The Rite of Spring

Quiescent sleepers, benign creepers
Down in the belly of the valley below
Gathered and waiting for the song of the siren
Late, is the melody of nature’s repose?
Like a jealous lover, obsessed with ownership
Winter binds Spring tightly against its breast
A deathly silence dwells within this dark soul
Desirous with envy reins an obsessive grip
Within, the seed complete, expression yearns
With time’s accordance, spring delivers with poise
Time keeps on slipping; slipping into the future
There is something wrong, something in the air
She is confused not knowing whether to go or stay
The sun, her true lover, iridescent, will away
Winter’s guardians sly and subtle, icy talons
Resistance, release, resistance, release
Abnormal is normal in this ‘now’ perennial battle
Spring’s tenure with destiny continually shifting
Leaf, fern and stream will come, floral patterns too
Oh very young, short is the time in future days past
But yours is no disgrace, an Angel in chains still offers hope
That, hope, is the heart of the spirits quest
Down in the belly of the valley below

Michael Mullins © 2016 sourcewritersgroup

New Year’s Resolution

 MY NEW YEARS RESOLUTION

It’s that time of year again and the New Year’s resolutions come out thick and fast. It’s part of Christmas and its part of tradition. The Inevitable subject raises its ugly head after our traditional overindulgence in food, drink, material obsession, and excessive behaviour. I suppose that is one of the reasons why we humour ourselves in making new resolutions for the forthcoming year. I don’t claim that this is the behaviour of everyone but quite a lot of us are more than willing participants in this annual cause.

Commence and engage; the herd mentality comes to mind and I am no different from the rest, and like the man in front of the running bulls of Pamplona who cries “Stop” I am forcefully carried in the wave that ensues, only to succumb to the frenzy and the rush to the starting line which seems to getting longer and longer each year and ends on the 25th of December. Some of us will endeavour to battle on well into the month of January before stumbling into the light…”Crying”…Enough! Enough! Only the faithful old Roy Wood wishes it was Christmas every day, and by the way things are heading he’ll have his wish one day.

Feeling somewhat remorseful for having capitulating on the previous year’s resolutions, I am determined to make amends for the coming one.

How do I overcome my weak resolve? Where did I go wrong last time? And how can I make it work this time? These are just some the questions that are overloading my already overactive and fragile brain. With the New Year fast approaching I have to make up my mind fast. This year I have decided to be quick and decisive and tell no one of my master plan, my mistake in making my resolutions for the previous year were; too many resolutions, and telling too many people about them. The pain of remembrance is acutely working overtime as two of the people I shared my resolutions with, come to mind. Paddy Moore the local but likeable neighbour who makes sure that personal news becomes public news.

“I thought you were going jogging today Mick? Or is that gone by the wayside? He casually asked with three or four neighbours in earshot.

“No Paddy, I sprained my ankle” Nosy Bastard

My dear beloved wife is the other person; she takes great delight in casting up. She is a formidable lady and when armed with ammunition, she is lethal, and by God is she lethal, her barbs are like spits coming off the frying pan.

“I thought you were giving that up” she says in an underhanded off the cuff remark

“Well there’s a genuine reason…” I start to say before being cut off…

She nods in that condescending way “I thought as much” How can she be so cruel…I cringed as I slinked away from the wounding words. “Another waste of money” she calls after me as I make my exit. When I think of the humiliation and embarrassment whenever the subject of Christmas comes up, and it does, I bite my lip and give a clenched smile.

Never mind I’ll show the lot of you yet. Needless to say the aforementioned will not be privy to these coming New Year’s resolutions.

But you have to tell someone…Don’t you?  What’s the point in making them if nobody knows the personal sacrifices one makes, and who would know if you actually carried out your noble resolutions if you didn’t tell anyone; you see there’s my argument and my dilemma. So you have to tell someone and that’s where I had a brain storm.

I decided to write down my noble and aspiring resolutions on a sheet of paper, five in all. I won’t bore you with the details, only that they are worthy and worthwhile. When I had finished this work of art I put my signed declaration of good intent into a white envelope and sealed it with date and proof. I then addressed it to Mrs Kennedy a dear and lovable neighbour. My plan of action was to ask Mrs Kennedy to hold on to letter for me until next Christmas, with which I could proudly boast of my supreme efforts or secretly destroy the evidence should I falter along the way, either way. My reputation would be enhanced or would be none the worst for ware.

