Monday, December 28, 2009

HOPE



DEATH OF A CHEESE AND ONION SANDWICH


He really shouldn’t have uttered those words again! It was Thursday for God’s sake. Steak and onions day! Now he lies there dead, next to the fridge…a beached whale…a proud-looking Newbridge carving knife wedged into a steak-gorged belly like a flag of surrender. "Hey didn’t I do well!"…if knives could talk…"and you thought getting a set of us for your fiftieth was a sad joke in bad taste. Not sexy! Women… just can’t fathom them!" Why did someone draw you like this? Purple- blotched legs, hairless, joined to a confusion of penis and testicles bandaged in bri-nylon, knobbly blue underpants. Flabby, flaky folds of creased blackhead-ridden neck escapes from a blue and white striped Van Heusen. What a grotesque last sketch of you!

Interesting men… or should I say men, who think they are interesting, need not concern themselves with irritating things like romance or sexual foreplay. Forget the flowers, candle-lit dinners, Armani suits and armpits. A shower! Don’t be ridiculous…they’re for wimps. Funny, I think, I never caught you outside Tesco conducting a survey on the subject. Did you ever ask me or any other woman for that matter what does ‘it’ for her, or indeed, her opinions about anything.


Oh…and once a woman is over forty-five, bundle her into the ‘M’ Box, throw away the key, letting her out again at sixty. All her dreams of exploring herself and the world will have stopped scaring the shit out of you by then. You can complain how your wife no longer understands you…just lies on her back thinking of the fatherland, enabling you to screw, without guilt, the girl from under the tree at Spar. Smelling like a septic tank you will belch and fart your inevitable path to nothingness, without any protestations from her indoors. She’ll be too busy with the grandchildren. Dreams of adventures lying… rotting in the ‘M’ Box compost heap.

Lighting a cigarette, making coffee, sadness seeps in through a crack. Why…after all these years?

You fuck your secretary as you always do on a Thursday, after eating your carefully-triangularized cheese and onion sandwiches. Grunting, groaning ..she continues to pleasure you orally. Unexpectedly, she finds herself wiping away semen from her chin, whilst trying not to heave, drowning in the stench of onions and rancid armpits. ‘Eh up, its Thursday, Steak and Onions tonight… no-one cooks a bit of steak like the wife!’ he snorts. .

My name...you used to love my name!

Zipping up your trousers and reaching for another cheese and onion sandwich, you stuff into a cavern, that my tongue once explored with an aching, helpless desire.






Secretary pulls up her sexy, black Thursday pantees. Didn’t even get a chance to fake it today! Twenty years of faking it. A woman knows these things … silly cow! Thinks she loves you. Perhaps she does! Just once, she thinks, an explosion of pleasure… a trembling… crying softly…fulfilled in your arms. Pantees re-positioned, she wonders why you never ask whether she enjoyed it, how many brothers and sisters she has, when her birthday is…so he can send flowers. Biting her lip, grieving for lost Thursday orgasms, a defiant tear appears, Secretary asks ‘Do you love me George…even a little bit?’ Poor pathetic bastard, George! Never was comfortable with that four-letter word. He is choking at this point, pulling at shirt-collar with nicotined, trifle-sponge fingers. ‘Now look ‘ere, I laid my cards on’t table from word go. A bit of slap and tickle of a Thursday lunch-time and nowt else!’ splutters whale.






I should feel angry! Am I pathetic? Why didn't I just leave him... after the accident.

A stream of crimson trickles along the grout between Thursday-scrubbed terracotta floor tiles, redirecting my gaze to the heap… ‘turkey in plastic’ lookalike, George. It’s not even that I hate you!

But...that question! "Why did I let go of his hand?" you ask it, again...over and over...again! I see only the ugliness... yours...mine... and that of the world beyond! I want the hearth of us to be fuelled again with beauty! I want things to be the way they were...the way we were... the three of us!

‘Tim…TIM…TIMMY…STOP!!!’ My screams wake me…same nightmare again. He sees you, his daddy across the street and wrenches his hand from my curled grip. Hit by a red van, he is hurtled upwards like an empty paper bag. I am frozen…can’t get to him. He's twitching there...a leaf sneezing...then nothing. Breeze stops. Life stops. My son... my only child.

You have never forgiven me! You can't forgive me! It wasn't my fault I tell you!

