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Authors: Matt Mooney

Falling Apples

BOOK: Falling Apples
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F
ALLING
A
PPLES

I’m up to my eyes in apples,

Lizard like upon the trunk;

Heavy branches to be shaken,

Fishing for the furthest fruit:

Ripened red and yellow faces

High on top beneath the sun.

I’m in a ball filled bouncer

But I’m careful not to fall-

Just now I ducked my head

From flying fruit going down

To hop like heavy hailstones

In a shower upon the ground.

D
IVERSION

Sonny O’Dea, our Master’s mate,

Closed the gate and lifted the latch

Of the door painted in national green

After he tied up his jennet outside.

His brown hat had no ribbon band,

It was turned up here and up there.

It sheltered him in the wind and rain

And shaded his face from the sun.

His coat, a corn bag from his barn,

Was fastened with a single horse nail;

His step so slow had a ring of steel

From the tips of his hobnailed boots.

Over the road we could see him come

And Sonny O’Dea didn’t have to knock;

It was just our grammatical grilling time-

That blasted blitz for us at two o’clock!

So with one voice we sang in chorus

‘Tá fear sa halla’ (‘A man in the hall’);

We knew we were in for some fun

As the Master would answer the call.

Sonny spoke out like an Indian chief,

The Master’s voice was always even-

Whatever was said we hadn’t a care

Once they had a long conversation;

That would help at the end of the day

To shorten a little our long education.

T
HIS IS YOUR
C
APTAIN SPEAKING

‘This is your Captain speaking’

The voice ground out with gravity.

I suddenly sat up straight in my seat

To hear what was the calamity!

Yes, we had ascended successfully,

Levelled off and headed for London-

But somehow we were lacking in thrust

So my feelings were somewhat deflated.

‘We have been told by Shannon control

That a hatch has been left open’-

‘Oh Lord our God’ I said ‘What?’

And he added ‘There’s no safety risk

At all and we are returning to Shannon.’

As he turned around there wasn’t a sound

Nor a sight of our pretty hostesses.

I thought of the news on
Five Seven Live

And cast the bad thought from my mind;

After all of this crisis without any crash

We had our hatch shut up in Shannon.

Beside me sat a young businessman

With a hint of a beard of maturity

Who had been asleep quite oblivious,

But on the second time round

He awoke back on the ground

And I told him of all that had happened.

Needless to say he was taken aback,

Thinking he was landed safely in England;

So we laughed at our lot as airborne we got

While the Captain made up for delaying us!

And all of a sudden the staff reappeared

To serve tea from behind the drawn curtains

And instead of landing in London at five

We were happy we landed at half past, alive!

O
VERHEARD

‘I should have known

He’d want to get up on the wall.

Hold on to him that’s all-

And don’t let him fall!’

C
ARNIVAL

The half moon begins its harvest climb;

This night is sure to be as bright as day.

The turf fires kindle and flame into life

In the hillside homes this evening time.

From across the Racecourse and the river

Carnival sounds drift in the still cool air

And rainbow rows of festive lights in town

Send up a crowning glow that spreads

And floods the gently sloping fields afar.

L
AKE
T
E
A
NAU

Stopping at Lake Te Anau

Felt like we had stumbled

On some masterpiece of art

Then made a part of it;

To be of no other tableau-

So perfect and untamed.

Breathless at the stillness

Of lake water pastel blue:

Nature’s ancient mirror

For the clearest of a sky

And Keplar snowy crested-

True reflections in Te Anau.

S
IESTA

Sliabh Mish in Summer:

Her lows and highs beyond

The fields that lie

Beside Tralee at Boherbee,

Where in the sun

In front of Dunnes

The shoppers

Filter in and out;

While sleepy breezes

Find their way

From Tralee Bay

To fill the afternoon

With sea wine from

The Maharees;

Or to have sweet reveries

Of sharing a siesta

With that mountain,

Guardian of the town,

Beneath its eiderdown

Spun from clouds

In bridal white that lie

On curves and crests

Along a blue horizon

Of a day in time.

S
KYLIGHT TO THE
S
TARS

Skylight of pine like a picture frame,

Only eye of my sleepless musing;

What strikes me at this hour of dreams

Is the single star that looks at me

From the depths of our lovely universe.

I’d love to know if the builders charged

For your beacon light so gifted;

As I lie on my back my thoughts of black

Slip away with the blind I’ve lifted.

Now I think of today by the River Rhone

And hills so high with slopes of trees

Where hosts of village houses stand;

St. Galmier, its square with cafés there;

A fruit shop of reds and yellows;

A church of stone standing all alone,

Its walls being cleansed by craftsmen.

While alas I lie and look on high

And muse on the higher heavens

I have found it wise to think of time

For the dawn has stolen my star away

And all that’s left to me today

Is a frame with a bright blue canvas.

T
HISTLEDOWN

Thistledown: flight so light,

Floating summertime on river air;

On the bank first kisses.

A
LLURING

A woman’s smile can haul her sailor boy ashore;

With just a single kiss she lures him on her line.

O
UTSIDE

Afterwards

Under the eiderdown

We lie inert;

Alert to night winds

That hurry up the hill,

Playing ‘hide and seek’

Among the trees;

Lulling us to sleep,

Sure of ourselves

And the only sounds

Outside.

S
OLITUDE

Aux revoirs à la porte ouverte

Un très beau Dimanche en été;

Dans le ciel un avion brillait;

Chez moi c’est très solitaire.

En ville à l’heure de la messe-

Le secret de la paix à la Place;

Personne ne bougait, ne parlait;

Avec le journal je suis rentré.

Mes chiens m’ont bien reçus;

Au téléphone un appel amical-

Voilà ma fille qui s’est levée!

Encore tout a bien tourné.

Encore une fois je pouvais voir

La beauté de montagnes au loin;

Comme un train d’un tunnel noir,

Je suis rentré dans la lumière.

A
LONE

Goodbyes at the open front door

On a Sunday morning in summer.

An aeroplane shines in the sun;

At home I can learn about solitude.

In the town it’s midday mass time-

A time and a place to be peaceful,

A short truce in the struggle of life;

I purchase the Sunday Press paper.

I’m welcomed in home by the dogs

And a friendly telephone caller;

My daughter awakes at it’s ringing,

Once again my world is revolving.

I am able to admire the day’s beauty-

BOOK: Falling Apples
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