Tag Archives: poetry

helping out paddy

Here’s the next instalment so far. Click on the link above to read the story so far

 

Checkout Chick is about to get interesting… be sure to follow the Giorge Thomas blog to be notified when it’s updated.

 

 

(25)

Given am not working and have no interests, really, told Paddy would help him out at his work. Paddy is a carpenter. Most of it boring joinery work but Paddy talented man. Carves wood beautifully. Most precious thing I own in the world is a wooden box carved out by Paddy, top of which inlaid with ornate roses. Paddy very good with furniture. One of a kind table and chairs and such like. Have tried to convince him over the years that he should have furniture store. Could sell pieces for thousands. Paddy scared, though. Not willing to take that step. Understand completely but shits me to tears, really. Have no talent myself so am envious and feel is bit of a waste to do nothing with it.

Should have asked Paddy where he was working before tagging along. Rookie mistake, really. Pulled up ute to church. Catholic church.

‘Christ, Paddy.’

‘Yes, Jesus Christ. Now don’t blaspheme when we’re in there, for Pete’s sake.’

‘Will burn if walk in there, Paddy,’ I told him. Had already begun to break out in sweats. ‘Not so good when you’re working with wood.’

‘Don’t be childish.’ Paddy already out of cab. Walking toward front doors. Had keys!

‘They give you keys?’ I yell out at him.

‘Of course they’ve given me keys. Have to do work, don’t I?’ Paddy coming back to start unloading shirting boards from ute.

Cripes alive. Am only atheist in entire family of devout Irish Catholics. Mum and Dad very devout which is why they and my other brothers don’t speak to me. This religious organisation and its fear and its rules is what fractured my life and family. Paddy devout, yes. Goes to mass every Sunday. Yet Paddy open-minded man and has the very strong belief that God is above all laws and restrictions of any religious organisation. Believes that God would and has forgiven me. That God understands. That I shouldn’t shut him out simply because a large majority of the church believe me to be wrong. But cannot accept that. Cannot have belief in something that has allowed such misery in my life. Paddy says it’s a test. I say a loving God would not test his faithful. Paddy and I agree to disagree on this subject. His faith has grounded him and helps him. He doesn’t have a go at me for turning my back on God. If I think about it, I guess Paddy acts in the way that Jesus did. Forgiving and loving to all. Trouble is, most of God’s people are unforgiving, judgmental and generally vicious. In other words; hateful. Is unbelievable paradox, no?

When Paddy and I walk through Church doors carrying long planks of wood – skirting boards – I didn’t immediately combust. Paddy made me stop while he crossed himself with holy water.

‘Are you going to do that every time we walk in?’ I asked. Would be a long day if that is the case.

‘No, you eejit,’ Paddy said. Being of Irish parentage we have always pronounced idiot the Irish way – eejit. Still. Is idiot or its Irish translation something you’re allowed to say inside a church?

Once we unloaded all the skirting boards we brought in Paddy’s tools. I was to help by handing him things. Like nurse and doctor in surgery. Instead of scalpel (‘scalpel’) it was hammer (‘hammer’) and such like.

‘Should this not be blessed or some shit before pulling it in?’ I wondered. Catholics like to bless everything. New homes when you move in, new cars, new babies.

‘Father Michael already did it back at the workshop,’ Paddy said.

‘Who the heck’s Father Michael? Thought priest here was Father Boog or some shit.’

Paddy shook his head. ‘I told you we’ve a new priest, Den. You never listen. He’s a nice bloke, too. You’d like him.’

Hate when people like that. You’ll like him, you’ll like her, when I’ve never even met them. Told Paddy so. ‘And besides,’ I continued, ‘you can’t judge a bloke you’ve only seen up on the pulpit.’

Paddy’s eye-rolling almost caused him to lose a thumb – not watching where his hammer was going. ‘See him outside of Church, Denni.’

‘Really? Where?’

‘Drinks at pub.’

‘He allowed to go to pub them?’

‘Cripes, Den. He’s Catholic, not Muslim. Yes, he goes to pub. And we play golf together. But he’s too good. Am going to have to stop playing with him. Was thinking, actually, that we should have him ’round for dinner.’

‘We will not.’ Was outraged.

‘He’s a bloke.’

‘He’s a priest. Am not having sold old dribbling man sitting in my house-‘

‘My house.’