Tears wash clean floor, as key opens front door. You walk in, stop at kitchen table. ‘Look at me…look at me!’ I scream, not out loud. You touch my arm, ‘Don’t give me cheese and onion sandwiches ofa Thursday anymore! Gone right off 'em... twenty years...! Perhaps a bit of corned beef next Thursday, just for a change!’ Puts kettle on.




END FOR NOW... TO BE FATTENED AND CONTINUED

Maureen Walsh 2009 ©



I wrote most of this story almost four years ago. Not totally sure where it came from, but I think it is a tale of the sadness and tragedy of non-communication, but more importantly... HOPE. It is only a first draft, with much to be done on characterization, connection technique etc., but I'm thinking it might work better in a 'play' format.



Thursday, December 24, 2009

CHRISTMAS EVE P.S. FROM 'BACK OF THE MOON'

Galtee Mountains from 'Back Of The Moon'
Just a quick word to say that Fiona Shaw's lecture last night in RTE Radio station was recorded for transmission on St. Stephen's day at 7.02pm. She was both informative and entertaining...amazing! Exercized my brain away from stuffing and mince pies. Well worth the drive up and down to Dublin in dreadful road conditions. She said of art...' a harvesting of emotions.' She also spoke about the use of beautiful words to tell lies rather than the truth... as uttered by our political and clerical leaders etc. This is an hour not to be missed if you like radio.

Mel and Charlie
Anyway I'm off to watch The Muppets Christmas Carol... and might just try making another chocolate log. Look out for Santa and his reindeers in the sky on this magical white Christmas Eve. (I'm sad, I still look!) Spent some time taking photos over last couple of days of the Galtee mountains, that you can see from my house. They are looking good right now!

Superb Galtees

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

THE YELLOW ROSE OF THOMASTOWN

This yellow rose came with the house, which we bought 32 years ago, and I don't believe it has ever looked as good as this, at this time of year. The magnigicent David Austin yellow roses of today, originate from a non-perfumed yellow rose, which was discovered growing wild in Persia during the 19th Century, which were then imported, hybridized and cross-cultivated by rose enthusiasts of the west. Once upon a time, the yellow rose was associated with 'dying love'...in more modern times, however, they are usually recognized as a symbol of 'sincere friendship'. The red rose is normally associated with 'love', orange...'passion and ardour', pink...'admiration', white...'purity' etc...etc.
This brings to me to the song, which was adopted as the Texan anthem, 'The Yellow Rose of Texas, where the word 'darky' was replaced by 'soldier' in later, more politically correct times, and the word 'yellow' is thought to have referred to a light-skinned African-American with significant Caucasian ancestry. Legend has it that Mary West ( the 'yellow rose') helped Texas to win their independence from Mexico on the plains of San Jacinto, by keeping Mexican General Santa Anna busy long enough(if you know what I mean) to allow the Texans under the command of Colonel James Morgan to catch the General, quite literally with his pants down.
My yellow rose, perhaps quite poignantly, happens to be the last rose still in bloom in my garden. 'The Last Rose of Summer', is one of my favourite of Moores' melodies, and, in particular the versions recorded by the late Count John McCormack and the late Bernadette Greevy.
The word 'Last' quite often wafts a breath of sadness. However, in another light being the 'last' can grab attention and imagination and an appreciation of singularly enduring strength and survival. At the height of summer, when trees are lush, we see an abundance of green or burgundy (in the case of copper beech and maples). In Autumn, I'm often taken by the two or three leaves that hang on for dear life, like earrings on pierced ears...I inspect them closely, because they are the 'last'...I notice them. I am reminded of one of my favourite films, 'Kes'. It's a moving, hauntingly sad movie made in the 70's (I think!) about a young, dirty, mal-nourished boy who is bullied by his family, his teachers and his school pals. He has absolutely nothing going for him! One day he happens upon a young kestrel, which he takes under his wing, nutures, feeds and trains it to fly and come back to him etc. He gets a paper job to buy meat for his falcon. One of his teachers( the only one who cares) comes to watch the young boy work his magic with his new-found friend in the fields near his home, and invites the boy to relate his story to his fellow classmates, who does so with passion and tenderness. I wont give too much away, but it is a beautiful film. Anyway the reason why the last leaves remind of this film...there is an extremely funny scene in the film where the boy is put in goals... and by the way, he is tiny and hates soccer. He becomes bored out of his tree and starts to swing from the cross bar like a monkey, only to miss the goal that he should have saved. The PE teacher, who takes himself and sport far too seriously has war with him over it. Trust me...it is funny...really! Being 'last' also allows for improvement. Saving the 'last waltz' for someone is special. Then there are those who always like to have the 'last word'. You could write a thesis on it!
I love Christmas...making the Christmas cake and puddings, chutney etc. Tried a chocolate log tonight... for me...I'm a chocoholic... but sadly burned it. Well it wouldn't be Christmas, if I didn't burn something...like Alfred the Great! Have brought half the garden inside (slight exaggeration of course!) Am carol-singng tomorrow with my youngsters in aid of the Donkey Sanctuary in Liscarroll, Co. Cork and heading to Dublin tomorrow evening to hear well-known Irish actress/director Fiona Shaw deliver a talk entitled, 'The Elephant and The Nightingale - The Survival of Language in the Theatre. My Christmas treat to myself!
Alex, a dear friend of mine included a poem from Tristan and Isolde in his blog recently and while I had the house to myself a couple of nights ago, decorating the Christmas tree, I decided I would play the CD of Wagner's opera at full blast. What glorious music...no-one quite captures the essence, the anger, the calm after the storm, the way Wagner does. It's not the singing I find compelling for the most part, its in the musical interludes that I am swept away. Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher, and friend of Wagner in his early days says of this work, 'Even now I am still in search of a work which exercises such a dangerous fascination, such a spine-tingling and blissful infinity as Tristan - I have sought in vain, in every art.'
I love this cold, crisp, weather, but I sincerely hope that it doesn't interfere too much with the travel plans of those coming home for Christmas to be with their loved ones. I met my old friend E.J. last week. I love his individualism, his integrity and his artistry. We hadn't seen each other for quite some time. We didn't speak...he just smiled the brightest, biggest smile and lit up my world. Thank you E.J. ...we just know. If you're strapped for cash or ideas for last minute pressies...just SMILE! They say that 'a hug is worth a thousand words'. I think 'a smile is worth a thousand hugs'.
And 'lastly'...Love to all my inspirational friends. Please take care on the roads and keep yourselves safe! Best wishes for a merry little Christmas from 'Back of the Moon'.

