Wednesday, August 31, 2011

To A Caged Greenfinch

They've locked you in a cage luckless greenfinch
And put you in a state of misery
But nothing human man can do could never ever quench
The longing that is in you to be free.

You have lost your colour of leaf green
The feathers you now wear are of a dullish hue
They took you from your homeland the woodland and the screen
And made a common prisoner out of you.

You were captured by two men with powerful light
As you slept with your head tucked beneath your wing
They deprived you of your one god given right
And brought you to their residence expecting you to sing.

They feed you on the finest of bird seed
And fill your bath with clean water each morn
But all you ask of them is to be freed
And be let live where you were raised and born.

Here in your little prison cage you pine
For leafy hedgerows and the open sky
For wind and rain and beautiful sunshine
And green woods where you sang your songs of joy.

These people do not mean to be unkind
They brought you to their house to entertain
But you have left your sweet music behind
Among the laurel trees in Strawhill Lane.

Yet you feel these people have done you wrong
They took from you freedom and happiness
You feel they are not worthy of your song
They who put you in a prison such as this.

But heartache it will slowly fade away
And you will lose this heartfelt sense of gloom
Your voice it will return some future day
And your sweet songs make glad your captive room.

On Hearing A White Backed Magpie Singing In The Rain

The white backed magpie singing and skies so gloomy gray
And magpie does sound happy on such a gloomy day
But why is magpie happy what reason for his joy
All in the depths of winter this morning in july?

The rain come down in torrents and dark clouds o'er the hill
And freshening winds blow colder the breath of winter chill
The raindrops freely running adown the window pane
And still the magpie singing and whistling in the rain.

Why is the magpie singing what reason for his cheer
On this cold day in winter the wettest of the year?
The wettest day of winter the wind blow cold and strong
And merry magpie singing his distinct happy song.

The white backed magpie piping his happy melody
On wettest day in winter on rain soaked blackwood tree
And I ponder the question the simple question why?
The magpie feel so happy on wet day in july.


As I sit here in a barn watching the rain fall from the sky
I ask myself the question who am I?
Will I see tomorrow like I see today
Or by tomorrow from this world will I have gone away?

A jackdaw shelter in a tree from the falling rain
I wonder does this bird know the feel of pain?
Has this bird got many years to live?
The answer to these questions god can only give.

A robin in the wind and rain sings a song of joy
He is so very happy I really wonder why?
Why am I so lonely and why am I so sad
Like this little robin why can't I feel glad?

Mary From Boherbue

You won't find Mary homesick for Duhallow
Or for her old Hometown of Boherbue
She could have married back there and raised her children
But like she says it wasn't meant to be.

All of her sisters and brothers emigrated
To England and to the U S of A
But Mary was the one who travelled furthest
To Australia thousands of miles away.

She is married to a good Australian fellow
And with year old twins a girl and a boy
Mary is happy in the Land Down Under
And the lifestyle in Australia she enjoy.

She says why marry and have children in Duhallow
If you only raise them for the migrant plane?
I feel happy that I came here to Australia
And in this Land Down Under I'll remain.

It's Springtime now back home in old Duhallow
And the redbreast pipes his distinct melody
And in the lush green fields wildflowers are blooming
And pretty white blossoms cloak the hawthorn tree.

And male pheasant is wing clapping and cucking
In rushes and scutch grass that reach to the knee
And meadow pipits all day long are singing
Above the green fields bordering Boherbue.

It's late Fall now in Gippsland in Victoria
And the weather warmer than an Irish Spring
And the wattlebirds are calling in her garden
And the white backed magpie on the gum tree sing.

And Mary from Boherbue is feeling happy
And she doesn't pine for Duhallow in May
In fact she says she's happy out of Ireland
Her homeland more than half a world away.

For Betty On Her 90th Birthday

On her 90th birthday on july the 13th for her there will be a party
And Betty Trencher still going strong and she feels hale and hearty
And Anthea, Rachel and Olga will be there and perhaps John and Peter
For to sing her happy birthday and to toast her and to fete her.

She has lived through world wars 1 and 2 and through years of want and plenty
And many seasons have come and gone since Betty turned twenty
In the lean fifties times were tough when her children she was raising
And still she looks so young and bright that woman is amazing.

For one of four score years and ten she visibly looks glowing
And she has a young person's mind her memory isn't slowing
Her faculties are still intact her body only ageing
And you won't find many of her age so charming and engaging.

She likes the Gold Coast where she lives says than Victoria it's far better
She found the weather in the south far cooler, damp and wetter
She says up here of cold and damp People don't be complaining
In Queensland it is never cold not even when it's raining

She has lived through world wars 1 and 2 so why not celebrate her
And she's ninety years and still going strong and than her there's none greater
And to younger people Betty Trencher is an inspiration
And for her one could only have respect and admiration.

Dedicated To The Memory Of Irene McCormack

They dragged Sister Irene and four local men to the mountain village square
And after a brief sham trial the five were murdered there
Found guilty by 'The Shining Path' of helping those in poverty
Another shameful episode in human history.

On behalf of the Sisters of St Joseph such a fine job she did do
For the poor of Huasahuasi in the mountains of Peru
She gave alms to the needy and taught their children how to read and write
But the dark forces of evil took her life just out of spite.

In ninety one when she was in her early fifties on the twenty first of May
The terrorists came to Huasahuasi at the twilight of the day
And on Irene McCormack and her co missionaries they shed some of their hate
How come such good and caring people met with such an awful fate?

Far from her childhood home in Kununoppin Western Australia more than half a world away
Amongst her beloved people the bones of Irene lay
Her dying wish to be buried where such great happiness she'd known
Near her beloved people who now claim her as their own.

To her corporal works of mercy to the end she remained true
And her soul will live forever in Huasahuasi in Peru
She did not seek power and glory and she did not crave pomp or fame
Just to help the poor and needy in life was her only aim.

My Past I Seem To Cling To

The fields around my old home were always lush and green
And in spring primroses, bluebells and snowdrops by the hedge near the bohreen
Were blooming at their loveliest in the warm showers of May
But that was many years ago and that was far away.

I seem to cling to the past or does the past cling to me?
And of the memories of what was till death we won't be free
The male chaffinch with the pink breast who sang on the alder tree
When spring is in the distant wood sings in my memory.

The fields around my old home that I like to recall
When seen again with fresh eyes may not look that green at all
The future is uncertain and the past with us remain
And the fellow who is ageing longs to be young again.

Of the places we grew up in until death we won't be free
And my past I seem to cling to or does my past cling to me?
And if I return to the old fields I might face the reality
That what I thought was beautiful not all I made it out to be.

Song Of An Old Fashioned Bloke

I'm an old fashioned sort of bloke and my rhymes are out of fashion
And I lack in charm and I lack in style and I too lack in passion
But doggerelising I can't stop for me it's an addiction
Still I could be hooked on heroin 'twould be a worse affliction.

There will be doggerelists when I'm gone as there have been before me
And the literary critics I need not fear since they've chosen to ignore me
And they've never even heard of me which I don't find surprising
And only worthy writers are worthy of criticizing.

I hope this urge in me to write it never will forsake me
And that I'll be writing doggerel till the grim reaper take me
So many brave young men in wars in trenches have died fighting
But I'd rather a less glorious death at my desk a doggerel writing.

I've never been much good at sports or been a man of action
But every doggerel I write gives me great satisfaction
I am just an old fashioned bloke and I lack in charm and passion
And a doggerelist for many years and seen as out of fashion.

Scottish Charlie

His wallet stolen from him in Christchurch containing 600 dollars and  i d
I am bruk said Scottish Charlie bruk as any one can be
Whoever stole my cash and wallet whether they be he or she
Are sowing the seeds for their bad karma their price for dishonesty.

I felt very sorry for him in his moments of despair
All his money and i d taken it seemed unjust and unfair
I said Charlie I can help you thirty dollars I can spare
But he declined with a thank you for you are not a millionaire.

There are many good people in Christchurch who will help you when you're down
But you will also meet some rogues here just like any other town
They sow the seeds of their own karma I am better off than they
And I'll recover don't you worry and live to know a better day.

I must say goodbye said Charlie may good fortune with you meet
As we parted with a handshake at the corner of the street
He was down but far from beaten he'd recover from his loss
To break the will of Scottish Charlie it would take a heavier cross.

All his money and i d stolen from him he was left in poverty
And I know that I would feel suicidal if such thing had happened to me
But Scottish Charlie the survivor one more statistic of crime
Will recover from his losses though it well may take some time.

May Has Come To The Cork And Kerry Border

The birds sing on the Cork and Kerry border
I hear them pipe on hedge and bush and tree
And swallows wing to and fro above the lush fields
Of Gneeveguilla and Rathmore and Knocknagree.

The ancient peaks of shrone and Caherbarnagh
Overlooking the Sliabh Luachra countryside
This was the land of great bards and musicians
Their fame lives on and now known Worldwide.

May has come to the Cork and Kerry border
And with her brought her wildflowers and her green
The hawthorn trees in white to pinkish blossoms
As beautiful as they have ever been.

Above the hill the little lark is singing
He always pipes his sweetest notes in May
And in the mountain wood the magpie chatter
And male chaffinch he sings all through the day.

