If you’re offended by casual swearing… Ireland ain’t for you.

The Cedar Lounge Revolution

This entertained me a lot, a list of 13 things tourists should not do in Ireland, particularly the following:

Object to swearing
If you’re offended by casual swearing, Ireland might not be the best holiday spot for you. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the Irish swear a lot in day-to-day conversations, even when they aren’t particularly angry. The occasionally controversial Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan describes this phenomenon as being a result of the Irish having been forced to adopt the English language against their will, saying ‘The English language doesn’t suit my soul…(It’s) like a brick wall between me and you and “fuck” is my chisel.’


View original post

Posted in Uncategorized | 32 Comments

Wading Into The Foyle



“Time, gentlemen.”

The bargirl began placing the empty chairs atop their tables one by one. Even with all the lights on in the pub it was very dark, but the younger man had no difficulty seeing his friend’s expression. Even many years ago, the older man’s eyes, set deep in a young face, were aged well beyond their years, but rather than showing weary resignation they glowed with a sort of simmering mischief, the sort of look one would see in the eyes of a man who was in on the joke. Tonight that light had retreated to some distant recess, replaced by a look the younger man had no difficulty recognizing. His friend, always somewhat haunted even in the light of day, was seeing his ghosts before him as real as if they were made flesh.

“You know my mother never trusted them,” he began.


“Never a one of them. And when she fell and broke her leg…she was a heavy woman, you know that?”


“And when she fell and broke her leg, she wouldn’t even go to a doctor, because all the doctors were prods. And she had my uncle set it for her. And she stayed in bed. We were worried, it was my dad that worried most of all, but she’d have no doctor, and then the infection started.”

The younger man said nothing, though he’d heard the story before. Somehow, listening to it in the telling calmed the both of them, the way a long sigh after weeping settles the muscles and bones of the mourner.

“We begged her to go, but she’d say, ‘They’ll take my leg, I know they will.’ And we told her they’d have to if we didn’t get to them quick. And sure enough, the leg became gangrenous. You could smell it in the room.” He paused as if remembering against his will. “We finally found a doctor who would come to the house. He was an Indian man. He told her, told us all, what we already knew, that she would have to go in hospital and the leg would have to come off. She wouldn’t have it. Said she’d die in her own home. That’s what they reduced us to. To that. And I begged the man and asked if there wasn’t some other way. I could see him wanting to say something, struggling with it. I begged him some more. Finally, he told me that in his village in India, in a case like that, they would tie a tourniquet around the leg and wait for it to spontaneously amputate. The person would die sometimes. He wouldn’t put the tourniquet on himself, but he told me how to do it, and I did it, and…can you imagine?”


“Well, she lived, somehow. And she lay in that bed for six months. We finally managed to get her to go a clinic where they made prosthetics, and given the nature of warfare on our green and glorious isle, they were able to fit one to what was left of her leg. And after all that time, I got to see my mother walk again, with a cane. And then it was me that couldn’t stand, because my legs left me and I slid right down the wall.”

He was quiet for so long that the younger man spoke to break him from his memories lest he drown in them.

“It was so long ago…”

“Did you ever feel,” the older man spoke abruptly, “that there was this time that was your life, and then there was everything after that? And the everything after is not your life, but something else?”


The bargirl, finished with her chores, turned off the lights and stood silhoutted in the door, holding it open. When she spoke her voice was quiet, distant, hollow.

“Time, gentlemen.”


Posted in Short Story, Uncategorized | Tagged | 25 Comments

Waiting By The Window


Waiting by the window

listening to the wind blow

when are you coming home?


You know the hour is growing late

and though I tire, I will wait

until I know for certain we’re alone.


At the mirror, you’ll comb your hair

make your bed and say your prayer

turn the bedroom light down soft and low.


And I will stand here in the dark

(swallowed by the teeming dark)

laughing at my little lark

And wait and breathe and watch you through the window.



Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized | 27 Comments

Fake Last Post


Any of ye who have been blogging for any length of time have probably run across a scenario like this; you log onto to your Reader only to find that one of the bloggers that you follow is announcing his or her retirement from blogging. Now, sometimes it’s goodbye for real, and you naturally feel sad. After all, you’ve read this person’s work, learned about their beliefs and interests, and shared a joke or two in the comments section. Maybe, as sometimes happens, you’ve become friends, either through WordPress or in “real life”. If you’re a regular reader of mine, I can tell you with all honesty that I consider you a friend. (Except you, Dave. Fuck you.)

But more often than, not, you get the blogging equivalent of the boy who cried wolf. Some random starts his (almost always a “man”) post off with “The jig is up. I can’t go on and don’t know when or if I’ll be back” and goes onto to say his brave farewell to his loyal readers. His comment section blows up with people either wishing him a fond farewell or tearfully begging him to stay. Then he disappears for a full 26 hours before miraculously coming back from his bout with ennui/bursitis/ chicken neck/whatever and treating you to more of the same riveting reading material that you’ve been politely skimming over for the last couple of days/months/god forbid years.

It is in this spirit, and for the same reason (nothing to write about) that I offer you my own “last post” which as far as I know is entirely fake. It will be followed by fake comments from fake readers in a fake comment section. You, the real reader, are then welcome to leave your own comments in the real comment section.

Except you, Dave. Fuck. You. 


Dear Readers,

As many of you know, the Tilapia Rescue Fund that I started with the compensation monies I received following the incident at last year’s Dingleberry Festival in Offaly (actually a real place, unfortunately) have been embezzled by my Bhutanese man-about-town, Freddy “Mercury” Gyatso. As a result, I have had to eat about half the tilapia in front of the other half, which I then released, sans ceremony, into the jacks at Joe Watty’s. That being the half I ate. The living ones I released into the bay. Anyways, can’t go on, must go on, blah blah blah, your friend, Oglach.




Nigel says:  You always was useless as a cock-flavoured lollipop. Good riddance.


Dave says: Tramp down the dirt.


Oglach’s Mum says: You owe me fifty euro.


Dave’s Mum says: I owe you fifty euro.  😉


Well there you have it, all nice and fake, and I’ll be back in a few days with something equally stimulating, for which I apologise in advance. To those friends of mine who have had to bow out of blogging or simply take a break, but who still take the time out of their lives to read and sometimes comment, please know how much that means to me. To those of you who read and write still, likewise. How wonderful that we can enrich one another’s lives in any way, however small.

And I shouldn’t have to say this, but there is no “Dave”. I mean, there is one, several actually, but they are not the fictional Dave mentioned in this fake post.

Also, no tilapia were harmed.

Or Bhutanese people.




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 51 Comments

Tiger At the Break of Dawn


She stalks silently

tiger at the break of dawn

whisper in the grass

Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

Make Peace With The Last Of Me


Not the man you wanted me to be

too strong to be a failure

too just to be an enemy

lay down your arms

and make peace with the last of me.


Sure I threw that wrench in your ingenious machine

you made believe you had it all

your dream was pristine

and I just couldn’t stand to let you hang

on your own delusions.


Sooner or later you were bound to take a fall

sooner or later, you were bound to give me a call

how am I the villian

for being around to pick up the phone?

It isn’t fair to either of us

to blame me for your confusion.


I know I’m not the nemesis that you need

we’re both criminals of the heart

deserters lost at sea

so fall into my arms

and make peace with the last of me.

Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged | 24 Comments

Through You


The wind blows through you

carries part of you away—

change with the weather.

Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Coming Home Late


The moon’s pale nimbus

reflected in the dark well

Silence meets silence




Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments

On The Curious Manners and Customs of the Natives



ONCE, in a particular village in a far-off corner of the country, the people there took from their temple an idol, of considerable age and imbued with a certain dignity from many years of honest worship, and made of him a peasant. They took him to the centre of the village and placed him on the ground next to a well, and sprinkled dust over him, and said, “Eat, peasant. This is your food.” And the idol was unmoved. Then they drew water from the well, cold and stagnant and fragrant with mud and silt, and they poured it over him. “Drink, peasant,” they said, “this is your wine.” And yet the idol was unperturbed.  At last the villagers gathered up stones and flung them at the idol, shouting, “These are your garlands, peasant! Well done! Welcome home!” The idol was knocked over by the stones and, sated at last, the villagers returned to their homes, leaving the idol toppled in the dirt.

It is the nature of simple villagers to make something out of nothing, only to tear it back down into nothing again. It is in this way that they are able to attain the upper limits of their understanding.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 24 Comments



Frost beneath my feet

Wild geese chanting overhead

Earth, Man, and Heaven



Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments