Michael Hartnett died 1999
A wounded otter
on a bare rock
a bolt in her side,
stroking her whiskers
stroking her webbed feet.
that there was a river,
a crystal river,
a waterless bed.
They also said
there were trout there
fat as tree-trunks
bright as blue spears –
men there without cinders
in their boots,
men without dogs
She did not notice
the world die
nor the sun expire.
She was already
swimming at ease.
in the magic crystal river.
I sit in my new Wayfair.com recliner – a recliner that I am unable to footplate -return because I have no strength left in my stunted Irish legs. I am too old. But not too old to institute a strengthening programme so I can achieve footplate closure with ease.
My wife, Hermien, sits beside me in her recliner – like a scene out of Retirement in Ontario for Emigrants.
I was on the Mail boat from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead with my wife and my brother. We were leaving Dublin for London for employment and flat searching for my wife and I + a locum for my brother at some hospital in Rugby but he was sojourning in London to see friends first.
A BBC camera crew was travelling with us to report on how we ‘immigrants’ were dealing with being in Britain just after this horrific, murderous bombing which killed many people in Brum . I was interviewed and then my articulate wife and then my brother but he demurred due to shyness about a speech defect.
Settled in our hotel on Penywern Road in Earl’s Court, I sat in the TV lounge for a while. The BBC News came on and there was the clip of we three sitting in the bar below decks with half-drunk Guinness pints before us. The reporter stuck the mic under my nose and the camera lit up: “What was I going to do in London?” Of course, I wanted to express my horror about the bombing and how I would depend on the kindness of Cockney strangers when I got to London but that plan died instantly…
Then I blurted like a twit with a grade three education- “I’ll probably get a job as a clerk.” As soon as this more-than-lackluster response was out of my mouth I pictured my friends in Dublin watching the broadcast – smirking and then laughing! I had meant to say that I was going to apply to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for an entry level position as a clerical officer and study to rise through the ranks. That is what I might have explained if I hadn’t had a rush of blood-embarrassment and had fallen to blurting anything so I could get out of the limelight.
There was another guest who smiled in the tv room and asked if that was me. I nodded and looked at my wife who had given an outstanding account of herself and her plans to fulfill her ambitions with study in London. She reached out, patted my arm and smiled conspiratorially – “Not so bad, was it?”
The shame.The red face. The self-sabotage … I withered and melted into the armchair. Have you ever stabbed yourself in the foot like that?
More brilliant charcoal sketches by Guy Denning
You can expect lots of insertions of posts shared from Guy Denning’s page on Facebook. Fact is – I love his stuff and I want everyone to see his art. You can find his website by Googling his name; I have no commercial interest in his work – I merely like and admire his art and take pleasure in showing bits and pieces of his work here from time to time….there will be othr artists I have discovered on Facebook whose art I will share here. Get ready ! You’ll get an eyefull of candy and caviar soon….
Chica just about to crack a beer and decide on the night’s entertainment …
How could they be such MONSTERS? Such MICHAEL MYERS types? How could the boys even think of kissing a girl after they have poured verbal slime & shit over some poor kid whose only fault was to be shy or to have a limp or a stammer or that his single mom could only afford “those fucked-up” sneakers for her? How could they be such MONSTERS? Such MICHAEL MYERS types? How could the boys even think of kissing a girl after they have poured verbal slime & shit over some poor kid whose only fault was to be shy or to have a limp or a stammer or that his single mom could only afford “those fucked-up” sneakers for her? How could they be such MONSTERS? Such MICHAEL MYERS types? How could the boys even think of kissing a girl after they have poured verbal slime & shit over some poor kid whose only fault was to be shy or to have a limp or a stammer or that his single mom could only afford “those fucked-up” sneakers for her? How could they be such MONSTERS? Such MICHAEL MYERS types? How could the boys even think of kissing a girl after they have poured verbal slime & shit over some poor kid whose only fault was to be shy or to have a limp or a stammer or that his single mom could only afford “those fucked-up” sneakers for her?