Monday, December 7, 2009

TAILORED TRUTH

Odysseus outsmarts Polyphemus the Cyclops by getting him drunk
(All for a good cause! - Hooray!)



(For whose cause!)
TRUTH

Anything new to say?
Pl...e...ad change from jaded, jokes...
Juiceless!
No?
Thought not...challenge?
Stitch up that belching hole, rubber-lipped,
Kisser of whores...
Lying!


Maureen Walsh 2009 ©



POLAR OPPOSITES

N. meets S.
TIPPED...UPSIDE...DOWN
Karma Sutra 69

On a cloudful of dreams... mattressed,
Lusting, melting, merging momentarily...lovers.

In a swampful of disappointment... sucked dry,
Starving, illiciting, ignoring instantly...strangers.

Sutra Karma 69
DOWN...UPSIDE...TIPPED
S. meets N

Maureen Walsh 2009 ©
Maureen Walsh December 6th 2009
( Sleeping and Flying Collection)



Whirlwind of Lovers - Wiliam Blake - llustration for Dante's Inferno


To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.


(Wiliam Blake (1757-1827) lst Stanza from 'Auguries of Innocence')


Odysseus moved by the fate of his companions, begs Circe to restore them to their original form


Ciao for now!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

THE MAGIC AND SADNESS OF HEAVENLY CONNEMARA

View from the cottage - Diamond Hill and Twelve Pins

Wrote most of this blog two weeks ago, upon my return from Connemara. Finally getting to publish today, because pics take so long to upload etc. You've heard my lamentations before...so won't bore. Spent a few days in Chester with my friend, Diane, who I'm glad to say is recovering well following her breast reconstruction surgery...and its looking good!

Ross Point Cottage

Landed back in Tipperary yesterday for my drama classes at 4pm, feeling more refreshed and relaxed than I have felt after two weeks away in the sensual sunshine of Greece. Arrived at Ross Point Cottage, Connemara last Thursday night in the darkness, following a detour through Loughrea and three painfully slow sets of traffic lights heading into Clifden, where there is serious widening of the road going on. Heated up stew and lit a peat fire (oh the smell, if you could only bottle it...the peat of the west has a pungency all of its own!) The bed was not that comfortable and had forgotten my pillow... but did I sleep! I didn't put on my alarm once. Motto 'I get up when I wake up'... most unusual for me ...normally in a huge panic to squeeze as much as possible into one day.


