The Preacher

There is an awful tendency amongst holy men to profit from the piety of their followers. Whether it be the farcical extremes of wealth preachers like Joel Osteen, the vulgarly opulent lifestyles which Catholic Bishops are repeatedly caught indulging in, or the more moderate Mercedes-Benz and townhouse lifestyles of inner city pastors. There is a lot more to be said on the mechanics of this, being a phenomenon filled with patchy greys of every shade, but in it’s most simple this is deplorable.

 

The Preacher went from town to town,

offering salvation to all who drown.

Taking from all who rue their fate,

but their offerings could never sate.

Every Sunday their tithes he weighed,

and demanded more to him was paid.

More and more his greed knew no end,

the poor for themselves were left to fend.

They laboured sweating and broken backed,

struggling to make up for what they lacked.

While he stood and preached salvation,

offering the gathered their emancipation,

from the ebb and flow of earthly woes,

and to deliver them at Heaven’s toes.

But with cold heart he ignored their suffers,

and turned to count the silver in his coffers.

You’ve Got To Make Money Before You Can Share It Around

Earlier in the year I got in an argument with one of my father’s friends about politics after he used to phrase “you’ve got to make money before you can share it around.” Now if you’re imagining that this utterance was something as cliche as being from a Fine Gael supporting former bank manager in conversation after a rugby match, well you’re pretty much on the mark.

He was a kindly man,

but oh so pragmatic.

He would help the poor,

of that he was emphatic.

You’ve got to make money

before you can share it around.

If you know about finance,

you’ll know his reasoning’s sound.

So he counts all his pennies,

as they flow in and flow out,

waiting until he has enough,

to end his charitable drought.

This year he has a surplus,

but could do with a new car,

a new deck in the garden,

and in the basement a bar.

So he’ll wait until next year,

when he has money again,

when he’ll want a kitchen extension

and truffles in Ardennes.

On it goes year upon year,

he falls into these traps.

While the poor remain ignored,

and left to his scraps.

Social Media Is Egotistical

So I saw this article a few days ago People who post their fitness routine to Facebook have psychological problems, study claims. It claims that people who post updates on their fitness regime are narcissists. This irked me, not because I think it’s wrong but more because it misses the entire point of social media. Everything you post on social media is narcissistic. Those pictures of your lunch, drinks in the airport, your lovely baby, your car, that highly interesting piece from the Economist, that pseudo-intellectual, quasi-political poetry… ahem.. all of it.

 

So sharing about your fitness is a sign of an unhealthy ego,

that maybe all too often your mother hugged you,

all those years ago.

 

It’s really not all that different

-from the rest of my Facebook wall.

Sunday brunch photographs, and diatribes on football.

Weekday holiday check-ins and cocktails by the pool.

and those club bathroom selfies grinning like a fool,

Boasts of doing Yoga and finding inner light,

and pictures of brand new cars, effusing in delight.

The “look at my cute baby, cuter than you know whose,”

and the “look at me I’m so fun, last night I drank this much booze.”

Couples showering each other with public displays of affection,

and attention grabbing statements begging for interjection.

 

You can’t separate ego and social media, they are one and the same.

So get back to sharing cat pics and quit with all the shame.

There’s Never A Good Time

If 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, has thought us anything this week it’s that there never is a right time, place or way to protest against something people are comfortable with. If you do have the bravery to stand up (or in this case sit down) for what you believe in not only will your methods but also your earnestness shall be called into question.

 

It’s never the right time,

for political demonstration,

there’s always a reason,

wrong method, wrong season.

Intentions thrown into doubt,

you never say what you mean,

without political clout.

Race riots are pure yobbery,

not about the political robbery,

that disenfranchises,

entire races, communities,

and steals opportunities.

Always the question,

why are they speaking up now?

Why threaten the sacred cow?

Must be to do with publicity,

nothing to do with financial security,

or the groundswell of humanity,

giving you the bravery,

to stand against the insanity.

