The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

My Photo
Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Saturday, March 03, 2007

the women

Morning coffee with Lu Yi.
I tried out one of my new aphorisms on her.
"The Chinese see the world from China," quoth I sagely, then sat back waiting for applause.
She favoured me with a searching look.
"What do you mean?" sez she sharpish.
I hastened to explain.
"It means that everyone sees things from their own point of view," I pronounced earnestly.
Lu Yi snorted.
"You could say that about any country," she shot out. "You could say the Irish see the world from Ireland. The Italians see the world from Italy. The Americans see the world from America."
Suddenly my great aphorism was looking a little peakish.
I cut my losses and headed into town.

In the afternoon met Marriedski for a Russian lesson.
In an unguarded moment she said: "You know I've really started to look forward to our meetings. They have become part of my life."
Yes folks the married one is the one that really likes me.
Why do you mock me oh Lord? Why do you mock me?

Tea time rendezvous with Hodders in the Mac Cafe on Grafton Street. I told her about Marriedski's comment which had moved me a bit.
Hodders snorted. (Second snort of the day.)
"Yup," sez she brightly. "You must really have her fooled. Wait till she knows you like I do."

Back at the old chateau there was an email from Jane Hapgoode.

The Keats House, Rome
Dear Mr Healy.
Thank you for your email and your poem. I am sorry to hear you will not be continuing with your booking.
Kind regards,
Josephine Hobgoode.
Assistant Curator.

That devil woman. She's leaving the field with all the honours. She's been exposed to the full glory of my personality and not a little of the splendour of my poems, and she hasn't shown the merest sign of cracking. She's remained courteous and professional throughout. Well by Gadfrey. I'm not having that.

The Chateau de Healy, Ireland
My lost English love.
Why do you torture me with these callous and indifferent words?
Our souls touched in the bleakness of a cold universe.
Did it mean nothing to you?
Ah, how can I crack that rarified reserve? How can I put to sleep the curator and awaken the woman in you?
But I'm rambling.
On my cheek a rose withereth too.
Our souls touched.
84 Charing Cross Road it wasn't. But it was... something.
I'm sending you a ham, some sliced bread and a pair of nylons.
These are the last things you shall have of me.
James Healy

Friday, March 02, 2007

come into my sky

Thursday, March 01, 2007

how heelers met his waterloo

God was peering down from heaven through a little hole in the clouds.
Saint Peter wandered by.
"What are you doing Lord?" quoth he cheerfully.
"Shhh," sez the Lord. "Come over here and look at this."
Saint Peter ambled over and peered through the cloud.
"What is it?" he wondered.
The Lord grinned.
"Look right there in the corner of Bewleys cafe," he said. "Look. It's Heelers. He's just sitting there happy as a man can be, and he thinks he hasn't a worry in the world."
"Now look who's at the other table."
Saint Peter goggled.
"Hodders, my God, what's she doing here?"
The Lord groaned.
"Who knows!" he said. "I mean what's she ever doing anywhere? But what's important is that any moment now I'm going to bring her and Heelers together. Heelers is going to reach for the newspaper that's been abandoned at the other table. She's going to tell him it's hers. And then she'll reel him in."
"Ah Lord you wouldn't."
"Listen Peter, we owe it to ourselves to live a little."

And that's exactly the way it happened folks.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


From: The Keats House, Rome, Italy
Dear Mr Healy,
Thank you for your poem. We at the Keats House are also antsy about guests not paying for their stay and this is why the curator has decided on the policy of advance payment.
If you do still wish to stay in the first floor apartment, please forward your fax number or postal address. If I do not hear from you by the fifth of March, I will make those dates available to other interested parties.
Regards, Jane Hobgoode.
Assistant Curator.

From: The Chateau de Healy, Ireland
Ah Jane.
Little did I dream when I first formed the intention of sojourning a brief while in the house where John Keats met his death, little did I dream when your first tender information letter winged its way into my heart, little did I dream I say, that such a paltry thing as money should ever come between us.
Now I feel an odd perturbation within my spirit. I am strangely distrait.
Like Lady Caroline Lambe when Lord Byron told her to get knotted, and she went flop bott and cracker dog.
At last I know what it is to suffer.
But I am made of sterner stuff than Lady Caroline Lambe. Someday I will learn to live with this great chasm which has opened up between us.
Anyhoo. A man like me probably had no place staying in the house where the second greatest poet of the past five hundred years went croakies. (Modesty prevents me from naming the greatest.) I would have been picking up signals from the other side, channelling Shelley who only ever wrote one good poem, and generally not sleeping.
And so to parting.
All I have to cherish is a picture on the Keats House website of a cracking blonde bird who might be you, welcoming Prince Charles on a visit last year. Charles is smiling cheesily. And I don't blame him.
By the way, I bet if Prince Charles asked for the apartment on credit, it would be: "Oh yes your highness. Certainly your highness. Three bags full your highness."
But I digress.
I am sending you another of my poems Jane.
It is the last thing you shall have of me.
James Healy
PS: Unless you are the cracking blonde bird in the photo with Prince Charles. In which case, ignore all of the above. I hereby confirm that I will take the apartment. I am forwarding advance payment immediately.


grief should have no power
over babe child or man
we defy as we walk
the cruel pathways of the wasteland
tonight you walk with some new friend
through the hallowed portals of a distant city
his beginning is my end
i ask no pity
but that with the sun a dying flame
once more and for the last
you murmur
my name

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

an exchange

From: The Keats House, Rome.
Dear Mr Healy.
I have reserved the apartment for you on the dates required. Our terms are payment in advance through a credit transfer from your bank account.
Please advise us if your plans change.
Jane hobgoode.

From: The Chateau de Healy, Ireland
Dear Miss Hobgoode.
I am a little antsy about access to my bank account. In fact, no one gets near my bank account unless they first agree to marry me. I'm sending you on a poem instead. Surely between us Keatsians, no further security will be required.
James Healy

the cloak

mid the grey desolation
of a rainswept roman street
colour tore my vision
from dreariness and fret
a cloak of ebon silk
lay crumpled in the mud
meshed with silver hues
and ochre tainted gold
a spiders web of threads
sent blood among the sheen
woven so by fingers
with a knowledge that is gone
and knowing came upon me
in a drumroll of heartbeats
the lost cloak of poetry
the mantle of john keats
and hunger came upon me
i snatched at it in greed
but it fluttered
and it melted
into concrete
into clay

Monday, February 26, 2007


Lunch with Doctor Barn and his baby daughter Erin.
We are in Puccinos, one of the friendlier cafes in the Whitewater Centre.
"Can I borrow your mobile," says Doctor Barn.
I indicate with Franciscan beneficence that he may.
He reaches across the table, takes my new Nokia 9000 Zorgotronix mobile phone, and hands it to Erin.
Erin bocks it merrily off the table.
Bock, bock, bock.
I stare.
Doctor Barn's own mobile phone sits comfortably, peacefully and undamagedly beside his coffee cup.
"I can't believe you did that," sez the noble Heelers when the power of speech returns.
My brother rushes to explain.
"Oh she's sick of the one I've got," quoth he. "She's only interested in yours because it's a little different. But don't worry she won't do any damage."
Bock, bock, bock, all the while.
What you've just read bold travellers of the internet, is an example of the type of behaviour known to social scientists as Doctor Barnism.
In fact it's a text book example.
Although that doesn't make it any easier to live with.