Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Guest spot : Why I gave the whole lesbian thing a miss by Maria Manuela Cardiga

I really had no excuse,
Except I got my heart broken
For the third time that moon,
And after that,
I just plain refused
To have anything else
To do with a man.

And when I thought that
It just hit me: BAM!
Instead of feeling blue?
Why! I knew just what to do,
I’d just quit the hetero crew!

So straight to Lesbos I went.
Doffed my La Perla
underwire bra, of course!
Nothing could be worse
Than showing up
At the primordial home
Of feminist funk
With perky tits,
So I’ll admit
Mine took a slump.

There I was,
Straight off the boat,
And right away
I started to wonder
If I could cope
Without my lipstick;
Or with walking around
Without a lick
Of makeup
Or perfume?
But then some chick
In a camouflage chlamys
Offered to take me
To her leader,
And so I went.

And there she was,
The famous Sappho.
And let me tell you,
She was just blotto;
Downing amphorae
And shouting “Tits ahoy!”
And lasciviously fondling
This really gorgeous boy
In the altogether.
(Sappho, not the boy,
Which was a shame).

Nope, Sappho was busy
Giving all of Lesbos
A wink of the pink
And that was not
As charming
As you might think.
(The woman was seventy,
For the Goddess’ sake!)

So I decided the whole
Lesbian philosophy
Was just so not me?
I hied myself down
To the harbour
And showed a leg.
I got myself
A hairy sailor
And a keg;
And he cured me
Of my despair
Right then and there.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Oh, brother (part 21) by Grant Harbison

“What possessed you to do something so insane?” Brother Borium asked Brother Blaine.
“I wish I knew. It seems like crazy things happen when I partake in the brew.”
“Brother Blaine, I’d say the fault lies with you,” said Truman. “You partook in more than just a few. Last time I counted, you’d drunk twenty two.”
“We cannot allow squabbling to ensue,” said Borium. “We have to figure out what we’re going to do.”
“The others will question why Brother Ilirium has vanished,” said Truman. “We can’t tell the truth otherwise Brother Blaine will be banished.”
“Brother Grover is bound to take over,” said Borium. “He is very sly and can easily detect a lie.”
“Brothers be blessed,” said Blaine. “But I do think it would be wiser if I confessed.”  
“Brother Blaine, let Truman and I decide what’s best. Now let us go to Brother Grover. A terrible tragedy I shall attest.”
The monks met Brother Grover in the monastery garden
“Brother Grover,” said Borium. “Begging your pardon.”
“Just say what you have to say, Brother Borium. I haven’t got all day.”
Borium gave him a look of dismay. “I have some terrible news I must relay. Our dear Brother Ilirium departed us today. Viking swords were responsible for his demise. Savage slaying before our very eyes.”
“Slain!” cried Grover as he looked sceptically at Borium and Truman, and then Blaine with disdain. “Then why were the three of you spared the same fate? Viking bloodlust does not abate.”
“Perhaps it was Brother Ilirium’s retaliation that caused their irritation. We were simply laughed at for our hesitation.”
“Brother Ilirium has been very brave. We must bring him home and dig him a grave.”
“I’m afraid, Brother Grover, that can’t be done, as we have already dug him one. We buried him where he was slain and to bring him home would have been such a strain.”   
“We are duty bound to bury him in hallowed ground.”
“Very well, Brother Grover, tomorrow shall we three bring him back to the monastery.”
“How are we going to solve our plight?” asked Truman later that night.    
“Relax, Brother Truman,” replied Borium with a grin. “If we can’t give them Ilirium, then we can always use his twin.”
“Borium, what is going on in your head? Barium is very much alive, not dead.”
“Not for much longer methinks. Blaine has already had a few drinks.”  