And the hooded crows detested by sheep farmers
On weak and frail new born lambs they prey
They build their nests of sticks high on the old trees
Unmistakeable in their cloaks of black and gray.

The young man from the Cork and Kerry border
He works in distant town for better pay
He fancy he can hear the robin singing
And Sliabh Luachra from him doesn't seem far away.

May has come to the Cork and Kerry border
And Nature's perfume wafting in the breeze
And cuckoo has returned from distant country
And birds are piping on the leafy trees.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Guard Cassidy

Before he came to live in east Kerry that's going back in time
He played gaelic football for Cavan in his prime
In Irish sporting circles famous on his day
And fast and fearless on the field of play.

A sturdy built fellow six foot three or four
We only knew him as Guard Cassidy from Rathmore
A friendly fellow and so kind of heart
For police P R he played a major part.

Guard Cassidy a man larger than life
I often saw him dancing with his wife
At the Bush Bar in the west end of Millstreet
The pair with the best dancers could compete.

They'd dance all evening until closing time
And more than hold their own with dancers in their prime
For two to three hours sometimes even more
The Cassidys would be on the dance floor.

Around the Cork and Kerry border so well known
The number of his friends has grown and grown
And suppose in the Bush Bar they still take the floor
Guard Cassidy and his wife from Rathmore.

The Ballad Of Dan Magee

Times were hard and he was poor
In his small farm beside the moor
But he was happy and carefree
The poor, poor farmer Dan Magee.

He kept six cows, two goats and ten sheep
And chestnut brood mare bred to leap
And his favourite creature of the farm
His black and white collie dog named charm.

With twenty nine acres of ground
The poorest man for miles around
The crofter farmer from Mulree
Lived on the verge of poverty.

And worse for him his farm was wet
And he had to live by his own sweat
He sunk drain with shovel in hand
For to take the water from his land.

But all his hard work, sweat and toil
To Dan Magee seemed worth his his while
Shovelling white mud from soggy drain
To him did not seem work in vain.

And the reason for his happy life
Was Rosaleen his beloved wife
His gentle lady kind and fair
With sloe blue eyes and raven hair.

A pleasant woman and serene
Was the delightful Rosaleen
A well bred lady of good stock
Was the farmer's daughter from Castlerock.

They first met on the Ballroom floor
In the dance hall at Rockamore
One warm and tranquil summer night
And for them both it was love at first night.

And after the dance on that night in june
Under the lamp of summer moon
He stole that first memorable kiss
From Rosaleen his blushing Miss.

He loved her and she loved him true
And their love for one another grew
And true, true love  transcend all joy
And love sweet memory never die.

Dan took sweet Rosaleen for spouse
And brought her to live with him in cottage house,
A little cottage by Mulree heath
On land his uncle to him did bequeath.

A present to Dan in his will
From late batchelor uncle Bill
His cottage and farm and all he had
From Bill the brother of his dad.

The land was wet and Dan worked hard
He drained his farm, yard by yard
From blocked up drains he shovelled mud
For to shape a better livelihood.

And Dan felt happy with his lot
Quite satisfied with what he'd got
He had his wife his dearest friend
The one on whom he could depend.

They'd been wed three years and then one day
His Rosie came to him to say
That he'd be a father by the spring
And that good news had joyful ring.

And little then was he to know
That happiness for him would turn to woe
That in less than a month his wife would be
Lying in cold grave in cemetery.

His slated cottage went on fire
Whilst he was milking cows in byre
He heard a frightened woman scream
The dying cries of his Rosaleen.

He tried to reach her through the smoke
But heat and fumes caused him to choke
He tried to reach her tried and tried
But by smoke and flames he was denied.

Flames seemed to touch the very sky
An awesome sight to human eye
The burning smell and the burning sound
And the black smoke seen for miles around.

Towards the burning house some locals ran
For to lend a help to neighbour Dan
But all too late the killer flame
Had human victim to it's name.

And Dan hard hit by shock and grief
Stood trembling like a windblown leaf
Like punished child he wept and wept
Whilst wild flames through his cottage swept.

Since that day he's lived without hope
He's sliding down life's losers slope
He doesn't have the strength of mind
To put the tragic past behind.

He sold his beasts at clearance sale
And sold his land at Mulree vale
And took to wandering on the road
To life of the no fixed abode.

Dan lives in lingering depressed mood
And pines in his own solitude
A hopeless case on suicide brink
Addicted to alcoholic drink.

He's roamed the country up and down
From place to place and town to town
He's wandered near and wandered far
And drunk in many an inn and bar.

He looks the very worst for wear
With gray and grimy uncombed hair
A wrinkled man in shabby dress
He looks the part of hopelessness.

An alcoholic roam about
Unhappy and down in the mouth
For mid age man he looks quite old
From sleeping rough in damp and cold.

And his misery caused by the death
Of the one that he cannot forget
His Rosaleen his beloved wife
So true and dear to him in life.

Cheney And Rumsfeld

Though war hawks and extreme conservatives spring to their defence
For fellows in their senior years they don't talk any sense
Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney like big schoolyard bully boys
For men of power and influence they don't seem very wise.

Of their vision for a better world they don't leave any doubt
Their pet subjects war and regime change and they spread fear about
When they say that nuclear weapons in the wrong hands dynamite
As if having nuclear weapons ought be a divine right.

Cheney and Rumsfeld are always talking war
And the need for regime changes from their borders afar
George W's trusted confidantes the war hawks of his choice
They have the Presidental ear he goes by their advice.

These arrogant old fellows in hair dyes hide their gray
The President's advisors the war dogs of today
They talk of war and regime change in countries far away
And their not so clever President will go by what they say.

The Dying Seal

T'would seem he's at the end of his life's journey
He lay there helpless on the sandy shore
So close to where he often played and hunted
Twelve metres from saltwater little more.

He opened his mouth as if gasping for air
And the grim reaper to him seems quite near
Though death a thing that he doesn't know about
And what he does not know of he cannot fear.

At seal rock years ago when in his prime
Into a massive young bull he had grown
On a big and brave beach master he waged war
And laid claim to a harem of his own.

A few years later he finally was displaced
And though he did show courage in defeat
The victoriuos bull for him too young and strong
On his face still the scars left by sharp teeth.

He lay there helpless on the sandy shore
As the life from him it slowly ebbed away
He once had his own harem at seal rock
But like every dog every seal has his day.

Beautiful Broulee

If I could only describe the beauty around me
The treed hills by the ocean of beautiful Broulee
The cormorant on volcanic rock with wings stretched out to dry
With feathers wet from fishing he finds it hard to fly.

Today we've not seen sunshine between the showers of rain
And the forecast for tomorrow is showery once again
But every drop is welcome as summer days draw near
And december to march always the dry months of the year.

The coastal lands of south eastern New South Wales have never looked so green
And flowers red, white and blue and yellow in plenty to be seen
The so called sunburnt country not looking brown today
And silver gulls are mewing and skies are looking gray.

The coastal lands are lush and green bordering the southern sea
And the wattlebird is calling on the flowering Banksia tree
And were I a poet I would describe the splendid scenery
And the quiet bay by the treed hills of beautiful Broulee.

Elva Burke

On her last birthday she was seventy yet her dark hair free of gray
And if you did not know what age she was in her fifties you might say
She doesn't use hair dyes or makeup or anti ageing cream
And her secret of eternal youth beyond me it would seem.

An easy going and laid back sort her life is free of stress
And perhaps Elva's key to looking young is her gift of happiness
She loves a joke and she loves a laugh and she loves to dance and sing
And the few like her are the lucky few for they have everything.

Her husband in an accident died he deserved a better fate
A real good bloke by all accounts he was her true soul mate
And Elva and her children left to grieve for their heart-breaking loss
But she refused to buckle under her heavy cross.

Whilst others might have pined away and felt all hope had gone
Brave Elva found the strength to cope the will to carry on
And she found happiness again can't keep a good one down
One of the real great characters of old Wonthaggi Town.

She doesn't use anti ageing creams she age in the natural way
And she looks young for seventy her dark hair free of gray
And the inspiring Elva Burke is one who doesn't feel old
And she would only help you if she could for she has a 'heart of gold'.

In June In Old Liscreagh

In a lush damp meadow in Liscreagh
In a rushy clump the brown hare lay
From predators well hid away
He doze and sleep for most of the day.

And at twilight he ventures out
For to graze in the pasture fields about
And under the starry cloak of night
He eats his fill in peace and quiet.

It's early summer in Liscreagh
And badger and her cubs in the twilight gray
Through fields and meadows amble slow
And dig for grubs and earth worms by hedgerow.

And after early morning showers
The old fields in their summer flowers
In the noon sunshine look fresh and green
And Nature at her best is seen.

And meadows mown for silage and hay
Scent sweetly in june in old Liscreagh
And dark winged swallows in the sky
All day long chirping as they fly.

And butterflies as white as snow
From tree to hedge flit to and fro
And in leafy grove the chaffinch sing
In his own territory he's king.

From Coolikerane bog across the way
The curlew's flute heard in Liscreagh
And robin pipes his lively tune
In summer's early days in june.

A Victim Of The Knockers

He's in his early twenties you might say in his prime
And he has not been guilty of any serious crime
Yet for his involvement in a bar brawl his reputation is at stake
But have those who condemn him ever made one mistake?

