Friday, 3 February 2017

Once I had a pen-knife

Once I had a  pen-knife
That could pare a stick so sharp
I could fling it at a lion
And penetrate his heart.

Once I had a pen-knife
That could shape a spear so fine
I could bring down an eagle
Or fight a crocodile.

Now I have a pen-knife,
But the stakes I mould
Perform no useful purpose
But pretty flowers to uphold.


What a masterpiece
Nature paints,
As sun sets
On tranquil lake.

An artist quite
Indifferent to who
His present master-
Piece will view,

A timeless view
Known equally
To megalithic
Man and me.

Yet once off!
Next day's event
Will differ to
A great extent.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Someone Else's Poem

Originally posted 7 September 2012

Sometimes, I feel that I have written
Someone else’s poem.
No wonder, then, one morning brought
Loud knocking on my door.

There stood a man with flashing eyes
And fluffy hair uncombed.
Are you Krunchie? Yes, I am.
You’re the man that stole my poem!

Sorry, I didn’t mean to.
I thought it was my own.
Well, I serve you with this summons.
And I’ll see you in court.

The judge was a stern-faced man
With a grim expression.
He asked me if I did it.
Seems he wanted a confession.

I answered, how can I tell,
Since I have not seen the poem
I am supposed to have copied?
I only know my own.

He told me my impertinence
Was a contempt of court;
And that I must go to jail,
Or moderate my tone.

But they provided me a copy
And I scanned it seam to seam.
When I could not read a word,
I knew this was a dream.

I made a guess and ventured this:
It’s different to mine.
The judge asked, how’s it different,
In content and design?

My poem, couched in simple words,
Has intellectual depth;
This is a pretentious poem
Of mawkish sentiment.

Says the judge, now a lady with
An Imperious frown,
This poem is sweet sincerity,
Yours has a mocking tone.

Yes, yes, I said; you can’t deny
How different mine is!
But Fluffy jumped up shouting:
He stole and mocked my whizz.

Triumphantly, I answered,
There’s no copyright in jists,
But only in expressions,
So, the case should be dismissed.

There IS no doubt the lady judge
Did not take my side.
She sternly said, ‘snot for you,
But the jury, to decide.

It was a jury of twelve ladies
With their breasts exposed,
Who scanned me disdainfully
From my head down to my toes.

The lady chairman of the jury,
Whose name was Lucy Sprockets,
Asked the judge to direct me
Take my hands out of my pockets.

I stand accused, like Jesus Christ,
Of stating something new
That challenges the web of lies
The world proclaims as true.

Whenever I record a poem,
It is heaven sent.
I just pass on the words that come -
Even to my detriment.

Blasphemy, the judge cries out;
What need have we of more?
This so-called poet would attack
Our values to the core.

We know what true poets would write:
Sound sentiment and view,
To guide folk on the rightful path
And keep us good and true.

They would not dare to upset
Sincere folks of dullish brain
Who need constant reassurance
That proper values reign.

Well, the court is full of dimwits
Who cover up their ears,
When I speak, for fear their world
Be stained by what they’d hear.

The judge addressed the jury then.
She said it’s plain to see
That Krunch’  has stolen Fluffy’s poem
And mocked it shamelessly.

The jury soon enough returned
With a question to be answered:
Could they take into account
My shameless, scathing manner?

Yes, said the judge, you surely can,
It is quite appropriate
To take full account of how in court
This scooundrel misbehaved.

They came back with a verdict:
I must give up my profits.
I laughed because the poem
Had made not one dollar.

But the laugh soon turned to tears
As damages were added,
And the fees of half the bloated
Lawyers of the planet.

And then the judge, smiling, added:
And for his contempt of court,
I order the imprisonment
Of this so-called poet.

And as I am carted off
Handcuffed and disgraced,
I wonder is there anywhere
I can dare to show my face.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Arlene Foster's time is up

Arlene Foster's time is up.
She made a scheme that is corrupt.
If corruption was not intended,
Why was the scheme not sooner mended?

One thing for which there's no defence
Is wanton waste of public pence.
So, in our hearts we surely know
That Arlene Foster has to go.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Beautiful Sleet Shower

Beautiful, this morning's sleet shower,
The first one of the season,
The heavy snow-flakes dropping slant-wise
Like falling stars,
Constrained by abundant rain.

It's to enjoy such cosy sights
That conservatories are made.

Sunday, 26 June 2016


Shaughnessy's Bridge in winter, a few hundred yard's into the island from Killeen's bridge; built to control the flow for the power station at Ardnacrusha, a favourite swimming and fishing place in Summer.

Gort-a-callow, marshy field,
Where my forebears lived,
Beside the canal beside the isle,
Where potheen was distilled,

 Beside the strange flat stone, Corr-clough,
Where the bedrock broke through,
Where the devil played a game of cards
To capture the soul of Hugh,

Who whistled for his dogs in time,
When finally he looked down,
And saw the cloven hoof
Upon the stony ground,

But found his two brave hounds stone cold
On the doorstep of his cabin,
When he arose next day relieved
At his escape last even,

Where my grand-dad was engaged
As keeper of the bridge,
When boats plied up and down the way,
And the canal trade still lived,

And four sons and a daughter
Were reared in spartan times,
When potheen took my grand-dad’s heart,
His fortune in decline,

And the War of Independence
Saw the family divide,
The first a captain of police,
But the rest on the rebel side,

And the pregnant daughter,
With no assets to endower,
Was entrusted to the nuns to keep
In a sheltered bower,

And my uncle Rody pointed
A shot-gun at a stopping car,
Saying, "Get the hell out of here;
I know well who you are,"

And nobody ever believed
On only my account,
And Rody never bothered
His version to recount,

And, one day as I read my book,
I almost saw a ghost,
For somebody passed the window by,
Who never reached the door,

And I heard, when Shaughnessy came round,
His great bridge to design,
Rody made him go the long way home,
For the weather was not fine

Enough to take the  rowing boat
Across the river wide,
Where many a neighbour had drowned,
When weather was defied,

And for the rising water table,
Rody got no recompense at all,
For he canvassed Oliver Flanagan
Instead of Fianna Fáil,

And one day a fisherman called in,
To beg a fist of oats,
To save him from the hungry grass
That by the river grows,

And I broke
My aunt-in-law's new cast-iron pan
When she told me put it down
As I spun it centrifugally,
But it snapped when it hit the ground,

And now the family home is gone,
And the Celtic tiger brought
A fancy marina of sailing boats
To inhabit this fine spot.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Nothing is Sure except the Swing

Nothing is sure except one thing:
That stocks and shares will always swing.
Whether the trend is up or down,
The swing is always to be found.

Swinging high and swinging low,
Who can tell how far 'twill go?
Guided by what has gone before,
We guess old patterns will repeat once more.

Sometimes we're right; sometimes wrong:
One principle will guide us all along -
To limit the amount we risk,
So that profitable trades are larger hits.

We limit the risk by one device:
Quit quickly when we've not guessed right.
But hold on when it goes our way,
So that the trade will truly pay,

Watching out so we will surely spy
When the punt has gone awry.