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The Flowing Tide (across the street from the Abbey Theatre) R+


dedalus
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Whaa yez ffff (cough) loo-lookin aa?

Tink oi’m fff-tin st

range, like? B—b-bowsy. Yer m-m-mother

dropped her draw- (cough) fff’n drawers

in Henry Street, a ho-(gasp) holy show

she was affter maykin

of hurrshelf.

 

Dartry grasps the situation

immediately, strides up to the autistic

albino leper, takes him by the shoulder

companiably, and shoots him in the head.

The bar staff lift him out, resignedly,

and give him a heave into the yard,

(now designated the Smokers Corner)

among the other restful corpses.

 

I understand you’ve been misbehaving

says D, raising a quiet two fingers

and we have to wait for the usual 5-6 minutes

while the muddy brown shite does its thing

and comes out a black and glistening Arthur G.

Such tales are exaggerated. Don’t mind me

but did you really have to go and shoot that eejit?

Overall, yes, I went to school with his brother.

Oh, right. Why would you not think

 

about politics? You have the makings,

guns that work and a pile of queer money,

the history of our beloved ancient country,

and you’ve only to shoot the poor gobshites

that get in the way, two minutes before

they haul off and shoot you instead.

 

A cute little precis of the Tan War, says D,

and what were you about in Norn Iron?

Nowt, says I, only business as feckin usual

and since when have you had the ghra mo chroi

for Presbyterians? There’s not much of a laugh

in them, says D, musingly, dour motherfuckers

like they’d had pickles for breakfast, ready

to throw their dying Granny off the bed

to get at that last hidden penny.

 

Our fellow countrymen. We pause and think.

Thank Christ we don’t live in England, anyway.

Do you know what they call James the Second,

says I, apropos of nothing, James the Wha, says D?

Second, never been a Third. Came over here

and got his arse kicked royally on the Boyne

up by Duleek where they have the new bridge.

Oh, I know that bridge, says D, it’s nice, so it is,

and I’m not such a goner on modern architecture

but that is a fuckin nice bridge. It’s got a nice

airy character to it, says I, floating over the river

where all that historical shite went down.

What historical shite, asks D, a typical modern

Irishman. Well, to cut things short they called him

Seamus the Shit. Who? Never mind. He died in France.

 

I wouldn’t mind going to France, and I don’t mean

just the Duty-frees in Dunkirk and Boulogne

but the real heart of the country, like, la France Profonde,

where nobody speaks English. Lookit, nobody

speaks English in France, period. They won’t issue

you a passport if you even give a hint of speaking English

and if you pretend to understand that bastard tongue

they’ll cut your garlic ration for the next ten years.

That bad? Believe it. How do they get on in the world?

They don’t. They’ve been fading out for centuries.

Au revoir! Une last goodbye. A finally finally last good byeee!

The fuckers can never get off the stage. A bit like us, so?

No. We are a teensy-weensy bit aware of our own shortcomings.

 

Do you not like our Gallic cousins, ancestral Celts and the like?

I love them to bits. They have style and panache and joei de vivre

that allows the rest of us to get on with life while they prance about

like idiots. Well, then, what about the Germans? Do NOT get me

started!! Whaa yez ffff (cough) loo-lookin aa? Tink oi’m fff-tin st

range, like? B—b-bowsy. Yer m-m … says a rough but familiar voice

and we are rejoined by a large looming figure from Smokers Paradise.

Jayz, you were a long time having a puff, Jim.

Edited by dedalus

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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  • 2 weeks later...

You're a master storyteller, Brendan. I always enjoy a good yarn, and I've learned a lot from your poems about the differences, the squabbles, that seem to be inherent in European culture. We don't seem to have so much of that here across the pond, but perhaps that's because most of us speak the same language (for now, though that seems to be changing).

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Europe is nothing if not contentious although it's calmed down considerably since 1945 with a few hiccups here and there (notably the Balkans). Education, mass media and travel, not to mention the creation of the EU, have done much to iron out the prejudices of the past although some ethnic and border disputes are still simmering. I've been reading (well, listening on Audiobooks) to Tony Judts's "Postwar", an excellent overview of trends and events throughout the continent from 1945-2004. Highly recommended.

 

Brendan

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Hi Brendan, This one was a little harder to read because of the dialect or whatever you call it. It is like going to the movies and the actors are speaking in regional accents which make the dialogue more authentic but often make me wish I had rewind so I could go back and hear it a few times to I could understand what was said. So I am just going to have to read this over a few times to truly get it.

 

Dartry grasps the situation

immediately, strides up to the autistic

albino leper, takes him by the shoulder

companiably, and shoots him in the head.

The bar staff lift him out, resignedly,

and give him a heave into the yard,

(now designated the Smokers Corner)

among the other restful corpses.

 

Oh My God! The words in this passage are jolting. The imagery horrifying...... You really are good!

 

~~Tink

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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