’m not greatly into wine, I find it soporific,
But certain wines have price tags which are truly quite horrific.
The viniculture industry is there for you to conquer,
So splash out on some vintage red, become a real plonker.

And whiskey of a certain age can make a tidy figure.
The length of time that it matures, ensures its value’s bigger.
And men, who in all other spheres, are wise as Aristotle,
Would sell their homes in St. Moritz to purchase one small bottle.

Yes, drink is fierce expensive, there are no two ways about it.
The dogs that roam this country’s streets throw back their heads and shout it.
But still it’s hard to credit this week’s rumour doing the rounds
That a single cup of coffee cost a cool three million pounds.

The New Pope

My wife says I’m a tub of lard,
A fat and useless dope.
So it will catch her off her guard
When I’m elected Pope.

I’ve sent my application off,
And blessed the envelope.
And will my kith and kin still scoff
When I’m announced as Pope?

I may not be religious but
There’s plenty room for scope.
The boot upon the other foot
When I’m elected Pope.

Excited as a schoolgirl who’s
Preparing to elope,
I’ll need another pair of shoes
When I’m announced as Pope.

My father always used to say
Its money for old rope.
I wish he was alive today
To see his son, the Pope.

Although the Bible’s tricky, I
Am sure that I can cope.
I won’t need much to get me by
When I’m installed as Pope.

There’s many folk who say the Church
Is on the slippy slope
But I won’t leave them in the lurch,
So vote for me for Pope.

Some say when blind men lead the blind,
They fumble and they grope,
But don’t you pay them any mind,
I’ll make a brilliant Pope.

“Do you believe in birth control?”
They ask, and I say “Nope.”
You see, I’m perfect for the role.
I’ll surely be the Pope.

Blasphemers of the world, repent
And wash your mouths with soap,
I will not listen to dissent
When I’m pronounced the Pope.

The Cardinals who don’t succeed
May sit around and mope
And mumble the Apostle’s Creed
When I’m announced as Pope.

So get that white smoke churning out
And send this world some hope.
There’ll be some changes, there’s no doubt,
When I’m elected Pope.

The Imminent Demise of Mr Anthony Blair

Tony has been injured, he’s politically concussed,
The clamour for his resignation’s getting more robust.
It’s clear that he’s regarded with a measure of mistrust,
And the Labour Party’s hoping he’ll spontaneously combust,
He’s won a third election but his leadership is bust,
He’s still holed up in Downing Street though tightly bound and trussed.
The iron man of politics is showing signs of rust.
He still maintains the war he rained down on Iraq was just,
Defending his decision for a military thrust,
Yet still he has this act of being puzzled and nonplussed,
When people ask if it was a humanitarian must.
This oft-repeated question has served constantly to frust-
-Rate the Labour leader as he tries to readjust,
For the country has been covered in this fine volcanic dust,
As many people view him with revulsion and disgust.
The mask has slipped forever and poor Tony has been sussed -
Enthusiasm for the war was bordering on lust,
And now he’s nearly destitute, without a moral crust.
The sands of time are swirling in a great cyclonic gust,
And the name of his successor is now openly discussed.

The European Constitution

Even the French voted against the new European constitution

The bourgeoisie all sipped their café latté,
And overdosed on too much Belgian pâté,
But now they’re overthrown by revolution
As the French tore up their precious Constitution.

Once more the peasants rose up ‘gainst their masters,
Inflicting one of Europe’s great disasters.
Madame Guillotine performed the execution
When the French killed off this wretched Constitution.

They blame it on extremist propaganda
With strident claims of bias and of slander,
But surely it’s not merely elocution
That caused the French to kill this Constitution?

A founding member state has been effective
In killing off political invective.
Can anybody think of a solution
Now the French have ripped to shreds this Constitution?

The Gallic nation’s seen as very fickle,
But thanks to them, we are not in a pickle.
It saved us lots of bitter retribution
When the French did not adopt this Constitution.

Thank God we’ll all be spared a referendum,
The issues won’t need Bertie to defend ‘em,
Voting slips will not need distribution,
Because the French kicked out this Constitution

One Man’s Word

Head of the PSNI Hugh Orde claims to have irrefutable evidence that the IRA perpetrated the Northern Bank robbery, yet doesn't seem to be able to produce any evidence to back it up
A man like Hugh Orde
Isn’t often ignored,
When he moves to express his opinions.
His words carry weight
And of course must relate
To the work carried out by his minions.

But ideas must be backed
By a semblance of fact.
His reasons must clearly be stated.
The cause for his views
Must be there to peruse,
Or else he’s too easily slated.

He has spoken at length
On the IRA’s strength,
And has shouted their guilt from a height.
But the reasons aren’t clear
For his statements, I fear,
So how can we judge if he’s right?

If I claim I can fly,
But I don’t tell you why,
Would you think I was somewhat affected?
Would you want certain proof
Say, a leap from a roof,
Before my fine words were accepted.

But said Hugh Orde does not
Provide proof of a plot,
Or the reason for all his suspicions,
But yet, his “good word”
Is accepted as heard,
By virtually all politicians.