He's a bit on the wild side just twenty one years old
And he's not a bad person he has a heart of gold
But for his one misdemeanour the knockers drag him down
As if he is a bad type one of the worst in town.

But he's the one on saturday after working hard all week
Who helps out Mrs Marshall for she is aged and weak
He mows her grass and trims her hedge and never accepts pay
You won't find many better despite what some might say.

He's not a serious offender and it does seem quite unfair
That with serious offenders his knockers him compare
In the ruination of reputations they seem to quite enjoy
And it seems to make them happy when one's good name they destroy.

To help out the poor people he goes out of his way
Yet for his one minor act of indiscretion 'twould seem he has to pay
Though a victim of the knockers the man is good and kind
His heart is in the right place and his equals hard to find.

On Gertrude Street

On Gertrude street an old man out for a walk
Draw stares from strangers as to himself he talk
I heard him shout aloud as he looked my way
Though I did not understand what he did say.

His strange behaviour did not frighten me
For he seemed frail and as harmless as can be
Though a couple by their behaviour did show fear
And crossed the street as to them he drew near.

And though incoherent it was not hard to tell
That he is one who has been through living hell
From alcoholic addiction his life out of control
And self abuse on him had taken toll.

I wonder why he choose to live this way
For some past sins has he a price to pay
Or has life to him in some way proved unkind
Or in true love happiness he failed to find?

For his type you won't find many who care
And I know society does not judge him fair
But he is human and he has feelings too
And what would they know of what hardships he's been through?

A gray haired and frail old man that life had beat
He shouted loudly as he walked the street
With wrinkled face of years he looked three score
And tattered looking were the clothes he wore.

In park off of Gertrude street the wild birds sing
And flowers are blooming in the warmth of spring
But a poor old bloke to himself shout and talk
As he shuffles down the street on the sidewalk.

On The Olympic Games

The Sydney Olympics are over but the stories will be re-told
Of the men and women from every land who competed for gold
But I for one felt happy when the big games did end
For of sports I have grown weary and why should I pretend

That I see sport as important though I admit in the past
That I did feel admiration for the one who could run fast
And beat the world's best athletes watched by the huge cheering crowd
And whilst they played his country's anthem on the podium he stood proud.

Those who win Olympic medals of their fame can feel secure
But the poor of their homelands sad to say will remain in want and poor
No advantage to the slum dweller if his fellow countryman win the big race
He will still be poor tomorrow and living in the poorest place.

Those who win Olympic medals great status for themselves attain
And their countries governments politically from their achievements gain
But the billions spent on staging the Olympics could well be spent elsewhere
Who spoke of a level playing field and who said all in life is fair?

The Olympic medallists return home as heroes and much of them is made
And the cheering almost deafening as they pass in the parade
And their names will live forever in the sporting hall of fame
But for those who felt pride in their glory life will go on much the same.

The names of the medal winners sporting historians will recall
But that the Olympic games are over can't say I feel sad at all
In the Sydney Olympic stadium not one poor person there
And the billions spent on staging the games could well be spent elsewhere.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Old Jude

On the dirt track that leads downhill to town
I often see old Jude walk up and down
Her shoulders drooped from age she smiles and says good day
To any one she meets along the way.

She is eight years with the three score and ten
And she looks her age gray haired and rather thin
But I've heard one who knew her in her young years say
That she was quite a beauty on her day.

Her husband a soldier killed in world war 2
And he died brave one of the many who
Ended their lives in battles far away
For any cause too big a price to pay.

They had a son but he too lay with the dead
On his last hour she sat beside his bed
And held his hand as he struggled for breath
From cancer he found his release in death.

The human span is measured out in time
And her husband and her son went in their prime
And in time the longest human life not long
And the reaper takes the old and young and strong.

On the dirt track that leads downhill to town
One often sees her walking up and down
An aged woman looking thin and gray
But she was quite a beauty on her day.

Sean Moylan From Kiskeam

I once heard him speak in Millstreet I was just a little boy
And the cheers of his supporters re-echoed to the sky
And I asked a man beside me what's the politician's name
And he answered me young fellow that's Sean Moylan from Kiskeam.

And even though I was a youngster I could tell the man was great
I could understand why Moylan's was a name to celebrate
As he tongue lashed his opponents playing the true Byronic part
And with his witty comments he won the listener heart.

A special kind of person in his own special way
Wearing his famous dark rimmed glasses and with hair of silvery gray
He was likeable and witty as most bright men seem to be
And he drove his loyal supporters into fits of ecstasy.

And the Moylanites were there that day in plentiful supply
They had come to see their hero Duhallow's pride and joy
He lauded his own party and ran his opponents down
As he stood on board a lorry at the Square in Millstreet Town.

An Irish freedom fighter and minister in the Dail
The darling of Cork County and the pride of Fianna Fail
In Ireland's fight for freedom a brave man amongst men
And the hero of the ambush at Tureengariffe Glen.

And in that General Election he went down to defeat
He lost his seat in Parliament surrendered his Dail seat
To a fellow Fianna Failer his Dail seat he did lose
To a man most folk will tell you could not fill the great one's shoes.

Though long dead he's not forgotten in eternal rest he lie
And the name of any great man takes a long, long time to die
And that Kiskeam politician with high intellect of mind
Had that something extra special lacked by ordinary kind.

I once heard him speak in Millstreet and the memory with me will remain
The one and only Moylan freedom fighter for Sinn Fein
A famous politician with the genius of a poet
And a man I'd have loved to vote for were I then the age to vote.

To Debby On The Death Of Her Dad

To say sorry seems such an easy thing to say
But from you that won't take your sense of loss away
You have been burdened with a heavy cross
And time alone can only heal your sense of loss.

Old 98 for you it ended bad
The grim reaper from you he took your dad
I only can imagine how you must feel
But time the scars of sorrow always heal.

You've lost the hero of your childhood years
And he was one well worthy of your tears
But Debby your tears will bring to you relief
And help to heal your mental scars of grief.

Your father was a man I never knew
But he was one who meant so much to you
The life breath from his body may be gone
But his soul alive and well and living on.

I'm one of those with words who like to play
And to say sorry such an easy thing to say
And I can't feel the sense of loss you feel
And time itself the only thing that heal.

Our Mr Expert

When some young men look at a young woman they look at her shape and size
Just like stock judge eyeing a heifer has she points to take a prize
Has she got the well curved figure that they often dream about
For if she doesn't meet their high standards they will quickly rule her out.

Has she got a well curved buttocks? not anything from their gaze escape
If her bum looks slightly fat they fault her they will say she's out of shape
Having said that our Mr Expert say she doesn't really look that bad
Shame about her fatty buttocks and overweight maybe a tad.

Our Mr Expert on young women says he know he knows it all
He doesn't like them lank and skinny standing over six foot tall
He doesn't like them plump or smallish he's the choosiest of men
She has got to be a beauty to get nine out of his ten.

If her breasts look big he fault her he doesn't give a second stare
And if her breasts look small he mention 'huge room for improvement there'
Yet he doesn't have a fiancee and none come knocking on his door
And young women see our Mr Expert as an overbearing bore.

If her legs and thighs look fleshy he just shake his head and say
I won't ask to get to know her she might suit you anyway
He sets himself a high standard he is hard to satisfy
And she would have to look quite lovely for our Mr Expert to rate her high.

When some young men look at a young woman they look at her shape and size
Just like stock judge eyeing a heifer has she points to take a prize?
But our Mr Expert on young women is the greatest judge of all
He faults them if they're tall and skinny and he faults them if they're plump and small.

Just An Incident I've Witnessed

I can't say how the brawl started though many claim that Dean was right
But it was over in two minutes it was not much of a fight
Jeff did not put up a battle Dean just pinned him to the ground
A bushman from west Australia you don't try to push around.

Jeff lost his shirt in the brief scuffle his back was scratched and bloody red
And there was a few more scratches on the bald patch on his head
Many claim he had it coming and he deserved all he got
But on Jeff the lesson has been wasted since past lessons he has forgot.

When I see two grown men brawling to myself I think and say
Should I try to separate them or should I leave them have their way
I tried to drag Dean off of Jeff, wasted my energy and time
He was far too big and angry twenty five years in his prime.

The next time I see grown men brawling maybe I should walk away
Playing the role of the peacemaker more often than not doesn't pay
Often those playing the peacemaker end up beaten black and blue
And to ignore the brawl and brawlers might be wiser thing to do.

Angry Jeff got his come uppance and the brawl did not last long
He picked a fight with the wrong fellow Dean for him was far too strong
And picking a fight with a bush sandgroper is not such a good idea
As they are tough these west Australians and they don't surrender easily.

Just an incident I've witnessed such things happen every day
But next time I see grown men brawling maybe I should walk away
Though this one was over quickly Jeff got up off his backside
And he went home to nurse his scratches and the huge dent to his pride.

Thomas Davis Bard Of Mallow

Thomas Davis bard of Mallow his songs are a source of joy
They were born of natural genius and will never ever die
His songs sung the whole world over and in some Irish club tonight
Some one sings the songs of Davis to the listeners delight.

He wrote all his songs for Ireland when the spirits were depressed
And his country ruled by aliens and her people were oppressed
And his songs they served their purpose they instilled the will to fight
And were sung by the brave rebels who took on the saxon might.