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Oh, brother (part 20) by Grant Harbison

Ilirium felt instant dread
When he woke to find a woman stroking his head
She had piercing green eyes and her hair was bright red
“My, you are a pretty one. We are going to have such fun,” she said.
Ilirium silently cursed Borium and Truman. “Who are you, woman?”
“I be known as Gypsy Jess. Ye be a good purchase, I must confess. A little bit skinny, but a bargain nonetheless.”
“Oh, this is a mess!” Ilirium cried in distress.
“Oh, bless,” she said. “Don’t ye be afeart and don’t ye stress. Ye’re in real good hands with Gypsy Jess.”
 “You’re telling me not to stress, when morality you transgress? What will you have me do under duress? And why the hell am I wearing a dress?”
“To stop my eyes feasting on yer tackle,” she replied and began to cackle. “Although yer not quite as blessed as Malcolm the midget,” she said and cackled once more when she saw him fidget.
“Wicked woman, do your worst,” he told her. “May your blackened soul be cursed.”
“Hush, little monk,” she said as she slowly undressed. “Let’s put yer virility to the test. I do hope for your sake that you show prowess. I expect nothing but the best.”
“Away with you, damn witch and put on some clothes!” he cried as she removed the last of her garments and moved in close.
“Oh, little monk, don’t be morose. My fervent lust just grows and grows.”
Ilirium couldn’t resist and instantly rose
Exacerbating his shame and woes
But to his surprise
When he heard her vociferous cries
It gave him a thrill instead of a chill
And when it was over and their needs were sated
They lay in silence and patiently waited
Until once again Ilirium inflated

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Oh, brother (part 19) by Grant Harbison

Borium and Truman met Blaine in Brothel Lane
“You must be insane, Brother Blaine,” said Borium. “Going to Mistress Paine in this pouring rain.
“It’s an ecstasy I can’t explain,” said Blaine to the twain. “And for that I wish to thank you again.”
“We’re so glad you feel that way,” said Truman. “But before you continue on your merry way, we need your assistance in a trick we want to play.”
Blaine looked at them with dismay. “I’m not sure I’m going to like what you are about to say.”
“Brother Ilirium brought us shame,” said Borium. “And for that we must do the same.”
“It does sound rather unkind. What exactly do you have in mind?”
“Abduct the scoundrel and tie him to a tree,” replied Truman. “Completely naked for all to see.”
“Do that to the abbot? Sorry, my fellow monks. I simply cannot.”
“A decision you may rue,” said Borium. “We could arrange that Paine refuses to see you.”
“Come now, Blaine, you owe us a debt,” said Truman. “If it wasn’t for us, you and Paine never would have met.”
“Yes, you are right. But how do we snatch him without him putting up a fight?”
“The notion has been put in motion,” responded Borium. “I’ve already given him some sleeping potion. All you have to do is carry him to the tree. I shall ensure that the blame is on me.”
“Time is of the essence,” said Truman. “If we wait much longer, he may be aware of our presence.”
So they all returned to the monastery
And Blaine carried Ilirium to a large oak tree
Borium and Truman chortled with glee.
“Oh, what utter humiliation,” cried Borium. “I think this calls for a celebration.”
“Yes,” agreed Truman. “Let’s make our way to the Goblet and Grail and drink a few pints of their finest ale. Blaine, can we buy you a pail?”
“I think I should rather abstain. I have to be sober when I visit Mistress Paine.”
“Don’t be chicken, Brother Blaine,” said Brother Borium. “Just one bucket and you can head back to Brothel Lane.”
At that very moment Ilirium awoke. “What’s going on?” he yelled. “Is this some kind of joke?”
“Yes, Ilirium, and you only have yourself to blame,” replied Borium. “When morning comes, you’ll be overcome with shame.”
They awoke hours later in the vicinity of the tree
Borium hollered, “Mercy me!”
Truman was speechless and could only stare
When he saw that Ilirium was no longer there
Blaine looked on with mouth agape
Wondering how Ilirium managed to escape
“Blaine!” Borium yelled. “Do you know what happened to the head of the abbey? Were you once again drunk and crabby?”
“Wait, let me think. I’m not very good when I’ve had a drink.”
“I’ll ask you again, my fellow monk. Were you angry? Were you drunk?”
“Well, I was rather tipsy…Oh, dear me. I sold him to a gypsy!” 

