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, August 01, 2008

A BIT IRISH at Galway race week (by Medbh Gillard)

"Corruption in the racing industry? Don't look at me, Guv!"

Thursday, July 31, 2008


creatures of the wing
crowd the haloed glass
chained by lightning
to darkness
i kill the light
they fly away free
to chase new dreams
to embrace new slavery

A BIT IRISH (by Medbh Gillard live from the Galway races)

"Come on you twits, it's our only hope!"

an open letter to the associated press

Dear Sirs.
On February 23rd, 1945, an Associated Press photographer called Joe Rosenthal took a picture of American marines erecting the US flag atop Mount Surabachi on the island of Iwo Jima.
The marines had lost 6000 men to take the island.
The photo shows something of the toughness, valour and sheer bloody minded indomitability of those who bequeathed to us the legacy of our freedoms.
Joe Rosenthal dispatched it to the Associated Press who in turn sent it around the world.
The photo became the model for the military memorial at Arlington cemetary in Virginia.
Joe Rosenthal died in 2006 at the age of ninety.
He was a journalist and photographer and more again.
He was that rarity working in the photographic medium, an artist.
Now let us look at some of the photographers working for the Associated Press today.
In Iraq the Americans have just released an Associated Press photographer Mr Bilal Hussein after two years in custody.
He was never charged with anything.
Occasionally liberal minded folk will tell you that the fact he wasn't charged, means he wasn't guilty of anything.
The Americans detained the Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein because Bilal Hussein had an uncanny capacity to show up for the roadside bombing murders of American troops before those roadside bombing murders of American troops took place.
In other words the Americans believed your photographer was working for Al Qaeda.
I concur with their assessment.
A similar situation has this week come to light in Afghanistan.
An Associated Press photographer in Afghanistan Mr Rahmatullah Naikazad photographed the execution of two women for the Taliban.
That is to say, the Associated Press photographer Rahmatullah Naikazad accompanied the Taliban to the Taliban's secret hideout, and watched without offering any resistance while the Taliban humiliated, violated and murdered the two women.
In fact as the murders were taking place, the Associated Press photographer Rahmatullah Naikazad moved freely around the murder scene clicking away with his camera to get the best possible pictures of the women as they were being humiliated, violated, and murdered.
He was careful not to photograph the faces of the murderers though.
Clearly anyone who could behave as the Associated Press photographer Mr Rahmatullah Naikazad behaved in this instance, must be considered an agent of the Taliban.
The girls died alone and unaided with one of your photographers present.
I want to ask you this Associated Press.
Have you no shame?
Let me be frank.
Bilal Hussein and Rahmatullah Naikazad are Associated Press photographers of the year 2008.
Just think.
Sixty years ago you were employing men of the calibre of Joe Rosenthal.
Today you employ Jihadi's.
In 1945 the Associated Press was publishing a photograph that would come to symbolise the spirit and self sacrifice of the great generation.
Today you're publishing snuff murder pix for Al Qaeda.
How the mighty have fallen.
Shame on you.
James Healy

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

an open letter to geraldine kennedy editor of the irish times

Dear Madam.
You have recently published the results of what you claim was a survey into Irish people's attitudes to the peaceloving religion of Islam.
Your survey purported to show that Irish people by a clear majority were in favour of permitting Muslim women to wear the Jilbab in schools, colleges and workplaces in the Republic of Ireland.
You presented the information as though the sole circumstance under which Muslim women wear the Jilbab is through choice.
Those who answered your alleged survey were not asked if they favoured allowing male Muslims to force female Muslims to wear the Jilbab in schools, colleges and places of work in the Republic of Ireland.
I wish to suggest that the way you phrased the question ensured you got the result you wanted.
Miss Kennedy I put it to you, that Muslim women face daily intimidation at the hands of their fathers, brothers and menfolk generally, and that this intimidation is the main reason why any of them ever under any circumstances, choose to wear a Jilbab.
It's not really a choice is it?
In addition...
I read your survey but could find no details of precisely how many people you had surveyed.
I mean, did you just run down to the Irish Times canteen and ask twenty groovy Dublin Four skangers slumped over their coffees: "You know like hey man shouldn't we all just like chill out and let Muslims wear whatever they want?"
The takers of such surveys often get the result they are looking for, don't they?
The observer affects the thing observed.
Nonetheless there are ways of honestly seeking the truth.
For instance, had you pointed out to your survey respondents (presuming it was a genuine survey and there were genuine respondents) had you pointed out that Muslim women rarely if ever choose to wear the Jilbab, and that traditional Muslim costumes are imposed on Muslim women rather than chosen by them, had you pointed this out noble Irish Times editor, ie if you had asked: "In view of the fact that Muslim males wish to impose Jilbab attire on Muslim females as part of a fundamentalist project, are you in favour of allowing such clothing to be worn at schools, colleges etc etc," if you had asked your question like this, oh most worthy Irish Times editor, might not the results of your survey (if survey it was), might they not have been, how shall we put it, significantly different to the paella you tried to pass off as statistically quantified truth in your recently published account?
Strange to relate, the Muslims of Turkey are desperately trying to prevent their own Islamist government from introducing legal permission to wear the Jilbab at schools and so on.
The Turks are against it and we're in favour of it, Irish Times editor?
Do you reall think so?
Here is the news.
The Muslims of Turkey recognise that legal permission to wear the Jilbab amounts to legal sanction for funadamentalist Muslim males to force women to wear the Jilbab.
Perhaps you might have gotten a different result in your "survey" if you'd bothered to point out some of the cultural background to the Jilbab issue, in your no doubt extensively groovy preamble to the question.
Geraldine Kennedy consider this.
Consider the possibility that you may have a duty to the hundreds of millions of Muslim women who live under circumstances of oppression at the hands of their menfolk, and for whose oppression the Jilbab provides a visible cultural marker.
Consider indeed, the possibility that you have a duty to the thousands of Muslim women murdered every year by their menfolk for NOT wearing the Jilbab, or for the even more heinous crime of DARING to have a boyfriend, or for the most dreadful crime of all in allowing their father or brother or cousin Ahmed to THINK they had a boyfriend.
You might consider accepting a certain duty in highlighting these matters.
Or even mentioning them occasionally.
You might.
But I gotta tell you, I'm not optimistic that you will.
Another point, if you don't mind.
It has been interesting for me in recent months to see citizens from Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, the Statelet of Bosnia, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, logging on to my website.
Perhaps they are big Paddy Pup fans.
(Big shout out to all my friends at the euphemistically titled National Engineering Services building in the Saudi capital Ar Riyadh, and to my homies in the Iranian university city of Isfahan. Yippykayah motherf----rs.)
Several of them have done searches of my website using your name as a key word.
Why do you think this is?
Why would members of Jihadi groups be searching my website for information about you?
Is it because the Irish Times has segued seamlessly over the past twenty years from an anti American pro Soviet rag to an anti American pro Arabist rag?
I'm just wondering.
Let me this way put it Miz Kennedy.
You've got fans in low places.
Finally to more local matters.
My sources have suggested that your newspaper is involved in a broad alliance with legal professionals in the Republic of Ireland to bring about the introduction of abortion to our country.
Is there any truth in this suggestion?
If so I would ask you to desist immediately from such societal manipulations and to ensure that your employees do the same.
Betraying Ireland to the Jihadi's is one thing.
Betraying Ireland to Satan is quite another.
Thank you for your time.
James Healy

flights of fancy

Morning at the old chateau.
The Mammy and her son James are sitting in the kitchen.
A little bird flies in the window.
The little bird has bluish yellowy feathers.
Very cute.
She flies up and down seeking a way out.
"Is that a tit?" wonders the Mammy.
The noble Heelers watches the little creature speculatively for a moment.
"I don't think so," he says at last. "It looks like quite a nice bird to me."
The bird is doing the rounds of the room, now on a shelf, now in flight, now orbiting the sheepdog, now perched on a chair.
Neither the Mammy nor her son are inclined to leave their breakfasts to provide assistance.
Enter the Dad stage left.
The little bird takes off, veers towards him and then away, catches the draft, and whirs out the open window to the garden and freedom.
"Was that a tit?" the Mammy asks the Dad.
The Dad ponders.
"It might have been," sez he thoughtfully. "It's hard to be sure. There are several different types of tits. Blue tits, grey tits, long tailed tits, and of course great tits."
"Hmmm," ventures Heelers from behind his cornflakes bowl, "I have a Russian friend who's got those."
Two pairs of mildly censorious parental eyes zero in on him.
You know it's true.
A prophet is never welcome in his own chateau.
At this moment my mobile phone beeps.
It really does.
And lo!
It's a phone text all the way from little old Moscow.
The text reads:
I liked your articles about Russia.
You really are such a drama queen.
Ah yes.
You know what folks.
It looks like she's finally figured out how to stop me publishing our personal correspondance.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

