Friday, May 29, 2015

The Parish Carnival

That's Bernie's wife on the carousel
laughing and waving her arms.
Once again she won't get off 
even though Bernie is yelling
next to the concession stand
jumping around in his wheel chair.
He's finished his cotton candy
and wants to go home. 
He probably has to pee.
He never goes anywhere 
except to the parish carnival. 
He loves the cotton candy.
He says it's the same as when 
he was a kid years ago 
before he fell out of the tree
He needs Stella more than ever now
to push his wheel chair and she does
except when she comes to the carnival 
and gives old Bernie a big plume 
of cotton candy and hops on the carousel
laughing and waving her arms 
once a summer every year.


Donal Mahoney


The Only Place to Go in Tipperary 

Father Kelly has always claimed
the only place to go in Tipperary
once you're dead is Eagan's Mortuary.
Father Kelly says Eagan lays a client out
as if a body were a mackerel from the sea
glistening in the bottom of a boat 
once the mad thrashing is over.
Father Kelly has always claimed 
a dead mackerel deserves a nap
before the flames of hell take over.

The late Tommy Dugan arrived at Eagan's
a day or so after he'd been shot 
and Eagan laid him out perfectly 
with both eyes open and a plastic 
booger peeking from his nose,
a cosmetic touch Tommy had requested
when he came to Eagan's the week before, 
chomping on an unlit panatela.
Tommy came that day to make 
final arrangements, as they say. 

That same day Tommy asked if he could be 
waked in Eagan's finest casket upside down, 
his pants pulled down around his knees 
and a sign across his arse saying "Kiss this!"
as a final salute to his mother-in-law.
But the law in Tipperary specifies
no sign of any kind in any casket so 
Tommy settled for the plastic booger in his nose.
He knew his mother-in-law would curse it 
at the family viewing prior to the wake.

At Eagan's you can make arrangements 
years before you die and Eagan guarantees 
he'll lay you out the way you specify 
provided everything's within the law, of course.
But Tommy Dugan's widow swears 
Eagan must have been possessed to put 
a plastic booger in a dead man's nose. 
Rosie Dugan can't believe her sober Tommy
would ever ask for anything like that.
But after Mass on Sunday friends remind her

Father Kelly has always claimed
the only place to go in Tipperary
once you're dead is Eagan's Mortuary.
Father Kelly says Eagan lays a client out
as if a body were a mackerel from the sea
glistening in the bottom of a boat 
once the mad thrashing is over.
Father Kelly has always claimed 
a dead mackerel deserves a nap
before the flames of hell take over.


Donal Mahoney