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Oh, brother (part 18) by Grant Harbison

Meanwhile in the great land to the west
Erik the Viking had lost his zest
There’d been constant bickering between him and the rest
And the harmony between them had since regressed
Even life with Sioux he’d begun to detest
With his constant nagging and thinking he knows best
So with his patience constantly being put to the test
And thoughts of Borium that only made him depressed
He rose one morning and decided to leave
Sioux did not fuss nor did he grieve
There were too few memories on which to cleave
And deep down Erik knew that he had his eye on Steve
So it was a simple parting without remorse
And he immediately set sail to the land of the Norse
The welcome he received was warm and hearty
Cheers and singing and the inevitable party   
But Erik just needed to rest his head
So he set off to see if he could find an empty bed
He doubted that his old one would still be free
Desperately weary he decided to go and see
Inside his former resting place a woman cried with elation
And curiously he went to suss the situation
But he cursed himself for his lack of hesitation
When he saw the woman and his brother in the act of copulation
“Erik, we are busy with an act of intimacy,” cried his brother Derek. “Please allow us our privacy.”
“Another one could be fun,” cried the former nun. “You, him and me.”
“I’m afraid brother Erik is not like you and me. And his love is for a monk over the sea.”
“Oh, I see. I know many monks. Who is he?”
“Borium is his name and he was the one for me. But circumstances drove us apart; and now I realise he’ll be always in my heart.”
“Lock me in chains and slap me with a flounder! How could anyone fall for that little bounder?”

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Oh, brother (part 17) by Grant Harbison

Mistress Paine chuckled when she opened her door
The fear on the faces of the monks was hard to ignore
“My dear Borium and Truman, have you come back for more? Surely from the last time you must still be sore?”
“No, Mistress Paine, we bring you Brother Blaine,” responded Borium. “We won’t require your services ever again.”
“Pity, it was like a dream; hearing you beg and hearing you scream. This monk you have brought, where is he? Bring him to me so that I can see.”
“Truman, bring him in,” said Borium. “Let him come and atone for his sin.” 
“Mistress Paine, I need to explain,” said Borium when Truman had gone to fetch Blaine. “Brother Blaine requires substantial flaying. An extended session is what I’m saying.” 
“Oh, what fun! It would be my pleasure, no matter what he’s done.”
“Good evenin’ to ye, Mistress Paine,” greeted Brother Blaine as he entered the room. “I’m hopin’ ye’ll cure me and prevent my doom.”
“I’ll do what I can. My, you are a very dashing young man.”
Blaine’s heart pounded and his face turned red. “Never have such words to me been said.”  
“But enough of that, it’s time to go. Follow me, Blaine, to the dungeon below. Borium and Truman, would you like to see the show?”
“Yes, Mistress Paine, we’d love to observe,” replied Truman. “To see his suffering, we rightly deserve.”
Down in the dungeon with rising anticipation
Borium and Truman waited for his humiliation
“Let us begin, I can wait no more,” Paine said to Blaine. “Remove your robe and throw it on the floor!”
“But, Mistress Paine, never have I been naked in front of a woman before.” 
“Monk, do you dare to stall? Now, do as I say and go to the chain on the wall.”
“Punish the sinner, punish the freak!” cried Brother Borium. “Make sure he won’t be able to sit for a week!”
“Yes!” Brother Truman agreed. “Let us bask in his misery, let’s hear him shriek!”
Naked and afraid
And on the end of a chain
Blaine prepared for the impending pain
But when she’d delivered the second whack
The words he yelled took everyone aback
“Hit me, Mistress, hit me again! I never knew there could be such pleasure in pain. Hit me, Mistress, don’t be coy. I have been a very bad boy!”
“Heavens above !” cried Mistress Paine. “I do believe that I’m in love!”  
The monks were speechless and could only stare
At Blaine and Paine
An unlikely pair