the finest end of reason is to win spondoolicks

The most cheering sound in the universe has to be my mother's voice in triumphal tones commanding some poor misbegotten telephone scammer to go fornicate with himself.
So began my morning.
Someone had phoned the house to proclaim: "Congratulations Mrs Healy, you've won a cruise."
The Mammy had replied: "F--k off!"
And slammed down the phone.
I struggled out of bed knowing that this would be a good day.
Quick jaunt to the airport to bid farewell to the Rose of the Orient.
We had lunch and she shared all the scandal from the Hopkins poetry festival.
"Why didn't you come to the festival?" she wondered at one point.
"They wouldn't pay me enough," I told her.
"How much did they offer?" sez she.
"Fifty quid," sez I.
"And how much did you want?" sez she.
"Five hundred quid," sez I.
The Rose of the Orient experienced a sudden difficulty maintaining her normally inscrutable expression.
This was strange because I had made no attempt to scrute her.
Perhaps she was struggling with feelings of outrage that anyone would dare to quibble with the mighty Heelers about something so paltry as money.
It was the oddest thing though.
As she headed through the boarding gate, the perfect picture of academic gentility and refinement, I could have sworn I heard her guffaw.
From the airport I drove into Dublin for coffee with film producer Giovanna Rampazzo.
We met in the cafe above Easons on O'Connell Street.
The cafe with armchairs.
I was relaxing in ye olde armchair plush when Giovanna dropped the bombshell.
"I hope Barack wins the American election," quoth she.
It was like a knife in my back.
The noble Heelers recoiled.
(Slumped forward surely? - Ed note.)
"You can't be serious," I groaned.
Giovanna raised an eyebrow.
"Why not?" quoth she. "Everyone likes him."
I nodded bitterly.
"You mean every European pseudo intellectual conformist media scuzzbag likes him," sez I.
"Hey!" said Giovanna.
"You're right," I went on. "They do. In fact the only American politician the Europeans ever liked more was Jimmy bloody useless Carter."
My friend remained insistent in her approval of Obama.
I was equally insistent she should repudiate him.
"You can't like him," I told her reasonably, "I forbid it."
She wasn't buying that for a second.
I tried a new tack.
"I've put a bet on John McCain to win the Presidency," I informed her. "If you support Obama, you'll be hoping I lose."
She looked concerned.
Giovanna is aware that at one stage I had a minor gambling problem.
"Oh don't worry," I said. "You needn't think I'm going off the rails. It's only a small bet."
"How much?" breathed Giovanna.
"Two thousand spoondools," breathed me.
Well bold readers.
Now she knows.
And now you know.
I've declared my interest.
From this point on, you must view my warm hearted insightful analysis of world events as being something less than objective.
Come onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn McCain.
Go snake eyes.
Old gambling addiction habits die hard.
Back at the Chateau de Healy, the nephews and nieces were waiting for me on the lawn.
We kicked football in the light of the setting sun.
Our game lasted until Paddy Pup burst the ball.
Then we sat on the grass and they demanded I tell stories about dinosaurs.
The clamour of the world, the war on terror, the momentous events of nationhood and political destiny now unfolding in America, all seemed far far away.
The ghost of Thomas Hardy came wandering past us through the dusk.
He cast a glance at the children sitting in a ring with the light of evening playing on their enchanted faces.
"This will go onward the same," he said, "though dynasties pass."

Sunday, July 27, 2008

sonia et lumiere

i saw worlds in her eyes
how common and absurd this is
an ordinary surprise
shaking through centuries
down narrow city streets
drifting over marshes
soft like a thief
or wind through the rushes
new for every heart that it touches