In Davis newspaper 'The Nation' some bards won their first acclaim
Mention one John Keegan Casey that a very famous name
It was in the Nation paper Casey's 'Rising Of The Moon' did first appear
And that song has been Ireland's battle anthem for almost two hundred years.

But it was not because he founded a newspaper that the bard of Mallow Town
Enshrined himself in glory and earned literary renown
It was because of his poems and ballads which he penned for Ireland's sake
Songs like 'A Nation Once Again' and of course 'The West Awake'.

Con And Kate

The idols of my younger years were Con Murphy and Kate
And they were decent people the word for them is great
They are sadly missed from Millstreet west their deaths has left a void
And Shannaknuck without them, a poorer countryside.

I used to call to their house in happier by gone day
And I found welcome there for me, a welcome there alway
And Con would say come in Frank, come in and close the door
We have not seen you for some while, a week or maybe more.

And Kate his gentle woman would up and make the tea
I've got mental pictures of her still in my memory
A good and cheerful lady her hair tied in a bun
She was a special person, a very special one.

They are sadly missed from Millstreet west their passing caused regret
But good and honest folk like them one easily don't forget
And I've got good memories of them and knowing them was a joy
And I'll always remember them until the day I die.

Con Murphy gone from Shannaknuck and so too Kate his wife
But nothing last forever and that too go with life
Yes nothing last forever and nothing stay the same
But what's a loss to Shanaknuck is surely heaven's gain.

Dan From Ballinagree

I met him at the Melbourne show he said long time no see
He clasped my hand in firm handshake seems like a century
Since I last saw you in Clifton Hill must be nine years or so
I hardly recognized you now it seems so long ago.

He is still the same Dan Twohig nothing's changed about the man
And I might meet him ten years from now and he'd still be the same Dan
He is still the same Dan Twohig still the Dan from Ballinagree
Who came out here to Australia in the year of seventy three.

How some people hold their accent is beyond me to explain
And the distinct Muskerry accent with the Muskerry man remain
For years he's worked with people from all nations yet he hasn't changed at all
And he still talks about hurling and about gaelic football.

When he lived at back of Mushera for Aubane he used to play
And Aubane is now an ex club sad to think and sad to say
But the Aubane people loved him they still talk of him today
How he never feared a challenge and would never back away.

I met him in Ascot Vale at the royal Melbourne show
And I last met him in Clifton Hill about nine years ago
And he's still the same Dan Twohig changes in him could not see
And he still has the same accent that he brought from Ballinagree.

Putin And Sharon

Putin and Sharon they may live miles apart
But they have much in common each has a frosty heart
They both are anti- social and people they control
And they see those who are different as bereft of a soul.

Putin and Sharon come from different background
But in these autocratic leaders similarities to be found
They both are anti-muslim or so 'twould seem to me
And their soldiers have committed crimes against humanity.

Putin and Sharon on others inflict pain
And long after they are dead and gone their legacies will remain
Their strong dislike for allah's followers in glimpses they reveal
And the wounds of the divisions they've created will take ages to heal.

In Putin and in Sharon similarities you'll find
They have in them the worst traits in the race of humankind
In their narrowness and racism divisions they create
And they give a fresh breath of life to that awful virus hate.

The Butcher Boy

Oft times I'd seen the butcher boy in Denis Corkery's bar
He drove a honda motor bike could not afford a car
He did not believe in misery he let his money fly
Ballydaly's Richard Regan dark haired butcher boy.

Oft times I'd seen the butcher boy at the Cork greyhound track
The sighs and moans of punters as the favourite dog fell back
He'd tear up his betting ticket another fifty gone
But it did not seem to bother him he'd say life must go on.

A character the butcher boy he's one I can recall
With the Twomeys and D Dinneen he oft went on pub crawl
They often drunk till closing time and reached home after one
A good night 'on the session' their way of having fun.

Where is he now the butcher boy? I'd really like to know
He worked for Larry Moynihan near two decades ago
Does he still work in Millstreet or has he moved away
The far off hills are greener some have been known to say.

Oft times I'd seen the butcher boy in Denis Corkery's bar
He drove a honda motor bike could not afford a car
He did not believe in misery he let his money fly
Ballydaly's Richard Regan the dark haired butcher boy.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Farewell My Rebel Latvian (For Erica)

Farewell my noble rebel so cold and deep the grave
But you were not afraid of death and you were always brave
You were my favourite brother the one I loved the best
The rebel heart from Latvia has gone to peaceful rest.

I remember back in Germany when you and your friend ran away
You planned to go to Latvia to join the rebel fray
But of course ye did not make it as ye were far too young
you were the lad of action who spoke with rebel tongue.

Farewell my brother Johnny you never lived to see
the greatest dream you ever had that Latvia might be free,
Free of the tyrant Soviets and their brutality
We had so much in common we loved our own Country.

Farewell my rebel Latvian with dignity you died
You bore your suffering bravely and  faced the end with pride
God thought you'd suffered too much and on your life quenched the light
And now you're in a freer world where you won't have to fight.

Farewell my rebel brother my heart is flood with tears
You were my king and hero in hard and bitter years
But god he loved you better he took you from your pain
And we will meet in heaven I know we'll meet again.

Lines Written On Heather's Illness

The news it spread around Buninyong and news does travel quick
That Heather of the Crown Hotel of late had fallen sick
That lovely blond haired Heather the hostess at the Crown
Had taken to her bedroom and felt a little down.

That evening we called to the Crown and Heather weren't there
And Ron her man looked sad faced and seemed the worst for wear
And one of our fellows asked him where's Heather, Ron he said
She's not been well this past while and she's taken to her bed.

And Ron you do seem out of sorts this evening you look sad
And is your Heather feeling low, come pray does she ail bad?
But Ron was in poor talking mood he'd little much to say
He merely shrugged his shoulders, answering she will come okay.

We missed that lovely woman with the ever smiling face
And without her the Crown Hotel seemed much a duller place
And we muttered quietly between ourselves what business have we here?
No Heather in the Crown Hotel to pour our pots of beer.

Three days went by and on the Crown we paid another call
And Heather she was back again there to surprise us all
And cheerful as she ever is though looking wan and pale
And we felt glad that she was back to pour our pots of ale.

The days go by and time can heal and mend is on the way
And Heather she is coming good improving day by day
And we feel happy in the Crown, our hostess she is there
The woman with the cheerful smile and beautiful blond hair.


It's beautiful the summer month of june
When all of god's own wildflowers are in bloom
And sun shines brightly most part of the day
And butterflies o'er lush green meadows play.

Light hearted skylark songster of the wing
High o'er the quiet and lonely moorland sing
Above her nest cloaked by the tangled heath
Her charming song so exquisitely sweet.

So mellow the gentle breath of june day breeze
The birds rejoicing on the leafy trees
And dappled trout in pool bed of the stream
Bask in the sun their spotted skins agleam.

God gave us june and all her lovely flowers
Bright sunny days and pleasant evening hours
Shady green glens and serene sunlit dells
And leafy bowers adorned with blue bluebells.

But god june's maker has the final say
And what he give he also take away
And god's own larks will trumpet in the sky
To celebrate the birthday of july.

You Take The Road To Heaven

You take the road to heaven for me it's the road to hell
And if there's a life hereafter forever I will dwell
With satan and his angels I mentioned the word if
Or at the onset of rigor mortis does the soul too go stiff?

You take the road to heaven you are a man of prayer
But what happens to so called queue jumpers you do not seem to care
You want all asylum seekers to from where they came sent back
No matter what their circumstance or be they white, brown or black.

You take the road to heaven but when you reach heaven's gate
Old Peter your arrival he may not celebrate
He may say though you've prayed to god your life's record recall
That you were one who turned your back on a fair go for all.

And you will feel disappointed when he says you can't go through
I order you to limbo heaven is not for you
And when you say you're sorry he'll say sorry too late
You now must do your penance and for heaven you must wait.

You take the road to heaven I'm on the way to hell
For I have the big price to pay for penning doggerel
But when you reach the golden gates Peter won't leave you in
He'll order you to limbo for you're not free of sin.

He Is Fresh In From The Country

He is fresh in from the country where the wild fox yap and call
For to work in the big city where the buildings stand so tall
He feel out of place and homesick and find it hard to settle down,
A problem with most country people when they come to live in the big town.

His father is a farmer and he keep sheep and herd of cows
And a couple of cross bred horses and one hundred breeding sows
But he has no business on the farm as he is not in his father's will
And the farm and it's contents go to his elder brother Phil.

He love the land, the country life and the farming run in his blood
But here in the big city he must earn his livelihood
He miss all the farm animals and though miles and miles apart
He will never be a city man as the country lives in his heart.

On friday he buys a farming paper and up to date with farming keep
He read the market trends and prices of cattle, horses, pigs and sheep
And though the country man may leave the country and move to city far away
He never does forget the country, memories of country with him stay.

He dreams that he'll own a farm, he will purchase land one day
He will save his hard earned money and not squander or drink his pay
Some day there wil be a farm auctioned back in his beloved vale
And he will be highest bidder and the buyer at that sale.

To A Silvereye

I see you almost every day you fly from tree to tree
And I envy you your happiness for you are wholly free
You tiny insect eating bird in olive fawn and gray
And I feel glad so very glad to see you every day.