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Oh, brother (part 16) by Grant Harbison

“He’s done it again!” Borium and Truman heard Ilirium complain. “That Celtic clown is going to drive me insane. Five monks assaulted in just one week. How does one protect oneself when one is meek?”
“Something has to be done about Brother Blaine,” said Borium. “Perhaps the solution is Mistress Paine.”
“I think he should be tortured and slain,” stated Brother Truman. “Have them cut out his eyes and suck out his brain.”
“A bit drastic,” said Ilirium. “But part of me thinks it sounds fantastic.”
Outside the room there was a terrible noise
And they heard the sound of the now familiar voice
“Top o’ the mornin’ to ye, boys!”
The three brothers stared with mouths agape
At the Celtic madman with the intimidating shape
“Saints and angels and Bringer of light, I sincerely promise that I won’t bite,” said Blaine. “I’m just here to tell ye that somethin’ isn’t right. There are brothers out there shiverin’ with fright, and one or two look like they’ve been in a fight.”
“All things beautiful and all things bright!” cried Brother Ilirium. “You mean to tell me that you don’t remember last night?” asked Brother Ilirium.
“No, try as I might.”
 “If I were you, I’d be contrite.”
“It’s chaos in the monastery every night, with your drunken aggression and desire to fight. Last night you threatened to set the place alight.”
“But that’s insane.”
“Yes, Brother Blaine. Ale seems to have a terrible effect on your brain. If you must partake, we’ll have to restrain. But it would be better for us all if you just abstain.”
“Oh, the shame! A thousand pardons if I’m to blame. Violence and mayhem goes against my grain. How am I ever goin to show my face again?”   
“Atonement will require hours of pain.”  
“I’ll do anythin’ to achieve respect once again. I cannot lose, I can only gain.”
“Very well. Borium and Truman shall deliver you to Mistress Paine.”    

Monday, 14 September 2015

Oh, brother (part 15) by Grant Harbison

The onset of winter precipitated torrential rain
And reluctance from the monks for the mundane bane
It also saw the arrival of a strapping young swain
A garrulous monk called Brother Blaine
An amiable chap with a permanent smile
Who sailed on a coracle from the Emerald Isle
He worked extremely hard and never seemed to tire
And even took charge of the monastery choir
Those were his good qualities and something to admire
But lurking underneath was a beast so dire
And consumption of alcohol was like fuel on fire
Even one little sip was enough to make him flip
And much to everyone’s dismay
Every night he caused an affray
Bashing anyone who got in his way
It had started one night in the ‘Goblet and Grail’
A quaint little pub that served fine ale
The monks had been drinking and telling funny tales
When Blaine had walked in and downed two pails
Seconds later he’d gone off the rails
And bedlam had ensued with shrieks and wails
Making sounds like an angry bear
He’d smashed up every table and chair
Tore off his robe and pulled on his hair
And with flaring nostrils and a wild eyed stare
He’d yelled, “Come and get me, if you dare!”
None of the monks had wanted the strife
Through absolute terror and risk of life
Then all of a sudden his nature had turned mild
And he’d fallen to the floor and cried like a child

