Thursday, December 30, 2010

A short play in the style of Yeats (1)

Scene: A cottage as you might find in any county, far from the sea. A road, a stone wall behind which are hills webbed with stone walls and dotted with cottages. AGainst the stone wall lies various farming implements, picks, shovels, etc. A young boy is using a hoe in the garden.

A man comes on stage. He is old but walks with long strides.

Old Man: Go grab your axe, boy and come with me!
Boy: Where are we going?
Old Man: To the forest that lies underneath the stone house.

A window in the cottage opens up

Lady: Boy! Who is that calling?
Boy: It is the old man.
Lady: Old man! Why are you waking the dead?
Old Man: It is not I who wake the dead but you who do not let them sleep.
Lady: Phaw.
Old Man: Now grab your axe.
Lady: Boy! Keep your hands to the hoe and your eyes to the praties.
Old Man: She will be telling you that boy until you can't see moon or sun even if you did look for them.
Lady: Shut your gab, if we have words it will be nose to nose and eye to eye.
Old Man: Fist to fist suits me better.
Lady: Have you no respect?
Old Man: Aye ma'am. I have respect for the young one here and his axe.
Lady: I am coming out and we'll see whose boot is sharper.

[Window shuts]

Old Man: Listen here boy, get your axe and come away now. We'll have so many words you will eat no dinner tonight 'less you come right now.
Boy: I must not upset the lady.
Old Man: What does she ever do for you?
Boy: She gives me praties.
Old Man: It's you that give them to her you young fool.
Boy: But it's her garden.
Old Man: Does she plant it? Does she turn it? Does she pull all the brown stones out and make herself a wall?
Boy: No, she but she boils the cabbage in her pot and sweeps the table and mends my socks.
Old Man: You could do all that for yourself. Now come away.

Lady: What is this? Why are you stealing my boy? Are your ears long now and your coat green?
Old Man: I ain't stealing nothing but what can't be stolen 'cause it can't be owned.
Lady: Boy, is he talking of the sweet wild cherries?
Old Man: Aye, that I am talking of the cherries is certain.
Lady: Go inside boy and you can eat now.
Old Man: Go on in and eat the fruit of your labor boy, but first listen to what I will say after she has it out.
Lady: Well enough for him to hear.
Old Man: Aye well enough.
Lady: Let him hear of this work he will do with the axe.
Old Man: He will make a clearing in the wood beneath the stone house.
Lady: Near the creek?
Old Man: Aye, where the cherries grow and where there are harts.
Lady: And build you a hut?
Old Man: Of dry wood and he can live there too.
Lady: Until the Lord of the Stone House comes back.
Old Man: There is no more Lord there. He himself is stone and wood now.
Lady: I will not hear of it.
Old Man: Boy, I am an old man, and I know it is true. There is no lord in that stone house but a lord in england who says that is tenant land. But there are no tenants, the last one died and I know he was so poor that he never paid and he never owned and yet he had his hut.
Lady: You tell me you old fool what pebble in Ireland is not loaned back to us? What silver we have that is not from the English and goes back to London?
Old Man: Aye, the Irish Pebbles are English and rightly so. The english may have them all for all I care of them. But there is no beast in Ireland save those on the pinion that is not Irish. And no Irish cherry in the mouth of a lark is the property of the man in a bowler hat.

Saturday, July 17, 2010



Kiss my lips while they are still warm
And the breath you gave me
Still dwells in my breast
Before the last sigh
While I still have time.

Who named me such a name,
To bear before the world,
A constant accusation,
Of all the pagan gods?
To remember for all,
That our days are counted,
And every sin is weighed.

Open my lips, so that I may confess
Through suffering and pain,
But before torment.