Category Archives: Family

Love Will Never Leave You Hungry

Mam! I turned quickly when I heard him call.
He waved the shiny wrapped package in the air. He walked out onto the road and handed me the forgotten bread. I squeezed him tightly, kissed his cheek and the top of his head. He went back inside knowing today I would be fed.
It is usually a Mother who feeds a child, today the role reversed and it made my spirit smile. Nine years old already serving nourishment.
It’s comforting to know
That Love Will Never Leave You Hungry.

An Peann
For the son of An Peann, an always giving little spirit. X

The Rushing Man

The Rushing man was always in a hurry.
His time was tightly packed into each hour.
He worked hard, ate at his desk. He ran instead of walking.
The face he looked upon most was that of the clock. He wished he could hold her arms still to slow life down, but she kept on moving forward.

The Rushing Man had not time for friends.
He had not time to kiss his wife goodbye or tell his children he loved them.
A busy man has not time for himself.
He would try make time tomorrow, or the day after. Tomorrow never came.

The Rushing Man grew weary and grey.
He wanted to learn how to make some time.
Coming home from work one evening, he told his wife ‘ I want to invest my time in us again. I missed so much, but now I have the time to see that, I want to make amends.’

His wife smiled sadly at him ‘ you were so busy, we never had time to say goodbye. While you were rushing, I went and died. You were too busy to cry. You can come visit me, now you have time.’

He woke up the next morning with tears in his eyes. He rolled over and jumped with shock, when he seen his wife smile. He kissed her and held her with relief and delight.

The Rushing Man’s nightmare helped him see the light. He now has no time for rushing. He only has time for life.

An Peann

Under Cavan Skies

On the 360th day of the year with four minutes to midnight we stood under clear Cavan skies.

Every star had a sharpness so bright they could make an atheist bow at their majesty.
You cannot deny what the eyes make you see.

Orion’s Belt was fastened with clarity.
A question mark backwards demanded we ask ourselves the unanswerable.

Above Orion was a red star.
Stars normally don’t impress me, they make me dizzy.

They crowd my thinking, take my breath away, make me feel small and overwhelmed. They frighten me with their boastful eternity.

They will continue to shine long after we are gone.

The Ancient Greeks once thought there was a blanket behind the skies, they believed the blanket was pierced with little holes, in which the light shone through.
Those lights are what we call the stars.

Time teaches us to believe different things.

As we stood under the lights, I listened as he told me what the constellations were called.

I listened because these past few weeks have taught us that although the stars relentlessly shine, those we love can dim their light.

People can walk out the door and never come home again.

Children can be taken before they are given the opportunity to shine.

Who’s heaven decides such fate?

Illness can meet you at unexpected places, leave or take us into his arms and walk away with us.

Walking up the yard toward the house, the blue lights of the suspended Christmas tree on the street outside, brought us back to the falseness of our reality.

Our made up world that we focus so much on, fades in comparison to the Greek blanket hanging in the Cavan sky.

Oh, the beauty and fragility of life.
Understanding that brightness can be found even in the darkest corners, can resurrect our hopes.
There is such power and strength to be found in the darkness of life, for through the darkness is the epitome of life – those everlasting twinkling beacons of night’s light.

If only we could remember to bring those stars into our day’s light.
There may come a time, you need to fight for some light, if you do just remember
that once the Greeks believed in a pierced blanket in the sky.
Anything is possible, if you are willing to see the light.

An Peann

 

Your Double Decker Bus

There’s a double decker bus with your number on it, you cannot read the digit, you just know it’s your bus.
There are many stages, the first passengers to embark are your parents. The bus just cannot start without them.

They get on with your brothers and your sisters. Along with them they bring your Grandparents, even their deceased parents. Everyone has a seat on the bus.

Your Aunts and Uncles follow with their children.
The bus begins to move.

The next stage your first friend climbs on board. Their presence makes you warm, bringing back memories of that first connection with someone out side your own family.
Behind that first friend comes all your little school friends, your first teacher and every teacher that taught you in your primary years.

A special seat that seems to glow is reserved for those childhood friends who never leave your bus.
Their seat never changes, you always know where to find them and they always can find you.