Friday, 11 September 2015

Oh, brother (part 14) by Grant Harbison

They were led to a dungeon and their nerves began to jangle
When they saw the chains on the wall
Each with a bangle
They were ordered to strip and locked in their restraints
Borium felt the discomfort and cried, “Suffering saints!”
“Methinks, dear Brother,” said Truman “That it’s much too late for complaints.”
Mistress Paine grinned and cracked her whip
Borium whimpered and Truman bit his lip
“I am the punisher and the dissolute I scorn,” she said. “And when I’m finished with you, you’ll wish you’d never been born. Yes, little monks, you have reason to shake. Are there any special requests before we partake?”
Borium’s wrists began to ache. “I’m afraid, Mistress Paine, there’s been a mistake.”
“No mistake, none at all. You’re mine now and I’m going to have a ball. Just one thing before we begin; I can assure you that no one will hear the din.”
“You don’t understand, we’ve paid our fee,” said Truman. “Surely we can decide if we want to be free.”
“That may work with some, but not with me.”
“Please!” yelled Borium. ”Let us go!”
“You’re very annoying and the answer is no!”
She gave them a few whacks with the cat o’ nine tails
And yelled with delight at the sound of their wails
Their ordeal lasted another half an hour
Long enough to make them babble and cower
“Oh, come on,” said Mistress Paine. “It wasn’t so drastic. Or perhaps you think I’m being sarcastic. It may take a little while for the pain to wane, but when you feel up to it, please call again.”
 Ilirium was in hysterics when they eventually arrived home
And told them it was retribution for staying so long in Rome
Borium and Truman were not amused
For a little indiscretion they were roughly abused
And they agreed that when their butts weren’t so sore
 Ilirium shall have a surprise in store

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Oh, brother (part 13) by Grant Harbison

So Borium and Truman spent a month in the nick
Conditions weren’t great but at least it was quick
They made new friends and learnt new tricks
Played fun games like ‘count the bricks’
All in all it was time well spent
And they departed Rome with hearts content
Even though there was no love action
They’d experienced the city and beheld its attraction
But their arrival home rendered a few shocks
When they learnt that two brothers had contracted the pox
And Brother Ilirium had been sent to the stocks
For drunken revelry with a couple of Jocks
It was an effort for the monks to get back to the grind
And for the first few days they’d just wined and dined
Eventually Brother Ilirium was released
And they all celebrated with a sumptuous feast
He told them about another Viking raid
Maude’s new girl and the games they’d played
Her large dark eyes and ruby red lips
Her ample bosoms and curvy hips
And about her penchant for chains and whips
Borium and Truman thought that was insane
And asked Ilirium what gain there was in pain
He told them to go and visit the whore
Stressing that they would be begging for more
So off they went the very next night
With mixed emotions of fright and delight
There was more than one reason for them to be afraid
When their thoughts drifted back to the night of the raid
But Maude assured them when she opened her door
That they didn’t have to worry about that anymore
She’d found a way to keep the authority at bay
And as long as she continued to pay
They promised not to stand in her way
The monks clapped their hands and paid their fee
And told her who they’d come to see
Maude smiled broadly and said, “Come with me.”
And to Mistress Paine she introduced the boys
Who eyed them coolly and said, “The naughtiest boys make the most noise.” 

Monday, 7 September 2015

Guest spot. Gruesome Galway grannie by Maria Manuela Cardiga


Bugger that mugger
He just ruined
My whole day!
He bled on my blouse
And I can't wash
That stain away?

Blood is just the worse!
I tell you I have cursed
That stupid boy
And that silly ploy
Of his to try
And steal my purse?
I have tried club-soda
And pure lye?
That reddish shade
Is here to stay...

He really is to blame-
Did he think
I'd just stand
And let him take
My knitting bag
And that whole swag
Of baby clothes
I'd been working on
For a year?
I'm too old for fear.
That old bag
With the skeleton face
Has held pride of place
At my table for years...
I'm 89 for Christ's sake!

So when he waved
That knife in my face?
You could say
His confidence
Was sadly misplaced-
I upped with
My knitting needle
Under his kirtle
And popped his pride
In a most painful place...

Last I saw him he was
Screaming and hollering
For his Mommy.
I took his wallet too.
Stupid jerk.
Let him go play berserk
With some other woman,
In some other place.
Here, in Galway,
We IRA pensioners,
We hold our space.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Oh, brother (part 12) by Grant Harbison

