Last nigh I had just killed some mean auld bollix of a husband who had the misfortune of been married to woman i was having an affair with and i’d buried him in a shallow grave up the mountains and on the way back i picked up some queer one from the quays and sure after I had my way with her and didnt i dump her in the river. Then I was relaxzing after washing out the blood at home and sitting down with a glass of whiskey and that mad whore from number nine decides to blow feck out of the whole estate by committing suicide by lighting a match while the gas from the oven had filled his kitchen. Just then I realised its time for the bed because I couldnt see the keyboard with the tiredness when all of a sudden a book catches my eye, a book I cant remember buying. It started whispering to me “Franky stop typing I want to tell you a story”. So I look at it and I wonder how come I’m still hearing voices in my head when the doctor said he had me all cured up. So I took a holde of the book and I put on the glasses and I take a big slug of water and I listen to Patrick McCabe start to tell me about a young lad from Ireland who becomes a teacher. The sky get dark and the stars climb higher and I can hear myself saying “Paddy that’s a fine story boy , i think i’ll be reading the rest of it and any other auld stories you may have to offer, I still remember the Butcher boy and the Dead school looks to be a monster of a read too Bucko” I dont know if they will find our man up the mountain or your one in the river and his wife has given up on me but sure a few keystrokes and all that can change
That’s all he had to do to keep them away from him. Just rub a bit of cow manure on himself and the smell kept them at bay. It was a shame to do it to the Sunday best and often the mother would give out shocking to him. But at least it kept them at a distance and even if they ventured close enough to use fists on him well then the smell would stop it quickly.
He would cry years later in a field in West Virginia when that pungent smell hit his nose from where he had stepped in a big pile of manure from an American Cow. It brought back the sense of those hardy lads, the bullies who made themselves out to be big men when all they were really was cowards and bollixes of the highest order.
‘Come here paddy” their words used to freeze his mind and body as they called him from the broken wall where they sat, laughing and gouling about everuone that had the misfortune to pass them by. A good kisk up the arse is what them corner boys need is what my mother used to say. I had a gun and bullets in my mind.
Extract from a novel I may write some day . Wrote on phone so excuse spelling etc. is mise le meas mo chairde
The lost path of bible bearing bitches
enforced the dogma of a merciless church
They displayed their gospels with evil reverence
in black habits hiding blackened souls
The stones they held burnt holes
in the wicked crevices of hands
that held whips in the right and
the wood of a cross in the left
wielding one with vicious hatred
wilting the other with heartless prayers
While the walls of the sewerage tank
Echoes to the cries of 796 babies
They kneeled before the brides of god
sentinels lining the path to Dante’s Inferno
the deity’s maids the hand of the demon
Tears lined the callous halls of
pure white, hiding the blood dripping
from every brick and window.
Evil hidden in rosary beads and Amens
While the spirits of the lost walk
in the dark shadow of the malignant footsteps
Of their sanctimonious gait
While the walls of the sewerage tank
Echoes to the cries of 796 screams
Our only crime was been born without
their poisoned blessing. We stand innocent
hearts and souls devoid of their wicked
ways. They snatched us from the cradles
where we belong. Our tiny hand prints
pressed for eternity into the shame of
a nation’s crime. The pitter patter of
nature’s beloved line a trail of
pink and blue footprints that flow
red with the blood of holy justice
While the walls of the sewerage tank
Echoes to the tears of 796 angels..
Still a church is cleansed of the crime.
Eyes shut to the evil inside.
Still they hold the cross as their
Rosaries on bended knees they pray.
No confessions made to the law of god nor man.
The states rulers lie guilty once more
The fear of god above the justice
Of the innocent cries of our children
Raped of their future by evil hands
While the walls of the sewerage tanks
Echoes to the cries of 796 souls
© Frank McGivney 06 June 2014
Paddy went down to London Town to see what he could see. But all that paddy could see was grey and shadows and dreams of more and people with less. So paddy got on a train and he ended up in Scotland. On a craggy mountain top he stood looking to the horizon to see what he could see and all that he could see was grey and goats . But the grey had a depth and among it was sprinkling of green and in the green were yellows and reds and white. The goats were chewing and they looked at him with wizened eyes and the wind whispered with its cold embrace into his soul.