The next stop more passengers alight. Each passenger wears a small red heart on their sleeve. These are the people you have shared a first with. A first crush, a first kiss, all the firsts you can imagine to remember. They take their seats dispersed amongst the now busy bus.
Few make it to the top of the bus, but they all find a place.

As the bus moves along, time moves with it, sometimes slowly, sometimes it flies along. Occasionally it to comes to a halt. Some of the earlier passengers begin to leave.
Certain passengers you do not notice leave, while others you miss instantly.
The bus keeps moving forward.

When you feel like you have already spent a small lifetime on the route, the pace moves faster.
New faces join your bus.
These faces are the holders of the lifetime tickets.
You know this because the inspector begins to ask for ‘tickets please’.
Your family and lifetime friends are exempt. They don’t need a ticket, they have what you would call a lifetime pass.
There is always someone on your bus who shouldn’t be there, they take up a seat, that they don’t deserve, or squeeze themselves in without reason.
They don’t really want to be on your bus. They distract the driver, upset the other passengers and are generally unwelcome.

Sometimes the inspector spots them straight away, showing them the exit before they cause too much havoc.
Other undesirables may just get off before they are found out.
This makes for a less bumpy drive.

The bell rings and the bus grinds to a halt, there is a mass exodus.

Many faces change bus, some stay. New passengers get on with speed, the bus moves faster, voices grow more familiar.
Those closest to you sit at the top of the bus.

Downstairs the seating changes, some give up their seats to the passengers standing, this continuously changes.
Your children and chosen love shadows now fill the designated seats that somehow always remained empty.

Your bus now feels full.

Along the way you will lose passengers, you will find yourself standing and unseated on your own bus.
The wheels may wear down, the windows may sometimes crack, the bus may get stuck in life’s traffic, but it will always move along again.
The bus can take you anywhere and you just never know when it may finally stop.

There’s a double decker bus with your number on it, you cannot read the digit, you just know it’s your bus.

An Peann

The Bookman

The first time he looked at me, I knew no one had ever looked at me that way before.
We met after a play in the Abbey called Drum Belly. The play was on my upcoming English exam. I wasn’t going to go, as money at the time was always needed for other things. 
My friend and fellow student Michéal, bought me a ticket, so like Cinderella I went to the Abbey.

It was a great play, hadn’t been to the theatre for years. 

Later a few of us from college went for some drinks. Michéal told me his friend was coming in to meet us. 
In arrived his friend, a man with a bounce in his step and huge smile on his face. 

I marched through the city between these two friends, we had some food and went back to his pals, where they played guitar, laughed, chatted and sang. It was a great evening. They put me in a taxi later and sent me safely home. 
A few weeks later Micheal told me his friend had offered to get the English books on my reading list for 2nd year. He worked at a University. I was delighted, they would have cost me a small fortune to buy.
I saved his number in my phone as the Bookman, never knew his surname. True to his word, he got me every last book I needed. I just had to go collect them. 
In the back of my mind I wondered what were his motives, Michéal told me he was just a nice guy, a diamond he called him.
I collected my books one Friday evening. We interrogated each other and went our separate ways. 

To be honest, I wasn’t looking for love, I was happy for the first time in my life. It was just me and my little boy. We were doing just fine by ourselves. 
I promised the Bookman I would buy him a few beers if he was in Lucan sometime, but I never called him. Later that night I sat admiring my pillar of books, thinking, Jesus, do I have to read all of them? 
  A few weeks later the Bookman phoned. He asked me out for dinner. Sushi and a movie he suggested. I didn’t know how to hold chop sticks and I never ate Sushi. I braved it, ate the Sushi, which was divine and we rushed to the Light House cinema to catch our Woody Allen movie, which we were late for.

 When we arrived they somehow had double booked our seats. The guy on the door was so apologetic. He really wanted to help. He dashed away and came back with two big armchairs, which he plonked in the aisle for us.

 I remember thinking to myself, it was a fire hazard having us block the exit. Think that was the law student in me. 

We sat down like the king and Queen of the Big Screen and laughed. 

