"Style is a function of theme
Not imposed on subject matter
But arising from it
Style is truth to thought"
Julian. Some say he was the big man
who thought outside the box
a giant in the cannon
an anonymous author nobody read
who remained unknown and unrecognised
and could not get arrested if he was
cart-wheeling naked on the high street.
He was a country bloke. A big fellow
great for field work and labouring. His
family's blue eyed Jewel - destined for
greatness. Be handy for a bit more than
sweeping up and swilling down the yard.
D’yer get it?
Couldn’t put a foot wrong. A farm boy
and youngest who grew up tall
shovelled muck from sty to dung
heap, dug ditches; a bit of building
he was a man who thought about
all sorts, not just pig swill or chickens
and having a lend of his neighbour's
sheepdog. He was a crackerjack who
out-thought the lot
tossed out ideas on spuds, swedes,
beetroot, dairy produce, small rural
industry, stocks, bonds, and treasury
and strategies that rid the workplace
of prejudice, promote tolerance,
inclusion, diversity, fairness,
and transparency in local transport
and territorial issues; the national health
contingency for a state of emergency
and the most practical way of
mucking out effluent from piggeries
stables and chicken coops.
Several pub's number one
writer-in-residence, who, in no time
at all, could whip up a master-plan
of attack on the back of a fag packet
or beer mat - when he wasn't devoting
his energy to farm work, or thinking
of what style might arise from
the subject matter of his next essay.
Many don't care for the doings
of his life, or read his works
couldn’t give a toss if his style was
imposed or arose.
was an intellectual giant
who’d direct operations from a lounge bar
or hay-barn HQ. Wield a shovel for six
hours solid; and run the economy with
invisible ink. Could write wonderfully
well, grow a muzzy - any dodge going.
He could keep an army on its toes
if he bothered getting out of bed,
and he knew how to keep a dream
hidden when love was terminal.
He fought in the trench of Art
and plotted to overthrow the status quo
cycled the countryside picnicking
keeping fit, necking a few scoops
as he moved about bossing the troops
whipping up the craic
and firing off one-liners.
He had a great gas
taking it to the max, tittering
giggling at being a legend,
and taking the piss out of titular rich ones
who thought they were doing themselves
a favour by not leaving Her be and feckin
off out of it.
His doings foxed everyone but
Kathleen up until that night. He was
always straight with her. Had to be
because she's a right one who
always knew the score. Still does.
She's unreal. None of 'em conned
in Barnesly Bloomsbury and Brum,
he knew lovers, fighters,
fanatics, violent shit-houses, loons,
frightened bullies, spivs, liars, cowards,
and good people with a desire for
freedom. In Dublin he roused peace-
nicks who looted
hearts, minds, mythology and shops
on his whim; but only when desperation
kicked in for the things he never
had as a kid.
More than all this though, Barnsey,
he was a style expert who spun
tales by jumping straight in.
"Aoife mouths words but it’s all
Kathleen’s world, and the brown
leather robe draped across the chair
tucked beneath the table
contained within this locked box
coming through the door of the
occupational therapy room where
nurse Aoife O'Brien sits listening
to angelus bells peel havoc at the hill
deport to the reader's mind
let them see beyond
stereotype freaks from a secure
ward and out-patient casting
agency of unknown background
artistes on a promise a day for the full
bore shoot of pretending to be Tom
Robert or Marlon's heir. And through
those who share your consciousness
connect them to angelus energy.
Have the sense to look for meaning
where few dare peek for fear
of being branded mentally unkempt,
like Niamh was before she died
a derelict in the loony bin
opined to be beyond all reach
by the boss head doctor of a crumbling
psychiatric hospital, where she lived
in nineteen ninety nine
when nurse O'Brien dished up pills
and injections from ten to eleven
If there is a cow in the field and
a machine out of order..
Niamh is on-ward and in role play
as a not-yet dead nut-nut strapped in
the naughty chair and babbling freely
at the table.
..the machine is out of order.
"Within the four walls of this crypt
I conjure the tall author, architect
of state and soldier of memory who
lives on ...
Does Niamh now flit with the tall
.... in books
from shadows in caves
and tower over oath bound men
to find a simple mountain grace
at life’s end?
.....when Yeats ruled a world of
words his imagination shook fairly
from her tongue pouring forth to
make prayer and fable a nation's
Me me me me me more than he it was
back when Niamh gobbed off
and got on with the business of
being la la. Nuttying it up for
medication and a cosmic life
of ticking boxes and flapping
wings across forms Aoife's boss
Kathleen - the chief executive - read;
before deciding the only option on
offer for Niamh were a few large
energy jolts to her brain.
A one woman universe who returns
her tribe to disperse underground
and travel through air as ether.
Niamh knew Aoife's way was
the leather restraining belt
and the moniker they used
her daily jacket.
will be where the morning lit
mountain's phantasmagoria and shade
leisure with the ghost of a man
who topped a fella who took draughts
of demands to London.
ECT demons came haunting Niamh
in the TV room, until
the liquid cosh tipped her mind
into overdose and she disappeared
during the angelus bell
silently faded and was instantly
whisked to VIP at the post-life bash
Will Kathleen tell?
Niamh never spoke
once the initial dissolution instantly
dissolved any questions lingering
in her bonce, just got stuck underground
in a box after Kathleen called her
to dance her reflection in the grave
where a well of time will return
in wild spring flowers.
"An answer blown on ageless dumb
stone tells of what love fell there
for you Kathleen, who saw what went
on when my heart beat alive and I
breathed being driven through the
breeze to an ambush that night
when the windows blew in and a
bullet got shot through my skull."
did not scatter
as the other protagonists withdrew
- who moves now in shadow -
and told Niamh
Kate's phantom triggered Mick's
quick return to her. And in the
immediate aftermath a faint ghost
trail appeared to flicker on the track
glowing, they say, for the short time
it took for his spirit to pass over.
The light dimmed as it drew in beneath
the foot of Mouth-flower rock, then paled
out and disappeared. The big fellow's
shade dissolved into Kathleen Ireland's earth.
"Style is a function of theme.
not imposed on subject
matter but arising from it
Style is truth to thought"