No boss to order you around to tell you what to do
Wish you were me dear tiny bird and wish that I were you
For you have freedom in your wings the freedom of the sky
And I envy you your happiness dear tiny silvereye.

On garden tree and green hedgerow close to the homes of men
I see you almost every day you and your tiny kin
From garden tree to garden tree and to and fro you wing
And midst the leaves the sunlit leaves you preen and chirp and sing.

I see you almost every day from tree to tree you fly
And I envy you your happiness the freedom of the sky
And I've a wish a secret wish when my turn come to die
That I will come to life again a tiny silvereye.

A Pleasant Autumn Morning

For to work up a breakfast appetite
I walked out in the early morning light
And pleasant birdsong filled the country air
And I felt happy and free of any care.

A gentle breeze blew uphill from the sea
And brown autumn leaves fell from the chestnut tree
And swallows chirped and circled in the sky
Alone with Nature my old dog and I.

On his canvas a painter might capture this scene
The autumnal browns intermixed with the greens
Beneath a canopy of blue and gray
A picture tells what words could never say.

The old dog spots a rabbit and gives chase
But the years from her tired legs have took the pace
And with every yard the rabbit gained more ground
And he raced into his burrow safe and sound.

The white backed magpie sings his distinct song
And kookaburra laughs and the pied currawong
Pipes his familiar welcome to the day
Beneath an autumn sky of blue and gray.

Bill Clinton's Shame (1998)

Bill Clinton near impeachment thought my best plan is attack
I will create diversion by striking at Iraq
I will win for myself precious time by bombing old Baghdad
And if the Iraqi people suffer I guess that is too bad.

I know that Tony Blair will back me for he would lick my shoes
The British are our lapdogs and what have I to lose?
By declaring war on Iraq I might save myself from shame
And if I can destroy Saddam I can feel assured of fame.

It's not my fault since ninety two if one million Iraqis died
If food and medical assistance to them has been denied
For Saddam's failure to comply to U N sanctions the big price he must pay
The cheek of that small bully to taunt the U S A

For the poor Iraqi people in this there is no gain
They have a woeful leader the rogue Saddam Hussein
And with Clinton and his lapdog Blair at war with their homeland
I find this unbelievable too hard to understand.

The bombing of Iraqi cities will add to Clinton's shame
For human deaths and sufferings he must shoulder some blame
And Saddam and the British leader Mr Tony Blair
Are guilty of atrocities of which they seem unaware.

Mystery Man

Where oh where is Mike McShane
From number nineteen Nut Tree Lane
Where oh where now can he be
That poor fellow from Nut Tree?

Some say he's in London Town
In a house of ill renown
Living in a sinful state
With a strumpet for bed mate.

Others say he turned to crime
And that he is serving time
Paying the price for robbery
In a penitentiary.

And others say and claim to know
That he died in New York's skid row
In the winter cold and wet
And that sleeping rough had caused his death.

And others say that the once poor boy
Is now a rich man living high
In the lap of luxury
In the heart of gay Paree.

Poor, poor Mike has seen it tough
He's known hard times and slept rough
Kicked out by his drunkard dad
Teenage years for him were sad.

And with his unchaste mother Ann
Living with another man
Mike was friendless and alone
Like stray dog without a home.

He left Nut Tree ten years back
And went down to the railway track
With money he'd begged for his fare
And took a trip to god knows where?

Is he a jail bird or is he poor
Sleeping rough or with a whore
Or is he resting peacefully
In some distant cemetery?

Or is he a drunkard, down and out,
A loafer and a lay about,
Did he strike it rich or go to hell?
God alone can only tell.

And though some claim they do, there's none who know
To where he went ten years ago
And the whereabouts a mystery
Of hard reared fellow from Nut Tree.

But one thing for certain on that day
Mike McShane went far away,
Far from Nut Tree Lane and woe,
Far away as he could go.

He Was Hero Of My Childhood

He was hero of my childhood in the distant long ago
When I was a young schoolgoer forty five years back or so,
He cut timber for a living in the rain and hail and snow
And weather seemed to make no difference to the mighty Willie Joe.

He was not a very tall man five foot seven maybe eight
But he had determination if he lacked the height and weight
A very wiry fellow and to look at him you'd say
'There's one to hold his own with any and not give one inch away'.

Oft times stood and watched him working in the State owned forestry
And still can picture saw dust flying as his saw cut through the tree
Still can hear his chainsaw roaring, hear the timber crack and fall
He could knock and pare a big tree near fast as one could bounce a ball.

Those who knock trees for a living never scale the heights of fame
But to me that man was special Willie Joe was a big name,
I admired him as a saw man he earned his living honestly
And I never did forget him he lives in my memory.

True enough he was great work man and a top class lumberjack
But he had more to offer than strong arms or strong back
He was kind and understanding loved his family and wife
And he'd help you out if he could and he lived the moral life.

He was in his forty ninth year when his end came suddenly
Whilst knocking heavy spruce trees in the State owned forestry
On a morning in mid april, a rainy and windy day,
A big tree knocked and crushed him as it came down the wrong way.

He was hero of my childhood in the distant bygone day
And I still have memories of him and good memories don't fade away,
He cut timber for a living in the frost and rain and snow
And he's now in land of leisure ex lumberjack Willie Joe.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Betrayal Of Dan McKay

Dan McKay has gone to glory
To the land of no return
But his name will live forever
In the valley of Glenburn.

In the war of independence
He played more than one man's part
He was known as Dan the rebel,
Rebel with a noble heart.

In the so called Glenburn ambush
All his comrades funked and ran
But McKay he kept on shooting
Numbers did not bother Dan.

On that day Dan was bang on target
He was shooting for to kill
Killed two Tans and wounded two others
In the wood by Glenburn hill.

But the Tans they overpowered him
In the wood at Glenburn vale
And took the rebel as their prisoner
And shipped him off for Brixton jail.

He was sentenced by a biased judge
To be shot by firing squad
And be buried in a jail yard
Under enemy owned sod.

But he avoided execution
By escaping from Brixton's hell
And made his way back home to Ireland
To the vale he loved so well.

Dan McKay had to live wary
As he was now a wanted man
He was marked for execution
By the murderous Black and Tan.

He had come back as a stowaway
In a boat across the sea
And was home in Glenburn valley
On the run and living free.

For information to his capture
The Brits put in their bid,
To the one who would betray him
They would give four hundred quid.

And four hundred quid in those days
Was a considerable sum,
A quick and easy fortune
For a worthless Judas bum.

The Brits got their information
And the reward it was paid
And the traitor felt quite happy
With the easy fortune he had made.

He was betrayed by one he thought to be trustworthy,
One on whom he did depend
But it's when a man's in trouble
That he come to know his friends.

The traitor led the British
To where a wooden cabin stood
The hiding place of Dan McKay
In the heart of Glenburn wood.

The hide out of the rebel
The soldiers did surround
And McKay knew he was in a snare
That the Brits were all around.

The commander shouted 'come out with hands raised'
And surrender in the peaceful way
Or we'll blast your hut to pieces
And fill you with lead, McKay.

You go to hell I won't surrender,
Retorted brave Dan Mac,
I'd rather die here in Glenburn
Than let ye take me back.

McKay he came out shooting
From his hideout in the wood
But the British were too many
And he died in his own blood.

That night his neighbours took his body
And beside an elm tree
They sunk a grave for Dan McKay
In Glenburn cemetery

And in the village of Glenburn
A marble memorial stand
To the hero who died fighting
With a rifle in his hand.

Had I The Power

Had I the power to know and see
The good points and the bad in me
A philosopher I would be instead
Of one who walks around half dead.

Had I the power to understand
And give others a helping hand
And overlook their faults to find
That they too can be good and kind.

Had I the power to spurn hate
to not scorn or discriminate
And have no badness in my heart
Then I would be a man apart.

Outward a person may seem nice
But that doesn't mean he's free of vice
Because he behaves well doesn't mean
That inward he is spotless clean.

There's no human truly perfect
In each of us there's some defect
We merely flatter to deceive
Perfection we cannot achieve.

Had I the power to show my true inside
And not be keeping meaner traits ahide
And show the badness in me with the good
There's no use trying because I never could.

I Will Take You Home To Millstreet

I will take you home to Millstreet when the May is in her bloom
And the green meads cloaked with wildflowers scent of Nature's sweet perfume
And the dark winged barn swallows white unders and throat rust brown
Wheel above the lush green pastures bordering Millstreet's Country Town.

I will take you home to Millstreet to the Town by Clara hill
When the dipper sings her sweetest on green bank of babbling rill
And the male snipe late at evening with his wings make goat like sound
As above the silent rush fields he goes flying around and round.

I will take you home to Millstreet when soft grass growing breezes blow
And relive again the old days with old friends I used to know
And give a call into the Bush Bar for the dance and the sing song,
I will take you home to Millstreet if with me you'll come along.

Will you come with me my darling to green valleys far away
When the birds in leafy woodlands pipe their sweetest notes of May
To the land I still call homeland, to the country of my youth
Ireland, North Cork and Duhallow where my manhood first took root.

As We Grow Older

As we grow older our lust for life seems to be on the wane
And I'd trade what little knowledge that the years brought to me for to be young again
To be a teenager once more with energy to spare
And to play football hard for an hour and run like the hunted hare.