As the Bookman leaned in to steal a kiss from me, the usher was walking back towards us. He said, ‘I’m so sorry but I’m going to have to ask you both to leave, it’s a health and safety issue.’

He took away our thrones and we went off and had coffee and cake. 

That was three years ago now. The Bookman’s name is Éamonn. He changed our world, words couldn’t describe what a truly wonderful man he is. I couldn’t be without him. 

Today is his Birthday. He is my diamond. 

Happy Birthday Mr Bookman

I love you. Xxx
An Peann

  

Where Cold Ghosts Meet

On Grafton Street she was putting the finishing touches to her chalked coloured masterpiece.
She drew love hearts over all the i’s, pretty they were in their painful disguise.

I had seen her work before, on the ground of Henry Street, her colours then washed away by the man in the truck that sweeps.

I never made time to read them, you know how we are sometimes in a rush?

Last night, I stopped.
I stopped, instead of glancing at the wares inside the windows of the Brown Thomas shop.

I stopped, became moved without moving.
Together we read her chalked words.
Her message reminded us how we should never look down on others.
I asked her could I sit down?
Together we shared a space on the cold October ground.

Her Mother gifted her to the State when she was 12.
Pragmatically she explained, it was for her own safety’s sake.

I asked her was she not fostered?
Shaking her head she told me how her Mam still had rights at the time.
Voluntarily she entrusted her into the arms of the state,
with a promise and a hope to take back home some day.

‘Where did you grow up?’ I asked her.
It turned out we we both grew up in Tallaght.
Looking at her face, I felt I could have known her Mother.
She explained that she grew up in Jobstown, I said ‘so did I’.
She looked back at me with shock in her eyes.

She calls herself April.
She is 18 and a half years old.
She grew up running away from various Care Homes, she didn’t like the hostels, she said ‘it’s not safe to sleep on the street.’

‘I have a tent, another couple stay there too, no one comes near us.’ She assured me it was somewhere safe to rest her pretty red head.

She has somewhere to have a shower every day at nine.
She goes to Art classes in a homeless project, to pass away the time.

More than anything she just wants a real home, so she can go back to school.
This young girl has had it hard, but she is nobody’s fool.
She is waiting for aftercare, the social worker closed her case.
Eighteen years old, no longer a care for the State.

April wants to go to Trinity, she reads a lot.
To study history, even be an archaeologist some day.

I told her she was too beautiful for the streets, she said ‘ah, thanks, thanks a lot.’ She really was ever so sweet.

April grew up across the river from where I lived.
The river being a trickle that divides a multitude of lives.

I am sorry for you, I said.
I don’t feel sorry for you.
I am just sorry you have to live this life.

We hugged, longer than we needed to.

April being no fool, is burdened by circumstances.

She is just a young girl who deserves the right to go back to school.

An Peann

I asked April was it okay to write about her, she said it was okay. If you are reading this, stay safe.
You will go to Trinity some day.
Big Hug.xxx

When I was a Child

I sometimes saw a young girl walk across my parents bedroom.
She was about ten. She wore a dress that looked at least one hundred years old. She never spoke or changed over the years

It would happen when I passed their room. It happened many times.
Once my Mother sent me to fetch her hairbrush, when I turned the small corridor into their room the girl was sitting at my Mothers dresser, combing her own hair.

She looked up and grinned.
Frightened the living daylights out of me.
There was always things happening in the house.

Another time, I seen a man’s legs walk up the stairs.
Dad had been at a council meeting that night, arriving home just seconds after the legs made their way upstairs. Dad thought it was a burglar.
Himself and his friend Gus ran up the stairs, searching for the owner of the legs.
All they found was my hiding place, behind the wardrobe. Where I would throw everything when I pretended to tidy my room.
The owner of the legs was never found.
My parents were mortified, my Mother nearly killed me, made a show of her she said.

No one sleeps in that room now. It’s cold in there.

I wonder does the girl still brush her hair?
I don’t believe in banshees, but I believe in that girl.

As for the man’s legs, I’m not certain.. He was wearing jeans, maybe he was a trendy spirit.

An Peann