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 14, 2007


Sitting at the Trevi fountain in Rome.
Anonymous for once amid the crowds.
In this city my fame is known only to a few.
Enjoying the play of water over statuary in the shadow of the magnificent palace of the Corsinis.
My mobile phone beeps.
It is a text from the United States of America.
"Jamie, there's a book in one of those suitcases I need you to send me urgently. Love, Annie."
I switch off the phone.
It will stay off for the next two days.

Friday, July 13, 2007


wellesley gardens
growing old while i watch them
here i first stretched to touch the leaf
on the branch out of reach
and sought the silver kingdoms of reason
only to find them empty
now i'll return
in the dying season
to my own country
and seek a lowlier question there
who knows the why or where
how or if
but in the grey fields
and flown mists
of desolation and despair
perhaps i'll find jesus

Monday, July 09, 2007

a night at the ballet

Evening at the chateau.
Ensconced in front of the television with the Lildebeest.
The Royal Ballet are doing their stuff on the screen.
The mighty Heelers is too weak to change the channel.
For he is recovering from a long illness.
Ah yes.
Too weak to change the channel.
That is assuming he could wrestle the controls from his aged parent in the first place.
"You're torturing me Lil," he murmurs as some rather fetching young ones done up as swans dance daintily across an improbable frozen pond.
The Mammy does not look up from her contemplation of the dancers.
"You know what this needs?" sez I. "This needs Michael Flatley to get in among the chorus line. He'd be clutching at buttocks, making love to swans, paying the one he fancies but who rejected him more than what he's paying all the others. I'm telling you he'd electrify them. There'd be none of this coy bum wiggling. If ould Flatley got among those swans they'd really be dancing."
The Mammy maintained her concentration.
"You're getting better," she said mildly. "And I don't mean your jokes."

Sunday, July 08, 2007

now here's larks

To the airport with Emma Bunton.
(The other one.)
At Departure Gate 666 she handed me a package.
It had been wrapped in the style known to social scientists as Faux Jane Austen.
I eyed it suspiciously.
"What's this Hodders?" quoth I.
"I got you a present," sez she.
My handsome preraphaelite features creased into a rugged McGyverish frown.
"As long as its not a coffee mug from that horrendous Bewleys Cafe."
"It's not."
"Or a candle with Padre Pio's big face looking out at me."
"It's not."
"Or a photocopy of one of your paintings of the Blessed Virgin Mary where the BVM looks suspiciously like you."
"Don't worry. It's none of those things."
Around us the airport hummed.
Au Pres De Ma Blonde, I think it was.
I ripped off the wrapping.
A book. Hardback. Photo on the cover of a rugged Irish coastline.
I glanced at the title.
Voices And Poetry Of Ireland, A Hundred Poems.
"Hoddlebun," I cried. "This... actually... doesn't look too bad."
I was struggling to find the words.
"I can't believe it," I said frankly. "After all these years. You've finally bought me a good present."
She kissed me and disappeared through the departure gate.
I went to an airport cafe and sat down with a latte.
The book beckoned.
My eyes beheld the full title.
Voices And Poetry Of Ireland, A Hundred Poems (Selected By A Hundred Of Ireland's Best Loved Personalities).
Ah yes.
Always read what's in the brackets folks.
The devil is in the detail.
I opened the book and looked at the list of poem pickers.
Ireland's great and good.
Ardal O'Hanlon, Joe Duffy, Dave Fanning (a friend of Gavin Friday's), Gavin Friday (a friend of Bono's), Bono...
Dreadful, dreadful people.
I read on with slow widening eyes.
Eamon McCann (who used to write such nice newspaper articles about Colonel Gadaffi, I mean really nice), Sinead O'Connor, Bob Geldoff.
It was a most amazing list of best loved personalities.
Every one of them vaguely opprobrious.
I mean, I don't want to go casting no aspersions.
I checked their choice of poems.
A thin smile creased my you know whats.
Sure enough Ireland's great and good hadn't settled for poems from the established canon.
Their selections had taken a more avant garde turn.
I suspected many of them had chosen poems by friends and family.
Only Senator Edward Kennedy, the actor Milo O'Shea and broadcaster Terry Wogan, had chosen poems I recognised. The senator, the actor and the broadcaster also had the virtue of being, if not quite likeable or completely Irish, nonetheless and indupitably the three least unlikeable people in the book.
I laid my new gift down on the table.
"Hodders you devil woman," I murmured. "You got me again.