‘All right, your house, our home, telling me how to live my life-‘

‘He’d never do that.’

‘He would. Is his job as a priest to tell others how to live their life.’

‘Well Michael wouldn’t. And he’s not old and dribbling. Not that it matters.’

No use trying to argue with Paddy when he’s angry, and could see the anger starting to creep in. Ears go red. Nothing else, just the ears. Lucky bastard. With me is whole face.

Quite uneasy being in the church. Jesus eyes. Watching me everywhere. Judging me. Swear they move, really. Weird being back in a church, mind. Yes, brought back memories, and yes, some of them were quite nice. Scent of incense took me back to childhood, particularly Christmas and midnight mass. Only time of the year we’d be allowed to stay up so late. We’d all squeeze into the church, for once there’d be no arguments as Mum and Dad never dared to whilst in God’s house. Afterwards we’d drive home, past all the houses with their Christmas lights still on, and Paddy and I’d be searching the skies for Santa. Good memories. Nice memories. The whole of childhood should be like that, really. Not just one day a year.

Paddy had finished one side of the church when heard door open and close in vestibule. Heard voice call out, ‘Have brought you beer, Paddy. Thought you’d be thirsty.’

Cripes alive. Was priest. Father Michael. Paddy all; oh good, you can meet him. I all; fuck, no, bye, bye. Did not want situation where was standing face to face with priest in church with him wondering why had never been to church. Far too uncomfortable. Ran. Yes, ran. Is running in church sacrilegious? Just another sin, I guess.

Not to know. Anyhow, got right bollocking from Paddy when he got home.

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published in the cannon’s mouth

Two of my poems, Misted Sound and Fob Watch have been published in the December issue of The Cannon’s Mouth. If you’ve not read them before, please check out the poems below, previously published on this site.

http://giorgethomas.com/2011/10/13/laugharne-the-home-of-dylan-thomas/

http://giorgethomas.com/2011/10/10/fob-watch/

 

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i made a boo

I made a boo.

Start again

stick together with glue.

But before you walk

don’t forget

what’s stuck under your shoe:

Fragments of love

that were broken

by you.

You made the boo.

I made a boo:

walking around

I ran into you

And saw you there

holding another

girl through.

Waiting around

to see if this girl

will do.

Hoping that

you’ll come back

to me soon.

I made a boo,

and that boo was you.

Copyright Giorge Thomas

** published by Nineteen-O-Splash and Fresh Magazines

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Kidwelly

Kidwelly Castle

 

 

Grass carpeted the grounds at Kidwelly.

It was so green and so fine

 

That by appearance it seemed to be fine velvet.

A green tattoo that did not allow me to see

 

Back hundreds and hundreds of years

To barn animals, foot-soldiers, peasants,

 

Straw-covered, manure-covered and filth-

Covered ground.

 

Standing there among the green I felt peace and tranquillity,

At odds with the hustle and bustle from the past.

 

If I were Queen I’d prefer the green of the lawn,

And I’d rope it off with little signs: “Keep Off The Grass”.

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laugharne: the home of dylan thomas

Dylan Thomas' Boathouse; Laugharne

 

On our recent trip to Wales we drove to Laugharne to visit the home of Dylan Thomas. As you can see by the pictures, it really is the most beautiful place in the world. Dylan Thomas’ boathouse was one of the most inspiring places I’ve been to. Whilst there I wrote the poem below, Misted Sound. I hope you enjoy the poem and the pics.

Giorge

xx

 

 

Misted Sound 

 

You can breathe by the sea of the stars

And the sun

And the overhanging clouds

That envelope the soul

The mind

And the eyes that see.

You can wait by the tide

As the gulls

Sing your tune

As the wind whips your

Hair

And mist freshens your face.

You can lose yourself

In the sand

In the marsh

By the cliffs

And to the sea

But you will not drown

In Dylan Thomas’

Town.

His voice is heard miles

Round not just here

In this misted sound.

 

© giorge thomas

Another spectacular, yet daunting view of Laugharne

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mischief

 

 

Dirty, filthy storm water

Trying unsuccessfully

To resemble a suburban

Creek.

Two shifty

School-aged children

Paused near the truck.

It is school holidays

And their desperation

To cause mischief

Is paramount.

 

© giorge thomas

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submissions are hell

 

God I hate submissions. ‘Please, Sir/Madam, please look at my poems and please, please, please publish them.’ I hate anything where I have to beg – feels too much like Oliver Twist.

 

The worst thing about submitting your work to literary journals is the time it takes. I’d rather spend those hours actually writing. With a full time job, a husband and two cats and a dog – time is precious. Just tonight I spent three, yes, three hours putting together submissions for poetry journals overseas. The boring fucking printing, writing of covering letters where you try not to sound desperate and end up coming across way too aloof, the collating of poems, the stamp-licking. My wrist is sore from folding one too many letters and signing my name one too many times.

 

If only I could simply write my poems and then have some kind of fairy work it’s way into my computer and decide which poems to publish to which poetry magazine. That’s what I need – a submission fairy.

 

Getting published used to be thrilling, but now it’s mundane and disappointing. Instead of being excited that I’m again in print, I pick holes at everything. ‘Why did they pick that poem and not the other one? That one’s the worst!’ Or I have the audacity to complain at where in the journal or magazine my work is placed. ‘You can’t even see it there, yes, down there, in the corner.’ Maybe it’s like heroin. Not that I have any experience with that drug, but I’ve been in hospital plenty of times, have had my fair share of hard-core painkillers, so I’m pretty sure I can understand the feeling. Your first hit is amazing, brilliant, a total buzz. It’s like the first time you’re published. The next time isn’t as good, but you’re reminded of that first time, so you think the sensation is good. It’s down the ladder after that. You’re always searching, searching, searching for that feeling, but like everything, the first time is always the best.

 

The other side of submitting your work is the rejections. They’re the worst. Especially if you are innately as insecure as I am. Rejections tend to stab you in the heart rather than the head. I’ve been far more heartbroken over a rejection from a literary journal than I have from any man in my life. Is that sad? I guess it is. Sad, but true.

 

The most annoying thing about submissions? The wait for the reply. Imagine if you propose to your partner and they say, ‘I’ll let you know in 4-6 months what my answer is.’ Fuck off! 4-6 months to find out whether you’re a hit or just okay or that they can’t be arsed to write back to you at all because, well, they can’t be arsed.

 

It’s the ‘we don’t accept email submissions’ that shit me the most. Really? It seems ridiculous to even say ‘in this day and age?’ Understandable, perhaps, if this was 1999. But now? Who doesn’t have a computer or access to email? Who doesn’t use email? Actually, I should backpedal here. I work with a bloke who flatly refuses to use email. The trouble is, everyone else uses email and refuse to communicate in any other way. So who gets his emails? I bloody do. And I can’t forward them to him, saving paper and all that bullshit. No. I have to print out each email, putting the whole paper-free movement to shame. Paper-free my arse. Computers and emails have increased our paper usage, tenfold. I’d put money on that.

 

Sometimes I think literary journals don’t accept email submissions (even from internationals, which is ridiculous – do they know how expensive international mail is here in Australia?) because then they can’t really use the ‘it’ll take 4-6 months to reply’ excuse. Otherwise, I can’t work it out. Firstly, their desks wouldn’t be piled high with submissions. You can usually take a quick glance of one or two poems to realise whether the submitter is any good or not. If they like what they see they can print it out, if not they can press that button called ‘Reply’ and say thanks, but no thanks. It’ll take them about five minutes. The thing is, a lot of these journals probably have committees and all kind of bullshit. No wonder it’s so hard to get your work published; there’s four or five people sitting around a boardroom with their tea and biscuits deciding on whose good and whose not. I suspect it’s like a courtroom jury; only unanimous verdicts go through. If I could email submit my work the job would take half the time.

 

Shit balls banana. Has just occurred to me that every single one of the publications I’ve sent submissions to will be able to view this blog. And I’ve just slagged them all off. Particularly the ones who made me slave over paper for three hours, rather than my keyboard. You know what? I don’t really care. If they can’t accept freedom of expression – however detrimental to them it is – then they’re in the wrong business. At least; that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 

So. Submissions. Not my most favourite thing in the world, not by a long shot. A necessary evil.

 

I’ve a cat sitting on each side of me which is a reminder to me that their dinner time is now! So I should be off before Penelope starts gnawing at my face out of hunger…

 

giorge

xx

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