Tag Archives: poets

For My Daughter

Her First Confession

 

Blessed with water, wrapped in blankets of white

Their tiny hands held our hearts tight

Filling our souls with joy

The pink of a girl or the blue of a boy

 

Wax dripping from the candle

That takes its place upon the mantle

Of homes that they light

With smiles that shine in their eyes bright

 

As school friends, they gather once more

Lined up with family in the pews pure

God’s gifts blossoming to flowers

In the town of Loyd and Round Towers

 

Bless me father for I have sins so mild

The pranks and tantrums of being a child

Holy Father cleanse our innocence

Pray hear our words of penance with your benevolence

 

I’m Sorry God, Connected

Songs sung as parents reflected

On the wonder of their flock of Belles

As fair as any page from the Book of Kells

 

The kind words of the Priest

Permission in lent for a treat

Cleansed and pure wee doves

Ready now for the white dress and gloves

 

© Frank McGivney 10 March 2014

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

The funeral (a poem)

The funeral

—-

Along the crumbling sides

slithering deep in their

disturbed home the worms

turned from her cries

A virginal tongue hung

out of the gaping mouth

where a trail of garlic

tinged, spittle dribbled

along the pale cheek

above the white collar

—-

The decrepit retiree, who had only

the week before, in a moment of

clarity concerning the inevitable,

picked out his own final home;

a mahogany coloured box

with fake silver handles and

a cross in the style of a Celtic

Warrior’s sword-handle emblem,

dragged a shot from a newly lit

Major, watching the smoke trail

in blue fog circles through a ray

of freezing sunlight and yawned

—-

The busy one who never missed

a funeral, state occasion or the

seldom invited weddings

nodded a fickle head

Containing a barren brain,

Supported on a crooked body,

Turned to his non attentive neighbour

who ignored his complaints of

annoyance at the delay the

audacity would cause to the

rest of his self important daily

schedule of gossip filled meetings

There was a brown jackass in the glen

who regularly refused to comply

and a herd of cattle in the pasture

waiting with teats in need of emptying,

united in ignoring the amorous

advances of a rampant bull jailed

behind an unfortunate white washed wall.

On the hill above the honey valley

a goat mixed with sheep consuming

anything foolish enough to succumb

to natures desire to bring

forth a vegetative head or end

out of the craggy stone-dotted soil

In a wooden shack a chicken delivered

Her morning prize unaware of a bushy

Tailed devious desire for her flesh

All of them combined in a distinct

Lack of concern for the occurrence

The boy’s body never flinched

His eternal sleep unperturbed

His soul shed not a single tear

His mother’s prone body

six foot down, five foot length

ways and loads of feet around

shook with her loss of the only

One who smiled at her for no

reason other the inherent desire

to reply to her own

The cantankerous man

who smile was never found

who grumbled at teenagers

who snuffled at gossipers

who cursed freely at priests

and shopkeepers and everyone

in-between, with equal resolve

reached out unthinking a hand

calloused but gentle to take her

from her refuge, ignoring the

Scratches, leaving the broken nails

in his cheek to be removed in time.

She melted into him until the heart beat

steadied and the mind fogged enough

to never forget but to survive

as the patient clay filled the space

She had vacated.

—-

© francie mcgivney spain summer 2015

IMG_2463

Falling

and I pray I never fall in love with you

Again

Take me baby take me away

To a time when all I need is you 

While the silver haired gigillo dies

From hip replacement surgery

And the moon shines on a bare ass

Mob of delinquent pensioners singing

The last tunes of franks wild years .

