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 15, 2006


Sitting with the Dad watching baseball some time after 3am.
My mind is wandering.
I'm not paying any attention to the television.
I'm thinking: What's the most seditious thing in the faith?
The answer that comes is... the reality of Jesus.
That's the most surprising, the most revolutionary, the most unexpected thing.
Even those who think they are believers will occasionally wake up one morning after many years feeling an incredible joy.
The joy being that everything they thought they already believed is suddenly present to them as reality.
How real is the Lord?
I'm thinking to myself...
He's real.
He's right here, right now.
He's in this room with me and the Dad.
I wonder could he possibly be as bored with the baseball as I am?

Friday, July 14, 2006

a touch of whimsy

Stephen's Green Cafe in the mid afternoon.
Dublin hot and clammy and unutterably alive.
The whimsical smiler is at a table nearby.
Occasionally she glances at me in a most mischievous manner.
She's been here most days this week smiling just like this. She is, in the best sense of an old fashioned Irish phrase, a handsome gerrul.
I cannot imagine that I will ever talk to her.
So here we are.
There is a pulse in the universe.
The ghost of Walt Whitman appears at my shoulder.
"The women are beautiful," he whispers. "But the old are more beautiful than the young."
I nod briefly.
"Yes Walt," I reply. "But I fancy the young."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

East Meets Heelers

Coffee with Lu Yi at the Laura Ashley Cafe on Grafton Street.
A loyal daughter of China meets a feckless son of Ireland.
Not so much a clash of cultures, more a theatre of the absurd.
At one stage in the proceedings I decided to delight her with one of my aphorisms.
My aphorisms? Smart remarks some people call them.
But conversation hadn't exactly been flowing freely. It was make or break time. When in doubt I always wheel out the big guns.
Surely after hearing one of my patented poetic and beautiful insights into the nature of existence, surely then I tells ee, surely she would be like putty in my hands.
I indicated an elderly couple sitting in the corner.
"The withered tree," I proclaimed softly, "has a beauty of its own."
Lu Yi looked at me intently.
"What do you mean?" she said.
I leaned forward.
"The old face is sometimes more beautiful than the young face," I explained.
Lu Yi nodded as enlightenment dawned.
"You mean like Elizabeth Taylor," she said.
Ah yes bold readers.
Heelers dazzles another love struck waif...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Cleaning Up

Dropped into the cleaners in Newbridge this afternoon to collect some laundry.
The lady known as Lil (aka the Mammy) accompanied me.
She waited in the car while I went for the clothes.
In the cleaners the manageress looked a tad guilty as I entered.
"The colours ran on your mother's cardigan," she explained briskly. "You'll have to contact the manufacturer."
I told her to wait a minute and went back outside to consult the boss.
Boss Lil told me not to bother arguing and just take the clothes.
I went back in.
I didn't bother arguing but I did stand on my dignity a bit.
"Are you going to charge for that?" I asked the woman.
She told me there would be a charge as the cleaners had obeyed the instructions on the cardigan and it wasn't their fault the colours ran.
I said: "Are you sure you want to charge me?"
The manageress looked momentarily distrait but steeled herself and resolutely affirmed her intention to charge.
I fixed her with my famous Paddington Bear stare.
When I looked into her eyes I saw that she was not a bad person.
I nodded, paid for the clothes and left.
Later the same night the Mammy let slip that the cardigan had been damaged BEFORE she sent it to the cleaners.
I asked her why she hadn't told me earlier.
"Ah," sez she, "I didn't want to complicate things."

Monday, July 10, 2006

a miktam of james

and the numbers we give years
are flung like chaff from the plough
and i am allowed to see
hence and thence and now
people past or passing or to be
come streaming from the fields
i believe

(Dedicated to Jim Kearin in Minnesota)

Sunday, July 09, 2006