It’s the day before New Year’s and it’s time to deliver my letter to Mrs Kennedy when all of a sudden I am gripped by a surge of anxiety. The dear old lady is eighty nine years of age, God forbid, but what if she were to die during the year. How would I retrieve the letter? Worst still, what would her next of kin think of the letter? Would they think that I was trying to inveigle my way into her good graces? And lastly how would I explain a returned letter in the event of Mrs Kennedy’s death to my wife. This last thought of an opened letter being returned to my wife, and especially if I were not there to get it before “she” brought me to my senses, and so with deep regret I have decided that the best thing to do is to make only one resolution and that is to make none.

 

Michael Mullins © 2015

UrlingfordSourcewritersgroup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hermitage

The Hermitage

On a clear day and looking out the front window of my friends’ living room you can see the hermitage, that is, if you know where to look. It is approximately half a mile from their house. You cast your gaze across farmer’s fields until your eye catches the wooden structure situated almost in line with their middle window. There the hermitage nestles beneath a magnificent backdrop of Ash, Beech, Pine and Oak, the woodland acting as its guardian protector. The panoramic view from the porch of the hermitage spreads its coat in splendor. And in spring if you listen carefully you can hear the cacophony of sound bringing forth new life.

A group of friends had been invited to spend a Sunday afternoon with John and Madeline’s at their house, an idyllic spot on the outskirts of Errill. The occasion was to celebrate the hermitage which was the culmination of a dream that our dear friend John had harbored for many a year. The thought, but only a second took, completion a little longer tucked away in procrastination’s workshop. We were asked by Brother John to set off on our short journey to the hermitage by foot, individually and at intervals of between five to eight minutes.  A simple request from a brother to his friends before we began our journey to contemplate and later share the thoughts with pen and ink.

Our course was set a journey slightly longer than the ‘Crow flies’ starting from the lane-way until we reached the road. Looking for landmarks along the way that would lead us to the hermitage. I started Walking at a leisurely pace and soon overtook my companions; walking but not talking, lost in the moment, lost in space. I missed the yellow colored cottage were we should have turned right. I stopped to gather my bearings. My purpose was to find the hermitage, but where was it? I knew in which direction it lay, but could not see, my vision obscured by high ridges, my vision obscured by arrogance.

I waited for a couple of minutes to see if anyone was behind me and in the distance I could just about make out Sister Ita following  in confident step for she assumed I knew the way. “I’m sure he said the yellow cottage was just around the bend” I said to her. The bend came and went with no yellow in sight. I was lost, but my pride demanded I take command. I stopped and turned toward my companion “we’ve missed the turn… I’ve missed the turn”.

She just smiled “you’ll find the way” she assured me. We walked on, stopping to catch our breath, stilled by the silence; broken only by the sound of voices echoing in the stillness of nature.

Listening with determined intent for the sounds of our friends voices carrying on the wind, we forced our way through ditch and muck with my size ten thick heeled boots.Through rugged hedges, and over fences we stumbled and fell like drunks without a care in the world. Arriving unscathed and last, cheered on by hearty friends.

I remembered this short journey in a short lifetime in an analytical, analyzing way; all the points covered until they became blunt and blurred, coming to no particular conclusion, only asking the question. Is there meaning in everything we do? And should we look for meaning in the moment? I don’t know. Why can’t we just be, and learn from our experiences through our experiences? I know personally that I’ll never increase my levels of awareness looking for external answers. We all need help, and maybe that’s what we’re here for.

One thing that struck me at the time was the irony of being first on the road to nowhere and ending up being the last ‘the last shall be first and the first shall be last’ is the first thing I thought of on reaching the hermitage. Nobody gets lost they just get mislaid, their journey may take longer according to another’s perception, but then again the journey we take may be the one that you need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Mullins © thesourcewritersgroup 25/10/2014

Christmas Lights

 

Christmas Lights

It was the day before Christmas Eve, in the year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Sixty Eight. Maggie, who was Paddy Donnelly’s wife of twelve years, gave him some money to go and purchase some decorations for the Christmas tree. But before she parted with the money she gave him strict instructions not to buy anything from second-hand shops, cheap markets, or anything made in Hong Kong but above all…not to buy anything from Gerry Stanley.

“I’m giving you three pounds Paddy and I expect some change back as well. I’d go myself but I haven’t the time, as I have to have this house in tiptop condition before my Mother, Phil and that stuck-up wife of his and their three brats come over for Christmas dinner” she paused briefly before continuing “and I won’t get it done with you hanging around”

Paddy wore a solemn look and made to cough before responding as he took the three crisp pound notes from Maggie’s outstretched hand. “I can put up with Phil and Marjorie and those kids to a point, but it’s your Mother that really unnerves me, why she has to poke her nose into everything every time she sets foot in this house is beyond me”

“Paddy! let’s not go there” Maggie replied in her best vexed pose “she only gets to come a couple of times a year so the least you can do is be clean, smart, and be nice to her when she does come, now be gone with you and don’t take all day” as she angrily wiped crumbs from the formica kitchen table.

Paddy hated when Maggie was like this, she was always on tender hooks whenever her sister in-law visited, coupled with the fact that Maggie’s mother thought the world of her daughter in-law ‘My son married a real lady there, and you wouldn’t see Marjorie wearing anything cheap and vulgar’ she was fond of saying, especially in close proximity of Paddy’s earshot. This real lady malarkey nonsense really irked Paddy, as he was sure that his mother in-law, whenever given the chance was quick to fire a shot across her bow at him. She’d never forgiven Maggie for marrying me Paddy thought. Well I’ll show the lot of them, what a real Christmas should be like’ Paddy said to himself as he hopped on the number fifty nine bus into Oldham. Continue reading “Christmas Lights” »

Spring of my Youth

Spring of My Youth

An old school photograph uncovered

So many faces, some names recalled, most forgotten

You look so forlorn, so small they called you sparrow

School jumper, white shirt, Winsor knot

Short pants, knobbly knees, tentative smile

Were almost ready, wave of the hand, say cheese, big flash

Mam wanted her boy looking smart, I wanted long pants

Top row Henrik Ostrowski my best friend

I’ve looked for you for forty years, are you still alive?

Bottom row Stefan Babinski and cheery Tommy Sharkey

The girl beside me with a beautiful smile…your name escapes me

What do I remember? Not much. So long ago, so long ago

But I remember you with your frightened heart

And so I went back in time, stood beside you and held you in my arms

Whispered in your ear, told you that I loved you, did you feel my tears?

Told you that things would out turn out just fine

And everything you’ve ever done, has brought you to this place

Contentment in my mind as I face my twilight years

Michael Mullins

 

Is There Anyone Out There?

IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE?

Back in the eighties RTE showed a thirteen part television show called Cosmos it was written by Carl Sagan an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist and author along with Ann Druyan and Steven Soter who co-wrote the show with Carl Sagan as presenter. It was a remarkable show in many ways both for its style, delivery and its outstanding musical soundtrack…but especially so because the ordinary man and woman could grasp the basic principles of our Universe. Carl Sagan said “Those worlds in space are as countless as all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the Earth, each of those worlds are as real as ours” that statement alone is one of the reasons why I became interested star gazing.

If you’re like me I suspect that on any clear night especially a frosty one you’ll take at least a couple of minutes to look up into the heavens and look in wonder and amazement at the magnificent panoramic view that’s on display. And if you have a curious mind like mine, I wonder as you gaze at the stars and beyond do you ever ask yourself the question, ‘is there anyone out there’?

Since the beginning of time, even before the advent of speech certain questions evolved within the human psychic both on a personal level and within the collective consciousness. Such questions as, ‘where do we come from?’ ‘Who made us?’ ‘What is the meaning of life?’ and, ‘is there anyone out there?’ These probing questions I feel are as relevant to us today as they were back in the time of ancient civilisations. For many these questions have already been answered to a certain degree by representatives of various religious churches, but for others including myself the quest continues for answers of a more conclusive nature.

Just to give some idea of the Universe: there are two different meanings for the Universe, first there is the observable one that is, everything we’ve able to see and observe up to this point in Earth’s present history and secondly the whole Universe, that’s the one we can’t see but know it’s there. So let’s stay with the observable Universe for the time being. Imagine if you could travel at the speed of light, which by the way is 186,000 miles per second. You would be able to circle the Earth’s equator about 7.5 times just in one second. To give an example;  a Supersonic airplane  traveling at a speed of 1,450 mph the distance around the earth, which  at the equator is 25,000 miles without stopping,   would take 17 hrs. However this is not possible at the moment, but gives us an adequate idea of distance travelled between two concepts.

Let’s take it a step further and look at a light year. A light year is the distance light travels in one year. How far is that? I hear you say, well multiply the number of seconds in one year by the number of miles that light travels in one second and hey presto there you have it; 5.88 trillion miles. It is estimated that 93 billion light years is what it would take to travel from one side of the observable Universe to the other side, bear in mind that according to our most prominent Astrologers and Cosmologists the Universe is rapidly expanding all the time. That is simply mind-blowing. Now think carefully before you give your answer to the question: is there anyone out there.

