The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Friday, April 11, 2008

london six

Coffee with Serafina in a discrete little Starbucks on The Strand.
(Discreet surely? - Ed note.)
(No. Discrete. It's quite distinct from the others. - Heelers note.)
London drifting by the window.
Serafina said: "James, I'm living a double life."
I said: "Wotchu talkin' about Serafina?"
She looked at me seriously.
My eyes widened as I realised that seriously meant seriously.
She wrote something on a piece of paper and handed it to me.
She said: "This is my website. Check it out and you'll understand."
The mighty Heelers appeared momentarily nonplussed.
Serafina stood up to go.
Her parting line: "I want you to be brave. Remember the real me is the me I have already shown you."
Then she was gone.
Well bold readers it can only be one of three things.
Porno, drugs or witchcraft.
Curiouser and curiouser.
Oh my gentle travellers of the internet. You know I've grown up a bit in the last three months.
The gout and all.
It's matured me.
Mentally and spiritually.
As one who pretends to be a Christian, I really shouldn't be interested in the lowgrade titillation of my faculties. Such titillation as my febrile spirit now sensed might be going a begging on the aforementioned website.
My only real concern should be for the well being of Serafina.
By rights I shouldn't even check the website at all.
Yes, that's it.
Never even look at it.
A seeker of truth does not need phantom realities.
Tell her if she wants to talk to me about anything, then that's fine.
Tell her not to be afraid.
Tell her there's nothing she can tell me that will change my opinion of her.
With the calm detachment of an immortal I sat back in the window seat and watched the swirl of cars and buses past the cafe.
A faint smile played about my handsome features.
The smile of a liberated soul.
Titillation indeed.
Others abide such questions.
I am free.
I lasted about thirty seconds.
Hurried from the cafe.
Back to the hotel.
Mad rush.
Internet connection in my bedroom.
Logged on.
Furtive glance over my shoulder.
Clicked through.
Heavens to Murgatroyd, as the Funky Phantom always used to say when contemplating salacious material of a gratuitously sexual nature on the internet.
I stared.
My jaw dropped.
Black and red slashing script across the screen.
Porno alright.
Of course I couldn't read a thing.
It was in Portuguese.
I'm telling you bold readers.
What boots it if a man gains a momentary anticipatory thrill but loses his immortal soul reading sexual fantasies that he can't even bloody well understand?
I mean really.
What boots it?
What boots it indeed?
(Booties it, surely. - Marquis de Sade note.)
I returned somewhat sombrely to the streets of London.
Strolled up The Strand through the merry indifferent crowds of Thursday.
(A wiser weaker man. - Johnny Cash note.)
Presently I addressed the Deity.
"Er God. Are you there God? James here. Sorry about the whole mad rush to the hotel thing. Letting the side down I know. But remember that spiritual strength and detachment business in the cafe... The thirty seconds worth... I think I'd like to have that for real."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

london five

Today they said...

Lord Sebastian Coe: (Speaking of Chinese secret service agents disguised as sportsmen in blue tracksuits accompanying the Olympic torch.) "They pushed me around as the torch was making its way through London. Other countries should get rid of those guys. They tried to punch me out of the way three times. They are horrible. They did not speak English. I think they were thugs."

James Healy: "Well duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. You should see what they're doing to the people of Tibet."

Paula Radcliffe: (Marathon runner) "You must not mix the Olympics with politics."

James Healy: "The problem with steroids is that they just build musculature. Clearly they don't help sportsmen develop a sense of moral responsibility towards their fellow human beings."

Connie Huq: (Television presenter who carried the torch.) "I saw Chinese men in blue tracksuits in skirmishes with the police. They were very robotic, full on. They were barking orders."

James Healy: "Ah. Did little Connums get upset? The next time some representative of the world's most oppressive dictatorship asks you to help him look good before the eyes of the world, maybe you'd consider telling him to stick his Olympic torch where the sun don't shine. No, not in Tibet. In the other place where the sun don't shine."

Anonymous sportsperson: "Carrying the torch was a once in a life time opportunity for any athlete."

James Healy: "Carrying the torch was a once in a life time opportunity for any athlete to say to the communist Chinese government: I won't carry your torch, until you withdraw your army of occupation from Tibet and cease murdering peaceful Tibetan people in the interests of your abysmal useless cultureless clapped out Maoist empire."