But in life as we know all too well the young years seem to fly
And on looking back it doesn't seem long since I was a Schoolboy
And my golden twenties came and went and time just sped away
And too soon the brown hairs on my head were turning silver gray.

As we grow older our passion wanes and time on us takes toll
And ageing something we can't combat it's beyond our control
Some people jog, run and lift weights, have face lifts and dye their hair
And from their war on ageing the plastic surgeon becomes a millionaire.

As I grow older and time goes by it often occurs to me
That physically or mentally I'm not the man I used to be
But I like all of the others cannot turn back the hands of time
And re-live again my best span from my teen years to my prime.


She's close to if not fifty but if you did not know
You'd say that she is forty for her age she does not show
Her youngest her daughter Tara is on the road to fame
As a budding teenage actress her's becoming a big name.

Her three sons in their twenties she only can feel proud
Of them and their achievements they stand out in the crowd
Her children all have her ways and in them so much good
Like her they are kindhearted and would help you if they could.

Chris was raised in Tasmania and she still calls Tassie home
And her great love and nostalgia for the 'Apple Isle' in time she has not outgrown
And though many feel Tasmania's winters can be wet and cold
She says she'll return to live there and there she will grow old.

She has done her share of travelling beyond Australia's shore
Been to Tibet and India where few Aussies have been before
And though for years she's lived in Cockatoo there she will not stay
She will go home to Tasmania and there grow old and gray.

She must be close to fifty years though she doesn't look her age
And she's intelligent and wise she is a female sage
And her travels in Southern Asia she is happy to recall
But she still calls Tasmania home and it's her favourite place of all.

I'm Not Saying You Are A Racist

You are playing the game of races and I find that a little sad
Don't tell me this is a good race and don't tell me this race is bad
I'm not saying you are a racist I only wish to make it clear
That when you start comparing people I for one doesn't wish to hear.

Sad to think that in my own lifetime of prejudice we won't be free
For in all races there's good and some bad that's how it would seem to me
And when you say some races are better than others you are entitled to your point of view
But it doesn't mean your views are right and that I have to agree with you.

I'm not saying you are a racist don't put words into my mouth
It's just we don't agree on this one and with you I don't want a verbal bout
Still in the history of mankind is there one race you could name
Who could claim that not one of theirs has committed any acts of shame?

I'm not saying you are a racist and to say the least I feel perturbed
For against you I have not used not even once the racist word
You have your views and I have my views and we are different as chalk and cheese
Can we call it quits on this one and can we change the subject please.

I'm not saying you are a racist just with you I do not agree
When you say some races better than others that does not seem right to me
And I'm not saying you are a racist I only wish to make it clear
That when you start comparing people I for one doesn't wish to hear.

Life Isn't That Bad

If you feel that life has done you wrong
And the will to die in you is strong
Don't give up life's worth another try
Only an insane man would rather die.

Life isn't meant to be a bed of flowers
Everybody have their lonely hours
Everybody have their times of woe
Unhappiness is a thing that we all know.

Self pity is a thing one should avoid,
Self pity makes one contemplate suicide,
Self pity only makes you feel more sad
Cheer up my friend life isn't all that bad.

'Tis short enough the human life time span
Life's short enough so live long as you can
Why should you want to die before your day
'Tis soon enough life from you death will take away.

Life is what you make of it that's true
Depression and worries are nothing new
Other people have their worries too
And they don't wish to die so why should you?

Summer Morning

Through the fields the sun rays creep
And the little birds wake from their sleep
And cheerful are the notes they play
To welcome the new born day.

The little daisy from repose
To the golden sun unclose
Face of yellow and petals white
Glittering in the morning light.

Little rabbits have their fun
Prancing in the morning sun
Full of happiness and glee
Enjoying their game of follow me.

Amidst the rapids of the stream
The lanky heron stand serene
Waiting for his morning dish
Of little silver minnow fish.

Sweet scent of Nature in the air
Wildflowers blooming everywhere
On a summer morning bright and fair
In a valley free of care.

The Champion From Mushera

I remember him quite vaguely and his hair was silvery gray
But he was a famous athlete way back in his younger day
He used to visit Caherbarnagh, call to see Den Donnelly
And though quite young I still remember as I have good memory.

He walked with a cane's assistance and his walk was stiff and slow
But he was All Ireland champion many, many years ago
And an old time sport's fan told me that in the year of  nineteen ten
The All Ireland two mile hurdle Mushera's Paddy Keeffe did win.

'Twas nineteen ten  I think he told me I stand corrected if I'm wrong
That Paddy Keeffe from Mushera was the man revered in song
And that from Macroom to Mushera bonfires by the road did burn
For to welcome back their hero when their champion did return.

There were great men in Duhallow just remember Dr Pat
He was two times Olympic champion only few can equal that
And he broke a world hammer record in nineteen thirty two
And his homeplace Derrygallon became known to quite a few.

But before Dr Pat was even born Paddy Keeffe had won his fame
And through Muskerry and Duhallow he'd become a household name
But he never competed in the Olympics never had the chance to try
And the old time sport's fan oft times used to ask the question why?

Because Paddy Keeffe in those days was an athlete next to none
And the fastest men in Ireland he had beaten and outrun
He may have been Olympic champion may have come home with the gold
But he wasn't asked to compete so the story has been told.

If you see an aged fellow slowly shuffling down the street
Do not dimiss him with scorn he may have been great athlete
Just like Paddy Keeffe from Mushera one I used to vaguely know
A renowned All Ireland champion many, many years ago.

The Last Threshers

Denny Sullivan and Jer Noonan, Tim Ring and Paddy Lane
They owned the last threshing machines and threshed the farmer's grain
Their old machines outlived their use and were left to rust away
But I still hear them boo in farmer's yard on chilly autumn day.

Back in the fifties change occured at quite a rapid pace
And the combine harvester came along to take the thresher's place
And that friendly boo we used to love became a memory
And with those who say the change was for the good I choose to disagree.

Threshing day was a busy day in every farm yard
And the neighbours came to lend a hand and the work at times was hard
But threshing was a cultural thing and when boo of old thresher died
The harmony it brought about too left the countryside.

Denny Sullivan and Jer Noonan, Tim Ring and Paddy Lane
The memory of their old machines are all that now remain
They owned the last threshing machines and they worked hard for their gain
And in farmyard on autumn day they threshed the farmer's grain.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Successful Man

He's reached the top from a humble beginning
And he has built up a huge company
And he has won respect for his achievements
And many say there's none so great as he.

He once owned one truck and now at the least twenty
And his empire is getting bigger by the day
But one of his former employees told me
That he kept from him two weeks working pay.

His ex employee went to the trade union
But the union would not help him in his cause
They said he claim you gave him too short a notice
And we can't help you not on moral laws.

His ex employee says he has been cheated
And I believe him every word he say
Some looked on as successful lack in morals
And successful man found excuse not to pay.

He owes an ex employee two weeks wages
Yet by society he is glorified
It doesn't matter if he cheat his workers
On his achievements he can take pride.

Poor Johnny down the road he lives on welfare
And he doesn't owe or cheat the honest soul
And despite the fact of the high unemployment
He's judged as worthless bludger on the dole.

Perhaps there is some moral in this story
A moral I find hard to understand
If you grow wealthy despite grave shortcomings
The respect of society you command.

It Takes One To Know One

George W Bush who is far from a saintly bloke he is his father's son
Says Osama Bin Laden is a soul less man it takes one to know one
And his so called war on terrorism one might say has been won
And the Taliban have been routed and El Qaeda on the run.

George W and Osama in many ways the same
For the christian god and the muslim allah they've committed acts of shame
They've taken the lives of thousands of human beings two wrongs don't make a right
One thing in common they possess their souls bereft of light.

George W hates Osama and for his crimes he vows 'we'll make him pay'
There is no love lost between them hate is not all one way
Their motto a life for a life and an eye for an eye
And for the christian god and the muslim allah thousands condemned to die.

George W by waging war on terror fear and terror spread
And millions become refugees and lucky seem the dead
And when Osama is captured or gunned to death Bush of course will celebrate
Though he himself in part responsible for escalating hate.

To give birth to a terrorist one only need a cause
For a terrorist doesn't have respect for any man made laws
They are the people who believe in an eye for an eye
And for their god they kill people and for their god they die.

The brothers war and terror forever will live on
They have been around for centuries and people have come and gone
And due to the likes of Osama and George W mistrust and hatred survive
And terrorism and war mongering still very much alive.

In Life They Really Never Had A Chance

Found dead in a shipping container in Wexford far away
Their deaths like their lives so tragic sad to say
They spent what little money they had on their passage from poverty
But their promised new life they did not live to see.

They died in their coffin ship out at sea
How tragic for many life and death can be
Born in the wrong place and due to circumstance
In life they never really had a chance.

And though they did not live to see the foreign shore
They will not have to worry any more
About trying to exist from day to day
Right till their end for them 'twas a struggle all of the way.

From their life hardships their end brought a release
And may they rest forever more in peace
Those poor homeless souls who died so tragically
In a shipping container on the Atlantic sea.

Not Many Trees In Grantville

For so called human progress there is some price to pay
Few old gums left in Grantville they have been cut away
The parrots need the old gums for cavities to nest in
So much damage done to Nature by sons of Pioneering men.