Speaking for myself I’ve never had a problem in believing that the other worlds Carl Sagan speaks of exist in the observable Universe as well as the whole Universe. I can offer some evidence but not substantiating concrete evidence to convince you the reader that other worlds like our own, and that intelligence extra-terrestrials (ETs) live somewhere out there on them, exist either. Ask yourself this question ‘why would God create an infinite Universe with no other life forms, save only the human race as the only occupants?’ we can’t even see the planets in our own solar system with the naked eye. So what would be the point? I can on the other hand point out some things of interest that are worth pursuing for the healthy sceptic as well as likeminded souls such as myself, should they wish to investigate such matters even if it is only to satisfy their own curiosity.

Let’s begin with the idea of ETs from other worlds.

 

The year was 1945; just Shortly after World War Two there was an unprecedented amount of eyewitness accounts of strange sightings in the sky from around the world- this was not too long after the detonation of two nuclear bombs over the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan. They were described as flying discs, flying saucers, flying ships or whatever the people who claimed to have seen them thought they were. Over time they came to be known as unidentified flying objects (UFOs).

The acronym “UFO” is generally credited to Edward J Ruppelt director of Project Blue. Project Blue Book came under the direction of the USA air force and its main purpose was to investigate all things related to UFO activity. Project Blue Book officially ended in 1969 after 22 years of scientific investigation, and more than 12, 500 reported sightings were investigated. While most were explained some were not. The Mammoth Encyclopaedia of Extra-terrestrials Encounters, Edited by Ronald D. Story will give the more inquisitive inquirer a fuller account of such investigations.

While there has been much controversy and speculation surrounding the UFO phenomena, ever since the ending of World War Two. Conversely UFOs are continually being reported and are on the upsurge rather than diminishing. It is worth reporting that a 2008 Scripps UFO Poll carried out by Thomas Hargrove and Guido H. Stempel tells us that 56% of Americans overall believe that intelligent life exist on other planets, while a similar poll conducted in 2002 by Life Roper Poll which was commissioned by the Sci Fi Channel stated that 66% of Americans believed there was other forms of intelligent life in the Universe.

Because the subject surrounding UFOs, ETs, Underground Bases and Alien Abduction is so immense with literally thousands of such reported incidents from past and present and from people from all walks of life. It is almost impossible to know where to start or point anyone who may be fascinated with the possibility of other worldly creatures in the right direction. One incident that springs to mind and possible one of the most famous cases in the history of UFOs and ETs is The Roswell UFO incident, an alleged event that took place in the U.S.A on a ranch near Roswell in 1947 in June or July New Mexico. Explanations of what took place are based on both official and unofficial communications. The most illustrious explanation of what occurred is that a spacecraft containing ETs had crashed and it is believed that some of them had survived. What makes the case legendary is that it was initially reported in the Tuesday edition of the Roswell Daily Record dated 08/July/1947 with the feature headline:

RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch In Roswell Region

‘The intelligence office of the 509th Bombardment group at Roswell Army Air Field announced at noon to-day, that the field had come into possession of a flying saucer’. Note: in contrast to the above article which appeared in the Tuesday July the 08th paper, on the very next day, Wednesday morning July the 09th the paper stated that the ‘Flying Disk’ found near Roswell; was in fact a weather balloon/weather device that the army was trying out. There is a substantial  amount of material relating to this particular incident as well as a television film which was produced by Paul Davids in 1994, which was supposed to be based on a true account about the Roswell UFO incident…It seems as if the Roswell episode is here to stay. Of course the UFO phenomenon is not only exclusive to the American continent. There have been reported incidents regarding UFOs from around the world.

However the idea of other life forms and civilizations is not a new one, and throughout  mankind’s history UFOs and alien life forms have been depicted by artistic individuals from many different cultures on all continents. The oldest known cave art known today were discovered as recently as February 2012 in Spain and are thought to be over 42,000 years old based on carbon dating. Before this find, the caves in Australia were believed to be the oldest at 40,000 years old. Up to now, over 350 caves have been discovered in France and Spain that contain cave drawings, of everyday life as well as what appears to be other worldly beings from a different dimension. I am saddened that these discoveries are consigned to a period known as “Prehistoric”.

Humankind has always felt a great desire to leave its mark behind for the following generations, whether this ego based or simply to be remembered is open to debate. Self-preservation comes to mind ‘We were here’. Continue reading “Is There Anyone Out There?” »

Friends

 

Friends

 

By what yardstick do you measure friendship?

When one is a friend, and when one is not? That is the question…

I once asked who I thought was a good friend of mine at the time, for the loan of three hundred and eighty two euro.

“What’s the two for?” he asked

“What two?” I replied

“You asked for three hundred and eighty two euro; I just want to know what the two euro is for that’s all. No harm in asking, is there?

