Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Knockmaroon Hill

Knockmaroon Hill, my sweet Knockmaroon Hill,
How silent you ponder, so calm and so still,
With but the faint sound of a thousand cars idling,
Immune to their drivers now bristling and bridling.
The fumes haze the sun in the January chill
Protecting thy beauty, dear Knockmaroon Hill.

The traffic has plenty of time to admire
The spluttering starling that pants on the briar,
And sometimes you’ll see some small pasty-faced finches
With your progress now measured in hours and inches.
The robin’s great throat-song, so loud and so shrill,
Grows wheezy and hoarse upon Knockmaroon Hill.

From Lucan, Clonsilla and dear Castleknock
Range Nissans and Audis from six of the clock.
Bumper to bumper, they fume in a line,
A testament to infrastructure’s design.
And evenings, they’re lined up the other way till
Black midnight chimes slowly o’er Knockmaroon Hill.

The traffic is blocked e’er the last starlight wanes,
Like cholesterol choked in arterial lanes.
Immobile it sits, without anguish or pity,
Not flowing at speed to the heart of the city.
A tumour of steel that oft threatens to kill
The lifeblood of Dublin on Knockmaroon Hill.

Thy main road snakes downwards in serpentine crawl
And the grey, powdered hawthorn ne’er fails to enthral.
The ramps, oh those ramps, with their resolute power,
To slow any car reaching two miles an hour.
In awe, I applaud what the planners instil
When designing road networks, dear Knockmaroon Hill.

The residents, blocked in their cold, gravelled drives,
Despairingly smile at their dressing-gowned wives,
Who wait in the doorway and pray that he’ll soon
Exchange his Corolla for hot-air balloon.
Some wait for so long they become rather ill
In the hoar-frosted mornings on Knockmaroon Hill.

Oh fey Chapelizod, asleep at thy foot,
Now swathed like a child in a blanket of soot.
How well I remember her acres of tillage,
When she was a rustic and picturesque village,
Where the Liffey once sang at the foot of the mill,
But now sullenly broods beneath Knockmaroon Hill.

From the gates of the park where the deer are confined
To the lights at the bottom so badly designed,
Thy contour has slowed since I first journeyed here,
For once thy descent was a whirlwind of fear.
‘Tis hard to imagine the air-rushing thrill
I got from thy sledge-slope, oh Knockmaroon Hill.

The roadway and pathway, so steep and so narrow,
Were built for the lusty young boy with the barrow.
Freewheeling downhill to the baker’s small shop,
Then panting his slow way back up to the top.
Pausing en route for his asthmatic pill,
How roundly he cursed thee, sweet Knockmaroon Hill.

But now, as I sit here, all things come to mind,
The great nasal forays of the driver behind,
The faulty red light of the Hi-ace in front,
The bumper attesting to some former shunt.
A host of reflections that pleasantly fill
The hours I spend waiting ‘pon Knockmaroon Hill.
Unsuccesful entry for Strokestown political satire competition

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