grand so

grand so


I weighed up the thick manila packet

lying on the ‘Welcome’ mat

and did not bother opening it.


it would be rammed with leaflets,

‘think positive’ booklets

with hope-filled faces of young and old

from every nation,

everyone an over-comer

‘Living with Cancer’


all smiles on the covers,


and directions to ‘Oncology’.


I am tired of lumpy pains and passing blood,

I’m beyond the age of over-coming

I lack the strength, and I lack the will.


I am sick of breezy encounters,

in pubs, cafés, or on the street,

‘I’ve lost weight and feel just great.’


adding a dash of braggadocio,


‘I’m off to Valparaiso, me,

I always go this time of year.


it’s grand, so it is,

off the beaten track.

close your eyes and you might even be

strolling the streets of Venice.


I go by coach – don’t like to fly.

you’ve not been there yet? 

well, more’s the pity.’


does anyone holiday in Valparaiso?

I’ll look it up on the map sometime –

I think it’s somewhere Portugal way


late spring in Ireland

a good time

no better place to die.


a long drive;

Killybegs, Carrick,

on to Glencolumbkille.

better still, save time,

Slieve League would do fine.


no one around but me

and two thousand feet below –

the sea.




celebrants singing the pilgrim pathway,

I must have picked St Bastard Bad Luck’s Day.


a cloud of witnesses surrounded me

Shirley was there and Lesley,

Chrissie who married Clive

the day before she passed away

Tracey buried on a hillside in Turkey

Lucy who slept with Tom but lived next door -

she did not like him much –

he had ‘habits’ she deplored

Rob the Gob, Joseph - smiling for once 

two childhood dogs – tumours got them

a couple of black cats – looking familiar


half-remembered faces;

drinking buddies I’d lost touch with and

assorted girlfriends I had long split up with

(they dumped me more likely)

who, for once, looked glad to see me.


‘you come to wave me off? I’ll not be long.’


smiles but no reply.


waves roaring below

sea birds calling

and a fellow traveller;


‘a raw day up here, alone, sir,

 (his eyes went to the drop)

are you, maybe, err,

about stepping over?’


‘giving it thought.’


‘you’ll be needing a livener...’


he passed a flask.


‘... if I might be blunt,

you’re buggered if you do

buggered if you don’t...

it’s a rare day either way.’


‘grand so.’

◄ rhapsodising on the G. W. R

summer lovin' (redux) ►



Thu 25th Jul 2019 18:00

Thanks, Don, I share your bafflement ha ha. I'm going through a bit of a fecund spell after months of purdah consumed with edits of my third book - now that in the printer's my head seems to be abuzz ?

These latest may well go into book #4 assuming I am spared and I get the dosh together ?

Profile image

Don Matthews

Thu 25th Jul 2019 14:32

What ever can I say here Rick?
Allow me to be blunt
I'm buggered if I say something
I'm buggered if I don't

Grand so.....

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message