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Friday, 3 October 2014

Connecting eyes

It’s strange that moment when two eyes connect, the realisation of recognition. The thoughts that can run through your mind, in that second, that very fast moment.
‘is that him/her, it can’t be, I was just thinking of him/her'.
Across the distance between our eyes and our thoughts, it is recognisable that he/she, is having the very same thoughts, shared thoughts.
I've had this connection a few times in my life, not always with someone I wanted to connect with.
On one occasion, during the late sixties, I was working on a building site on Grace Park road in Drumcondra. We worked on 'Piece Work' and only  paid for the work we completed. We had a maximum to complete each day and I had no problem achieving this goal . In fact I was well ahead and had work stored up as there was a maximum we could earn each day. It was winter time and needless to say, I wasn't jumping out of bed with excitement each morning. I would turn over, then twice, turn over again, back and forth many times. Eventually I would inch my way out of bed on to the cold winter, lino covered floor. In my own time I made my way towards the first of my two buses, late for work. This happened morning after morning, right through these frost covered mornings. The money was very good but the work was less than enticing.
It was on my second bus, one morning, heading up the Drumcondra road, where this connection happened.
Our two eyes connected when the bus stopped at the junction of Drumcondra road and grace park road. I was less than fully awake, my head lying against the steam covered windows. It’s important to recount that the bus stopped in the middle of the junction, right in front of A blue 'Ford Anglia' car. This was not any Blue Ford Anglia, this was the blue Anglia car owned and driven by my boss. Our eye’s met, his from behind the steering wheel of this sixties classic and me, through the disturbed steam covered window of the number 16 bus. Our thought connected, not of the polite variety but easily understood.
He didn't need to say anything for me to know I was in trouble, I didn't need to say anything for him to sense that I felt trapped, nowhere to hide, why had I disturbed the steam on the window.
The anger in his eye’s and the evidence of blood pressure that showed in his red face sent a very distinct, clear message to me that morning.

That brief moment, those brief thoughts, underscored our relationship from then on. 

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Elysium Fields


Could heaven be a place?
Where
Homer, Yeats, O’Casey, Joyce,
Shaw, Frost, Shakespeare, Burns
Hardy, Kipling, Wilde, Keats
Milton, Tennyson, Auden, Sappho
Longfellow, Plath, Blake, Wordsworth
Twain, Emerson, Donne, Byron
And now
Heaney?
Fill the sky with dancing words and

Sparkling stars.
                                                    JC

JC-Dublin-A city defined by its 'SPARKLING STARS'

Friday, 11 July 2014

Is it a 'SIN' to be happy

A question worth asking in these changing times, when all information about us is available to google. What is'Happy', its not delirious or ecstatic, its just simply that, happy, the opposite to un-happy or miserable. It is also fair to say that no man woman or child and by implication animal or rock, can be happy all the time. Just trying to think what a happy rock looks or sounds like.
There is no such thing as perfection, just the constant search for it, something we strive for. The same can be said for happiness, true, total happiness.
Yet we often feel happy and the question i ask is can this state of happiness 'BE A SIN'. You will probably say 'No' and you may be quite right but how can you be so sure? what is sin? Another of life's questions.
First of all we have to ask ourselves what makes us happy?
Is it seeing others miserable or making a buck at someone else's expense by pulling the wool over their eyes?
Ken Dodd, the British comedian had a song that went to the top of the charts, titled 'Happiness' and yet! he was too miserable to pay his taxes, was that a sin?
Sunflowers are by nature happy. their big round face exuding smiles, joy, fun etc leading the implication of a happy plant. they come in many colours and sizes. I love the giant one about seven feet high and probably bigger in hotter climes. I cant imagine this plant being  a sinner but how can you tell. Sinners come in all sizes and class, big and small, some of them are even in-between. How many people have we trusted only to be disappointed by their dishonesty. Politicians, business people, public officials, relations and even super-stars who show themselves to be ordinary people. How shameful and sinful.
How many of the new successful politicians who have replaced others on the basis of their mis-deed, will be found wanting before the next election?
'WAR' is another area worth considering terms of 'SIN'. Is war a sin, is participating in was a sin, is killing in general a sin. Talking of general, often we see pictures of these guys in movies or press conference after a battle justifying their actions. How many people believe them. Politicians are the same, justifying war as the solution to some in-equality when in fact it is usually about resources, oil, gas, metals etc.
There is a theory that the good done by war should be far greater then the bad, that can never happen with nuclear war as this leads to total wipe-out and no opportunity for lasting good. It is also hard to see where good comes from in wars past, only justification for actions with some wealth for the victors and poverty for the losers.
At present we see the Palestinians and isrealeays killing each other and every man woman and child knows this will not end happy for one side or the other. It will eventually need compromise from both side possibly monitored by other countries. If there is 'SIN' it is the lack of ability to sit down and listen to each other and care for their fellow man.
Of course if countries did this, there would be no need for armies, arms manufacture possibly some government ministries. There would then be a need to share resources equally and evenly according to need. Cold countries would need more fuel for heat, hot countries would need more water to drink while barren countries would need more food to live.Countries with sea water around them would need to share the spoils at reasonable prices. Possibly we would see science devising way to make us all self sufficient rather then shipping foodstuffs, cattle, vegs, fruit across the world wasting the fuels needed for heat in the cold countries.
But then! if there is no sin maybe the way the world is can be seen as ok?


