‘hello-‘ello! C’mere, lad.
I hope you’ll be keepin’ well.
It happens every year
after a wee bit, a donnybrook
somewhere near here,
sorry now, so
me shillelagh’s swingin,
callin’ fer bacon.
Not well then are ye?
wackin’ the cod,
wi’ narry a nod, nor a bandage
or pad to be had.
T’ank you for feelin’
brave to go, smart to not.
Look both ways on whisky drinkin’ festival days.
Mind the gaps at the tube and lads at the pub.
The annual Donnybrook Fair near Dublin included fiddlers and dancers, but it was best-known for the frequent eruption of whiskey-fueled fighting – often involving heavy clubs known as shillelaghs. “Bacon” is Irish slang for police and “cod’ for fool.
He yelled into my face,
“Life’s not a bowl of cherries.”
I wanted to rip him to pieces
then and there, feeling his grip on my neck,
smelling the furious anger of alcohol breath,
I heard the silence of witnesses
sulking away, their fear fed my will to fight,
as his words breathed fire into my eyes,
all could see desperate anger quake the Earth
and shake trees as leaves fell like tears of fear.
Bill and Dan at it again on Butler Street,
brotherly love, kin with no wisdom to share
as each could see the envy of one
less favored dragon slayer.
“You da cool fool, hayna, baby-bro?
Ah tells ya, ‘cuz I luvs ya brudder.’
“Well I’ll swanny over such tots,”
tasting sweat mixed with vile spit.
Waltzing a pugilistic polka
inflamed a poison pit of spite,
played to muffled grunts and groans
Dan became the dragon, thus
Bill drew a slayer’s sword
to end of the fiery brand
brother’s battle forever.
Soft liquid steel shattered
the end, an old beginning.
reaching fait accompli,
times past without tears,
Earth swallowed Irish blood
into a hell of hate. Two men swearing,
dancing in the dark
to unending songs of never love.
Look both ways as life is not always as we wish.
Mind the gaps and choose wisely.
I’m opting out of the day 18, 2018 NaPoWriMo prompt. Instead, I wrote this poem.
Fight was His Game
Poor boy whose story we were told,
Danny was his name, fighting was his game.
Young and strong, with dreams of glory in his fists.
He fought to save his life, to be proud and ever bold.
Promised wealth with violence
Would bring so many gifts.
No warning was to move him
from his promised dream.
Boxing and his future, were both all agleam
It was his game, to be his fame, no one interfered.
In the pit of misery, while still just a boy
Trusting words of strangers, and what they had to say.
In the roaring twenties ring
he took the fighter’s stand,
Seeking victory and honor, with his body and his hands
Many marred and broken,
This Danny boy was all aflame.
Stepped into the ring, a fight to be his game.
Still looking for a young man’s fame.
Dan stood strong and determined.
He faced the champ, who gave that boy
quite a beating with a lesson.
Badly beaten, he lost the fight,
And all his pride went with it.
The champ made him a chump
looking too sad and lame.
Still more boy than man, with spirits badly broken,
He searched for work and asked for jobs.
A boy inside, with dreams gone south and broken.
Now the boy was older
In all the world’s wrong ways,
Now laying low without his game,
Still, Danny was his name.
(Bill Reynolds, 4/18/2018)
Look both ways and duck those punches, mind the gaps right cross.