The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

alarums without

Alarums Threepail was a monk in the golden vale of Ireland.
He lived in a bee hive hut made of stone with one room and curved walls.
His home was very snug and prayerful in Summer but somewhat dark and scary in winter.
One day he was walking in the garden and he met God.
"Lord!" he called.
God had just created some antelope and was looking rather pleased with himself.
"Good morning Alarums," he smiled straightening up.
The monk hurried over to him.
"Can you banish fear for me?" enquired Alarums. "The devil always holds me hostage to it. It is my cardinal sin. All the other evils come to me through fear."
"Oh the devil," said God. "Be not afraid of him."
"That's all very well for you to say," said Alarums. "You're all powerful. You don't have to be afraid."
God digested this for a moment.
"Sometimes I'm afraid of the devil too," he mused philosophically.
"How could you be afraid of anything?" challenged Alarums.
"Well he's always talking about the new play he's working on," explained God a bit on the defensive. "Let's face it. The man's a crushing bore."
"Lord I am begging you to take away his power to rule me through fear?" demanded Alarums.
"Alright Alarums, I will," said God looking into the middle distance. "Oh. There's a ship becalmed off the Isthmus of Panama on the far side of the world. I'll just send them a gentle sea breeze to bring them home. They'll have some stories to tell their families tonight. There we go. And look. The mystic stillness of Arabia at midnight. I'll just let my spirit become clearly present there to those nomads around the camp fire. Not too shabby. And there's a guy dying alone in in alleyway in the great city of Chicago. We'll just give him an intimation of immortality so he knows where he's going. And then we'll give him a glimpse of how his suffering has helped thousands of people he never even met. Hey now. How d'ya like them apples..."
The monk left God engaged in his work and happily betook himself back to the little bee hive hut.
Once inside the door he sat in his cosy writing chair and opened a Bible.
A shadow fell across him.
Alarums looked up.
"Hello Alarums," said the devil. "I've come to tell you about my new play."
The devil isn't much to look at but in a confined space he can give you quite a start.
The monk was thoroughly appalled at the sight of him.
There was an awkward pause with the devil breathing heavily and looming nearer before Alarums once more  found the power of speech and motion.
"Back foul fiend of hell," he thundered scrambling from the chair and retreating into what passes for a corner in a bee hive hut.
"It's a social drama cum comedy about ordinary fisher folk on the island of Aran," explained the devil advancing.
"Begone vile demon of night," roared Alarums.
"In the first act I explore the relationships between a coarse urchin girl and a crippled boy with asthma," continued the devil now very close.
"May God rebuke you," said Alarums quietly.
The devil exploded backwards into sparks .
He was gone before he hit the door.
Alarums wiped his brow and hurried back to the garden.
God was creating a field of hyacinths.
"Nifty eh?" he said as Alarums ran up. "How d'ya like them apples? I mean hyacinths."
Alarums wasn't in the mood.
His words came in a rush.
"Why did you let the devil attack me in my cell?" he demanded hotly, "you said you'd never let him terrorise me again. Why didn't you warn me he was waiting for me?"
"What's his new play about?" asked God without looking up.
"Something about ordinary folk on Aran," said Alarums, "a sort of social comedy."
"Ugh," said God, "I'm not going to that. I'd sooner watch Alan Ayckbourne's latest and that's saying something."
"But why did you let him attack me?" persisted Alarums.
"Are you afraid now?" asked God.
"I don't think I'll ever be afraid of anything again," said Alarums. "I got such a fright, nothing could scare me now."
"Ah," said God grinning.
He turned towards the horizon and with an almost absent minded wave of his hand called forth a sunset glistening, opalescent and magisterial that filled the heart of creation with glory, love and peace, and shone outwards from Ireland through all the earth, all eternity and all souls.
Behind him Alarums hadn't really noticed the work of God's hands but was smiling for the first time in a long time.
"Thank you Lord," he breathed, and for God his prayer was as beautiful as the sunset.