JC-Dublin-A city defined by its joy in 'SINFULNESS'

Saturday, 10 May 2014

When you're older?

As a child I was told so many times “it would be inadvisable, maybe when you’re older’. Maybe not in that precise language but close enough. Often it was just simply “No! while other times it was “No! maybe when you’re older” and so on. The point is, I wasn't allowed to do it and that was that.
These are the phrases I have had to listen to since I was younger, much younger.
I wasn't allowed to cycle into town because it was deemed too dangerous, hence I was too young. I could have a car when I was older, dress as I want, eat the food I want, live where I want, spend my money as I want, all when I'm older.

Now that I'm older it is still inadvisable to eat the food I want, drive the can I want, wear the clothes I like to, spend my money as I want and certainly I couldn't cycle into town with the various infirmities I have developed.
Somehow or other there should be a period in between, where I could do as I wanted but no!, there was and is someone telling me it is inadvisable.
I remember working on a building site in Castleknock in the sixties, fitting duct to carry hot air (Central heating) through the house. I was listen to my small transistor and the best of 60s music, while the sun shone on my blue overalls. I was enjoying this rare summer day when a cloud approached in the shape of the site foreman, who aggressively telling me to get rid of the radio “Radios aren't allowed on this site”, he bellowed using more than one expletive.
I explained to him that as I was the only one on site within hearing distance of my battery operated portable, I didn't see why I couldn't listen while I worked.
He informed me, using more colourful language, that it was inadvisable for me to ignore his instruction as he would inform my boss and I would have to live with the consequences.
Cheekily, I took out my pen and wrote down the direct number to my boss.
He was right, the next morning I was moved to a different site.

When the sun is shining on your blue overalls, the site doesn't really matter and I did listen to my radio in the new location.

JC-Dublin-A city of dreams

Monday, 17 March 2014

A road well travelled?

One day i was lost in thought and a little tired. I went down the road that is my mind, not looking for anything in particular, no destination intended. I travelled on my dreams, which could just as easily have been my nightmares, cheap and environmentally friendly transport. I saw this road, less travelled, not a soul in sight. The sun was shining, temperature just right and the corn was blowing gently in the breeze, which i never noticed, the breeze not the corn. Life seemed very idyllic with green rolling hills in the distance. An urge came over me to start singing 'The yellow brick road' but i resisted knowing that my singing voice could very easily bring this trip to an end. Having said that, isn't everything possible in dreams, though i could have made it someone else's nightmare. Things improved even further when a rainbow appeared in the sky overhead finishing somewhere behind the hills or are they mountains.
I could of course have danced and skipped to the tune whistling or humming, though that would be no better. Mind you, with nobody around i could do anything i wanted. I'm not sure I can trust my imagination or my dreams as i suspect a bunch of flowers all along the road would turn or grow very quickly into people. Those who know good music and would laugh at my feeble attempts.
This fear, i should mention goes back to the nuns when i was in, what is now called little school. The teacher threw me out of choir class making me stand in the corridor because i couldn't sing. Sister consalvo (I think that was her name) the head nun, saw me, presumed i had done something wrong to be left in the corridor, brought me to the head office and gave me six of the best with a leather. I was somewhere between five and seven years of age. The nightmare is creeping in, "Get out".
I'm looking at the rainbow, dreaming within my dream, about the pot of gold at its end. In the past, as a child, i tried finding the end of numerous rainbows to no avail. Do they exist, probably not but in a dream or a dream within a dream, anything is possible and maybe i can find it. There is a question here, does gold found in a dream still hold its substance when reality enters you're my life again. This question never bothered me on the journey, only since i started writing, so onwards and up towards the rainbow.
The sun was delightful, caressing my skin in a comforting way that engenders happiness and makes the world so optimistic. On my own, in my own free world, i move along seamlessly, no need for bus car or plane. The pot of gold so far away but i must be getting closer. The leprechauns who i am reliably informed, own this pot of treasure may not be pleased if i find it. A picture jumps into my mind of Jimmy O'Dea in Darby O'Gill and the Little People, a film from the fifties which i still watch occasionally. They were cantankerous leprechauns using all their wiles to protect what they had.
Anyway, this is my dream and in here, on this journey, i can deal with anything, even  cantankerous leprechauns.
"Heigh ho! Heigh ho! oops stop that, someone might hear you/me". I am so happy on this road taken that i will even drop my guard for a few seconds and let some bent notes leave my inner air tubes.
I look around and see nothing but beautiful lush meadows, fields of corn, sunflowers have appeared along the path and seem to be dancing to the music in my head. They are a flower that always seems to be happy, smiling, dancing and pass this demeanour selfishly on to people.

JC-Dublin-A City known for the road it travels?

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Look Beyond-A new year wish

Happy new year 
One and all
Look on the bright side
See the sun shine
Above the clouds.

J.C.-Dublin-A City defined by hope.

Monday, 30 December 2013

New Born


My first
Twelve parent offspring
Difficult pregnancy
Named during Fertilisation
After much debate, with angst
Easy Birth
Small,
Yet perfect
Named

Tallaght Soundings



A poem about a collection of poetry and prose published by 'Virginia House Writer Workshop'.
It included my first published works.
Tallaght Soundings 2 is now available.

J.C-Dublin-A city defined by it's books.