Sunday, December 30, 2007

Kate's Christmas Message

The nation awoke with a definite buzz
On the thirtieth day of December,
Remarking “This will be a great day for us
And one that we’ll always remember.”
They texted each other in great jubilation,
Reminding their friends of the time and the station
Then tuned in, in scarce-controlled anticipation
To hear young Kate Lawless addressing the nation
In tones clear and bold
With r’s roundly rolled
With her masterly powers of oration.

A hush filled the air as she started to speak,
All eyes in the church were upon her.
They listened, intent on her pow’rful critique
Of the value of parental honour.
She told each recalcitrant sister and brudder
To reflect on respect and to learn how to smudder
Their hard-working father and long-suff’ring mudder
With love and support. And the crowd gave a shudder
And wiped away tears
That left blackened smears
And turned round and hugged one anudder.

And when she had finished, the country arose
And gave her a standing ovation.
Touched to the heart by such eloquent prose,
They called her the soul of the nation.
Then every Patricia and Pauline and Percy
From Rathlin to Rosslare, from Derry to Dursey,
From Fair Head to Farranfore and vicey-versey
Clasped hold of their mother, at pains to let her see
How sorry they were
That they had dissed her
And begged her forgiveness and mercy.

The words of a prophet hang long in the air,
Affecting each person that hears them.
And many who listened to Kate’s earnest prayer
Now honour the parent that rears them.
Psychologists ruminate ‘pon what befell them.
They all remain quiet, no need to compel them,
They’re so well-behaved that there’s no need to quell them
For myths just exist for great minds to dispel them
And the organs of state
Are grateful to Kate
For the message she opted to tell them.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The summer of our lives

And though the embers of July
But twinkle faintly in the grate,
Dwell not upon fine days gone by,
Nor dreams that brushed the iron gate,
And do not fear chill winds are nigh
And stormy tempests lie in wait,
Because the sun in wave-lapped sky
Tacks tiredly through a rougher strait.

For though the river heaves a sigh,
No longer gushing in full spate,
‘Tis certain it does not run dry,
But rather swells with mounting weight.
And listen well to those on high,
Who scan the skies from lofty crate –
‘Tis far too soon for human eye
To spot the ocean’s vast estate.

To August now, let winged thoughts fly,
To golden sands that lie sedate,
And lazy gulls that swoop and cry
And dare to mock the tread of fate,
And blazing towels on which to lie
And pause for breath, rejuvenate,
Before autumnal gusts apply
A twinge or two to summer’s gait.

To the Horribly Scarred Woman

As you dropped thirteen floors,
You didn’t even pause
To look up from regarding your nails.
On the Aerosmith ride
You just sat back and sighed
As the ‘coaster shot off down the rails.
The log flumes went crashing
And tumbling and splashing
But I don’t think you once raised your guard.
But you ran out of luck
And came badly unstuck
When a drain left you horribly scarred.

‘Twas a warm April night
By the moon’s lucent light,
As we strolled back towards the hotel.
The crickets were chirping
And Emmet was burping,
And the world and its daughter were well.
A small step from the street
Was too much for your feet
On that late-night I-Drive promenade,
As your sandal careered
And so quick disappeared
And you ended up horribly scarred.

The lengthy red weal
Didn’t hurry to heal,
The scabs took forever to form,
And you hobbled around
With a stick to the ground,
Like a wasp that’s displeased with the swarm.
For the house was all messed,
But your leg needed rest,
Which, for you, was especially hard,
But despite all your snarling,
I still love you darling,
Although you’re quite horribly scarred.

Twenty Years

Twenty years, twenty years now, of marital bliss
Have sped through our lives like Apollo’s wing’d cart.
Cupid’s swift arrow did not go amiss
But laced with its potion, swept straight to my heart.
Suffused with a passion, ensnared in a kiss,
Bonded together through one fatal dart,
It’s burst into flower like the wild clematis
That clings to the bower and never will part.
Together we’ve weathered the East Wind’s chill blows
And now in the sunshine we bloom like a rose.

‘Tis hard, as I ponder this twenty year track,
To think that we’ve travelled so far and so long,
Some pages may fade in our shared almanac,
And sometimes I flail at the words of a song.
My feet should feel sore when I turn and look back,
My muscles should cry out that something is wrong,
But I don’t feel the weight of this old haversack
As I turn to the future, replenished and strong.
With you at my side, ever onward we’ll march
Through meadows of bluebells and forests of larch.

Ever on, ever onward, with you at my side,
We’ll bob on the waves as the autumn sun gleams.
Through doldrums or thunder, we’ll sail on the tide
That once governed journeys of proud quinqueremes.
The ocean ahead may be stormy and wide
And pierced with the echoes of mariners’ screams,
But with hope as our sail and with love as our guide,
We’ll follow the charts to the land of our dreams.
Ever on, ever onwards, I’ll cling to your hand
Till the harbour town lights bring us safely to land.

The Dance

When the very first note
Set the rhythm afloat,
I requested your hand in the dance.
You hung onto my arm,
Interlocked, palm to palm,
In the Ballroom of Lifelong Romance.

In the quickstep and jive,
We were young and alive,
And I laughed as I swung you around.
Quick and light on our feet,
We were lost to the beat,
And consumed by the deafening sound.

There were times, it is true,
When I bumped into you,
And I’ve still not erased all my faults.
Sometimes I don’t lead,
As the teacher decreed,
When we’re lost in an elegant waltz.

But still the band plays
Through the nights and the days,
And you look pretty good in that gown.
And the music keeps going,
Now faster, now slowing,
And still we don’t want to sit down.

So come take my hand
And we’ll dance to the band,
As serenely as when we began.
And we’ll just keep on whirling
And twirling and swirling
As long as the two of us can.

Fifty Not Out

At birthday times,
The jokes and rhymes
All focus on senility.
The rocking chair,
The nasal hair,
The free-fuel eligibility.
But let it end!
Let’s buck the trend,
And let’s not dwell upon
This age-old spiel,
For one day we’ll
Be old and frail like John.

We will not speak
Of bladders weak,
That night-time toilet visit.
When Fates demand
A quite dash, and
Relief is so exquisite.
Nor shall we tell
Of prostate hell,
Operations undergone.
We’ll keep this deal
For one day we’ll
Be doddery like John.

That youthful gait
Has slowed of late –
Its really quite pathetic.
But to shoot the breeze
‘Bout dodgy knees
Would be unsympathetic.
We won’t discuss
The hidden truss,
The eyes that one-time shone.
We’ll be genteel
For one day we’ll
Be racked with pain like John.

Nor will we write
Of his sad plight
When parcelled off and pensioned.
And ticking clocks
And thinning locks
Likewise will not be mentioned.
For talk of death
And rasping breath
Would make him woebegone.
It seems unreal
But one day we’ll
Be in decline like John.