Here’s my take on teen suicide
“Two months ago was the first time I cried during parent/teacher conferences. A mom of a student who I have taught for two years showed up at my table with a list of her daughter’s teachers. Each one had “yes” or “no” written next to it. My name had a “yes” next to it, so she proceeded to explain to me the reason for her daughter’s extended absence. Her daughter- a friendly, intelligent, beautiful, driven, young woman- not only planned to commit suicide, but was in the act of doing so when the police got a Safe 2 Tell report, broke in, and stopped her. She had deleted her social media accounts and left goodbye letters; she was ready to leave the world. As her mom sat across from me, we both had tears streaming down our faces. Feeling helpless, I asked if I could write my student a letter to be delivered to her at the hospital; she said her daughter would love that. My student got the letter; her mom said that her daughter cried, turned to her mom and said, “How could somebody say such nice things about me? I didn’t think anybody would miss me if I was gone.” It made me realize that I was way too close to losing another student to suicide. I spent the next 2 months writing cards to every one of my students- over 100 of them- telling each one what is special and unique about them. Suicide is growing to be more and more common, and I can’t help but to think that it’s a direct result of the pressure we put on these kids- to be successful, to fit in, to be the best in their class/sport/etc. We need to remember that each human being is unique, and that is what makes them special. Instead of trying to change it, we need to embrace it, because together, we can make a difference, and we can save lives!”
This is a quote I have picked off my Facebook page today – 7 September 2016 – and I want to add my ten cents worth to the wisdom of Ms Brittni Darras on teen suicide.
This is for teens who are feeling at the bottom of the barrel where feelings and emotions are concerned . What I see and hear in the media these days is that kids are so fucking cruel to other kids that I witness all this with my jaw dropping to the floor with sickness and pain for the kids who are the targets of these nasty & vicious attacks. Where does the hate and cruelty come from? Is it from stupidity – I mean are the attackers – girls and boys – so stupid that they cannot conceive of the real damage that they are doing to their targets !? Don’t they get it that when they call some kid a “loser” and a “douchebag” and “moron” and how their Mommy “must have dressed them” and how their shoes are only fit “for the garbage” – that the kid farts or has bad breath – that they are destroying that kid’s will to live for that day? That the kid is so destroyed that they don’t want to leave the bathroom – that they can’t go to class when all their classmates have heard the attack and their embarrassment and that they want to crawl into a hole in the ground and pull the dirt over themselves with pain and embarrassment – that they want to go home and die in their beds? I mean have these smartass teenagers no ears to hear how disgusting they sound when they shit on some other kid ? Don’t they see the blood of shame rush into the faces of their targets and see the sweat from the pain and shame start to drip ? What kind of an animal could do that to another human being and expect their pals to cheer them on and approve of their nastiness – to smirk and smile ?
How could they be such MONSTERS? Such MICHAEL MYERS types? How could the boys even think of kissing a girl after they have poured verbal slime & shit over some poor kid whose only fault was to be shy or to have a limp or a stammer or that his single mom could only afford “those fucked-up” sneakers for her?
I HAVE TO STOP for a minute to catch my breath here… to try to weigh the value of what I am saying about that little shitty gang of mean-spirited human beings! Think about their mothers and fathers and the shame and disgust they would feel if they could see & hear what their children were doing to other kids, other teens. It’s almost too hard to credit it. I have to re-read it again so I can really weigh what I am accusing other boys and girls of doing & being!! But I just stay angry at the nasty kids. I just hope and hope that the kids who are the targets of these punks can be strong enough or have a friend or a family member to tell the story to and hear how the attackers are just punks and low-lifes and help them be strong enough to square their shoulders and get up for school the next morning – I hope that they have parents – a Mom or a Dad or a brother or sister – who will undertand and stop the tears and the misery from boiling over – and STOP THAT KID from thinking about killing him or her self.
Enough on that subject – it just makes me sick. It makes my wife sick so that she can’t bear to talk about it for too long – so that we both say our few sentences of shock and anguish at the tale of some new kid who has hung herself or himself and wonder what the hell we are supposed to say or do about it.