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, July 08, 2006

"Well Doc, my problem is I'm too much of a giver."

Friday, July 07, 2006


I opened the Bible last night.
My eye fell on a verse from the book of judges.
"The stars in their ridings fell down to fight against Sisera."
This caused me to return to one of the odder speculations I've toyed with about our own lights.
When the lights appeared I couldn't see any stars in the sky.
What if the lights themselves were the stars...
What if they were the stars breaking all the physical laws we normally expect of the stars...
What if this was done to show us, all of us, that reality is other than we have ever imagined, that even the physical boundaries of the universe obey God...
Within the Catholic tradition, some of those who have claimed to see visions have described the sun dancing and the stars doing all sorts of things.
I see by the old writing on the wall that I'm going to have to contact my astro physicist friend Shane Dunlea to ask him if he can see star patterns in our UFO photographs.
But there's more.
I woke up this morning and reached sleepily for the Bible.
Opened it at random.
My eye fell on the same passage.
"The stars in their ridings fell down to fight against Sisera."
I haven't read this passage in years although I did write a poem based on it ages ago.
Now twice in twelve hours.
The passage describes a moment when the Israelites go to war with the Canaanites and hammer ten bells out of them.
It's not pretty.
Could our lights in the sky have been telling us of a war that is to come...
Ah folks, I'm starting to scare myself.
And the poem.
I know you want to hear about the poem. It was written when I was working in the Water Department of Kildare County Council. A hospital doctor called Hetteridge had rung up and asked me to guarantee a certain temperature and pressure in the water supply.
When I asked him why he wanted this guarantee, he told me: "I need the water to be in a constant condition to keep the embryos alive that we have here in suspension."
In the poem Hetteridge appears as Herterich, which was the name of a local butcher.
Here we go.

meditation on clane hospital
after reading the book of judges

doctor herterich sleeps
the babies in their test tubes are still
the flow of water from the mains keeps them alive
ready to serve the will
of him who became a god through the agency
of a modern university degree

the stars glister
it is written that once before
they fell from the sky
to wage war
against a nation
what has happened once can happen again

doctor herterich let your sleep be uneasy
not scholar nor doctor nor terrorist writes the law
and the stars in their ridings fell down to fight against sisera

Thursday, July 06, 2006

what dreams may come

A dream last night.
Aunty Marie had come to me.
She was not in her glory. (I mean she was not in the angelic form she would have in heaven. And yes I genuinely believe I had word from the Lord a few weeks ago that she is in heaven already!)
In last night's dream she was as I knew her in life.
But she was crying.
She said she was worried about me.
I asked why.
She said: "Because you have nothing."
I held her hand.
I said simply, sincerely and with great fondness: "I have friends. My family thinks the sun shines out of me. And I have the years. Years to complete the work I was born to do."
I awoke smiling.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

loving the aliens

Of course there's always the mystical.
Explanation I mean.
Lights in the sky.
Something mystical.
Tonight I thought of Fatima.
At Fatima in 1917 the children said the virgin Mary had told them that if mankind did not repent a yet more terrible war would break out. The signal for the coming of this war would be a night lit by strange lights.
In 1938 there was supposedly such a night.
We know what happened next.
And now here we are again.
A night lit by strange lights.
Any connection?
As I walked Paddy Pup this evening beneath a splendid star filled sky I was still musing on the sightings.
Will we ever know what they were?
Then I smiled.
I was thinking about Frances.
My darling cousin Frances arrived back in Kilcullen after a short holiday break this week. She had missed all the excitement and had not heard about our lights in the sky.
In the local supermarket one of the staff called out to her.
"Hey," sez he. "Did you hear they're seeing UFO's up your end of the town?"
Frances rolled her eyes.
"I wonder what drugs they were taking," she shot back with sparkling elan.
Then the clerk informed her it was members of her own family that had reported the sightings.
And Frances to her eternal credit, allowed her patrician jaw to drop, and spake not another word.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Monday, July 03, 2006

