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, August 05, 2006

the poetic manifesto

half heard melodies at dawn
dreams or the traces of dreaming
a woman's name said soft like breathing
memories of faces gone
footsteps in the hall on winter nights
sadness in the heart where love has been
stillness on the fields after a storm
shadows bright with remembering

we will go
through cowardice to bravery
into the timeless eye of mind
across the ungovernable sea
to where all poems have their end
and their beginnings naturally
come with me

Friday, August 04, 2006


Browsing among the bookshelves in Easons of O'Connell Street.
A pulse in the universe. The crowd parted.
A momentary impression of elegance. Long dark hair. Sensuous lips. The deepest eyes.
There she was.
It was her.
The one I've been meeting accidentally around Dublin for the past five years. About once every six months. In a restaurant. Or cafe. Or in the street. Or in various bookshops. And now, here.
Just fleeting glimpses.
Then she's gone.
She is very striking. A phenomenon of nature really. I always account it a good day when I see her.
But I have never been under any illusions about talking to her.
Never going to happen.
Today in Easons she glanced up and our eyes met.
She held my gaze longer than was strictly comfortable and seemed to reach some sort of decision.
The next thing I knew she was coming towards me. All long hair, clattering heels, stylish dress, fearless eyes. A blur of feminine resolve.
I thought: "Uh oh."
Now she was directly in front of me.
"Hi," she said thrusting out her hand and favouring me with a devastating smile. "I hope you won't mind. I've seen you around the city for years. I almost feel I know you. My name is Nicola."
Well bold travellers of the internet, slap me bum and call me Steiner.
I didn't see that one coming.
I shook her hand. Her eyes contained plenty of encouragement. I felt weak at the knees. I am twenty years too old to feel weak at the knees.
"It's like a Woody Allen movie isn't it?" she said.
I agreed that it was.
Although I've yet to see Woody keel over like a sack of spuds in one of his movies which was what I was in danger of doing.
"You're always reading something intellectual when I see you," she offered.
I showed her what I was reading today.
It was a book on UFO's.
With some difficulty I resisted the urge to tell her I'd recently seen a UFO.
"What do you for a living?" she wondered.
Feeling like a traitor to the cause, I resisted the urge to tell her I was a poet.
"I'm a journalist," I said.
Her adorable eyes widened adorably.
"Wow," she said.
I only just resisted the urge to tell her that I was the worst journalist in the Republic of Ireland, and that editors around the country have pictures of me in their newsrooms, and that underneath those pictures they have written "Do Not In Any Circumstances Hire This Man."
No need for any of that self deprecating stuff. My face was doing all the self deprecating we needed by turning a deeper shade of beetroot with every passing second.
And so we talked.
It is a most intoxicating thing to meet a beautiful women who is also a nice person.
Intoxicated I was.
Later that evening I wandered up D'Olier Street towards Trinity College. I was walking on air.
The homeless man who sells The Big Issue outside Trinity was at his station.
Interestingly enough I've seen him there for five years.
I've never spoken to him or bought a magazine from him.
Years ago because of my insecurities I would hurry past him thinking he was a drug dealer or a street thug.
Of late I'd been simply too embarassed to talk to him, having passed him without a word for so long.
Tonight I approached him.
"Can I have one of those?" I asked.
He offered me a magazine.
"What are you charging me?" I asked.
He said three Euro.
I gave him three Euro and then whatever money I had left in my pocket.
This bold readers is what we may call the Nicola effect.
Driving home to Kilcullen through an early August evening I felt no lessening of its influence.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

from my in tray

The following letter has been received by the mighty Heelers.

I presume you are the area journalist for Ballindroher. I presume also that you received notification of the launch of our community group last week.
You can understand my surprise when I opened your newspaper and found no reference at all to our group. Instead I found a story about UFO's.
I am writing to you about this before I write to your editor. I thought this was only fair in the circumstances.
Colonel Dan Trunners.

The following letter has been despatched from the Chateau de Healy.

You do a lot of presuming in your letter.
You presume I am the Ballindroher area journalist. (Wrong.)
You presume someone in your group told me about your launch night. (Wrong again. Perhaps a case of too many Colonels and not enough indians.)
You presume I care whether you write to the editor of the Leinster Lootheramawn or not. (Terribly wrong.)
You presume to begin a letter to me using my first name and without the appropriate honoric.
This was the unkindest cut of all Colonel. For I never fraternise with army officers below the rank of Brigadier.
James Healy
(Sir to you)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

"We really lost our shirts at the Galway races this year..."

one for all you fans of the old testament

Many happy years ago the Healy family lived in the bustling Dublin suburb of Tallaght.
The house in which they lived was a veritable chaos of rabbits, football games, chemistry sets, pop music, the Tomorrow People, Star Trek, Time Tunnel and Doctor Who.
One day a kind hearted optimistic young priest, newly arrived in the area, decided to pay a visit to this humble home.
The priest was fresh faced, ruddy cheeked, and somewhat innocent.
The Mammy invited him into the kitchen, put on the kettle, and motioned towards the chairs.
In one arm she held a baby. At her feet, a toddler who would later become famous as Ireland's greatest living poet, sat playing with his yellow plastic bricks. (Modesty prevents me from naming him.) Four other children beetled in and out of the room at various intervals demanding attention, intervention or subvention as the mood struck them.
The good hearted priest looked around wildly for some conversational sally that might establish common ground with the busy mother before him.
His eyes alighted on a canary, sitting in a cage at the window, singing sweetly of the joys of life.
"What a lovely canary!" exclaimed the Padre. "What do you call him?
The Mammy did not turn a hair.
"We call him Onan," she shot back. "Because he's always spilling his seed."

Monday, July 31, 2006

subtle intimations of night

Full shot of the light phenomenon as seen from Kilcullen last Tuesday at 11pm.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

golden moments

Evening at the chateau de Healy.
I'm sitting in an armchair in the front room.
From the kitchen the dulcet tones of my aged parents drift to my ears.
It is the eve of their fiftieth wedding anniversary.
"You're obsessed," the Dad is saying.
"No I'm not," sez the Mammy.
"You're obsessed with three things," sez the Dad.
"What are you on about?" sez the Mammy.
The Dad endeavours to explain.
"You're obsessed with the bin," he proclaims.
(He has a point there. She is constantly ordering us to bring the bin to the end of the avenue where the refuse people collect it. Then she issues an order to bring back the bin. Then she normally has a few jollies over the course of the week between refuse collections, telling us to bring things out to the bin. Or in from the bin. Or whatever. Hours of endless fun.)
"You're obsessed with the banks," continues the Dad.
(Again he has a point. The Mammy is no fan of the great banking institutions of the Republic of Ireland. She misses no opportunity to excoriate them. For their corruption. Their incompetence. Their rudeness. The problem for the rest of us in the Healy family is that my sister in law Jackie, who is married to my brother Tom, is a senior manager with Allied Irish Bank. Jackie is also the one who arrives at the chateau most days to serve up dinner for us. She is also the one who gives the best Christmas presents, ie ones that actually cost money. She's also the one who remembers birthdays and makes 'em worthwhile. I'm referring to cash again. Listen bold readers. You don't want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. But you get my drift.)
"And you're obsessed with my plant," cries the Dad, ending with a ring of triumph in his voice.
(Ah. This last was a cry from the heart. The dad has installed some sort of a fern on the kitchen window sill. It has been there for a year. The Mammy likes it less than the banks and refers to it more often than the bin.)
After the Dad has finished listing the Mammy's obsessions, there is silence for a moment.
Just for a moment.
"That bloody plant," snorts the Mammy. "It's taking over the place."
She chooses not to dignify the other charges with a response.
Instead she joins me in the front room, where it is the work of an instant to evict me from the armchair and seize the television controls.
"Did you hear your man?" quoth she. "He's as mad as a brush."