The wrinkled skin
And softened chin
Aren’t things to be repeated.
The smell of must
Won’t be discussed,
Nor marbles so depleted.
We will not say
“He’s had his day,
His star’s now pale and wan.”
It’s hard to feel
That one day we’ll
Be comatose like John.

Those graveyard gates
That he awaits –
It’s best that we ignore them.
Though they’re quite near,
We think its clear
We shouldn’t stop before them.
Eyes straight ahead,
Ignore the dead,
That final rubicon.
Old wounds don’t heal
And one day we’ll
Be near the end like John.

So let’s pretend
There is no end,
Let’s say he’s still quite nifty.
And let us cry
That whopping lie
That life begins at fifty.
Let’s laugh with glee
And say that he
Will always soldier on.
We must conceal
The fact that we’ll
Be one day old like John.

Better Late than Never

It’s only five weeks late, love,
That isn’t very long.
I know you had to wait, love,
Obliged to string along.
You know I think you’re great, love,
Inspiring and so clever,
Oh yes, I missed the date, love,
But better late than never.

I know you found it hard, hun,
When birthday time came round,
That you received no card, hun,
And I had gone to ground.
I wasn’t on my guard, hun,
My mind was all at sea,
And in that one regard, hun,
I’m guilty as can be.

Your birthday’s in July, dear,
I know that very well.
August has flown by, dear,
They’ve tolled the Autumn bell.
Wintertime is nigh, dear,
Dark nights are coming fast,
But there’s no need to sigh, dear,
Your card is here at last.

What’s Another Year?

You’ve ridden the fiercest camel up the slopes of Timonfaya,
In a market up in Swanlinbar, you wished that it were drier,
You’ve sunbathed up in Bettystown, bought antiques up in Navan,
And drank a fair amount during the long weekend in Cavan.

You dressed the house at Christmastime and made the place look merry,
You brought us all around the shops while up in Enniskerry,
You’ve made the bed two hundred times, and each day washed the sink,
And must have made approximately three hundred meals, I think.

You cut back all your roses and you planted shrubs all over,
You’ve fought a very gallant, losing battle with the clover,
You’ve attended at the ballet in the National Concert Hall,
And grimaced when your crappy football team won bugger all.

You’ve been up to the Draoicht, and you’ve been to pictures too,
Elizabeth George has had to write some extra books for you,
You’ve helped out with the papers and you’ve followed all the soaps,
And haven’t let the Lottery conspire to raise our hopes.

Another year, another year, another year has passed,
I hope you find the next one will be better than the last,
For, though you’ve got to forty-four, you’re still quite young and nifty,
And not at all like someone who is getting on for fifty.

Valentine’s Poem 2003

You help me in the kitchen after dinner,
And never leave me struggling with the delph,
You say that I’m not getting any thinner,
But you ate the tin of biscuits by yourself.

When landing, hall and stairs need decorating,
You never make me cope with it alone,
You say I can be quite exasperating,
But you ate the tin of biscuits on your own.

Your antique knowledge really is impressive,
In company, you’re always full of fun,
Your happiness would cheer up a depressive,
But you ate the bleedin’ biscuits one by one.

You make sure that my hair is short and tidy,
And make me change my t-shirt when it’s smelling,
You always watch the Late, Late on a Friday,
But you ate the tin of biscuits without telling.

You mock the way my hair is thin and greying,
You slag my knees for being old and creaky,
You throw away my socks when they are fraying,
But the business of the biscuits was quite sneaky.

You’re very, very careful with our money,
Investment-wise, you’re very slow to risk it,
I know that you no longer think I’m funny,
But God help me if I ever want a biscuit.

You always play your Nat King Cole quite loudly,
You bite your lip when Everton are playing,
You wave your shaky shamrock very proudly,
But you ate a tin of biscuits without saying.

It doesn’t matter how I might address you,
You’re not amused by silly poems and ditties,
And though I’m always trying to impress you,
You’d rather have a large tin of McVities.


I trapped you in the bus doors in Belgium,
And left you on the platform in Italy.
You said I was cruel,
When you fell in the pool,
And boy, you complained very bitterly.

I dragged you down a ledge of the Ebenalp,
And the Lake District hills had you terrified.
And the Vilnius freeze
Was minus twenty degrees,
As the photographs tangibly verified.

Yes, all around Europe I’ve tortured you.
And you say that I couldn’t be horrider.
But that’s a mere fraction,
Just watch me in action,
Next year when we head off to Florida.

But although I have dragged you incessantly,
And despite all the cash we’ve been squandering,
I’m glad that you’re there
When we jet off somewhere
To share in my penchant for wandering.

The Stars on 45

Joints are aching, limbs are sore,
Skin gets softer round your jaw,
Rheumatic pains increase and thrive
After you turn forty five.

Little jobs are done much slower,
Shoulders drooping even lower,
Forget that youthful zest and drive
When you hit the forty five.

Exercising is a curse,
Seems to hit you so much worse,
Takes you longer to revive
After birthday forty five.

Dotage beckons, future’s bleak,
Will you reach tomorrow week?
Amazing that you’re still alive
Now you’ve passed the forty five.

Remember how you used to dance?
Shook your bum and swung your pants?
No more will you twist and jive,
On completing forty five.

Surrounded by such youthful kids
You take to breaking teapot lids.
Pottery just can’t survive,
After you turn forty five.

Time alas keeps marching on
Till your youthful looks are gone.
Sadly you cannot connive
To change the fact you’re forty five.

You chose to hold your birthday when
We holiday with Dave and Bren,
But sorry, no, you can’t deprive
Us of your birthday forty five.

The Rules of the House

[A Do-It-Yourself Poem]

These are the rules for Monica’s house –
You must be quiet as [ a mouse, some cows, a helicopter]

Don’t jump on the lovely chairs,
And watch out when you climb the [ bears, chimney, stairs]

Everbody likes a joke,
But mind that you don’t spill your [ beans, coke, smoke]

If Neil says it is okey-dokey,
You can do the [ hokey-pokey, karaoke, washing-up]

If you pick your nose at all,
Do not wipe it on [ the wall, the ball, Neil’s head]

When you want to have some treats,
Neil will fetch a bag of [ sheets, lovely carrots, sweets]

Please be tidy when you’re in
And throw your paper in [ the washing machine, a tin, the bin]

Do whatever you are told,
‘Cos we don’t want you to be [ cold, bold, sunburnt]

Do the dance-mat on the telly,
But do not fall and hurt your [ welly, feelings, belly]

When we are not here tonight,
Do not argue, do not [ go down to the pub, fight, bite]

Do not throw the cushions about
And do not scream and do not [ pout, shout, phone up for a pizza]

You may have a Coke or two,
So make sure you go to the [ loo, zoo, cinema]

If the music’s up too high,
It will make the neighbours [ fly, call the police, cry ]

If you see that Neil is bold,
Make sure Monica is [ old, told, forty four ]

Do not skid around the floor
Or you might crash into [ the railway station, the store, the door]

If you’re rude and if you fart,
You’ll be sent home on [ the Dart, a cart, a spaceship]

All this evening, Neil is boss,
So if you hit him, he’ll [ grow moss, run away, get cross]

And when its time to go to bed,
Neil will bring you to the [ Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, Med, .…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………SHED!! ]

The Roarin’ Forties

There is a lake where people go,
Not far from Ballyduff.
It’s called the Roarin’ Forties, though
The water’s seldom rough.
We all went down one sunny day
To have a decent swim.
John appeared to know the way,
So we all followed him.

