Tulaigh Ua Thiomain (November 8 1987) (revision for next book)

Angels keep watch over children,

madmen, and drunks.


We were two of three – pretty good - all in all.


Wandering Ireland

with Carolyn in her

beat up transit van.

We were hanging far too loose

and headed nowhere special,


smoking five skinners

of Afghan black, drinking Rum

crossing the border

when booze and munchies ran low.

Driving slow and staying cool.


Fermanagh? Scenic.

Enniskillen?  Half-awake.

Remembrance Sunday.

A massive parade planned

so Carolyn and I split.


We had no taste for

sashes, flutes and bowler hats.

So drove through Belcoo,

Sligo, into Donegal -

stashed the hash near Pettigo.


Around a corner,

soldiers and a barricade -

oil drums, bollards.

Soldiers shouting, I recall,

“Hands up! Out that fucking van!”


Was that hands up first

and then open the van door?

Guns cocked. I was yanked

out and thrown against a wall.

They spread our gear on the road.


Dogs set to sniffing -

Cazzie’s ‘smalls’ received thorough


“You won’t find no bombs in that lot.”

“What do you know about bombs?”


‘Chill, man. Smoke a bong.’

“Fuck off, you fuckin’ hippies.” 

Poppies were out in  

Tullyhommon. A large crowd

cheering at those parading.


Also present were

soldiers, girl guides, boy scouts, cops,

and a massive bomb

that somehow did not explode.

A damp squib planted right


where Caz and I stood

Stoned. Glassy eyed and giggling

like madmen. Wildly

waving the red white and blue  

at everyone passing by. 


Why no explosion?

Aborted by order from

Whitehall? The Provies?

Maybe a tractor ran over,

or cattle munched through, the wire?


The miracle of

a massacre averted,

was kept under wraps.  

A middle page ‘News in Brief’  

where very few would see it.


Angels kept us safe,

or we’d have been blown to bits.

Like Shakespeare’s Caesar

we came, we saw... we moseyed

on out of town taking white  


chocolate buttons

(Carolyn’s munchies of choice)

bottles of Black Bush

a tank full of red diesel

a clenched fist of memories.






◄ A Tower in Silence (revised)

a random revison from new book 'chatting with Saoirse' ►


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