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, April 29, 2006

apologia pro atheismus mea

Alone in Roma with a light rain falling around me. Sitting outdoors on a bench at Pyramide, near a rusted monument to Italians who died fighting the Nazis.
On the ground beside me the most bedraggled pigeon in Western Europe is pecking around for some scraps.
I look at the pigeon.
He is the lowliest of things. Something wrong with one of his legs. Feathers dirty and moulting. He won't live long.
And suddenly I question the existence of God.
How could God form a creature for such suffering.
My atheism engulfs me like the rain.
Because of a pigeon.
I sit there futile and morose.
This bit is true.
The pigeon spreads his wings.
He rises effortlessly and circles the Square. I watch him. He veers towards a cluster of trees and passes them without landing. He flies higher. Higher. Westwards towards the river. The Spanish Steps. The Vatican.
I am still staring at him.
He is a speck against the immenseness of sky.
There he is.
A creature I thought bereft of any worth in life, that same creature knowing a glory of existence that no human being will ever know.
To fly like this whenever he wants.
To see the world like this.
To be in the universe like this.
I stand and stroll towards the train station.
I am smiling.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Twenty Minutes

Drove to the town of Newbridge this morning. A big checque had come through from my employers and I lodged it to my credit card account at the bank. Credit card paid off. At long last. A great sense of freedom engulfed me.
I headed for coffee at Bradburys.
An odd thought struck me as I quaffed the beverage in warm sunshine at an outside table.
I had started my working life in 1984. A few months later I had started my gambling life, aided and abetted by my brother Barn and cousin Vincent. Possibly the worst pair of tipsters in the history of gambling.
Because of the gambling I quickly went into debt.
Big debt.
The debt situation lasted quite a while.
In fact it lasted right up until the moment this morning when I sat at Bradburys drinking my coffee with the sun washing over me and a wondrous sense of possibility touching my spirit.
Yes, that moment was the first time in twenty years when I had no outstanding debts.
The car is paid for. The credit card is cleared. The mafia are no longer looking to break my legs over that loan from Mr Gannucci and that unfortunate business with Mr Gannucci's daughter Stabbissa...
I sat at the table in Bradbury's cafe, savouring the thought and savouring the moment.
Presently a theatre producer called Paddy Melia ambled over and sat down.
We talked about this and that.
My Lady Windermere play was mentioned.
(It's the one that was advertised with the slogan: Oscar Wilde didn't write this crap!)
Before long Paddy cut to the chase.
"You know I could get a theatre in Dublin for a month in the Summer for four grand," he rapped out.
"If you can get the theatre I can get the money," I shot back.
He departed.
I looked at my watch.
My debt free life had lasted all of twenty minutes.

Monday, April 24, 2006

mood piece

Sunday, April 23, 2006

television detective serials and the end of childhood innocence

in calm contentment we could review
shoot outs bank robberies all the rest
secure in the knowledge that the hero would come through
that rationo legalism is the best

then one day in the late seventies
kojak was shooting at some thugs
i was relaxed in all my certainties
until kojak went over like a sack of spuds

and here's the rub he did survive
to keep the streets of new york free of human vermin
my sensibilities died that night
i could never put my faith in pop culture again