The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

out of the mouths of babes

Sweet light of evening on the streets of old Athy.
I stroll across the bridge towards the castle.
Behind me the music of children.
Surreptitious barely suppressed giggles.
I turn.
Two teenage girls, graceful, shy, a few years from being very pretty indeed.
They are looking at me and whispering and giggling some more.
A quizzical expression creases my gentle preraphaelite features.
"We read your book," says one from behind a curtain of shining blonde hair.
Her impish faced brown haired friend chimes in.
"Yeah," sez she, "it was shite."
Ah the belles of old Athy.
Skilled in the arts of lovemaking, bar fighting and imparting existential truisms.
It was ever so.

morning in my heart

Thursday, March 29, 2007


a bird took flight from inye lake
her course lay west through the setting sun
over ancient fields and tangled streets
the ground beneath trembled as she passed

and soft it seems this royal night
that rich are we whose tears are shed
for she is free of inye lake
and tyranny is dead

(for Aung San Su Kyi)

raiders of the lost jumpers

In the dim half light you could almost feel the shadows move.
The air was heavy and stale in the hollow stillness where centuries lingered.
Dust everywhere.
I inched forward wary of traps.
Most remote of sanctuaries.
Uncharted realm.
And lo! Right there! Right there in the corner!
Something glitters.
I seize it and examine it feverishly.
My eyes shine with lustrous avidity.
It is a Viv Clarke Special jumper, retail price 75 lids, two months old but still indupitably a collectors item.
And here it is.
Right here.
In the linen closet at the Chateau de Healy.
For two months this jumper has been missing.
For two months I've been accusing sundry innocent individuals of purloining it.
Business woman Jackie.
Doctor Barn.
Even the legendary Mags Masefield. (She who knows not kismet.)
I accused 'em all.
"J'accuse," I cried.
And I meant it to sting.
Now I'm going to have to eat humble pie.
Dammit bold readers. You all know how I hate humble pie.
I'm rather partial to James You're Ireland's Greatest Living Poet Pie.
Or James You're The Finest Mind Of A Generation Pie.
Or James You're The Most Magnificent Lover I've Ever Had Pie.
No really.
Those are delicious.
But humble pie is not so much fun.
With drooping shoulders I retreat from the temple of lost jumpers.
I'll start to bake the pies in the morning.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

the creature has awoken

The great jungle beast stirred in his primordial nest.
That is to say, I lay in my bed.
Late afternoon at the Chateau de Healy.
From the kitchen there came the tinkling of women's voices.
Tis my feminist cousin Pauline sharing a few jollies with the Mammy.
I groaned and rolled face down in the pillow.
Did I return from Rome for this... this infernal twittering?
A thought struck me.
I picked up the mobile phone beside my bed and dialled our house phone which is in the kitchen.
The Mammy answered.
"Hi Ma. I'm in bed. Will you bring me a cup of coffee."
The sounds of Pauline's succinct and subtly chosen profanities drifted to my ears.
Now that's worth coming back to.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

apologia pro vignettes mea

At Rome airport a frightfully dapper English chap approached an Italian policeman.
The policeman was in the best tradition of Italian law forcement disguised as Foghorn Leghorn, approximating vaguely I mean, to a human sized Rhode Island Red chicken, all plumage and beak and coxcombe and eyes and machine guns.
The dapper chap enquired politely: "I'm sorry but do you speak English?"
The policeman drew himself up proudly.
"No," he crowed in English and with obvious relish. "I speak Italian."

Monday, March 26, 2007

waxing poetical

Over pizza in some nameless restaurant in Rome's Quartiere Degli Pseuds Grandi, my Italians Laura and Alessandro demanded to know whether I'd written a book yet.
When I answered in the negative Alessandro ventured to ask why.
I thought for a bit.
"Firstly it's laziness," I answered frankly. "Then it's that business where I don't want to start because once I do we'll know for sure whether I'm the next Shakespeare or not. Finally I think I'm just too comfortable. Art asks everything and promises nothing. She doesn't show up for people who are too comfortable. This isn't tragedy. It's a sort of justice in the universe. And it's the way it is. Sometimes young artists tell me how rough things are for them. I always smile to myself and think: Ah yes, but you are being given a pearl of great price. That pearl is already moving beyond my reach. Destiny has not yet decided for them. For me the hour is past."
On the wall of the restaurant near the door there was a framed photo.
We stopped to look at it as we left.
It showed two dozen writers and poets from Rome sitting in a semi circle at the Antico Cafe Greco Degli Rudi Waiteri.
Squashed in among them at the front sat a fresh faced Orson Welles.
No cinema films yet. No awards. All his fame yet to come.
A studenty Orson Welles wandering around Europe on Daddy's money and mixing with the Roman in-crowd on a lost night in 1947.
Laura, Alessandro and myself peered at it.
"The artist must squeeze to the front," I murmured.
We walked arm in arm into the sweet night air.