And I’ll try baby I try my best

I’ll rip my soul

Ill take the plunge

I dance the last fan tango 

But I think I fell in love again 

Alicante summer 2015 (part 1 the fiat 500)

Alicante summer 2015

Part one the car

It could have been smaller

If it had two wheels and pedals

Enthusiasm for its fuel efficiency

Gave me a similar measure

Of solace while I solved

The containment problem

How to squeeze four bags

Two adults, one lumpy boy

One smart girl, a shoulder bag

Laughter, confusion, squalling

Knees and a wife’s beautiful

Attitude into a fiat 500. I was

The miser, delegated the task

to solve the wonderful quandary

on account of been the gobshite

who inadvisably picked class z

On an economic basis

From the safety of a two hour

And thirty minute distance

Failing miserably in considering

The fitting them all in conundrum

Their eyebrows raised when

I suggested we may have to

Possibly, but not likely get out

And push the ladybird up the

Steep hills. The auburn haired one

Christened it so but I remembered

The Irish way, the father’s punto

The uncoolest ever cream one’s saviour

The high hill’s fast descent to

Stretch beyond the internal combustion

Engines defined limitations to

conquer the summit of the next.

It was all a shocking disappointment

Until the button, the special one we never

Had before, the one to transform the

Pappy Smurf’s dream automobile

vehicle into a super duper, trendy, top

Of the range wonder of a convertible.

Small expanded to the edges of the

Blue sky still capable of fitting

In the rear end of a real motor

The wife was doubtful the

Kids were delightful and I drove

In some state of hopeful

Father’s Day

Fathers

It’s a tale like the rest

They all come to know

The man is your father

The script of the poem

the words in the rhyme

he sings to your soul

the beat of the drum

you danced with his love

the smoke trails a path

from the front to the rear

you sit alone and remember

his song, his reverie

the voice of a man

the spirt of a king

the eye of your friend

The one you hold dear

The hands were all calloused

The touch it was soft

The path he lead onwards

Was the best that he could

Now he lies floating

Away from your sight

Beside with your dreams

Inside you in love

And all that you long for

is the day when it comes

when he takes your hand

softly and leads you on home

© francie mcgivney Fathers day 2015

the hospital part 3

The next half hour consisted of all manner of probing in a disturbingly gentle way by John who stuck needles into his arm, thermometers into his mouth, wrapped Velcro straps around his arm and finally probed his mind, asking him a heap of questions to confirm if Patsy was who he said he was. By the end of it he had forgotten his disappointment but wondered had he any blood left inside of his body. Even more unnerving was why anyone would want to pretend to be someone else, who was about to be half slaughtered on an operating table. Even one of the boys from the home of the deranged would have more sense surely than to have their back bone sliced and diced just for the fun of it. Yet going by the amount of times he had to give his name and date of birth there must be lunatics out there willing to take on surgery not meant for themselves.

“Is the accident and emergency room busy today John” Patsy enquired, a serious look on his face and twinkle in the one eye facing the nurse.

“I wouldn’t know Patsy, why?” John replied as he pulled back the plunger of the syringe, attached to one of three different needles sticking out of his arms and hands. A trail of rich red blood trailed into the test tube to be replaced quickly by another.

“It’s just you are after taken enough blood out of me to keep the whole of Dublin in blood for weeks” Patsy replied watching in fascination as the stream of liquid was pulled out of him.

“You’re a gas man Patsy. That’s fine strong looking blood you have there. Pure dark red, are you taking any medication or drugs or anything?” John wasn’t the type of man to indulge in humorous banter while caring for his charges.

“Not a thing” He hoped his face wouldn’t give away the slight bit of guilt, he felt over hiding the truth, but he was damned if he was telling them something which would for ever be on his medical record, to come back to bite him for the rest of his life. He had looked it up and there was no real harm in it anyway. The whole of the country were on some form of drugs and most of them used stuff which made you weak where as he took was something making you strong.

“Well you know it’s better to tell us, the anaesthetics can mix badly with some things. Especially the likes of steroids, you are a big lump of a lad.” The fun and games were gone now as John stared into Patsy’s eye looking for answers where none would be given.

Why had he tried to be a smart arse with the blood comment, now the fecking gobshite was looking at him all queer trying to delve into his soul.

“It comes from my mother side” Patsy said

“You buy drugs from your mother’s family.” John’s face betrayed his shock at hearing a bigger admission than even he had expected. Just then Gretha lost control of her footing as she leaned too far against the curtain to hear a bit better. She ended up lying across the bed with her face in Patsys groin and her legs straggling up in the air. Her head bobbed up and down as she tried to swing herself back up to standing. Patsy tried to move to help her but ended up with his hips going up and down in motion with Gretha’s as the drip in his arm restricted his movement. John jumped up and ran around to save Gretha. He had just managed to get her away from stimulating something she had never even heard of, not to mind practised up until then, when there was a terrible loud bang behind them. Bridie who had indeed not only heard of but had seen pictures of the same act, came in from the toilet to see her friend in such a compromising position and took a weakness in her knees and crumbled onto the floor. A smile crossed Patsy’s lips as the madness of the whole situation reminded him of an episode from a television comedy show from the 70’s. But the smile was put on the other side of his face when Gretha, who had realised he was laughing at herself and her best friend, suddenly took great offence and swung back a big leathery hand and planted him a slap on the side of the face capable of knocking a brewery strong horse into the middle of next week. Patsy slumped back against the pillow with his hand over his stinging face, struggling to hold on to consciousness, while Gretha ran over to Bridie who John was helping to get back in to bed.

This is a nightmare was all Patsy could think, as John shot him a filthy look as he ran out of the ward to get help. He decided he would try to explain to him later on, that he had only meant he was big because his mother side of the family were big boned farmers of decent stock, with women folk who were as strong as some of the bulls out in the fields. But for the time been he had to live as a drug taking member of a drug selling family, who had just been taken advantage of by a woman in her eighties, who had then given him a black eye when she realised that he had somehow degraded her standing in the community.

Chapter 2: The Move

“is there any chance of an ice pack for my eye?” Patsy asked John, once they were in the corridor and away from Gretha and Betty who were still not the better of the whole incident.

“Ah now John are you not talking to me, it wasn’t my fault” but still he refused to answer. The wheelchair cruised along the corridors with Patsy and his suitcase heading for the Neurosurgery ward.

“Fecking gobshite” Patsy mumbled to himself, he could never bear the silent treatment. He would get up out of the chair and walk only he hadn’t a balls notion where he was meant to be going. When they reached the new ward he was left in the hall as John whispered something to the matron. He didn’t need his ears to start itching to know who they were talking about, as the pair of them stood there throwing him dirty looks. Eventually John passed him by with what looked like tears streaking his soft cheeks and the matron who was a voluptuous woman, with a contemptuous look in her eye, came over to him.

“It wasn’t my fault you know” Patsy said immediately, determined to get his spoke in first. She stood there looking at him over the mounts of her sizeable bosom, without a word passing her lips and a face on her which would turn an alpha male grey back gorilla into a squealing baboon. A trickle of coldness ran down his back where it gathered along the band of his brand new red and green stripped y fronts. Her mouth opened and Patsys’s closed with a deep breath and then just as he was about to get up and do a runner and forget about the whole operation business, she burst out laughing.

“It’s the first time to have someone as famous as yourself on the ward. You’re the talk of the whole hospital, poor John may never be the same and I hear you have introduced two elderly women to all manner of wild practices and debauchery. The female staff will be delighted to get a chance of taking care of you.”

“It didn’t take much introducing, she knew exactly where to fall and what to do.” Patsy replied smiling, he was still too cautious to actually join in the laughing. His facing started to sting again now he had been taken back from the precipice of nursing horror.

“Do the women always fall into your lap in the right position” she replied patting the inside of his upper thigh, giving it a bit of a squeeze that drove a pulse of excitement and utter horror and confusion through him. He met her wink with a smile while inside he was trying to figure out what his penis thought it was exactly up to

enlightenment 

it comes from down in the valley

Where random thoughts arrive

From up in rainbow skys

Where emotions pass me by

From deep in the ocean

Where my body sings a tune
I watch it from the tower 

Listening to the lines

Smoking in its ashes

Feeding on its wine
It stretches to the finite

Where boundaries hold me in

I step beyond the comfort

And walk its lofty wall

Up close the pain is fear

The anger lies to pounce
I dive over The precipice 

Where light reflects my soul

Enlightment awaits the weary

To consume within its flame
Francie McGivney