We came upon the sandy shore
Quite free of kids and dogs.
We knew quite well what lay in store,
And changed into our togs.
But oh, the water looked so cold!
Was this a big mistake?
But John, so fearless and so bold,
Dived headfirst in the lake.

“Flippin’ ‘eck!” he shouted out,
“The water’s really warm!
Cross my heart, there is no doubt
I feel in sparkling form.”
He did the backstroke with some style,
Then called out with a grin,
“Don’t be so afraid or I’ll
Come out and throw you in.”

Mistrustfully, we looked at him,
As though his brains were mashed.
But Dave said, “Sure, I’d like a swim,”
And in the lake he splashed.

“Beautiful!” he called with zest.
“It isn’t cold at all!
I have to say, I’m most impressed.
I’m having quite a ball.”
He waded back and forth with style,
Then called out with a grin,
“Don’t be so afraid or I’ll
Come out and throw you in.”

Mistrustfully, we raised our eyes,
As though we feared the worst,
When Monica, to our surprise,
Went jumping in feet first.

“Get up the yard!” we heard her say.
“Who said that it was freezing?
The temperature is quite okay –
In fact, it’s rather pleasing.”
She did the butterfly with style,
Then called out with a grin,
“Don’t be so afraid or I’ll
Come out and throw you in.”

Mistrustfully, we all stayed put,
So wary of her cunning,
Determined not to go in, but
Then Nettsy went in running.

“In you come!” she called to us,
While floating on the surface.
“This really gives you quite a buzz,
No need to feel so nervous!”
She floated up and down with style,
Then called out with a grin,
“Don’t be so afraid or I’ll
Come out and throw you in.”

Mistrustfully, we looked away,
Our deep suspicions thriving,
But then, to their abject dismay,
I suddenly went diving.

“Lovely here!” I called with glee,
Back to the timid twosome,
“Surely you can both trust me?
I do not find it gruesome!”
I did the breaststroke with some style,
Then called out with a grin,
“Don’t be so afraid or I’ll
Come out and throw you in.”

Mistrustfully, they bit their nails,
Uncertain if they oughta.
Then Aido shouted, “Watch out, whales!”
And splashed into the water.

“One to go!” he shouted back
To Brenda, looking lonely.
“This really is almighty craic,
Don’t be the one and only!”
He did the front crawl with some style,
Then called out with a grin,
“Don’t be so afraid or I’ll
Come out and throw you in.”

Mistrustfully, she looked around,
Then back at us, quite scathing.
Oh no, no way, she stood her ground,
The lady not for bathing.

For ages, she withstood our groans
That she should come in swimming.
But she just stood there throwing stones,
And watching them go skimming.
She said she was delighted that
She had not been born braver,
But soon her jeering fell quite flat,
And she began to waver.

Eventually, she had no choice.
No longer could she fight us,
And as we cheered with one loud voice,
She jumped in just to spite us.

“You rotten sods!” she screamed out loud.
“What was all that teasing?
I hope you all feel very proud!
The bloody water’s freezing!”
She swam around with certain style,
Then called out with a grin.
“I had you going for a while!
You thought I’d not get in!”

Then John piped up; “I’m getting bored,
I’ve been in here for ages.
Swimming up and down, ignored,
While you come in in stages.
Let’s go to Alexandra Docks,
Near where the Jonathan Swift is.
There’s swimming just beyond the rocks –
It’s called the Freezin’ Fifties…”

The Raven

The last few years she has been jeering
Older folk with birthdays nearing
Asking, were they hard of hearing?
With sarcasm to the fore.
Was our eyesight tired and dimming?
Did our nose-hairs need some trimming?
Had we seen our thirties skimming,
Tripping gaily out the door?

We all smiled at her elation,
Bit our lips in sheer frustration,
Got on with the celebration,
Celebrate one birthday more.
Envious, one shrugged one’s shoulder,
Declined the primal need to scold her,
Laughed at being one year older,
Though it cut us to the core.

Then one day appeared a raven,
Black as soot, remorseless, craven,
As if searching for a haven,
Perched outside her kitchen door.
Motionless, it sat there eyeing
Brenda while she did the drying,
Caring not a jot for flying.
Quoth the raven, “Two years more.”

There it sat with eyes beguiling,
Staring at the kitchen tiling,
Never frowning, never smiling,
At the woman there before.
Brenda felt a darkness creeping,
Like a cloud while she was sleeping,
Like a giant sorrow weeping.
Quoth the raven, “Two years more.”

“Go away!” she cried, with feeling.
“You are very unappealing.
Why, oh why have you come stealing,
Stealing by my kitchen door?
Won’t you flee my line of vision?
Your gaze is like a deep incision.
I’m off to watch some television.”
Quoth the raven, “Two years more.”

Late that night, while Dave lay dreaming,
And the stars were brightly gleaming,
The bright light of the moon came beaming
Onto Brenda’s bedroom floor.
Silhouetted, terrifying,
Came a black shape softly flying,
Gravity with scorn defying.
Quoth the raven, “Two years more.”

Clad only in a skimpy nightie,
Brenda’s temper went to Blighty,
Shouting, “Jesus Christ Almighty!
What a repetitious bore!
Are these the only words you’ve mastered?
Or are you quite severely plastered?
Get away from me, you bastard!”
Quoth the raven, “Two years more.”

Brenda tried to block her ears and
Dissipate her strongest fears and
Forget about advancing years and
Stem what Fortune held in store.
But, into her mind came slyly
Three small words, though spoken shyly,
By that bird so old and wily,
Quoth the raven, “Two years more.”

On the train now every morning,
While she sits there, tired and yawning,
At her shoulder, mocking, scorning,
Slight of build yet sharp of claw.
Now her jeers all seem so hollow,
With that bitter pill to swallow,
Where she goes, the bird will follow.
Quoth the raven, “Two years more.”

The Pre-Election Blues

I scanned the list of candidates with withering disdain.
Picking out my Number One was really quite a pain.
If only I could emigrate and go and live in Spain!
I think I’ve got the pre-election blues.

Ben Howe might well be Abel, but he makes me feel like Cain.
There’s something ‘bout his photo that would drive a man insane.
And that picture of Tom Morrissey beside an airbrushed train!
No wonder I’ve the pre-election blues.

Michael Smyth, with sleeves rolled up, might be the one to gain.
He looks as though he’d cope quite well with all the stress and strain,
Though voting Fianna Fail of course, would go against the grain –
It’s giving me the pre-election blues.

And as for Mister Rainey and his aerial campaign,
I hope his swaying monster will be mowed down by a plane.
I wonder if it shelters him whene’er it starts to rain?
Protected from the pre-election blues.

The Socialists are mouthing off the same old tired refrain,
Saying we’d be better off in Georgia or Ukraine,
And naturally I couldn’t bring myself to vote Sinn Fein.
Oh dear I’ve got the pre-election blues.

And then, when things seemed really black, a switch clicked in my brain.
I knew I wouldn’t give my vote to Tom or Dick or Jane.
For Monica’s my candidate, ‘tis easy to explain –
With such a perfect running mate, I never could complain.
Compared to her, the others can be flushed right down the drain.
The magical Recycling Queen – forever may she reign,
And banish all my pre-election blues.

The Longest Christmas Poem Ever

“Its Christmas Eve and all is still,
I reckon that this Christmas will
Be great,”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“Excitement’s running through my head!
Does Dad expect we’ll stay in bed
Till eight?”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“Oh my God, my nerves are gone,
I’m finding it so hard to con-
Said Emmet to Kate.

“I’ve got goose pimples on my skin,
My blood is like a river in
Full spate,”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“Santa’s coming, I suppose?
I’m sure the elves make sure he knows
The date?”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“When will he call to the gaff?
And how much longer do I have
To wait?”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“I wonder where his rounds begin?
In Finland, Santry, maybe in
Said Emmet to Kate.

“I hope that he comes first to me,
And doesn’t feel the need to de-
Said Emmet to Kate.

“When Santa lands, the house will shake!
I hope that Rudolph doesn’t break
A slate,”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“But if he lands upon the kerb,
We ought to hear the sound reverb-
Said Emmet to Kate.

“I hope he doesn’t fly on by,
Or bring some kind of toy that I
Will hate,”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“If you and me are still up when
He comes, please do not hyperven-
Said Emmet to Kate.

“If the reindeer don’t arrive,
He’ll have to run or walk or drive
Or skate,”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“I wonder are the mince-pies gone?
You know, the ones we left upon
The grate?”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“I made a list, as I recall.
You’d never want to leave it all
To fate,”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“Last year my friend saw Rudolph’s bum,
And saw some reindeer poo on some-
One’s gate,”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“A Gameboy would be very droll –
I’d run around and tell the whole
Said Emmet to Kate.

“Hedgehogs sleep until July,
Thank goodness reindeer do not hi-
Said Emmet to Kate.

“I hope he doesn’t bring me socks,
But loads of presents in a box
Or crate,”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“If he brings me clothes tonight,
I think perhaps I might get quite
Said Emmet to Kate.

“Oh, poor old Santa, spare a thought!
He has to spend all night transport-
-Ing freight,”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“There’s magic in his sleigh, you know.
That’s how it flies up high with so
Much weight,”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“When he comes down the chimney-breast,
Does he believe curled-up is best,
Or straight?”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“Santa is a thirsty chap,
I hope his Guinness won’t evap-
Said Emmet to Kate.

“I’m on his list, and so are you,
Though Daddy says that’s open to
Said Emmet to Kate.

“Unwrapping presents is surreal,
Think of all the mess that we’ll
Said Emmet to Kate.

“Christmas dinner? Never fear!
I’m certain I am going to clear
My plate,”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“Our decorations are so bright,
And some of them are really quite
Said Emmet to Kate.

“Mammy has an awful neck,
Thinking I might help to dec-
Said Emmet to Kate.

“Chocolates, presents, seeing Gran,
These are things to which I can
Said Emmet to Kate.

“I really like our Christmases.
Compared to it, your birthday is
Said Emmet to Kate.

“I think they bought some Coke for me,
I’m pretty certain we won’t de-
Said Emmet to Kate.

“What did Mammy mean when she
Said Christmas was a time to be
Said Emmet to Kate.

“Down the street there lives a man
Who’s got a Santa that you can
Said Emmet to Kate.

“Party time is so hard work,
You have to be polite and circ-
Said Emmet to Kate.

“If he isn’t here by four,
I reckon I’ll be in an aw-
-Ful state,”
Said Emmet to Kate.

“Santa won’t come if you’re awake,
So go to sleep, for Goodness Sake!
It’s late,
Dear Emmet!” said Kate.

The Heroine of the Ebenalp

‘Twas on a sunny afternoon one day in late July,
We all went mountaineering ‘neath the Appenzeller sky.
We didn’t mind the Ebenalp, nor fear its lofty peak,
For we’d walked up the muck road more than three times every week.

Upwards, upwards, ever up, we scaled the mountain track,
As Urs bravely led the way, Louise brought up the back.
Eventually we reached the top, the first who ever had,
And sat down on the terrace of the café, feeling glad.

We stayed awhile upon the top, admiring the view,
I had some Elmer Citro, then I went and found the loo.
Soon enough we had to leave and, knapsacks on our back,
We gazed around one final time and headed down the track.

At first the path was easyish, for we knew where to go,
And reasoned we would soon be down beside the lake below.
But after half an hour had passed, the path split into two,
And Urs decided we’d head right and disappeared from view.

The mountain track now disimproved, impairing our descent.
Great boulders and wide fissures dogged us everywhere we went.
Every step that we advanced was gained with blood and sweat –
It turned into an evening none of us would e’er forget.

But Monica did not give up, she battled on although
She suffered a great setback, when she badly bruised her toe.
Cheerfully she laughed and joked, while we all cursed and frowned,
Descending slowly in the gloom with danger all around.

Eventually we met a cow, which told us all was well,
And it was nearly over, our great journey into hell.
And, by the time we reached the car, the stars were shining bright,
But, thanks to our brave heroine, the party was alright.

The Grand Gesture

Tradition says a single rose
Is what a girl loves best,
But I believe that’s greatly in decline.
The vapours travel up your nose
And settle on your chest,
I’m florally averse, sweet Valentine.

Chocolates can turn people fat,
Cause problems with their skin,
Even put great pressure on their spine.
Not wanting you to go through that,
I’ve thrown them in the bin,
A considerate soul I am, sweet Valentine.

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,
But they can turn her head,
Whenever their rare lustre makes them shine.
But sure, you know the more you spend
You end up in the red –
Fiscal to the last, sweet Valentine.

I’ve heard the latest fashion
Is to give a nip and tuck,
To help augment one’s natural design.
But I’d hate that with a passion
For I like the way you look,
You can’t improve perfection, Valentine.