“Oh that” I said while pretending to look over his shoulder nonchalantly at something in the distance “is the price of the booking fee” I replied.

“The booking fee for what?” he enquired

Christ! This was becoming more embarrassing by the moment. It was bad enough asking him for a loan in the first place. The man was worst than a tribunal judge and I’m sure if he were around during the middle ages: he’d have been one of the Spanish inquisition’s rising stars. “Well if you must know the three hundred and eighty two euro’s is to go towards a holiday”

His countenance and his attitude changed completely. “A holiday…” he murmured. “Abigail and I haven’t been on one in years… and besides you’ve just come back from one.”

“Well”, I replied, “that’s not entirely the case: it was after all a funeral”

“A funeral that lasted two weeks in Florida…” he said, “and what’s more, you hardly knew the man: he was just a friend of your girlfriend’s father. It’s not like you were bosom buddies and all-”. He was about to utter something else but stopped short at that.

There was no point in taking this conversation any further. Because he was the type of person who would ask you how and where you would spend his precious money, that’s if a body were lucky enough to get his hands on it in the first place. I knew I shouldn’t have asked the tight arsed bastard for anything. Now I knew the rumours to be true that not only had he still hung on to his communion money, but that he was also capable of peeling oranges in his pocket as well. Continue reading “Friends” »

A Christmas to remember

A Christmas to remember

“Christmas Lights?”
“Yeah Paddy, they’re all the rage now…and I can let you have a set for only two pounds”
“Janey Mac, I don’t know Gerry, two pounds is a lot of money. And anyway, what in God’s name would I do with them”
“Ah ha Paddy, that’s the beauty of em, you place them on your Christmas tree, starting from the top, down to the bottom, and there you have it, a mini version of the Blackpool illuminations, right there in the corner of the livin room…just think of it. You’ll be the envy of all your neighbours and relatives”
“They sound awfully complicated to me, I think I’ll just stick to the ordinary decorations…and anyway the last thing I bought from you, never bloody worked. Anyway, Maggie will go mental if I buy those yokes from you”
“Well Paddy, you’re the one that’ll miss out on a great bargain, their selling for six pounds in the shops, and just think what a great surprise it’ll be. The kids will remember this Christmas forever, not to mention, the satisfaction Maggie I’ll get, when that, stuck-up auld bitch of a sister in law of her’s, see’s those pretty little lights, flashing away in the corner…you’ll be the one, they’ll all look up, plus the fact, I’m throwing in a cardboard village to go with them as well”
It was the pride that overwhelmed Paddy Donnelly that day, the thought of being a hero to his kids, and their friends, and also the source of Marjorie’s displeasure, Maggie’s sister in-law, that finally sealed the deal. Continue reading “A Christmas to remember” »

Alabaskir

 

I am old now, my time nearly done

Lived life with few regrets

And yet, if I could?

 

Sunlight filters through the shuttered window

I am reminded of summertime in Alabaskir

Quaint and old, nestling in the middle of nowhere

 

Young lovers hand in hand, laughing

Running through the orange grove

The lush meadow stretched beneath our gaze

 

Promises made, promises broken

Faraway lands, dreams are made

I loved you then, I love you still

 

Tired and weary of struggle

Living in suspended isolation

I’ll close my eyes, and return to Alabaskir

 

Michael Mullins 2011

Mr Murphy

Mr Benjamin Murphy
 
25 Golden Vale Road Ballymore,
Co. Tipperary
 
11 May 2012

 

Reference: Your enquiry about the Astra deluxe model

Dear Mr Murphy

Dear sir it has come to our attention, that the cheque that you have sent us, and might I remind you “the car of your dreams” is one of a rather peculiar kind; namely the type and the kind that is made of rubber. You may or not know that the sales person that thought he had sold you the car is in a distraught condition;  two reasons have brought about his present state:  the first is that he has lost what he thought was to be his commission, and the second is that he has been sacked. When last we heard of him he was looking for revenge for the (fucker who cost him his job) namely you.

As you will no doubt have realised by now you “Neanderthal Retard” this once beautiful country of ours is now (bollock’s beyond all measure of recognition) and it is due to the likes of incompetent arse-holes like yourself. Should you ever think of darkening our doors again, you shall be met by a hanging committee. Do feel free to drop in any time and we shall be glad to facilitate your exit from this world into the next.

You will find enclosed a leaflet; with the price of some second-hand bikes, and it is in our considered opinion that even this mode of transport is too good for you.

 

Yours Faithfully

 

Hubert Windfalls

 

 

Michael Mullins © 2012

The Source Writers Group