The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Monday, November 17, 2014


in the pool of evening
quick silver
ripples widening
cold water thing
risen to exult
in some unthinking imagining
ordinary is wonder enough
what do fishes dream

the local yokel

Winter in Kilcullen. When a young yokel's heart turns to love. I am strolling down Main Street bidding a hearty oooh arrh to everyone I meet who isn't a member of a Dublin criminal gang. 
So far I haven't said hello to anyone, Oooh arrhh. But love! Love is in the air. The sun is bouncing on the cobbles. Quickly I close my fly. That's better. Ooh arrh ooh arrh. Crossing the road I come upon that splendid vista of ornate ironwork we call the Kilcullen bollards. The bollards cluster magnificently on the bridge above the river, like nothing so much as a gathering of drunken youths waiting for their next drug deal. Law enforcement authorities seem to have a lot of trouble telling the difference and often waste vital police time interrogating bollards who have never broken the law in their life and still have to wear a silly Kildare County Council mandated reflective strip to prove their bona fides. Oooh arrh. It's not fair. These bollards, unlike the youths, are reformed bollards. A few years ago Kildare County Council took them in hand and forced them to wear ye aforementioned bright luminous warning tape around their upper bodies. Since then the Kilcullen bollards haven't attacked anyone. Kildare County Council swooped because of real concerns of a repetition of the horrific 1903 bollard massacre in Termonfeckin when wild bollards turned on passers by and bit them savagely on the oooh arrhs in a completely unprovoked attack. Ooh Arrh. Back to the present. I walk onto the bridge over the Liffey. And lo! A glint of bronze catches my eye from the pavement. I lean over and peer closely. What are those things clustered among the bollards? Why they appear to be bent coppers. A group of bent coppers. Possibly some innocent non drug dealing children were playing catchpenny here and bent the coppers against the bollards. I study my find. There's a 2p, and then a 1p and last but by no means least, a half p. They look like the coins introduced around 1970 during the decimalisation period when the Department of Finance of the Republic Of Ireland was briefly run by bollards. I scoop the bent coppers into my hand and fling them into the river. With the recent "resignation" of the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and the nearly as recent "resignation" of Garda Chief Martin Callanan, there is no place for bent coppers on the streets of Kilcullen. Or anywhere else for that matter. Ooh arrh ooh arhhhh oi be roight shure o dat. Having cleared the street of detritus, I return to my contemplation of bollards. Of course there are still towns in Ireland where bollards are allowed to wear what they like. Naas for instance. Bollards in Naas regularly don shorts and a bow tie when they want to assault the citizenry. But Naas bollards are a law unto themselves. Thus far Kildare County Council has thought it best to leave them unmolested. No executive order has been issued ordering Naas bollards to wear reflective strips. The same goes for Newbridge where leering unmarked bollards are an ever present threat to sanity and goodwill. Such Newbridge bollards as wear anything tend to favour denim jackets. Ooh arrh. This is why the good citizens of Naas and Newbridge live in constant fear from prowling bollards with no dress sense. You can be walking through Naas and suddenly a shabbily dressed bollard will leap out at you and demand your wallet. It's scary I tells ya. Oooh arhh. Ooh arrhhh. And did I mention oooh arrrhhhh. Thankfully Kildare County Council's conscientious efforts in Kilcullen mean we haven't had a bollard attack in yonks. Break in's, murders, suicides, tons of those. But bollard attacks, none. The good burghers of Kildare County Council have seen to that. Remember them at election time. Vote Burgher And Chips one, two three. Ooooohh arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhh.