CANTO XXXII (continues here)
The bishop from Donegal looked at the map,
traced the journeys, followed the vectors,
counted the donations that trickled in
for the recently released priest.
"My parishioners have an endless capacity for forgiveness,
there is none so loved as the sinner returned to the fold.
Didn’t Christ do time for humanity?
A priest that has raped a child, and moved on,
may be a better minister.
This valley of sin is much misunderstood,
you don’t need to be in Opus Dei to learn that.
I know my soul will be clean when I face my Maker,
isn’t the Bishop of Rome one of us?
Didn’t he sin in his youth?
Wasn’t he misunderstood too?
And look at him today."
Meanwhile, the rainwater trickled down the neck of a banker,
his house leaked,
the Sunday Independent fit for the fire,
his boiled egg hard,
his wife and family out praying
as he cursed the news
that his Caribbean haven was exposed
- even the toast was burnt.
Shit flew in formation,
the new boss of Allied Irish was one of the old guard.
It is a bloody Foreigner
And he is stopping one of three
"By your stubbly beard and critical eye
Now why fore stopp’s you me?"
The Taoiseach’s doors are opened wide
And I am close to him
The party’s grand, the feast is set
Let’s hear the merry din."
He grips him with his bony hand
"There was a SNIP" cried he
"Be off? Release me, greybeard fool"
Garsoons his hand dropt he.
Oh he is motoring now,
a verse at last.
I hope we’ll get the whole albatross
with the focus on flight,
and not some of that old cliché shyte
about water looking for a mouth.
We had quite enough flooding for my taste.
I see the crowd in the Pale
are under the cosh now,
their Anna Livia flowing over.
Someone told me, if that Wicklow dam goes,
the Liffey’s finished
- Kavanagh washed away from the canal,
the Luas gone suas,
the Spire on fire,
and the whore with the Jacuzzi in the sewer
Can we have a bit of the old Coleridge,
they all read him in Ballsbridge,
a D4 poem:
they never got the point of haiku south of Ringsend,
until they got to Bono overlooking the Bay.
Come on now,
you’ve only one day to write your masterpiece
before they fleece you…
He holds him with his bittering eye,
the Cabinet man stood still
and listens like a naked lad:
the Foreigner had his will.
The elected turd sat on his thrown,
he cannot help but hear.
And so went on that wissened man
the green-eyed Foreigner.
I told you he told him that withering night
the truth of the matter that happened all right
Twas as if he’d broken the seals of confession
and found all the scripts translated.
The Party was the background, the love of all before it
The movement right or wrong, the chorus of their anthem
Wolfe Tone and Emmet held their shirts, the boys the hurleys tight
To hell with all begrudgers, let them take their lives away.
I am the Boss, you are the Boss,
we are all the Walrus
Hip hip hurray, three cheers for Dev
You could smell the Ard Fheis and press the flesh.
It was a wild tribe around the flame
totem poles in every pocket
electricity from screwed-down sockets
the building boom was dead
Long live the building boom.
At length out come Albert the Boss,
through the sweat he came;
as if he had been on Christian soil,
we praised it in Sod’s name.
‘God save you ancient Foreigner
From Poland that plagues you so
Why misery? ‘ - with double cross
I shot Albert the Boss.’
And I had done the Devil’s thing
And it would blow the gaff
For all agreed I had slain the lie
That made the profits flow
Ah bastard they said our lie to nail
That made the profits flow.
Like castor sugar
mountain tops are sweet with snow
an edge on the wind
Logs ripe for the flame
a sacrifice burnt for warmth
embers smile and wait
Redbreast for winter
fancy-dress party over
pride bleeding on snow
(Canto 32 ends here)