(Heelers is not with us. - Dalai Llama note.)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

london days chapter the fourth

majesty as usual

river greys swirl into buildings
commerce pleasure and indifference
spill from coffee houses
mellow laughter splashes nightfall
accent culture people one
speech marble cenotaph
england my senses

snatch peace you who are alone
there is too much blood on us
war soon

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

london days three

London my London.
Up at 7am for the legendary Strand Palace hotel breakfast.
Legendary because they let you eat as much as you like.
And 7am because I like to beat the rush.
The dining room was fairly bustling anyway.
I munched merrily on rashers, mushrooms, gugs (Heelers means eggs. - Ed note.) and anything else that was going.
Then back to bed to digest it.
By late morning I was ready to put my nose out the front door.
Wandered up the famous London street known as The Strand.
Apparently it was named after my hotel.
The ghost of Samuel Johnson appeared at my shoulder.
"He who is tired of London is tired of life," he murmured.
"He who can afford London has a stack of cash," I replied.
Our little ritual.
About a hundred yards from the hotel I found a cafe and wandered in.
Two hours drifted by.
I emerged from the cafe.
Another hundred yards.
Found a Starbucks.
Wandered in.
Another two hours browsing over newspapers.
Papers full of news about the progress of the Olympic torch towards Beijing.
There are protests against the flame by Tibetan protestors and those of us who support a free Tibet, every step of the way.
I can't quite get used to the sight of police officers from free nations beating up on these protestors.
I mean Tibetan Buddhists aren't exactly a violent bunch are they?
Leaving the cafe I process onward through the day.
A watery sun is gilding the marble at Trafalgar Square.
My homeless girl is waiting in the Charing Cross library.
She has her lovely brown hair loose and flowing.
And her smile.
Ah life you bauble.
Come to me.
At Leicester Square there are cordons and crowd control barriers. A musical group called the Rolling Stones are making a nuisance of themselves at some film launch.
The dreadful Martin Scorsese is involved.
I steer clear.
By nightfall I have found my way to Waterstones big book shop.
There is a Costa cafe in the basement.
The boss girl is giving a hard time to the South Korean waitress.
I try to stare down the boss girl.
I'm not that good at it.
Humbly enough I order a caffe latte and ensconce myself in a corner.
My notebook is open.
Now for the finest poem of a generation.

Monday, April 07, 2008

london days part deux

Still London.
Sitting in the library at Charing Cross.
The homeless girl in the corner has just shot me a smile.
She's the most beautiful girl in the place.
A veritable ingenue.
If you were casting a play or a film she'd be the one.
The hardship of her lifestyle is plain to see.
Her clothes fairly ragged.
Her house lying beside her.
That is to say everything she owns in the world is stowed in a carrier bag at her feet.
But nothing diminishes her inner light.
Her eyes are pure soul.
I will never know her story.
I wander outside.
Back at the hotel news comes through that the Irish government has fallen.
The Taoiseach (our prime minister) has resigned.
Bloody hell.
I can't take a few days in England without the wheels coming off the wagon in the green Republic.
Really though.
Those people can't manage without me for five minutes.
Anyway Mr Bertie Aherne has resigned and there's nothing more to be done about it.
For the record I didn't support the ongoing enquiry into his personal finances which has led to this resignation.
You don't throw away your Churchill in the middle of World War Two.
What I mean is that for the first time in 800 years, Ireland has a semblance of peace and much of it is down to Mr Aherne.
He created and sustained a personal relationship of mutual respect with the Reverend Ian Paisley leader of the Democratic Unionist Party. He enjoyed a similar rapport with David Trimble of the Official Unionist Party. He developed a relationship of mutual respect with the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair. He fostered and sustained dialogue with the terrorist leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.
My own opinion is that Bertram delivered the peace process. (By the grace of God.)
Nope I wouldn't have fired him.
The peace isn't so assured that we can throw away the main player just yet.
I'm on holiday.
Hopefully the Paddy Whacks won't make any more momentous decisions till I get back.
Got to try not to worry.
Surely there's a limit to the damage they can do without my supervision. Isn't there? How bad could it get?
I suppose if they declared an Irish political union with Iran and Syria, that would be fairly bad.
Otherwise I'm not going to worry.
I wonder where my homeless girl is tonight...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

london days

London welcomed me with all the indifference she reserves for her favoured sons.
I am sitting at Trafalgar Square in warm sunshine.
A magnificent tide of humanity swirls past.
Behind me is the National Art Gallery.
Big Ben and the houses of parliament can be seen straight ahead.
The news is full of stories about the splicing of human and animal embryos.
I am sitting here at the cultural heart of the free world, the temporal and spiritual realm I once dreamed of conquering with my art, and I am shaking my head gently.
If we offend God, if he withdraws his favour from us, the barbarians will win this war.