When he arrived back in the land of saints and scholars where idiots ruled and money was a god he turned to his wife and he replied to her question of what he had seen.
” I seen fields of green and red roses.Grey building and hungry souls too. But what I didn’t see was all I desired”
” and what do you desire ” she asked
“You” was all he needed to say as the smell from the turf rose to smoke the walls of the house where their children had been born and raised and life was lived in the pursuit of love and laughter and the wealth of family joy
There you would be of a day and you listening to someone talking pure shite about something and the words inside you are bursting to get out but you’re controlling your mouth, thinking for once just let it pass don’t say anything , it doesn’t matter at the end of the day. Then all of a sudden you are in the middle of going on like a raving lunatic again about something political and your shagged if you can remember starting to talk and you are hoping that you will shut up fairly soon because you are getting the crazy looks of people again.
but the good thing is the pressure is released inside of your skull and the headache is gone and finally you quieten down and then an air of silence descends upon you and you wonder for a minute was I just talking a minute ago and you know by the shocked looks that you probably were. But sure what can you do that’s just the way the leaves fall from your branches
A Child’s hunger for hope
“Can you keep going for another while Liam?”
He raises his head and it slumps back, to stare once more at the dirt of the road. She takes this as a yes and keeps going. Words use too much of the small amount of life left inside of them. Her hair hangs limply reaching for the ground. Her head is too heavy for her to hold up.
The twilight is fading to night, another day further from their home, another day closer to no where, for there is no where to go. There is no rainbow to slide down to find a slice of bread, not to mind a pot of gold. Yet still they continue on, like all the rest, shuffling from one place of hunger to another. The eternal hope of their hearts being bleed dry by the road as it stretches out ahead of them. Each mile takes its toll from their gaunt bodies and minds. The heartbreak, of leaving their mother in her bed to lie alone for ever, grows in their hearts, threatening to spread out and consume them. The priest hadn’t opened the door when they knocked.
“I have the sickness children” he had called out from behind the wooden door.
“But our mammy is dead Father, what are we to do?”
His sobs took another bite out of their hope as they listened to him crying behind the door.
“There are no men to dig a grave children”
She had caught him by the hand and taken him back to the bedroom where she brushed her mothers beautiful red hair and washed her face and then as the corpse lay in the bed with her hands joined together in an eternal prayer for salvation they set off on their journey.
The water of the stream cooled their weary feet. They starred up at the moon afraid to move.
“I think mammy is up there with daddy side by side just like us, watching and waiting for us Lizzie”
He moved his eyes and he saw that his sister was sleeping. Her pale skin translucent in the moon light. He wondered had she gone to heaven, as sleep took him away from the pain of his empty stomach for a time.
“Liam wake up, look what I found”
In her hands were berries. She put one in his mouth. An explosion of taste hit him and he stood up and fought to keep inside that which was so hard to find, his stomach rebelling against the foreign feeling of something been fed to it.
Their hands were purple after they had eaten as much of them as they could find.
“My face feels funny Lizzie”
“Its just you are smiling Liam, it always feels funny when you do something you haven’t done in a long time.”
The water from the stream tasted better than last night and they felt for a moment that perhaps they could fight on against this famine, as they put one foot in front of another along the gravel road once more.
They only saw the cottage when it was beside them, their heads cast too low to notice anything but the distance they were going. She saw the look of hope in his face.
“Its too dangerous Liam, they might have the sickness”
She stood watching him, too weak to stop him, as his tiny hands knocked on the door.
A child’s voice cried out
“We have the plague, move along”
But the door creaked open in response to Liam’s sobs.
A boy stood looking at them, his hunger as evident as theirs. His eyes sunken into his head were glazed over as he joined them as he also leaves behind his lost family, just as thousands of other orphans that year. All three joined in one hope all heading for nowhere with everyone else on the roads of a country of forgotten people..
© Frank McGivney 20 January, 2014