GUINNESS IS GOOD FOR YOU

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My Writing Life

This old photo – courtesy of Waterford Co. Museum – show locals enjoying their bottles of Guinness in Ciss Kirwan’s pub in Bonmahon Co Waterford, Ireland c 1950.  I grew up not half a dozen miles from Bonmahon, and I think it is my favourite spot in the world. Well it was until we visited LA last year! A seaside village in what is now called The Copper Coast region, it was in its heyday in the 19th C a thriving copper-mining area. Then the copper ran out and all that eventually was left was a warren of mineshafts and a decaying main street where most of the houses had either fallen down or were knocked down. Once the copper had gone most of the people left too.

I t was our mecca in the summer though; we cycled there most Summer Sundays, content to play football and other games…

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NEW YORK…NEW YORK

“New York is a giant sinking pile of crap compared to what it used to be. Literally sinking, now that the waters rise much more quickly, the winds blow even much harder that the scientists predicted. Lately I like to imagine that I will have the privelige of seeing in my lifetime real estate values in the city plunge wildly, in free fall, as Climate Events force Permanent Visitors to admit that they pay top dollar to perch on a coastal landfill…”

This is Rebecca Wolf writing in Goodbye To All That, a compilation of stories written by current and past NY dwellers, most of them telling how the city ruined their lives. My view is that they themselves ruined their lives; never before have I come across such a bunch of neurotic, self-obsessed third-raters, who couldn’t make it no matter where they perched their scrawny arses.  New york…New York…

GUT FEELING ON THE DUCK THEORY OF EVOLUTION

My Writing Life

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GUT FEELING ON THE DUCK THEORY OF EVOLUTION

In the beginning there was silence
Slow symmetry break-dancing in the bleakness
Time’s arrows curving beyond comprehension

Soon, the dance of geometry commenced;
Atom, electron, proton, neutron,
Wave upon wave
Spin particle, spin!

Then into the melting pot
The first sounds of all our futures;
Quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark…

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SCOTTISH HISTORY LESSONS

 

 

 

SCOTTISH HISTORY LESSONS
The Romans came
And Brittania stretched
As far as the Antonine Wall
But the Picti in Caledonia
With their faces and bodies painted
Forced them back to Hadrian’s Wall.
Then the Gaelic Kingdom of Dal Riata
Welcomed Columba to Iona,
Who turned the pagan Scotti Christian.
Soon the Anglo Saxons of Bernecia
Came calling
And the Viking hordes came too
And so the first Kingdom of Scotland was born.
Down the years it was
House of Alpin
House of Dunkeld
House of Baliol
And House of Stuart
In a rule of three uncontested centuries.
James V1 also inherited the Throne of England
And Stuart Kings and Queens
Ruled both independent Kingdoms
Until that fateful Act of Union in 1707
Finished Scotland as a country
In its own right.

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Bonnie Prince Charlie tried and failed
At Culloden his protest stalled
And Cumberland his forces mauled
For him there was no other chance
He ran the gantlet back to France.
Now Scotland has its chance again
You had it once, a nation then.
Independent, free, no tyrant’s yoke
For Scotland freedom’s not a joke
Fight like a fishfag, Union be damned!
Your hills, your lochs, your lives…                                                                                                   Your land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘I HAVE NO ENEMIES, BUT MY FRIENDS DON’T LIKE ME’ Philip Larkin

“They fuck you up, your mum and dad.                                                                                                  They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.”
Philip Larkin

“Poetry is nobody’s business except the poet’s, and everybody else can fuck off.”
Philip Larkin

 

THE VIEW FROM MY WINDOW

 

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THE VIEW FROM MY WINDOW

 Old women with polished perms on fat heads

Men tinkering with diseased cars

Dogs taking their owners to the park –

Where they converse with their friends

And crap indiscriminately.

The Postman, the Milkman and the Gasman,

Two door-to-door leaflet saleswomen

And a posse of Jehovah’s.

A stray cat or two

And twenty five chimney-stack pigeons.

Then there are all those aerials-

Like one-legged storks-

Looking down on the patched-up pavements.

Where have all the front gates

Absconded to, I wonder?

Frightened away perhaps by all the leering

FOR SALE signs

Constantly peering over their shoulders?

I guess that must be it.