Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Almost Home

Rolling down the highway
from Chicago to the farm
Bill the barber’s almost home. 

The ride is smooth until
his entourage leaves the highway 
and draws closer to the farm.

There the road gets bumpy 
as the hearse takes on Dead Man's curve
and goes past the farm to the cemetery.

The road is hostage to the weather, 
cattle, plows and happy kids with 
cane poles heading for the river

to hook the big one Bill missed
on his occasional vacations
Bill loved that farm as a boy 

but he had to make a living. 
He cut hair for 50 years 
and now he’s almost home.


Donal Mahoney


A Whole Lot Cheaper

for Jimmy Swaggart

It’s not easy watching preachers
howling on television
morning, noon and night
claiming the End is near

telling viewers they have time 
to send money before the Rapture 
takes them up into the air 
to be with God forever. 

One famed preacher is 80 now 
explaining the Message of the Cross
as he has always understood it.
Every month he holds a telethon

and donors send him millions 
to keep his station on the air
around the world day and night
so he can spread the Good News.

Not a cent, he says, ever goes to him
or his choir or his fellow preachers.
But if he needs $50 million a year 
to spread the Message of the Cross 

as the only way to heaven, why not 
save time and money and tell viewers 
to read the Bible to find the truth. 
It would be a whole lot cheaper.


Donal Mahoney


Code Blue 

I used to talk to myself
and ask a lot of questions
but my answers made no sense
so now I talk to Him.

He never answers me 
but His actions are a bullhorn
I’ve heard blast for many years. 
A fool, I never listened. 

When I was young and full of it
most of my friends got in trouble.
His bullhorn always warned me 
and the cops never caught me.

I don’t care if He never talks
to me the way He talks
to saints and mystics.
A fool, I will always need 

to hear His bullhorn blast 
its Code Blue warnings.
I was young and full of it.
A fool, I never listened. 

Donal Mahoney


Subway Sarah Splits Her Loaves

She works in a sandwich shop
splitting loaves of bread
stacking them with meat
for the construction crew
across the street.
They come in ravenous
and raucous.

One of them arrives alone,
is kind and nice.
He eats and waves good-bye.
He's had his fill, Sarah thinks.
Why should he stay? 

She takes him home one night,
splits her legs and afterwards 
he kisses her and says 
see you at the shop, Hon,
and waves good-bye. 
He’s had his fill, Sarah thinks. 
Why won't he stay? 

Donal Mahoney