Tony’s concurred
With the constable’s word,
And Bertie has echoed his feelings,
And Michael McDowell
Doesn’t need further fuel
To shy from Republican dealings.

Hugh’s views, forsooth
Have been taken as truth,
Policeman and judge and the jury,
And expressions of guilt
Have been backed to the hilt
By political posture and fury.

Perhaps he’s correct,
As so many accept,
And the IRA did do the robbery,
But one person’s view
Is not moral cause to
Indulge in political snobbery.


Monica Leech is accused of using her position as a Minister's friend to win a tender

Bogie, in one famous scene
On the river’s darkest reaches,
Towed the heavy “African Queen”
And got attacked by leeches.

His shouts of terror were combined
With jungle wails and screeches –
A cacophany to blow the mind,
Apart from all those leeches.

They fix themselves onto the skin
In any nooks and niches,
And naturally it’s hard to grin
When bonding with these leeches.

But now, the latest thinking that
The modern doctor teaches,
Claims these notions are old hat,
And we should cherish leeches.

They’re big and black and stick like glue,
But do not fear, for each is
A source of feeling well-to-do-
Those lovely, winsome leeches.

For when your immune system fails,
You must shoere up the breeches,
And medical reform regales
The curing power of leeeches.

They’re beneficial to one’s health,
So modern dogma preaches.
They suck the poisons out by stealth,
Those wondrous, healing leeches.

And Ministers in Government
Deliver glowing speeches
About the holy covenant
That we should form with leeches.

So throw away those old ideas,
The Space Age doc beseeches.
Heed environmental peers
Attach yourselves to leeches.

Kilometres Per Hour

Road signage changing from miles to kilometres

Was it for this the heroes fell,
Why Ireland’s peace was bartered?
Dragged out from their prison cell
And inhumanely martyred?
Lifetimes spent in trying to usurp a foreign power –
And all for what?
I’m sure ‘twas not
Kilometres per hour.

Clothes are rent and teeth are gnashed
In utter desolation.
What other crisis could have smashed
The Irish population?
The rivers flowing to the sea taste salty now, and sour.
It seems a sin
To travel in
Kilometres per hour.

Oul’ Ireland has a beauty that
Was sculpted through tradition,
And now some faceless bureaucrat
Has damned it to perdition.
A dewdrop of a tear hangs now from every roadside flower.
Thus shies the land
From progress and
Kilometres per hour.

The rocks that lie upon the ground
From Dingle to Stamullen
Are shattered and cannot confound
The pen of Martin Cullen.
Our lovely miles are dead and gone, for progress must devour
Our island bliss,
For what? For this?
Kilometres per hour?

There’s many claim these road signs are
Quite pointless and misleading,
For traffic jams in Dublin bar
The slightest risk of speeding.
Pontius Bertie wipes his hands within his iv’ry tower,
But he well knows
Who did impose
Kilometres per hour.

Our politicians sell the line
That Europe must be followed,
Yet another surefire sign
That bricks have now been swallowed.
Our English neighbours don’t conform, don’t bend the knee or cower,
But Europe spoke
And we invoke
Kilometres per hour.

Oh, lift this plague of metric signs,
This scourge upon our culture.
Picking at our bones defines
The actions of a vulture.
Will ye come, will ye, will ye, will ye come to the bower?
Oul’ Ireland’s gone,
A curse upon
Kilometres per hour.

In Defence of the Toll Hikes

(January 2005. The National Toll Roads Authority announce that charges are to increase by thirty cent, a “once-off charge to offset the cost of widening the West Link”)

The toll-bridge levies have increased,
And motorists are fuming.
They claim that we are being fleeced,
And rip-off Ireland’s booming.
Surely there is no defence
For upping charges thirty cents?

This sudden hike to cross a bridge
By far outstrips inflation.
One-eighty for the privilege
Of using their toll-station?
And where is found the recompense
For dishing out our thirty cents?

But why the ire at this new charge?
Why label it extortion?
We motorists have, by and large,
Lost all sense of proportion.
Forsooth, it makes a lot of sense
To charge an extra thirty cents.

For we’ve become a frantic breed,
Our lives keep getting quicker,
Tasks are done at breakneck speed,
Performances are slicker.
Stress is making people tense,
And hyper over thirty cents.

But at the toll-booths, nothing moves,
And life slows down completely.
This brief hiatus amply proves
That God still smiles down sweetly.
The welcome stillness is immense
And worth a measly thirty cents.

‘Twixt office and its non-stop phones,
And home, with children screaming,
This tranquil respite soothes our bones,
And gives us time for dreaming.
And yet, we baulk at the expense
Of handing over thirty cents?

An hour to travel half a mile?
Oh, how that prospect pleases!
We face it with a cheery smile,
As traffic quickly freezes.
Sometimes we are not grateful, hence
The lather over thirty cents.

So don’t begrudge the toll-bridge folk
The extra charge they levy.
Compare it to the cost to smoke
Or go out for a bevvy.
Oh, how could we all be so dense
To whinge about this thirty cents?

Hark! The Moral Angels Sing

Hark! The moral angels sing,
And let their outraged voices ring.
They rent their garments and they seethe
About a farm in county Meath.
Purchased with the nation’s taxes
(See! The world shifts on its axis)
Has the Taoiseach lost his mind?
Hospital and jail combined?
Hark! The happy farmers sing,
And let their joyous voices ring.

See! They’re plotting to destroy
The plans to relocate the ‘Joy.
Or maybe they prefer to pull
The Central Mental Hospital.
Leave them in their ancient buildings,
Shorn of therapeutic gildings.
Better all the wear and tear
Than they relocate out there.
Hark! The opposition sing
And let their outraged voices ring.

If they’re built up side by side,
Subconsciously they’ll be allied.
No matter how they’re both disguised,
Patients will be victimised.
Mental health is an enigma,
Doesn’t need this extra stigma.
The general public, it is true,
Could easily confuse the two.
Hark! The politicians sing
And let their outraged voices ring.

It all seems done and dusted, but
I’ve heard new plans are underfoot.
Leinster House, if I hear right,
Is relocating to this site.
But it’s just exacerbating
All the problems they’re creating.
All the prison inmates claim
It would sully their good name.
Hark! The anguished jailbirds sing
And let their outraged voices ring.

Cold Comfort

The people are chillin’ in old Enniskillen,
In Newry, the roads are all icy.
As the blizzards sweep down into Ballyclare Town,
The cost of home heating’s gone pricey.

The icebergs at sea have blocked in Donaghdee,
And they’re shivering up in Dromore,
And boy, is it very Vladivostok in Derry,
Where there’s walrus and penguins galore.

As the storms vent their fury on Banbridge and Newry,
They’re skating above on Lough Neagh,
And the water won’t melt up in Magherafelt,
And the cold spell looks likely to stay.

They’re sloshing through slush in Coleraine and Portrush,
Tobogganing in Limavady
But its not only Billy who’s finding it chilly,
It’s also quite freezing for Paddy.

Weather presenters in radio centres
With plausible causes hold forth.
But the obvious reason why Ulster is freezin’
Is the polarisation up North.

At Dalgan

To leave behind the daily grind,
The stress of modern living,
Escape the strife of urban life,
So harsh and unforgiving.
To stroll along those hedge-lined lanes,
And purify one’s stilted veins,
For peace and true contentment reigns
At Dalgan.

Wild flowers give thanks upon the banks
Of Dalgan’s gurgling river,
The birds sing praise to summer days,
And fragile twiglets quiver.
The air is bathed in nature’s calm,
Enveloped in a soothing balm,
For nobody can come to harm
At Dalgan.

The leafy boughs where sparrows browse
Are parasols for walkers,
While high above with squawks of love,
The rooks are loud and raucous.
Butterflies inhale the light
And frolic madly with delight,
And all the world is put to right
At Dalgan.

But soon will come the tuneless hum
Of monster truck machinery
To cut a swathe, as with a lathe,
Through Dalgan’s priceless greenery.
The march of progress can’t be stilled,
And man’s incessant need to build
Must necessarily be fulfilled
At Dalgan.

The question raised is subtly phrased,
A riddle for the nation.
Should we bequeath fresh air to breathe
Or rapid transportation?
Better roads can’t be defied,
And progress must be satisfied,
But should our solace be denied
At Dalgan?
The retreat at Dalgan is threatened by plans to route the new M3 nearby

A Matter of Priority

For thirty years, these Ministers accepted their large salaries,
Informing us occasionally that we should watch our calories.
And then they’d hit the campaign trail to ask for a majority,
And robbing pensions from the old was hardly a priority.

Often folk had spent their lives in uninspiring drudgery,
Yet activating for their rights was seen as mere begrudgery.
The mighty wheels of Government evinced superiority,
And therefore they were fleeced, but it was scarcely a priority.

Stealing money from the people who could least afford it
Became a trait that slipped through every Civil Service audit,
How was such a crime allowed by those with seniority?
Ah sure, ‘twas not a crime at all –it wasn’t a priority.

Now and then in thirty years, some people would raise questions
About the scheme’s legality, and offer some suggestions.
“Come back, come back some other time!” the Wizard said to Dorothy.
“In the great big scheme of things, it isn’t a priority.”

And thus the whole thing rumbled on without a resolution.
Successive shrugging Ministers all looked for absolution.
And still it might go on, had not the South West Health Authority
Grabbed the nettle in their hands, and made it a priority.
News announced that the government have been fleecing pensioners for years in the provision of nursing home places

On Britain’s Reluctance to Join the Euro

The British, oft in days of yore,
Produced a gallant hero,
But bravery’s now out the door,
And Britain’s stock is zero.

From John o’Groats to Gretna Green
From Tyne and Wear to Truro,
These fearless citizens are seen
To cower from the Euro.

From crusty sailors in Penzance
To miners up in Jarrow,
The people will not take a chance,
Their thinking is too narrow.

The sterling sign, so big and tough,
Is proudly writ in biro,
The only thing that’s good enough
To scrawl upon their Giro.

The British pound, the British pence,
To lose them would bring sorrow,
But they’ll soon see it makes more sense
To join with us tomorrow.