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An Turas Fada Part III

Mikey walked back toward the canal, choosing an area with overgrown greenery that lacked the beauty of most plants but which Mikey found soothing. He found himself giving up searching for a bench and decided to sit on a patch of dry weedgrass. Mikey liked the canal. He seen the mix between nature and manmade function as a perfect analogy for the Irish. He often said; The essence of the Irish soul was a perennial battle between savagery and civilization.

Sitting cross legged he put the Corona bottle down beside him, and placed the sandwich, in its wrapper, gently on his lap. He slowly peeled away the price sticker and gently pried the paper apart. Picking up the sandwich, he looked favourably at it, not so much because the sandwich was particularly enticing, but because it represented a momentary break from his duty. A warrior taking rest.

He bit into the sandwich, savouring the first bite as the sun dried tomatoes coated is tastebuds in tang. He had intended to savour the food, but a ravenous spirit engulfed him as he wolfed down all of the first half. Then he remembered his liberated nectar. He bit off the bottle cap with what was left of his teeth and with a deep breath, imbibed.

There is a universal law among most men, especially those so inclined to pursue simple pleasure, that a cold beer simply hits the spot. To explain what that means is futile to those who are disinclined toward libation, and unnecessary to those who do.


Fucking swans, up and down, up and down all day. From one end of the Grand to the other. What a pointless animal. And what is worse, they made themselves pointless. All animals are blessed by Actaeon with a wild spirit which allows them to exist on their own terms. And yet we have these long necked bottles of avian disappointment. They have subjugated themselves to humans for the sake of comfort. Contented, lazy ornaments with a pulse. If humans left this realm at once, AT ONCE, the swan would be fucked. Look at it sidling up beside me, flaunting its wares like a whore, looking for a crust. Bah! Feckless yokes, whose meekness so offends. No wonder Aoife chose them. They have been awarded status because of pulchritude and pander. Yet status they have. Leanne, my tormented Leanne. Pulchritude and and pander alike. Ah there are my boys now, small squat ugly grey bastards, but they deserve status. Pigeons helped beat Hitler, and we treat them like shit. Kids clap them away as they try to eat, taxonomical chancers call them rats with wings. Bollix, rats can only wish to be pigeons. Every day we see those noble nomads crushed by carriage, emphemerated into the cold grey roads from which they came. Salmon have rivers, pigeons have gobshites in Nissan Micras. And yet they still come back, every day scraping and getting by by the skin o’ their pigeon balls. They win though. Because they never give up, and they win because they do not care what you or I think.


He sits upon O’Connell’s head,

Caring not what words are said,

Slurs and jeers they never play,

Cause when he’s full he flys away.


I’m actually too tired to eat the second half of this sandwich. For the pigeons so. It’s not much a chairde, but it is an honour to break bread with you.

Mikey stood up, broke up the remnants of his sandwich, threw it to the few cheque pieds beside him. He sat back down, lay down and fell asleep. Falling all the way  into a dream:

He found himself immersed in a what he could not discern. He was however, possessed of a sense of a time long gone from his reality that it could only exist in the grotto of his subconscious. A sense that would have been welcome had it not been for a foreboding shadow of doom clung tight to his chest. He was on familiar terms with that shadow in the immanent world. Yet it had hitherto been a stranger in this transubconscidental field.

He walked along a hazy Meath St. Past the Coconut, listenin’ to the vagaries of conversation from young oul wans and old young wans in the Cut Price towards a penny for dinner. He walked across the road with purpose but in that weird way legs reject gravity. He stood outside Meath Street church and trudged towards the smell of fresh cut grass, under the stone arch way towards a sea of green and blue borders.

He cast his eyes away from the Marian duo at the cave before him. His awe and fear ne’er allowed him even ponder unadulterated virtue for fear the recesses of his mind a grave slight against ultimate majesty. He found himself kneeling concentrating on a little stream in the cave.



Mikey looked up and saw the statue on the right become his mother. The blue replaced with the red cardigan.

“What have you done my son?” Eyes of unmistakable maternalism.

Nuthin ma. Im grand

“Look at your arms”

Mikey looked down to see a snake wrapped tight around his arm

“Ah it’s nuthin ma, serious, its just a joke, we were playing earlier and Steo was…..”

“Michael, my only son. I’m so sorry”

Ah please ma, don’t start crying

“I’m so sorry, the sun doesn’t shine like before. Touchdowns and Frosties, you loved them. Down in Mrs. Ryan’s always pesterin’ me?

Ye mammy~ as he felt the corners of his mouth curl up, catching the tears as they fell from his eyes.

“Remember sitting on my lap and we’d watch our soaps?”

I loved it more than anything

“Your poor arms”

Remind me ma, take us back for a short time, just to remember the sun shining like before.

Mikey closed his eyes and woke up in his aunties house. He could see his Mother and Aunt sitting at her kitchen table, talking and smiling. He couldn’t make out what was said though, all he could hear was his mother’s voice;

“Michael has it in him, he is me. I can see it him sure” to which his aunt replied “ah but he is a good child really”.

“Ah I know he is a good child,but it’s in him”


Mikey was then back in his flats playing hopscotch.Rollerblades jumped walls alone as the sun kissed the concrete and made memories out of cement. Mikey walked over to a small hole in the wall, he looked in and saw a beautiful brown skinned young woman, smiling at him in mystery as shadowy tassels of hair looked comfortable on her face. She beckoned toward her.Mikey took his face away and placed his hand in the hole. He felt her grab his hand softly. But the softness turned into shock and Mikey pulled his hand out. And a snake came out devouring his arm


Mikey woke up and jolted to his feet. In the distance he could hear his name being called.




Photos by Stephen Davis

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