Not many trees in Grantville and the oldest gums there I've seen
Not over thirty five years old or so to me 'twould seem
And few wild cockatoos in Grantville though perhaps many once lived there
Before the old gums were cut down and wildlife became rare.

You need not be a tree expert with arboricultural degrees
To know that the coastal lands of South West Gippsland could do with lots of trees
Nature's garden the wood and grove with birdsong is alive
But in a land denuded of trees few wild creatures survive.

Not many trees in Grantville the village by the sea
And the oldest gum not more than thirty five or so 'twould seem to me
And though the damage done by human kind is not beyond repair
The coastal lands without their trees to say the least seem bare.

John Rankine

You well might say no ordinary fellow
For he is one who has travelled far and wide
He's been to India, Tibet and China
And seen some of Britain's greenest countryside.

A character in the true sense John Rankine
With dark brown crew cut hair and eyes as dark as coal
Well educated yet he's not a highbrow
And he's one you'd find hard to pigeon hole.

He has one child a teenage daughter Tara
And I have heard him sing her praises loud
She is one of extraordinary talents
And of her he feels justifiably proud.

He may be fifty and in years advancing
And in his hair you can see bits of gray
But he has hopes and great dreams for his future
And one can't say he's known a better day.

Robert Burns in verse lauded his Scottish namesake and ancestor
And links to Australian Aboriginals he too can trace
But John Rankine in his own right is an Aussie
And one who believes in the equality of race.

John Rankine not your average sort of fellow
Though a few pots of coopers ale he does enjoy
A chatty bloke he has a restless spirit
And he's one you would find hard to classify.

To Yvonne On Her Fiftieth

Happy birthday to you Yvonne on this your fiftieth birthday
And you still look young and beautiful you don't have any gray
And may all you've ever dreamt of in the coming year come true
For there's never been more worthy or more wonderful than you.

Of your children Garreth and Gwynnie you feel justifiably proud
These two seem to be going places and they stand out in a crowd
Garreth for his bird recordings has become a well known name
And Gwynnie as a budding actress on the road to wealth and fame.

You are an enterprising person Yvonne and community inclined
And of your many fine achievements the Kallista market spring to mind
The market was your brain child what a marvellous idea
And you've done your share for Sherbrooke with that none could disagree.

Happy birthday to you Yvonne on your very special day
And you still look young and beautiful you don't have any gray
You are intelligent and kindhearted and in you there's much to admire
And you are one of the most enterprising people in the whole of Sherbrooke Shire.

My So Called Buddy

Poetaster Duggan ought to give writing away
For such he does not get reward or pay
And he should know better now his hair is gray
I overheard my so called buddy say.

He writes of silly things like flowers and bees,
Of animals and birds and leafy trees
And of comely girls he knew in his life's may
And he writes a doggerel or two every  day.

Such words of course one does not wish to hear
But he did not know that I was standing near
And to his drinking mates I heard him put me down
As just one more pretender to renown.

He always say such nice things to my face
Like I am worthy of a higher place
In literarture and one day I'll be great
And keep your good work up 'good on you mate'.

The type of man he is I had realized
And by his behaviour I was not surprised
For he had put his best mates down to me
And why should I be treated any differently.

He writes a doggerel or two every day
To his drinking mates I overheard him say
But to my face he's so good to pretend
The one I only know as so called friend.

South Australian Heat Wave

You'd best wear footwear to the beach this weather
The foreshore sand so hot can burn your feet
In all my years and I've known many summers
I swear by all I've never known such heat.

Maybe it's because I come from a colder climate
And I have less resistance to the sun
But native people too have been complaining
Which goes to show I'm not the only one.

It's been said that South Australia much warmer than Victoria
And with such a statement I won't disagree
The temperatures are soaring near the forty
And this is near the end of february.

There is no talk about a cool change coming
And the forecast still warm for a week or two
The sun in a blue sky keeps getting hotter
Since early morn through clouds it has burnt through.

It's been said from mid march on the weather changes
And the temperatures drop ten degrees or more
But by then I'll be back in Sherbrooke mountains
Eight hundred k's south east of Semaphore

Murray Bridge

An old town in the brown country seven hundred miles away
Long before the colonizers came I heard an old man say
That the black tribes used to live there and there they fished and hunted every day
But the changes quickly happened when the white race came to stay.

To Murray Bridge in South Australia the seasons come and go
An old town in the dry country where the mighty Murray flow
Through the undulating paddocks babbling downhill to the sea
In a land of rugged beauty with a proud black history.

I can hear the welcome swallows chirping in the sunny skies
O'er the bare and brown high country every time I visualize
In a land as old as time itself where in the evening breeze
The magpies and the butcherbirds pipe on the scrubland trees.

Where the black tribes fished and hunted long before the British came
And such wild and rugged beauty man could never hope to tame
And where even the tallest gum tree to a great height does not grow
In Murray Bridge in South Australia where the mighty Murray flow.

Old Ned

If there's a life hereafter for his soul no need to pray
As he is now in heaven forever more to stay
To help out other people he went out out of his way
And not one bad word about him those who knew of him say.

He lived to be eighty one in time a lengthy span
And he will be remembered as a true gentleman
His heart was full of kindness and he would not harm a fly
And the reaper may have claimed him but his soul will never die.

As the biggest hearted person in his own neighbourhood
Old Ned will be remembered as one who did some good
And people he befriended years from now will recall
The wise man who firmly believed in a fair go for all.

Old Ned was a good fellow and for his soul no need to pray
For if there is a heaven he is surely there today
And though he was an atheist he would help you if he could
And he will be remembered as a fellow who did good.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

To Noel Who Has George Bush Senior As His Hero

He say George Bush his hero but with him I don't agree
For George Bush bombers killed thousands just to set Kuwait free
And Saddam been defeated and two countries been destroyed
And George Bush and John Major in allied victory take pride.

Noel say that I'm for Saddam but he has got it wrong
For on side of one who kill and maim I don't feel I belong
And Hussein is a killer and all who kill are bad
And George Bush just as bad as him which makes it all more sad.

Two hundred thousand Iraqis in Kuwait desert died
And the sands of Kuwait desert the shame of George Bush hide
And the Kuwait oil wells burning and blood's been shed for oil
And Kuwait now free country but was it all worth while?

And the sky o'er Kuwait desert from smoke as black as coal
And George Bush, Noel Johnson's hero, you can have your hero Noel
You applaud the allied bombers and condemn the I R A
But they all throw bombs on people though you don't see it that way.

He say George Bush is his hero, George Bush who felt no shame
In murdering Iraqi people just to earn himself a name,
George Bush who bombed and murdered just to prove his country great
And whose crimes and shame lay covered by the white sands of Kuwait.

A Ballad Of Wasted Years

I have walked through tougher Harlem where few strangers dare to go
And I've been in London City in the rain and in the snow
And I've worked in inner Melbourne in the searing summer heat
And believe me if I tell you I have earned the bread I eat.

I have laboured in deep trenches with my life I've took a dare
And I've worked in cherry pickers ninety foot up in the air
And the hands of time keep turning and the years go quickly by
And the man who lives on welfare is still better off than I.

And who needs the tag of good worker it's no big deal anyway
He's a wiser and better off man who sits at home all day
And his conscience doesn't prick him isn't he the lucky one
And must I be one great idiot to go labouring in the sun.

I was low in social ladder and I still am way down low
And I feel my life's been wasted for my years have nought to show
Some may say he's a good worker that's of little use to me
All I need is lots of money I don't need you sympathy.

I felt happy for a brief while in a green land miles away
In that beautiful green country where I lived for many a day
I felt inwardly contented even though I was quite poor
Listening to the pipits piping in the meads of Annagloor.

Till the wanderlust possessed me I grew restless as the wind
Pity on all migrant workers, pity on all wandereing kind
Went to live in foreign city worked with strong hard working men
But I've nought to show for labour I'm poor now as I was then.

In Ireland I cut down pine trees in the hills where bracken grow
And in Wales I picked potatoes many, many years ago
I have laboured for a living on myself I have been cruel
All the world laughs at an idiot all the world laughs at a fool.

I am getting old and weary and what hair I've left is gray
And I'm well beyond the fifty and I've seen a better day
And like the work weary work horse all the better years are gone
And I still work as a labourer and I still keep plodding on.

Please don't say he's a good worker such words I don't wish to hear
For I've nought to show for labour though I've worked for many a year
Words like 'good hard working fellow' do not do a thing for me
All I need is lots of money, I don't need your sympathy.

City Man You'd Best Go Back To Town

City man you'd best go back to town
If living in the country gets you down
And though the songbirds sing with voices sweet
You'd much prefer the noisy city street.

These rural towns are quiet as quiet can be
There's so little to do and less to see
Save go into a pub and drink your fill
And come out feeling much more lonely still.

Pleasant is the music of the thrushes
And fragrant is the scent of flowering bushes
Here the air is pure and free of taint
But you would rather live midst smoke and paint.

City man you miss your city kin
You've little in common with rural men,
You've little love for peaceful country life,
You'd much prefer to live where noise is rife.

You are like a fisherman ashore
He find inland life is quite a bore
Unhappy the poor fisherman will be
Until he returns to his beloved sea.

City man the city's calling you
Go bid the lonely countryside adieu,
Your urge for city living's always strong
It is where a man is raised that he belong.

City man go back to your own kind
And leave this sense of loneliness behind
Country life it isn't to your taste
Go back home to the city in a haste.

