JP MC MENAMIN.co.uk

J.P MC MENAMIN.co.uk

Home Biography Books Poems Diaries Thoughts Artwork Contact us
 
THE BOYS  by SEAMUS HEANEY
          
Do I know the boys?
OH yes, I know the boys.
Know them too well, some might say
For my own good.
Suaviter in modo, forter in re
I deplore all flash and greed
Suaviter in modo, forter in re
Gentle in manner, resolute in deed.
                 
You will find the "Boys" in out-landish places
Jumping up with guilty faces.
Reminding one of the mystical hare
That dogged poor Deirdre in a dark nightmare.
       
With strong, poetic, country man step
I walk the cobble stoned streets of this ancient city
With blueberry in hand, thinking it a pity
That the old red phone box is long since gone.
Obsolete! Took to the pawn
Now, by hokey, if you need 2 pee
Look as you may, there's no button B.
                   
Labuntur et imputantur, you might say.
A rough translation, the moment slips away
One of the boys is Gerry.
A man of high intelligence and quick wit.
A man who could have risen high in say, insurance
Or a civil service cubicle
Serving the needs of the people, in the shadow of a steeple
Mammon or God?-aye, that is the question.
           
The other  "Boy" now, a rag tag and bob tail
Colloquially known as, Coylers by a certain corner boy element
That inhabits this city to a degree
Which I find disturbing and extremely worrying.
Coylers masquerades as a law abiding citizen
But I would lend him neither, donkey, harness nor blinkers.
                  
Both of the "BOYS" live by their wits
Scheming, bobbing and weaving
Certainly not law abiding in the true sense of the word.
They have a peculiar Bonnie and Clydish hue to them
I'm thinking now, they would not be the kind of boys
To take home to meet-mammy
Or indeed, any other female blood relation that might reside in the house at the time.
                 
Nemo repente fuit turpissimus
No one ever became utterly bad all at once
But some chemicals, they tell me
Harmless chemicals, with no malice in mind
When mixed with a similar chemical
Become toxic, lethal and dangerous.
              
And so it was when the two "boys" met, merged
Or as the man might say, amalgamated.
A reaction occured, the spark was lit
And the result was destruction on a grand scale.
             
I myself, may I say, have often been invited to meet the-"Boys"
In my capacity, you understand, as bard and indeed poet.
Graciously declining, I turned my face towards Lough Swilly
Rather would I be in the company of geese, duck and water hen
Than to set foot inside that accursed place known as, radio Foyle.
                      
You ask me if I know the "Boys"
Oh yes, begorrah, I know the "Boys"
And a man might say
I know the "Boys" too well to my own detriment.
'Tis folly for a lauded man in my position
To be seen colloguing with the-"Boys".
I would rather spend my time in otium cum dignitate
Or dignified leisure, as the man in the street might say.
                    
But having been harsh, some might say,  severe
Let us remember, the reality is
At the end of the day
They are still, "OUR BOYS".

 
Penned by Seamus Heaney
Goodbye for now and mind how you go.

20/08/09

 

Copyright 2009 J P McMenamin