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, May 05, 2007

in the gathering dusk

Friday, May 04, 2007


A night of strange and perturbed dreams.
I dreamed I was hiding in the bushes watching as Pauline's open air wedding took place.
The guests were all dancing in a green glade on Aran island.
And horror of horrors.
Each guest was dancing not with another guest, but with a painting from my private collection.
Uncle Scutch was dancing with a Josephine Hardiman study of Banna Strand.
Yogic sister Marie was snuggling up to Scuplticus's monk.
Gambling cousin Vincent was gyrating with Mariana Gabor's nudey thing.
Even my brother in law atomic physicist Phil was tripping the light fantastic with Diana Becerra's stunning Homage Aux Snots Verts.
Troublingly enough, I could see the paintings were really enjoying themselves.
But worst of all gentle travellers of the internet...
Worst of all was the band.
The band was the Beach Boys.
And they were playing one of their surf songs from the 1960s.
Only they didn't sing the famous lyric: "Two girls for every guy."
Instead they sang:
"Two paintings for every girl."
It was unholy.
I awoke in a cold sweat.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

the may revolution

in my selfhood a revolution
against the pain the shame the dissolution
of loving you
i see again trivial things
and do not care
what you'd have thought
the chains of pain and shame
all are unwrought
and sunlight holds the bastille

my spirit has regained the lofty places
the high ground of heart and soul
i've won shadow
the revolution is over

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Sitting in the kitchen at the Chateau de Healy with my feminist cousin Pauline.
Dusk crowding around the window.
She's getting married on Aran island this Saturday.
I am asking her why I haven't been invited.
"There were a few reasons," she muses. "But really I knew you wouldn't have been into the druids."
Even though she hasn't invited me to her wedding Pauline has an odd and enduring friendship with me.
She knows me like few others do.
Our friendship is not so much proof of the existence of the divine, as proof God has a sense of humour.
We chat pleasantly for a few more minutes before I decide to give her a preview of the latest acquisition to the art collection at the chateau.
"Wait there," sez I to Pauline. "I've something to show you."
I duck down to my room to fetch the Josephine Hardiman painting I bought last week.
The painting features Ms Hardiman and her late husband in a silhouetted embrace. All is done in shadings of blue. A Des Egan poem has been calligraphed around the forms. It's remarkable I tells ee. A genuine work of art struck from the gemstone of life.
I bring it to the kitchen.
"How d'ya like that?" sez I.
Pauline's eyes fill with tears. She jumps to her feet and hugs me tight.
"Thank you James," she breathes. "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This is so typical of you."
Dimly I realise something has gone awry. She has understood me to be giving her the painting as a wedding present.
My feelings about this misunderstanding might be described as somewhere a hundred miles the far side of unmitigated panic, shock, horror and despair.
I control myself with no little difficulty before she breaks the embrace.
My mind is working feverishly.
Maybe I can just say to her: "No Pauline. You misunderstood." Or some other light remark. There'll be no problem.
At this point my guardian angel whispers: "Heelers it was meant to be."
Pauline leaves the chateau clutching Josephine Hardiman's incomparable visual paean to the beauty and pity of love.
I sit alone in the kitchen for long moments.
I cannot believe what has just happened.
I make a decision.
"Well, well, well," I murmur grimly. "The druids and everybody else on Aran island are going to get some surprise on Saturday when I show up. Because Heelers is going to the ball."

Sunday, April 29, 2007

the rah man cometh

The nephews scrambling around me in carefree chaos. Toddler Tom spouting questions about every conceivable thing.
"What's that Uncle James? What does it do? Who's that in the picture? Where's that? Why Uncle James? Why?"
Each question asked as I finished answering the last one. At the same time five year old John ducking in and out trying to get me with a water pistol.
For a moment I turned again to God.
"This doesn't count," I was thinking. "Being Goodbye Mr Chips doesn't count. I don't want to help or guide thousands of kids. I don't need thousands. I just need one."
Then I could no longer resist the unfolding wonderment.
I accepted the miracles.
It was an afternoon touched by grace.

That evening the phone rang.
"Hello James."
The voice had a northern twang.
I recognised it.
"Do you know who this is?" he asked. "Don't use names. Just say if you know me."
"Howya Toolers," I replied. "How are things?"
There was a sound of mild exasperation from the other end of the line.
The man I was talking to had kneecapped people for less than what I'd just done.
He has what you might call a vague connection to people involved in extreme politics in Ireland.
They're not the IRA.
They are more correctly understood as a splinter group from a splinter group of a splinter group which bears something of a resemblance to a splinter group of that organisation.
I suppose they have about twenty members if you count the wives and girlfriends.
The IRA was too moderate for any of them.
And their acquaintanceship with Ireland's greatest living poet? Some years ago they'd held a conference in the region. None of the press turned up. Except for good old England loving pro American James.
Since that time they've apparently laboured under the misapprehension that I am somehow a professional journalist who will give them a fair hearing.
So here we are.
"James," sez the northern accent. "We heard you were having a spot of bother."
"Ah come on Pete," sez I, "Is the Rah surfing the internet now?"
"We're surfing everywhere. Are you having problems?"
"Nothing you can help with Pete."
"James if you say the word."
"Not my style Pete."
"Well just remember."
"It's never going to happen."
There was a moment's silence.
"Why did you call me?" I asked finally with some bemusement.
"You were kind to us," he said.
And hung up.

I sat there in the stillness of evening at the old chateau. The house was quiet. Family all off somewhere enjoying the unseasonal warmth of late April. I could hear a lawn mower from a nearby garden.
My throat was dry. I was shaking like a leaf.
Briefly I wondered why I should be shaking.
I wasn't being threatened.
What is it to me if some random nutters raze Deliverance to the ground?
But it would have been fun.
It would have been fun to say: "At my command unleash hell."
And now I knew why I was shaking.
Because I nearly had said it.

What held me back?
I owe these people nothing.
What had stopped me?
The vision of my nephews scrambling onto my knees eased once more into my consciousness.
I realised that in an odd and most true way they had just saved me from the snares of satan.

the cops, the mob, the broads etc etc

Phone call late in the evening.
About half past ten.
It was the chief of police.
"Hello James, Superintendent Rourkeson here."
A certain weariness descended upon my broadly built shoulders.
"Okay, alright," I said gently.
I drew a deep breath before speaking again.
"I'm not going to talk to you," I told the commish. "I don't want to know you. You people have betrayed Ireland."
And I hung up on him.

The question for today boys and girls is this:
How many bridges can one one man burn at any given time?