As soon as he set eyes on Sister Dunn
Derek knew that she was the one
And she was besotted with the Viking hunk
Macho warrior so full of spunk
So after a steamy night of bump and grope
The unlikely pair decided to elope
To the Sisters she said her last goodbye
It was a heart breaking severance that made her cry
But her message to them was loud and clear
“Sisters, never fear!” she cried and wiped away a tear. “In my heart you will always be dear. “It’s time to be bold and free yourselves. Imagine Sisters doing it for themselves.”
And then without further ado
She joined Derek and his crew
And as they sailed on the sea with the silvery hue
She knew their hearts would always be true
Living together in the land of the midnight sun
She knew right then she was a lucky nun
So back to the Brothers and their vacation
Their arrival in Rome was one of elation
They ditched their robes for the latest fashion
And soaked in the sun
As they were rather ashen
Drank lots of wine and bathed in the sea
And marvelled at the beauty of being happy and free
But fate intervened and spoiled their delight
When their drunkenness lead to a fight
Even though they’d managed to win
The Roman cop cried, “Anglo hooligan!”
And so they ended up in a Roman jail
Sentenced for a month without bail

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Verse coerce by Grant Harbison

He was feeling listless and extremely tired
But when he she pointed the gun
He was immediately inspired
Nothing like adrenalin to accelerate the brain
And the simple fact that she was quite insane
“You shall poetically wax, boy,” she told him. “Never shall you wane!”
So with vim and vigour he started to write
Knowing that she would offer no respite
And there would be hell to pay if he made her uptight
“I need perfect verse, boy. You better get it right! Heaven help you if you fail to excite!”
Her menacing words were cause for alarm
As he had no doubts she would do him harm
It had almost happened before
With cleaver in her hand she’d rushed through the door
Screaming, “I told you what would happen if you started to bore!”
The monstrous sight had shocked him to the core
“Please don’t hurt me, I’ll do some more!” he’d cried, as cold sweat had seeped through every pore.
 “Give me five sonnets,” she’d wickedly hissed. “Shakespearean ones. On that I insist.”
He’s never defied her
Too afraid to resist
Though he has sometimes wondered how she came to exist
And why he’s constantly deprived him of sleep
The curse of insomnia allows confusion to creep  

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Oh, brother (part 11) by Grant Harbison

The Viking strolled along the monastery path, rubbed his hands together and began to laugh. “Oh, how I love to sail,” he sang. “To the land of Blighty for monks brown ale. To the greenest pastures and exquisite shore; riches for the taking and whores galore.”
Inside the monastery Borium complained. “Oh, how I wish I was never ordained. Life couldn’t be drearier. Last night I even dreamt of Mother Superior.”
“Brother Borium, I pray you will the details spare,” said Brother Truman. “I wish to avoid that nightmare.”
“I have the answer!” Brother Borium cried in jubilation. “We’ll go to Rome for our annual vacation.”
Brother Truman’s response was total theatrical. “Rome, lovely Rome for a sabbatical!” he cried and began to dance. “Delicate wines and holiday romance!”
“Yay!” cried Brother Borium. “Let’s not delay. We’ll pack our things this very day.”
Suddenly outside there was a huge uproar
A terrible din that was impossible to ignore
And the Brothers stumbled and fell to the floor
When the Viking giant crashed through the door
“Young monks!” he roared. “Don’t dismay. My purpose here is not to slay. I’m merely here on holiday. I’ve have a terrible thirst since I set sail. Now one of you fetch me a barrel of ale.”
Brother Truman jumped to the Viking’s demand
But secretly wished someone would take command
And drive them away from the Angel land
As their continuous raids were getting out of hand
“Where is the monk who was my brother’s chum?” asked the Viking. “He goes by the name of Borium.”
“That would be me, great warrior,” replied Borium. “A love so missed, I’ve never been sorrier.”
“I’m pleased to make your acquaintance, my name is Derek. Viking stud and brother of Erik. I’m here to see that he passed the test; not detour here instead of heading west.”
“I’m afraid I never saw him again. Our parting must have caused great pain.”
“I miss him too, my little one. Now remove your robe and let me have my fun.”
Brother Ilirium arrived in the nick of time; just in time to stop the crime. “Oh, Viking one, may I offer you a nun?”