A trip abroad’s romantic,
And can be a lot of fun.
Who could refuse a boat trip down the Rhine?
But you’d end up going frantic,
If there’s so much to be done.
Better stay at home, sweet Valentine.

A meal for two is heaven
And a notion very sweet,
Candles and a vat of sparkling wine.
But don’t forget half seven,
Time for “Coronation Street”
You wouldn’t want to miss that, Valentine.

Your life is filled with fretting,
And I often make it hard,
I know that I can often be a swine.
And all you end up getting
Is this lousy little card,
But you know that I still love you, Valentine.

The Famous Five go wading

Twas on a hot and sunny day upon the Cote d’Amour,
We joined the crowds of sweaty people massed upon the shore,
The burning sun was scorching every back and neck and limb,
And so we all decided that we’d go in for a ‘wim.

We stripped down to our swimming togs and ran down to the sea,
But then a band of seashells pulled us up in agony.
I’ve always been a fan of Shels, but these ones were the pits,
We cursed them with abandon, as they cut our feet to bits.

Eventually we got to where the seashore should have been,
But much to our amazement it was nowhere to be seen.
Miles and miles of flat, wet sand, it really was surprisin’.
Then Rachel said, “I think it’s over there on the horizon.”

The five of us then started out upon our mammoth trek,
In boiling sun, we dreamed of water lapping round our neck,
But after walking half an hour beneath the hazy skies,
We found the water level only came up to our thighs.

Instead of a refreshing swim, it was a tiring walk,
And Neil wondered loudly were we nearly in New York.
And then, far in the distance, a beacon came in sight,
“Lets head for that!” Annette remarked, and we replied, “Alright.”

Onward, onward, ever on, we trudged towards the west,
Until at last the water level reached up to our chest.
One by one, we took the plunge and braved the icy sea,
Except, of course, for Simon, who walked on quite happily.

Beneath the surface of the deep, we spied some giant squid,
And great white sharks and killer whales watched everything we did,
A shoal of killer anchovies became a buttock-clencher,
But did they cause us to turn back, or flinch from our adventure?

The Lost Lighthouse of Atlantis very slowly grew in size,
Surrounded by some dangerous reefs, and seagulls’ piercing cries.
“Ou est le centre de George Pompidou?” we asked a passing bird,
But he just turned his head away, as though he hadn’t heard.

The lighthouse was protected by some fearsome, hidden rocks,
‘Gainst which our sole protection was the thickness of our jocks.
We’d have to brave these jagged beasts, to touch the sacred shrine,
And risk a lacerated arse beneath the foaming brine.

One by one, we took the plunge to touch the sacred walls,
And no one can deny that every one of us had balls,
Never had a band of people showed such gallantry,
Except for Simon who was having a oiseau in the sea.

Our mission done, we turned around and once more headed east,
Happy in the knowledge we had tamed the savage beast.
The current tried to pull us back, but we still soldiered on,
Until at last it tried no more, and all the waves were gone.

Hours later, so it seemed, we solemnly shook hands,
And flopped down on our towels lying on the burning sands.
The mammoth trek was over and the memory swelled my chest,
Though John, Louise and Monica were clearly not impressed.

The Day Monica Got in the Water

The story unfurled in the eyes of the world
On Tuesday nineteenth of July.
At first ‘twas a rumour, just said in good humour,
Which spokespeople wouldn’t deny.
But then speculation turned to expectation,
The story took on bricks and mortar.
Then the press got a taste and flew in at great haste
The day Monica got in the water.

RTE got the word and despatched Charlie Bird
On the very first flight going out.
Sky News, CNN sent reporters out when
The whispers left no room for doubt.
The news, people stated, in fact generated
More int’rest than it really oughta,
But millions tuned in with a very wide grin
The day Monica got in the water.

Majorca was packed with reporters. In fact,
There was standing room only in places.
All squashed up together in baking hot weather,
A million odd lobster-red faces.
The queue for good seats ran for miles round the streets,
And it never appeared to get shorter,
All eager to stare, and to say, “I was there,
The day Monica got in the water.”

All breath was quite bated at the time designated,
And Charlie got really excira.
In front of the throng, she took off her sarong,
And the cameramen hollered, delira.
Then all whispering ceased as the tension increased,
And nobody moved an aorta.
You could hear your heart beat in the stifling heat,
The day Monica got in the water.

And then came the roars and tremendous applause
As her bottom slid down out of view.
Poor Charlie went mad and his camera crew had
To restrain him from jumping in too.
And live on TV, her old father said he
Was tremendously proud of his daughter,
And Kofi Annan sang “The Banks of the Bann,”
The day Monica got in the water.

The churchbells were ringing, angelic choirs singing,
As round the world parties got started.
There were whoopings of joy from each man, girl and boy,
As the marvellous news was imparted.
All conflicts were stopped and old arguments dropped,
There was praise heaped from every quarter.
Yes, the whole world agreed ‘twas momentous indeed,
The day Monica got in the water.

The Day Lee got Married to Jess

The noise we were fearing
Was what we were hearing –
Its source was too easy to guess.
‘Twas rain thickly pouring,
Both hissing and pouring
On the day Lee got married to Jess.

The house was a-hopping,
All starting and stopping
In equal parts humour and stress.
The queue for the shower
Got longer each hour
On the day Lee got married to Jess.

The iron was steaming,
The jewellery gleaming,
Old clothes were left piled in a mess
The clock quickly spinning
Put an end to the grinning
On the day Lee got married to Jess.

The bus pulled up quickly,
The heat was quite prickly,
The rain poured with effortlessness.
And soon we were burning
Down lanes long and turning
On the day Lee got married to Jess.

The vicar was ready,
The voices were steady,
The bride and the groom answered ‘Yes!’
The Wedding March sounded,
Back-slapping abounded
On the day Lee got married to Jess.

And then came the chatting,
The admiring of hatting,,
And cameras were clicked to excess,
Till Lee had to kick ‘em
On up to West Wickham
On the day Lee got married to Jess.

And still it kept raining
(Though none were complaining)
A-splashing each suit and each dress,
And the bubbles were blowing,
Contentedly flowing
On the day Lee got married to Jess.

The dinner was tasty,
Quite leisured, not hasty,
(As everyone there did express.)
And the glasses kept filling,
However unwilling
On the day Lee got married to Jess.

The speeches soon finished
And eating diminished
And more wine was drunk, I confess.
And the rain kept on falling,
‘Twas frankly appalling
On the day Lee got married to Jess.

And then came the dancing,
The asking and chancing,
And the Carling ran out in distress.
And young ones were sleeping
As tiredness came creeping
On the day Lee got married to Jess.

Well we drank hale and hearty,
In humour to party,
All had a great time, I profess.
And as we departed
Another shower started
On the day Lee got married to Jess.

Tara’s Tenth Birthday

We’re late with this here birthday scrawl,
But Tara, please remember,
That you were somewhere down in Youghal,
The first day of September.

Do the things a girl enjoys!
You’re growing too fast, Tara.
There’s time enough for seeing boys
And spreading on mascara.

I’d love to be just ten years old!
Perhaps you would trade places?
And then I’d go and get enrolled
In school, and other places.

And you could go and do my work,
Then drink a load of beer,
And I would drive your Dad berserk.
Now that’s a great idea!

Simon’s Driving Test

Louise and Neil are both impressed,
And eloquently have expressed
That, though they think you’re quite a pest
[I trust they’re saying that in jest]
You must have been supremely blessed.
No longer are you now repressed,
But now can drive on down to Brest,
Or to the Munich Beer Fest,
Verona, Venice or Trieste,
[Although we earnestly request
That you should go there smartly dressed,
And don’t forget your thermal vest]
It’s easier now to fly the nest
[As both your mum and dad have guessed]
But possibly I have digressed,
I’d better make my point now, lest
You end up manically depressed.
You’ll get no medal for your chest
[Alas! This cannot be redressed]
But whether heading east or west,
In driving skills, you’re just the best.
So drive that car with care and zest,
Make sure your airbag is compressed,
Don’t get your licence repossessed,
And well done on your driving exam.

No Longer Nine

Kate woke up one morning
As the moon did softly shine.
She said, “That’s odd?”
And then “Oh God!
Sure I’m no longer nine.

‘From the single digit club,
I sadly must resign.
They’ll turf me out
Without a doubt,
For I’m no longer nine.

‘I wonder if I’ve changed a lot,”
(She gave a little whine.)
“What if I’ve grown
Or gained a stone,
Now I’m no longer nine?

‘It’s longer now to write my age,”
(She softly did opine)
“This number ten
Will waste my pen.
I wish I was still nine.

‘The candles on my birthday cake
Will mess up its design.
They’ll burn too hot,
As like as not.
Oh please can I stay nine?

‘My life in this past decade
Has been carefree and divine,
But now it’s gone,
Time marches on,
And I’m no longer nine.

‘Now I must do the hoovering,
Hang washing on the line.
Oh how I hate
This life. ‘Twas great
When I was only nine.

‘It’s time for me to settle down,
Pick out my Valentine.
The adult world
Is thus unfurled
When you’re no longer nine.”

But then Kate spied her presents,
And she suddenly felt fine.
“Oh well!” she said,
(As sadness fled,
And she hopped quickly out of bed,)
“Perhaps its sad,
But not too bad
That I’m no longer nine.”

Neil’s First Confession

He sat there, rocking from side to side,
And told the priest his sins.
Countenance furrowed, interspersed
With bashful, nervous grins.
Eight year old boy
Leaving out his soul
To hang.
Before the almighty
Creator of the whole

It should’ve been the other way around.
God’s treading on very dangerous ground.

On Louise Getting Her Leaving Cert Results

If you do not add the water,
It will spoil the sponge cake mix,
If you don’t put in the mortar,
You will never seal the bricks.
Your car won’t go the distance
If you don’t put in the fuel,
And you’ll find increased resistance
From a very hungry mule.

Your Leaving Cert was brilliant,
For you put the effort in.
Hard-working and resilient,
You ensured that you would win.
You immersed yourself in study,
And you’ve reaped as you have sown,
And you now can leave the bloody
Mathematics well alone.

Kate Lawless – End of Year Report

Twelve whole months have now passed by,
Since Kate first gave a strangled cry.
So now we must assess her worth,
One enormous year since birth.

First of all, she’s learned to eat,
Though bowel control is not complete.
Her dinner is consumed with grace,
And ends up over half her face.
She’s learned to crawl and stand already,
Chunky legs a bit unsteady.
She sees her playpen as a jail,
And whines to get let out on bail.
She’s learned to take her dribbler off
And give an imitation cough.
At clapping hands she’s expert, though
She still can’t get her hair to grow.
She spots the kids out in the street
And cranes to see with outstretched feet.
She’s itching to be big enough
To join in all that football stuff.
Curiosity killed the cat,
But Kate has never gone for that,
For, when somebody opens doors,
She’s straining round to find the cause.
She loves the birdies and the telly,
And likes to make her nappy smelly.
She makes a point not to forget
To get her woolly mittens wet.
She loves to nibble bread and jam,
And pull the guts out of the pram.
She’s very good at going to sleep,
Hours and hours without a peep.
She throws her clothes into a jumble,
And can’t resist an apple crumble.
Her speeches are rehearsed and planned,
Though difficult to understand.
At music, she has got to know
The adverts on the radio.
She dances up against a chair,
Just like a punk without the hair.
Her singing has improved with age,
It’s past the air-raid siren stage.
She’s learned to wave like royalty
When she is parting company.
When sitting on her throne up high,
She rules the roost like Lady Di,
And throws her toys and spoon around,
And never fails to hit the ground.
And when her Mam and Dad come in,
She gives that beaming, gummy grin.
And waves her hands or bangs a cup,
Demanding that she be picked up.

The first twelvemonth, then, in conclusion,
Has been the cause of much confusion.
But, all in all, we think she’s great,
So have a happy birthday, Kate.

Kate is Turning Nine Years Old

I heard it on the radio
When I woke up this morning.
I thought I was still dreaming so
I didn’t heed the warning.
But then I woke up in a state,
My blood was running cold,
Because I had forgotten Kate
Was turning nine years old.

I ran downstairs quite quickly
And I turned on our old telly.
I was feeling very sickly
With a sharp pain in by belly.
They read the news at half past eight,
And this is what they told:
It’s party time today ‘cos Kate
Is turning nine years old.

I went and bought the Irish Times,
And read the whole first page.
No politics, no deaths, no crimes,
As far as I could gauge.
Just one tale did it relate
In letters big and bold –
Don’t forget (it said) that Kate
Is turning nine years old.

Down the street in Blanchardstown,
Some people did the conga.
The music never once died down,
The queue kept getting longer.
They made a line so long and straight,
‘Twas wondrous to behold,
And everyone was shouting, “Kate
Is turning nine years old!”

Across the world in South Korea,
And also in Japan,
There came a most almighty cheer
From each and every man.
In Argentina and Kuwait,
The people rock and rolled,
Singing, “Hey, ma baby, Kate,
Is turning nine years old!”

The Pope gave blessings out in Rome
Until his throat was sore.
Across the world, in every home,
They yelled out “Eight no more!”
Important work just had to wait
It all got put on hold,
Because, the people shouted, Kate
Was turning nine years old.

The Eskimos all pulled their sleighs
Across the frozen ice,
Thinking of the different ways
To make the day so nice.
They all agreed that it is great
That she is good as gold,
But better still, the fact that Kate
Was turning nine years old.