'Stoned'

Anyway, waking up that first morning was like waking up on Christmas morning to a blanket of virgin snow. Indescribably beautiful...breathtaking...water everywhere. The cottage is on a farm at the end of a dirt track road bordered by yellow gorse (surprisingly in bloom...obviously a time for kissing...an old saying!) with its own private beach.


'A Time for Kissing'

The silence was stunning! I had never ever heard such silence. I wondered if I yelled to someone living across the inlet, would they hear me? I sang a line from an aria very loudly and heard it echoing to my right...I think it hit Diamond Hill and then headed towards Moyard and beyond. Who knows where an echo ends...anymore than the end of a rainbow.


'Don't you dare!'

Surprisingly, the weather for the few days, was surprisingly clement. Friday was a little cold and wet...so hats, scarves, wellies and gloves required, but Saturday was kissed with glorious sunshine and light. Bikes came out and beaches were combed.


Primary colours

Sunday was Innisboffin Island day...weather looked dodgy. Armed with bikes and 'last minute thought- flask and sandwiches'. Ferry arrived at 12 and wasn't returning until 4pm. It was cold, raining and desolate! There were houses... no bodies. Where was everyone? Cycled all over the island... sun came out...discovered a beach that resembled a tropical one from a Seychelles holiday brochure. Climbed down to it...ate...drank... played.


Tony - Chris Bonnington look-a-like?

Saw a man on a bicycle, 5 or 6 pollock hanging from his handlebars. I chatted to him. Told me he used spratt as bait; that he had caught enough to keep him and his sheepdog, who ran alongside the bike, for a week. He was extremely pleasant with a healthy sea-crisped face. Arriving back at the ferry, wheeling bikes, humans appeared like a waterfall from nowhere onto the quayside. Suddenly back in the land of the living! Upon arrival in Cleggan, these young people, students, I'm surmising, called into the only shop to grab lucozades and crisps for their mini-bus trip back to Galway. By this time it was growing dark and they were facing a two hour journey...poor things. I hadn't felt the cold all day, even on the ferry, but Cleggan was something else! Twenty minutes later I was sitting beside a turf fire eating hot chilli!


'Reflecting'
Unaware that Letterfrack was so close... it came as a complete surprise, around a bend, whilst looking for a shop that sold cigarettes and milk. It felt strange... weird...couldn't wait to get out of there. Didn't have any preconditioned thoughts about the place, even though the name had been so heavily associated with the recent Ryan Report. It took me some time to work out what I was picking up on. It wasn't as if I even spoke to any of the locals there. The whole place seems to be in mourning... mourning for the cries of help that the mountains and the ocean heard, but which humans chose NOT to hear! The Atlantic ocean of the Western seaboard has taken many fishermens' lives, sometimes annihilating whole families. This was something else however...this was man doing evil unto child, as opposed to man dying in his attempts to survive alongside but sometimes against the laws of nature. The fact that the rape and pillage of innocence was hidden and categorically denied for so long has compounded this tragedy beyond description. The Pope's condemnation comes a little too late and doesn't go far enough I'm afraid. Vatican representative, Federico Lombardy's failure to join in the call for the resignation of the five bishops from Dublin is yet another slap in the face for the victims. The victims, destined to remain children dressed in adult bodies, have never been told 'why' those dreadful atrocities happened to them.
Connemara is exquisitely beautiful and my very favourite part of Ireland. I hate to see this great wonder of the world laden with such a silent, but deafening sadness. That its divergent landscape will whistle and sing again soon will happen, most likely, when genuine retribution has been made for the greatest sin of them all... the abuse of vulnerable, innocent children!
All Cries Will Be Answered
Is that a ewe or a madman on the hill?
One rending cry leaves me wondering
As wind plays soft rushes of exhalation
And streams pulse splashy exhortation

I open...to compelling calls of black faced sheep
Who beckon tight curled lambs with budding horns
Their wind tossed heads raised from verdant turf
They summon their charges close with cries forlorn

No eagles nest on Letter Hill
Tiny swifts no longer watch the fearful sky
But flick on the wind in midgeing flight
Warmed by early summer sun.

A presence here in every exhalation
As sound and silence carry me to new exaltation
Down the valley, down the valley, sweeps the wind still
And all cries will be answered, even the madman's on the hill.

(Written by Lyle McElderry about Connemara.)

One of the trees outside cottage 'moon-kissed'

Same tree... 'twilighted'
Didn't get to see any dolphins in the ocean, but got to see three in the sky.



Thank you Connemara for having me to stay!



Same trees - 'sunlit', myself and five swans- a-swimming!