Fading minds

Fluttering away in the late evening shade
A memory gone a moment lost
A dreamer stalls the tears descent
And smiles and embraces the fading
Soul whose hand held their”s once
And forever and always in this and
What follows along golden paths
Of fear and cheer. Sorrow and joy
Take me to the strand, to autumn
Nights upon shoulders relishing
Sea breeze wisps of childhoods
Memories drifting a lifetime’s hope
Of father’s smiles and mothers embrace

Francis writing the words and thinking the thoughts and feeling the night shadows fall

Paella Recipe for men


(1) clear the wife, kids and dog out of the kitchen and lock the door

(2) put on some Spanish music or something you think sounds kind of Spanish,

(3) as you are a man you need to put on an apron, don’t matter what colour but if you have neighbours probably try to avoid the wife’s pink frilly one.

(4) get the slab of wood out from the cupboard, this is called a chopping board, good man you are doing well nothing burnt so far.

(5) turn up the music and do a bit of a dance, no one is looking and the door is locked but don’t get carried away so leave your clothes on

(6) pull out the plug from the fridge and open the door, this stops the fecking thing from beeping all the time and stops the wife knocking on the door asking what’s going on in there every five minutes.

(7) open  a few windows this is for the smell of burning and the smoke to escape

(8) get anything what looks like it came from an animal and put out on the table. so chicken , beef,, chorizo, rashers , sausages, bunny rabbit,  the remains of the cat, dog, horse  the usual stuff if you find human remains in there you may need to get out of the house quick or ask yourself some  serious questions about where you were last night

(9) now the difficult bit get out other stuff what isn’t meat such as garlic, tins of tomatoes (they are red), an onion, frozen peas (boil some water put them in a bowl and put the water and a few fist fulls of peas altogether, this defrosts them big boy). Some of this stuff wont be in the fridge it will be in cupboards, those are the things hidden behind the doors with small handles on them. take a leap of faith and open them for once

(10) after you eventually find the paprika and chicken stock cube have a bit of a sit down, listen to the music playing and have a cup of tea, no need to be getting all stressed and stuff

(11) get a knife and put the stuff you have on the table on the chopping board and go stone raving mad chopping it all up into smaller bits , this is the fun bit. go mental with yourself, no holding back.

(12) get the paella dish down from where ever the wife has hidden it away, wipe the dust of, put on a heap of oil (any oil don’t be acting the mick now by trying to be fancy) just grab something you could put in the engine of your car and pour it out (on the pan) turn on the cooker (red button on the wall, the one you always wondred what it was for) and turn the dial on the front and back rings, all four of them bad boys (this makes it easy rather than trying to figure out those bastarding tiny diagrams beside the dials)

(12) get the none meat stuff (onion, garlic, peas) and throw them on the pan) find a stick and stir them around, when they get hot and when smoke starts to fill the kitchen up open the tin or two of tomatoes (don’t be a mangy yoke use two of them) and stir them with the stick again.

(13) mix up the chicken stock, turn on the kettle (the one appliance with the microwave you are great at using) get a bowl and a spoon and mix the water and the cube (feck it put in a veg one too, lets go mad here). then all the pieces are gone, pour it over the stuff in the pan and wait and watch it bubble, stirring with the stick again.

(14) open the rice packet , this isn’t easy, rice is small and you have big thick fingers so take it slow real slow, if it pours out on the floor, don’t panic, get the dust pan and brush them up and throw in the pan (no one will know). get a few fists of rice and throw it in the pan and stir again. let it bubble, lovely bubbles. Turn the heat down.

(15) open the paprika bottle thingy and pour heaps of it over the meat, use the whole wee bottle of it, and if you are adventurous add a bit of chilli powder (try the hot stuff lad and see how you fare)

(16) heat a second pot and peg in all the meat bit be bit, let it cook  until it isn’t too pink anymore then put it on a clean plate (don’t use the plate where it was when it was raw or you will be death of yourself and whoever else is mad enough to eat this when its finally finished.

(17) give the rice a stir after about 10 mins and see if its starting to look a bit soft, then get that cooked animal flesh and throw it in there. turn the heat down low and let your creation bubble away.

(18) get the remote control, turn on the telly and set the alarm on the phone to go of in fifteen mins

(19) wake up when the alarm goes of, stir the stick again. if the fluid is absorbed into the rice then happy days. Taste the rice if its hard and the liquid level is low then add some water and go back to the tv. If there is heaps of liquid and its still hard go back to tv and pray you didn’t feck it all up (perhaps look up a take away menu just in case)

(20) eventually the rice will be soft. take it of the heat and cover with a bit of parsley, that the green stuff

(21) unlock the kitchen door. call the wife

(22) wait for her to put the knives and forks out, grab a spoon

(23) tell them all it may not look great but it will be lovely

(24) tell the kids to at least try it

(25) give up , get a spoon and eat it yourself if edible.

(26) put back in the plug of the fridge and hope she didn’t notice


(c) Francie McGivney 26.02.16

the coal man calleth

The coal man calls (for once a true story)

there you are
hows it going
I’ve given up the wood
have you now
must have been a pain in the arse going around to a heap of houses
tell me about it, head melting boss
so what you at
I have something in the back of the van
have you now
I do
i’m not buying anymore pots
that’s was the Christmas special
pat bring up the chainsaw
ah here steady on I was only messing
no its a lovely chainsaw
pat hold on there now
pat get out the chainsaw
honest to god pat leave the chainsaw where it is
you can have it cheap
look at me
you what
what would I do with a chain saw
cut stuff
I’ve nothing worth cutting
270 euro its a grand chainsaw pat turn it on there for the man
listen I wouldn’t know one end of a chainsaw from another
are you sure its great value
what about the path there
you couldn’t use a chainsaw on concrete
no cleaning
you’re alright
I’d do a lovely job
but its spotless
no its not
you cant see it when the car is parked up
i’ll throw in the chainsaw
stop it
and a set of knives
cut it out will you
how about socks and boots
I still have the boots from last year
I have lovely socks
pat grab a pack of socks
I still have the packet from two years ago
you mustn’t clean the feet to often
its was a 20 pack
are you sure
the wife thought I was setting up a sock shop when I brought them home the time
these are great ones
the last ones left the feet black with bits of stuff
ah those ones
yeah those ones
come on pat we’re going
see you later
go on see you around

girls in love 

she smiled feeling the skin of her finger caress the palm of her waiting hand. Beyond the walls a man from Belfast sang a tune about a dance. The silver from the New York moon shone through the slit in the curtains tracing a line between their prone bodies splitting the bed in two equal parts, a jigsaw waiting to be pieced together in mutual desire. Somewhere a child with over eager lungs screamed for a mammy who was too drunk to care, a cat shimmied through an alley in the display of metal rubbish bins beneath the window, where their eyes sought the unquestioned answers of a lifetime of timid downcast smiles and whispered hellos. 

Pancake Tuesday 

Pancakes of a Tuesday

I’ll have my fill tonight

With lent waiting there

To maul me of a Wednesday

40 days in a desert

I think I’ll take a drink 

Whiskey tasted pure

Of the Thursday 

By the end I was unsure

If it was the pancakes 

Or the religion 

But by Friday I was

Luring myself from the bed

Wishing the child of Prague

Would cease to stare

At john f kennedys picture

Beneath Pope pious’s

Lenten grin 

I’m giving it up for wisdom

The sugar and the wine

The Guinness and the cider

No more I’ll go a smoking

No more I’ll walk the evil path

At least not until Saturday 

When my mind recalls

The truth I forgot to remember

I don’t believe in any of it at all

Saintly Ramblings

Saintly rambles


Line up St Francis on the 25th of July

Walk up that path among the birds

And the flies,


Line up the whore from the end of the

Street, shake up her ass and all the rest

in between


Line up St Christopher with the medal of

Hope, travel down that boulevard and

Dream all alone


Wake up the ginger dog with the shaky

Mind, walk that mama’s leg from the store

For a measure of wine


Wake up my lover with the one crooked eye

Strip off her mind with the hope she took

For a ride


(c) Francie McGivney 04.02.16