In the forests of the Amazon,
The snakes all gathered round.
“Where has everybody gone?
There’s no-one to be found.”
A lizard called out, “Don’t be late!
The tickets will be sold.
Come, join in the party, Kate
Is turning nine years old!”

An alien, way up in space,
Poked up his creepy head.
“What’s happening with the human race?
They’ve all gone mad,” he said.
“Darling, did you check the date?”
His darling wife cajoled,
“Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten Kate
Is turning nine years old?”

I could not comprehend it.
How could I have forgotten?
A card? Forgot to send it!
No wonder I felt rotten!
I’ll have to wait to celebrate,
Though it has been foretold
The world will go berserk when Kate
Is turning ten years old.

Happy Birthday Rolf

Every card that you’ve sent me,
Has mentioned one sad fact –
The advent of senility,
The youth that I have lacked.
And so it gives me special joy,
Although it’s somewhat naughty,
To cry out “Happy Birthday, boy,
I’m awful glad you’re FORTY!”

My joints are old, my ears sprout hairs,
My hair is grey and thinning,
It takes an age to climb the stairs –
The march of time is winning.
But though my body feels the pain,
My mind is still quite sporty,
So let’s repeat it once again,
I’m awful glad you’re FORTY!

I’ve put up billboards by the score,
And taken ads on telly,
I’ve printed special handouts for
The folks in Ballykelly.
So everyone in Ireland knows,
From Larne to Enniscorthy.
Watch those hairs shoot down your nose,
I’m awful glad you’re FORTY!

This rhyme is sounding pretty sad,
So let us make it cheerier,
You’ve always said that you are glad
You’re vertically superior.
But though I must look up to you
(For I’m a mere shortie)
Today our differences are few,
I’m awful glad you’re FORTY!

I cannot fight those four small years,
You’ll always win that battle.
And though my ageing mind despairs,
I still can shake my rattle.
I can’t conduct a full-fledged war,
Just mount an occasional sortie,
And this one’s quite successful for
I’m awful glad you’re FORTY!

Revenge, as clever people say,
Is best dished out quite coldly.
I hope you have a special day
That you can cherish. Oldly.
Shall I say it once again,
Or would that sound too haughty?
Ah, bugger, brother, feel the pain,
I’m awful glad you’re FORTY!

Happy Birthday, Emmet [sorry, I meant Kate]

Happy birthday Emmet –
Oops! Sorry, I meant Kate,
I can’t believe that you are five
Or six, or seven, or eight.
I hope this Hallowe’en is filled
With lots and lots of joy,
It doesn’t seem that long since you
Were just a little boy.

Do not try to stay awake
Cos Santa’s always quiet.
[Besides you’re bound to fall asleep
If ever you should try it.]
I hope that you get lots of eggs,
A Crunchie, Mars and Snickers
But when you get up in the morning
Don’t forget your knickers.

I hope your friends in playschool
Will help you celebrate
The fact that you are four or five
Or six or seven or eight.
Perhaps you’ll wear your swimsuit and
Your brand new Easter bonnet,
And eat your lovely birthday cake
With fifteen candles on it.

And so today is special,
It will never be the same.
Oh, by the way, you never told us
What’s your husband’s name?
Your wedding dress is beautiful
So don’t forget to smile,
When you get the ring and you
Are walking down the aisle.

I know that you like Thunderbirds
And Go, Go, Power Rangers.
Don’t wipe your nose upon your sleeve
And never talk to strangers.
And, if you want to come around,
I’ll fix you up a bed.
It’s in a very special place-
You’ve guessed it! In the shed!

Oh, the fourteenth of December
Is a very important date,
Cos that is Emmet’s birthday,
Oops! I’m sorry, I meant Kate.
So everybody raise a glass
And give a hearty cheer,
And wish that Kate is going to have
A marvellous New Year.

Happy Birthday 39 [Mk 2]

Once again the time is ripe
For us to jeer and you to gripe.
For us to wink, for us to smile,
For you to go into denial.
For us to say, “You’re nearly there!”
While you respond with “I don’t care.”

Yes, time to turn another page,
And be a very silly age.

When people ask, as people do,
“Excuse me. Just how old are you?”
You will be obliged to say,
“I’m thirty-nine. Is that okay?”

But you will see it in their eyes –
They’ll think that you are telling lies.
They’ll shoot a glance towards your nose,
And wonder just how long it grows.

They’ll think that you’re a lying swine,
‘Cos no-one’s really thirty nine.
They’ll whisper, as you walk away,
“She’s forty five, if she’s a day.
And its quite sad, to tell the truth,
Pretending she still has her youth.”

And so, dear Bren, if I were you,
I know what I would have to do
To save the winks and knowing glances,
When you go to dinner-dances.

Skip a year and celebrate!
Embrace the forties, yep, they’re great!
Don’t be bitter! Don’t be sore!
For forty suits you so much more.

Happy Birthday 39

Late at night, when folk are sleeping,
And the crescent moon is weeping,
Comes a ghastly figure creeping,
O’er the scarred and barren ground,
O’er the landscape damned and blighted,
With a purpose unrequited,
By the hand of Fate indited,
Crawls this shape with dismal sound.
Banished from pure thoughts and slighted,
Where the shadow’d wastes are found.

With one mad eye glaring solely,
Comes this apparition slowly,
Moaning in a voice unholy,
As it grapples ever near.
Climbing over gates and fences,
Overcoming all defences,
Pausing now and then, it senses
That it’s prey will soon appear.
Howling madly, it commences
To instill such abject fear.

Panting breath, so harshly rasping,
Footholds ‘pon the dank earth clasping,
Bony fingers, reaching, grasping
Any object in its way.
Onward, onward, it comes crawling,
With a vista most appalling,
Never staying, never stalling,
Closing in upon its prey.
Sometimes climbing, sometimes falling,
Unseen by the light of day.

In her bed, her senses heightened,
Stomach muscles twitching, tightened,
Brenda lies awake and frightened,
Knowing it will soon be there.
What she has avoided broaching,
‘Pon her mind is now encroaching,
For her youth it will come poaching,
As she is too well aware.
Forty years with stealth approaching,
Hidden from the day’s harsh glare.


Granny is a singer
Like no other in the land.
She doesn’t need rehearsals
And she doesn’t need a band.
Her voice is like an angel’s,
Floating upwards and away.
If she’d have entered Popstars
She’d have blown them all away.

Granny is a dancer
Like no other in the land.
She twirls around the ballroom
With her partner in her hand.
She went up to Termonfeckin
For a Termonfeckin dance,
And all the other hopefuls
Stood no Termonfeckin chance.

Granny draws a picture
Like no other in the land.
Sketching works of beauty
With eraser in her hand.
She captures light and shadow
And each subtle shade and mood,
But draws the line, Thank God,
At painting Grandad in the nude.

Granny is a cardsharp
Like no other in the land.
Slipping cards from down her sleeve
When she’s a rotten hand.
Her game is bridge, she doesn’t care
For knockout or gin rummy
For if she ever loses, she can
Always blame the dummy.

Granny plays the bingo
Like no other in the land.
Each Tuesday night, she sits there poised
With marker in her hand.
And if someone shouts out “House!”
When she is waiting on the prize,
She’ll mutter vague aspersions
And she’ll give them dagger eyes.

Granny is a granny
Like no other in the land.
Protecting her grand-children from
Their parents’ evil hand.
She’s always there when needed
As they grow up and they thrive.
Let’s hope that she will stick around
For another sixty-five.

Don’t Say the ‘F’ Word

Oh no, oh no,
The big four-oh,
Whose name dares not be mentioned.
It’s rounded sounds
Are out of bounds,
However well-intentioned.

That awful word
Is often heard
‘Twixt Tennessee and Tonga,
But we won’t say
It here today –
You’re “Thirty-Nine No Longer.”

Oh no, oh no,
The big four-oh,
But don’t get hot and flustered.
Like vintage wine,
You’re ageing fine,
And still can cut the mustard.

You can’t deny
The sun or sky.
Complaining would be wronger.
You’re in the pink,
So have a drink,
You’re thirty-nine no longer.

The thirty nine,
A bus divine,
Goes all the way to Ongar,
But Finglas men
Enjoy the splen-
-Did thirty nine no longer.

Oh no, oh no,
The big four-oh,
No point in getting shirty.
It’s all a game,
You felt the same
The day that you turned thirty.

Oh no, oh no,
The big four-oh,
Be sensible and thrifty?
Don’t look so sad,
It’s not as bad
As nearly turning fifty.

Ignore the mockers,
And the knockers,
This will make you stronger.
You’ve wisdom, health
Great beauty, wealth
At thirty-nine no longer.

Oh no, oh no,
The big four-oh,
But what’s the point precisely?
Who needs a cure?
We think that you’re
Maturing very nicely.

Bars of steel
May well be real –
Ask any ironmonger -
But middle age
Is not a cage,
When thirty nine no longer.

Oh no, oh no,
The big four-oh,
Ignore the squalid peasants!
For Goodness sake,
Enjoy your cake
And open all your presents!

Go celebrate
The march of fate,
And let’s all do the conga.
Let’s see some grins,
For life begins
When thirty nine no longer

Ding Dang a Dong

In Europe, tastes in music, well,
They’re really Poles apart,
The Cypriots and Greeks all vote on cue.
The migrant workers sway it,
It’s not voting from the heart,
But I’ll reserve my twelve points just for you.

The Swedes and the Norwegians
Seem to have a kind of pact,
The way the French and Belgians often do.
The Baltic States transfer of votes
Has often been attacked,
But I’ll reserve my twelve points just for you.

Forget the wretched Russians and
The whole damned Eastern bloc.
Are these voting patterns really true?
Its time the organisers took a step back
And took stock,
But I’ll reserve my twelve points just for you.

Oh curse the cunning Croats and
The tight Teutonic Turks,
The Portuguese and Spanish do it too.
But till they get a system
That indubitably works,
I’ll still reserve my twelve points just for you.

For what’s another year, my dear?
Congratulations love,
This nineteenth year is not our Waterloo.
Love can make you happy,
I still see a star above,
So I’ll reserve my twelve points just for you.

A deceptively short but nonetheless sincere and well-meant poem for my Irish-dancing nephew, Ben Goulding

A deceptively short but nonetheless sincere and well-meant poem for my Irish-dancing nephew, Ben Goulding, son of Rolf [my younger brother] and Gerrardine [nee O’Sullivan] and older brother of Tara and Gemma, who lives in the market town of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, to celebrate the fact that on this very day, quite coincidentally the first day of May in the year of our Lord 2002, he has ceased to be merely a youngster of nine years of age, but, in fact, has now commenced, with the incredible zeal that has become his trademark, the eleventh year of his short but very eventful life.
Is ten

Aiden's turning forty

The bells ring out across the land
From Larne to Enniscorthy,
And grumpy faces have been banned
Cos Aiden’s turning forty.

Despite the silver in his hair,
He looks quite young and sporty.
But everyone is quite aware
That Aiden’s turning forty.

People say that he’s not tall,
Although he’s not a shorty,
Size does not count much at all
When you are turning forty.

The GIs in Afghanistan,
Before they made a sortie,
They telephoned the Taliban
‘Bout Aiden turning forty.

And George Bush, ever on his guard,
Inexplicably thought he
Forgot to send a birthday card
For Aiden turning forty.

And Bertie[of the Fianna Fail]
So sombre, proud and haughty,
He tells a most attentive Dail
That Aiden’s turning forty.

I will not harp upon his age,
For that would be quite naughty.
Although it isn’t hard to gauge
That Aiden’s turning forty.

P.S. The football team worked overtime
But poor old Mick McCarthy
Could only come up with the rhyme
That Aiden’s turning farty.

A Narrow Escape

Imagine the contempt and scorn
Reserved for people Wiltshire-born.
Sad the man that bears that cross,
More odious than an albatross,
Explaining to his future wife
The shameful secret of his life.

And so we give great thanks today
Upon the birth of little Shea,
And praise the Lord his mum and dad
Employed the good sense that they had
And promptly turned the car around
And sped away from Wiltshire ground.

Both Ger and Rolf had put a pox on
Shea from being born in Oxon,
And you can bet your sweet young ass
That Rolf did step upon the gas
The border line did really gladden ’em
As they saw signs for Haddenham.

Twas Gerrardine’s determination
Saved a tricky situation.
Shea, not knowing geography
Was over-eager to break free,
But, like the famous Aylesbury ducks,
He thankfully was born in Bucks.

A 17 Year Sentence

Seventeen years is a long, long time,
You wouldn’t get that for a heinous crime.
Manacled together in wedded bliss,
I’m glad we’ve been shackled as long as this.

There are no guards in sentry towers
To demonstrate their mighty powers.
Except the ones that you might find
At every corner of my mind.

Some men sit around and mope,
Or silently climb down a rope,
But I am satisfied to dwell
Within the confines of this cell.

I have no willingness to roam
At distance from my prison home,
Freedom lies, ironically,
Accepting one’s captivity.

This open prison, with all its tears
Has held me now for seventeen years.
Despite all this, it’s really droll
I’m not applying for parole.

It doesn’t seem to make much sense
To get beyond the barbed wire fence.
My porridge tastes much better than
The porridge in the real world can.

And so I wear the uniform
That is the married person’s norm
And, earnestly, like one devout,
Pray I may never be kicked out.