Black Lives Matter

After the Michael Brown and Eric Garner were killed by police there were reprisals in New York. Now it’s happened again, and it will happen again and again until the root problems are addressed. Oppressive, racially biased policing is killing people and it has to stop. Justice must not only be done but seen to be done. Officers who kill innocent people need to face justice. Otherwise like what happened in Dallas last night, men will take justice into their own hands, and that justice will be flawed, full of hate and anger, and invariably visited on the wrong person.

 

For blue lives to matter black must too,

for all lives matter even black or blue.

But when black lives fall to police violence,

from lady justice all that is heard is silence.

For police can treat black skin with impunity,

as they oppress and murder black communities.

You can’t stand on people without them fighting back,

If this is true for you imagine if your skin was black.

Faces of the dead; like yours, like that of your family’s,

while news anchors report on alternate realities.

Being stopped and searched, and being realistic,

you have to prepare yourself to be a statistic.

Black and blue are caught in a circle of hate,

a circle which only more blood will sate.

Breaking this cycle is simple math,

police must fear justice’s wrath.

Police must serve and protect the truth,

and not continue to act as the oppressors boot.

Sure Aren’t They Great Having The Craic Over There In France

Over the past two weeks the Euros have been in full swing and the Irish football fans have been making a name for themselves as being a great bunch all together. We as a nation have taken an inordinate amount of pride in their antics and I’ll admit I do too… the only problem is I can’t help see the hypocrisy of it all. Remove the football and this is the behaviour we whinge about every paddy’s day. This is the Irish drinking culture, it’s chaotic, good natured and fun or it’s loud, belligerent and a shame to society. We have to make the decision. A football tournament is not a loophole, and in my opinion we don’t need a loophole.

 

We’re so proud of our fans in France,

out havin’ the craic, a sing and a dance.

Their good-natured fun an example to all fans,

unlike the thuggish English or the Russians.

Watch their tone deaf serenading  of ladies,

and haphazard lullabying of babies.

Changing tires for elderly motorists,

crowd surfing confused cyclists,

through joyous, revelling throngs.

Singing and chanting and cheering gendarmes.

The papers are in love, they can’t get enough,

yet on other occasions have no time for this stuff.

Take away the football and it’s Paddy’s day,

and newspapers reactions are “what an awful display.”

We drink too much, such a shame to the nation,

this is not the sober austere of Eamonn de Valera’s imagination.

Stop all the taps, close all the pubs,

alcohol should be reserved for skimmed knee rubs!

Oh what a shame, what will other countries think!?

What will tourists say when they see us with a drink!?

So go on fans, off into the world to spread the craic,

but don’t a single one of you dare think of bringing that fucker back!

 

Unrequited Love, Friendzone, Creep

In the past unrequited love has been seen as certain romantic ideal. Certainly in the Irish folk tradition there’s been a certain cache of stoic nobility applied to unrequited love. In recent times this has been replaced by the idea of the friendzone where it has been given a cache of being wronged or owed something. These are both ridiculous ideas which prop themselves up on the idea that their love is purer and therefore somehow more valuable than any other offer. Something which is undoubtedly bullshit. So here’s the classic unrequited love versus the perspective of the unfortunate finding themselves as the object of unwanted affections.

 

i. Love As Feathers

 

There’s nothing more beautiful

-than unrequited love,

it’s smiled on from high by god above.

It’s giving without taking,

never tainted with lies or faking.

It expects nothing in return,

yet with passion’s fervor burn.

Pure as any angel’s feather,

and through wildest storm will weather.

An ever present shining light,

guiding home in darkest night.

A pure and white peaceful dove,

nothing is as beautiful

-as unrequited love.

 

 

ii. Love As Fetters

 

You say your love

-is as pure as angel’s feathers,

but I know what’s going

-on in your nethers.

Sitting in the corner stressing,

with your eyes your undressing.

Nothing about your love is pure,

and by your actions you want more.

Your love I choose to forgo,

it’s nothing but lust and ego.

Your advances at times are scary,

whenever you’re near I must be wary.

Move along with your life,

I have no intention of being your wife.