Wealthy Man Don't Hoard Your Money

Some one else will own your property when you are dead and gone
The day you die the world won't stop life it will carry on
You've made it big, you've reached the top, you're plutocratic kind
But wealthy guy you too must die and leave your wealth behind.

You came out of your mother free of guilt and evil sin
But now you're just a money hoarder like all other greedy men,
Your dreams of wealth have all come true you are now a millionaire
But moneyed man you too will die as sure as cows wear hair.

There's nothing wrong with money without money man can't live
But in a man there must be what is known as take and give
And just like all other greedy men you never give but take
And the more money you accumulate the more you want to make.

Wealthy man don't hoard your money, don't be scared to spend a pound
Or someone else will spend it for you when your bones rest underground
Everybody hates a miser, no one loves a greedy soul
And you too will be forgotten when you're placed in earthy hole.

Modern Poets And Modern Poetry

Modern poets and modern poetry seem far too complex to understand
For such as I a common labourer from the boglands of Ireland
Though whether it be good or not so it is not for me to say
As I'm not a poetry critic and so I'll keep my tongue at bay.

Maybe some of these modern poets are special and the poems they write are great
And maybe they are superior thinkers writing from exalted state
Most poetical critics now acclaim them and prefer the modern style
And 'twould seem that modern style poets are now the in thing and their efforts seem worthwhile.

But for me it's old style ballad, give me good old fashioned rhyme
To the modern style of poetry I'd prefer it every time
Like I say I'm just a labourer from the boglands of Ireland
And the complex modern style of poetry is far too hard for me to understand.

A Contradiction

They go to church with their prayer books on sunday and praise the lord and sing their hymns and pray
And when their political leaders talk of war they support them for war to them one might say seems okay
They are what one might call a contradiction their love for god and war go hand in hand
These people who love god and talk of bloodshed are people that are hard to understand.

They go to church to pray to the almighty though with their next door neighbour they're at war
But they kid themselves by their self delusion for they take self delusion that bit far
They say they love god though their god from them seem distant and they don't seem to have their god within
And if their god exist then their god will disown them for god's approval they could not hope to win.

These people truly are a contradiction they go to church and praise their god in song
Yet some of them belittle their next door neighbour and some of them will tell you war's not wrong
And some of them back their political leaders to drop bombs on people they don't even know
And they think they are decent church going people yet for others compassion they do not show.

On A Down And Out On Meeting The Love Of His Life

We had good times when we were young, we had now didn't we
And we had no worries in those days and and we lived life carefree
And I loved you then as I still do but you did not love me
And I hoped you'd stay with me for life but it wasn't meant to be.

And you looked lovely in those days with tresses of nut brown
And winsome smile and sloe blue eyes the prettiest girl in town
And other fellows envied me and I walked twelve foot tall
As my girl was a blooming flower the fairest rose of all.

But you have aged a bit since then through brown hair show some gray
Yet your face is still quite pretty as it was in by gone day
I recognized you at first glance as you walked up the street
And you still look so beautiful and yet so nice to meet.

I oft think of our courting days oh how could I forget
Your hot lips pressing against mine, the perfume of your breath
Your firm breasts pressing against me, my pulses racing free
Just thinking of those happy times a pleasant memory.

Is that your daughter with you there that lovely young woman?
She's got your face, she's got your smile and she looks quite like you Ann,
And I bet she has admirers too like you had years ago
And I bet she'll leave one young man too as you left me in woe.

And how's your husband getting on I hear he's big success
And he give you what I could not security and happiness
Suppose you've heard that I've been drinking hard I've hit an all time low
I've dredged the dregs and drink moonshine how lower can one go?

I see your daughter calling you it's time you were away
Goodbye my love, my one true love we'll meet again some day
And I go back to draughty shed where all town alkies sleep
And drink the awful dregs with them where damp and cracked walls weep.

Why Should I Miss What I Still Have

Those mountains I lived near years ago are never far away
And Jack Johnny's field by Clara hill I climb it every day
I see old Caherbarnagh and the Paps beyond Rathmore
And Duhallow fields are looking green as anytime before.

My face looks old but I feel young and at heart I'm still a boy
The small brown lark with melodious voice is singing in the sky
And singing, singing as she soar till in clouds she disappear
The tiny bird gone from my view but still her voice I hear.

Why should I miss what I still have, why should I waste a tear?
For green Duhallow and her fields when she is still so near
In the high wood by Pomeroy's field I hear the robin sing
It can't be long till roses bloom, it can't be long till spring.

Why should I miss what I still have, what still belong to me?
The chaffinch with the bright pink breast sings on the hawthorn tree
And pied wagtail chirps and wags his tail and none so proud as he
Why should I miss what I still have the soul has eyes to see.

Why should I miss what I still have what was and is still mine?
The first daisy her beauty show to early march sunshine
And young lambs in the mountain fields around their mothers play
And those hills I lived near years ago are still so near today.

One Day Nearer Spring

The weather cold this morning it is only two degrees
And a thick fog through the woodland, I can hardly see the trees
And the wildborn birds are silent there is scarcely any breeze
It's a day for woolly jumper though not cold enough to freeze.

For winter in Victoria the weather seems quite dry
And the mornings foggy and quite cold allowing for july
And the fog doesn't lift till mid morning and the sunshine through the gray
And you see the grayness of your breath on a chilly winter day

But only yesterday I saw male blackbird searching for a nesting site
On the ivy along galvanize fence in mid afternoon sunlight
And from there he flew to camellia tree as he pondered on where best
Might be the safest place for him and his mate to build their year's first nest.

The last leaves off of deciduous tree lay scattered on the ground
And in the grayness of the dawn the silence is profound,
The ghost like trees shrouded in gray and the birds refuse to sing
But every winter day that dawns is one day nearer spring.

Rhyme Of A Stateless Fellow

So many rhymes and doggerels i've written
Since I first started writing back in seventy three
And I was twenty seven I remember
And the years and time have left their mark on me.

I fancied myself as a man of letters
Though I did not have a literary degree
But now some decades and some seasons later
The folly of my dreamings I can see.

A migrant truly is a Stateless fellow
Though he left his homeland of his own free will
And I'm still a so called citizen of Ireland
But a long, long way from here to Clara hill.

I have great love for this great land Australia
And I have seen bits of this big country
But one could travel through Australia for five decades
And all of this vast land they would not see.

I've thought about getting an Aussie passport
And on paper change my nationality
But I don't speak or act like an Australian
And a paper Aussie is all I would be.

And for now I will remain a Stateless fellow
A Stateless fellow of my own free will
And I'm still a so called citizen of Ireland
But a long, long way from here to Clara hill.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

David Smith

I know this fellow David Smith and for causes he's a fighter
But there is more to him than that he is such a fine writer
He writes short stories, verse and plays and fame for him is waiting
And his name in some future day we will be celebrating.

I thought that Greek mythology and such was something out of fashion
But he has brought it back to life and he writes with a passion
About Socrates and other Greek greats and he's written plays and stories
About the legends of old Greece and tell of Grecian glories.

Lord Byron is the favourite poet of this renowned debater
He think that Byron was the best than him there was none greater
But he doesn't like Wordsworth that much, he says he's over rated
Still Keats and Shelley he too like such good stuff they created.

By days he writes stories and plays by night a taxi driver
And he keeps battling up life's hill he is the great survivor
And he will see his dream come true to live off of his writing
But until then in literary world to succeed he'll keep fighting.

He believes in a fair go for all he is such a good fellow
And I've seldom seen him out of sorts he comes across as mellow
And David Smith the writer now one step away from glory
And fame will come to him one day in verse or play or story.

The Spinster's Cat

The spinster she was worried
Her cat had gone astray
As through the fields she hurried
In the pleasant month of may.

The name she called the cat was jack
His eyes were large and brown
He wore a coat of sheeny black
As soft as eiderdown.

She called aloud the name of jack
And waited for an answer
But the only thing that answered back
Was her neighbour's dog romancer.

She finally found the cat dead on the roadside
Two miles west of the town
Her grief the lady could not hide,
Her face sad tears flowed down.

She looked almost in disbelief
At her cat with mangled head
Till her shock gave way to a revengeful type grief
And here is what she said

Oh blast the driver of that car
May he die a painful death,
He's inflicted in my heart a sorrow scar
By killing my feline pet.

The spinster took away her cat
To bury him near her house
He never more would kill a rat
Nor eat another mouse.


Somewhere down along life's line
For each human the sun will shine
Your life won't always remain drear
Someday the gloom will disappear.

The man raised in a city slum
He has reason to feel glum
But he may wake to find some day
Dejection many miles away.

The prostitute she walks the street
A customer hoping to meet
If that's her only way to live
Then god her sin he will forgive.

The crook is serving time in jail
At living honest he did fail
His sentence served they set him free
And over is his misery.

The aristocrat may build an expensive house
And buy a mink coat for his spouse
But all his money cannot buy
The simple thing called living joy.

The gipsies a nomadic race
Never settle in any place
It may seem funny but you will find
That the gipsy race know peace of mind.

Puzzling indeed life can be
Like an apple on a tree
Someday it has got to fall
So must humans one and all.

Worry not too much for wealth
But be grateful for your health
In this old world we cannot stay
We have got to leave someday.