UFO out takes

Wandered into the Croissanterie Cafe near Stephen's Green in Dublin. My first time there in ages. A dark haired girl with plenty of curves at a far table caught my eye. I sat near her and chanced a second look.
"Hi James," she said.
Ah yes, that old gag.
I sit down for an innocent ogle.
And she knows me.
It took me a few more seconds to figure out who she was.
Little Karolina from Poland.
I hadn't seen her in a while. She'd changed. Her lustrous dark hair was longer and if possible more lustrous. Certain interesting parts of her physiognomy had become even more interesting.
These subtle but oddly appealing changes were why I hadn't recognised her to begin with.
Now I joined her for a coffee.
Within moments, I'd moved beyond standard old friends small talk to "I saw UFO's last week."
Karolina didn't bat a beautiful eyelid.
Instead she put her head in her hands and groaned.
"James," she said. "You know what my professional opinion would be if you came to me with that statement?"
Karolina studies psychology.
I asked what her professional opinion would be.
"Schizophrenia," she said softly.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


At 1030pm this evening on Thomas Street in Dublin near the Augustinian church, I drove through a red light.
A black car directly behind me immediately sounded a siren. I pulled in. It was unmarked but it had to be a police car.
A bearded man in a casual jacket approached and leaned in the pavement side window of my vehicle.
No sign of a uniform.
"Do you know you broke a red light?" he said.
I told him I knew.
He said I should be more careful, and added that he wasn't going to take the matter further.
Another man approached and stood at the driver side window.
He was not wearing a uniform either. He had his hair styled to look like the Irish football player Niall Quinn.
He began shouting.
"You could have killed someone. There's drug dealers on this street. What if you had caused an accident?"
Much of what he said was incoherent, particularly the mention of drug dealers.
I answered him quietly and calmly and politely.
The first man stayed at the pavement side window of my car and seemed to signal me with his eyes to stay cool.
"Have you been drinking?" shouted the Niall Quinn wannabee.
I told him I hadn't.
"Why are your eyes bloodshot?" he shouted.
All shouting.
Most surreal.
He shouted other things too. Sometimes questions. Sometimes remarks about road safety.
My tone remained respectful. I was still in the mode of thinking of these two as genuine police officers doing their job.
The typical mode that we Irish adopt when dealing with law enforcement professionals.
At the same time I was beginning to wonder to myself what the hell was going on. Something of this must have showed on my face.
"There really are drug dealers on this street," the bearded man said somewhat apologetically. "That's why we're giving you a hard time."
Now I knew something was wrong.
Because Beardy looked worried.
And he wasn't worried for himself either.
He was worried for me.
I looked at him.
This was the opinion I formed.
The bearded man was actually trying to prevent his partner from attacking me.
His partner began shouting again:
"You're smiling at me."
He said this four times.
It is the classic comment of a yob looking for a fight.
Finally I said firmly enough: "That won't wash. That business about smiling is not okay. You've said it a few times now and it's not okay." The shouting policeman said: "I don't care what you do for a living."
This remark came out of left field.
I began to apply the brakes.
I said I found his remark offensive and asked him what he meant by it.
He said: "You've been trying to flash your journalist card at me since we stopped you."
I repeated in a loud voice that his suggestion was offensive. I said it in such a way he was in no doubt I meant it.
There was tiny bit of the old Heelers iron in my voice.
But this was a bad man.
This was no amateur.
There was no way he was going to be afraid of me.
He said: "Are you man enough to accept an apology?"
I said: "That's okay Garda."
Moments later I drove home.

In Kilcullen an hour later, I rang Garda headquarters which is located at Harcourt Street in Dublin. (And may be phoned at (01) 6660000, should any of you have any concerns about the policemen whose wages we all pay.) There I got the runaround. A Garda told me there were no reports of any incident on Thomas Street. He said standard procedure would be for officers to ring in an incident if they had stopped someone. He said he had checked with several stations around Dublin and they had no such reports either. He suggested the individuals might have been undercover police operating with the Drugs Squad or other more secretive Garda agencies. He was unwilling to contact these himself. He suggested I might like to make a complaint about the incident through official channels. I told him I certainly would.

We Irish have a problem with our police.
There's no point in pretending we don't.
We've been blind to it because we are so worried about terrorism and drug dealing.
Here is the news.
Many of our police are thugs, and no one is watching them.
Thug Gardai betray all those who have given their lives in the line of duty.
Thug Gardai betray all those who refuse the bribes offered by crime barons and their ilk.
Thug Gardai betray the name, heritage and traditions of AN GARDA SIOCHANA.
They are nothing.
Useless traitors to our country, to our culture and to our people.
We have a problem.
It's real.
It is not going away.