A BIG BULL CAN BE JUST A BIG BAG OF BULL

 

I shouted at the TV last week, beyond the stilled fields
recently ploughed of their prize, where now we wait
and watch for new seeds where hope was replanted.
I stopped to moo last week as you bellowed back at us
from the not-so-stilled screen in our isolated living room-

you’d be going to the pub;

One must support the landlords, you said, not everyone, of course
but some of us must do our bit, you said, on This Morning,
with Phil and Holly and Vanessa, now back on Virgin.

I roared like a farmer, last week, who’d lost control
of an old Bull, still so convinced of his shiny cock
and bull tales the Union had regaled since 1845.

We recall what failed us once with every filled plate
that passes our table now, while you bury yourself
in the Best of Bull, keeping up with the Hancocks’-

down the pub with balls forward and brain resting
derriere where you happily placed the Irish, once,
when we were nothing but dying boats running west

from cold hands in the east.

I shouted at the tv last week and yesterday, I asked;
Did you take your son to the pub too, that night after the sofa,
after the stinking bull broke free from the paddock,
all horny but headless; hiding all the fear, all the silage,

in the face of the ripe old rot of the best of British.

Yesterday, they announced the Young Bull at No.10
was poorly. How’s the beer taste now, Old Bull?

PS, the PM ain’t no monument to immortality.

 

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

1847.1490.164

 

Slow is the swan along these tracks well torn,

my feet tire in soft shoes that follow google
as scavengers’ swim in closer to my scraps-
braver the bird when hunger’s the only hold.

Swift runs the water as if it didn’t want to stay,

there are locks but not all lakes can be held,
not every belly can hold so much emptiness
and Naomi not the sweet swan to set you free.

Slow is the pace from midland to new world,

a shot rings out, rumbles from feather to wave-
but too late is the fall for the rest who fell,
bodies are buried at sea and only time forgets.

In 1847, the worst year of the Great Irish Famine, 1490 tenants were evicted from the estate of Denis Mahon in Strokestown and escorted 167km on foot along the Royal Canal to Dublin where they were shipped off to Liverpool and from there put onto ships, like The Naomi, setting off for the New World. Denis Mahon was later assassinated in November of the same year while almost 1/3 of those who set out on the route to Dublin, the coffin ships and Canada never made it.

 

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly