Nás (Poem)

“An chéad stáisiún eile, Nás agus Sallins.”
After two long hours of trying to read and changing songs my senses are tingling.
Only five minutes until I get to see your curls bouncing as you do that cute little half jog up the steps into my outstretched arms. Utterly adorable.

The drive back is filled with hand holding and stolen kisses,
Giving the car behind us an innocent, goofy show.
What must they think when they see two people so completely
Absorbed in each other that simple journeys are fraught with danger.

No amount of writer’s block could stem the tide of my words for you,
A torrent of love that I have never felt before.
I cannot write of film and sport when your lips and eyes fill my waking thoughts.
I cannot think of work nor money when your laugh gives me enough life for a lifetime.

My love for you is like a pilgrimage and you are my deity that I will pay tribute to year after year.
An eternity of bliss that no one else could understand as I whisper into your ear
That you are class, you are perfect, you are unreal and you…
Are just something special in my life.

A life that has been unproblematic in the grand scheme of things,
Yet not fuflfilled
And it is your kindness that makes
My heart beat still.

David Beckham v Greece, 2001 (Two Red Heads)

Two red heads, one blonder than the other, bobbled up and down on a patch of green grass. A white Umbro ball passed between them. They both wore Manchester United jerseys adorned with players names across the back. Keane, 16, on the back of the older boy and Beckham, 7, on the younger. The ball sailed high, bounced off walls and flew between feet. Nothing else captured the attention of the two quite like the great Manchester United, but more importantly, the football. Every evening, they and the other children on the estate gathered in one big group to play ‘World Cup’, or ‘2 v 2’. The object of each game was similar enough in that one or two people would eventually be crowned the winner. The only real loser was the poor fella picked to go in goal if there was an uneven number.
The sitting room window was cracked open a fraction, just enough for the young lads to hear how the match was going. In the centre of Midlands Ireland, where the English nor soccer are that popular, two little ginger boys had a fascination with the beautiful game. England were playing Greece in a crucial qualifier match for the 2002 World Cup. It was sink or swim for the Lions. Of course, the boys didn’t know all of this. They knew that Beckham was playing. And if Beckham was playing, there was a chance he would take a free-kick.

In the dying embers of the game the referee blew his whistle for a seemingly innocuous foul on Teddy Sheringham. The usual protests were made by the defenders but the ball was already in Beckham’s hands. Despite being flanked by Sheringham and Scholes on either side there was still no doubt as to who would take the free. Beckham and his stubbly head transfixed their gazes. His ever changing hair styles were always iconic. This particular barnet was no different.
He placed the ball on the grass and took several steps back. During his trademark run-up and swing of the arms time seemed to stand still for the brothers. They were rooted to the spot, eyes boring into the TV, knowing the other was there and ready to erupt if he scored. His boot connected with the ball and every eye in the stadium, pubs, bars, sitting rooms all around the world and a little garden in Westmeath was glued to its flight. It dipped up and over the wall, fooling the keeper into moving an inch before realising it was out of his reach as it landed almost perfectly in the top, left-hand corner. The net seemed to nearly burst with the power and accuracy of the free-kick.
The stadium erupted. England were through to the World Cup. Beckham ran towards the corner flag and stopped suddently, taking up that now immortal stance with outstretched arms. His two doppelgangers followed suit in Mullingar, jumping and leaping into the air and striking the exact same pose over and over with excitement.

Back in the midlands, less than a minute after running riot around the garden and celebrating the enemy’s goal, the boys were trying to recreate the strike. They must have stayed like that for hours; taking it in turn to be DB7, the greatest deadball striker they would ever see. In that moment they were him and would always be him. Always in that garden, loving the beautiful game and each other.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor david beckham v greece 2001

Barry’s Rants: The Office

His gravelly voice caught my attention as I rounded the corner. Sitting on one of the slabs outside the GPO, he was bringing a freshly lit cigarette up to his mouth, shielded by a cupped hand. I hadn’t seen him in months. A part of me selfishly wanted to keep walking and act as if I was in a hurry and hadn’t seen him. A little hollow opened up in my stomach and I nearly died of the shame and the embarrassment with myself. I pulled out a cigarette of my own and strolled in his direction. As I neared I called out his name. His diminutive figure twisted around and he craned his neck, struggling to make me out in the sunlight. He pushed back a lock of grey hair from his eyes and began to laugh.

All right kid?! Jesus, bai, I haven’t seen you in ages! I thought you were avoidin’ me to be honest. Are you still writing away, you are? You’re not?! What do you mean, not really? For feck sake, bai, if you’re good at it keep it up. I don’t know if you’re good or not to be honest. You could be shit for all I know like.

You still in the cinema? I’ll be in there next week for some popcorn. I love the stuff. I didn’t know for years you could just buy it. Like, you didn’t have to actually go watch a film. I spent hours of my life watching absolute shite just to fill my mouth with buttery, buttery goodness. The wife was convinced I was having an affair with one of the girls in the local bakery! I don’t know why I kept it so secret. Didn’t really want to share my popcorn I suppose!
Oh, you’re finished up? And where are you now? Ah Jesus, you were always a cute one. A feckin’ data entry job. You’re some hoor. Lounging around the cinema and now sitting on your arse making good money for doing nathing!

Oh I used to work in an office myself. Well, it was a mixture of warehouse and the office, but mainly I was sitting on my hole either in the forklift or the office chair. Some craic, man. There was a good crew of us and we’d all go on break at the same time. I’d say we couldn’t cook toast between all of us, about seven or eight lads and if we were kicked out of home we’d die within the night from hunger! Anyways, we’d all go to the shop together and get a roll or a sandwich whatever every day. By God, did we bankroll that feckin’ shop. Small little unassuming place. Lovely area and a lovely shop, and by God did they make their money off of us. I’d say they were rubbing their hands together with glee when we walked in. Gained a bit of weight in that office, HA! They weren’t long being unassuming. Assuming all our fucking money!
We used go on small break as well. Fuck it, it was like school all over again. Start at 8, small break at ten, lunch at 12, another little break at 2, finish at 4. Good money too for doing sweet FA. Maybe we’re more alike than you think, young Dalton.

Where is this office you’ve been banging on about? Little Island? Jaysus, I’d say you have some trek there every morning. I’d hear about the traffic on the radio like, dya know? I’d say it’s torture. Although I suppose you have the radio to listen to, and every boy and his dog has a feckin’ smartphone now so I assume you can play music on the car too?
No, I keep it simple now and stay at an iPhone 8 plus, I needs a big screen…What’s so feckin’ funny??

21 Bridges – Review

It is odd to hear Chadwick Boseman talk in his normal, American accent. I had become so used to hearing him with an African lilt in Black Panther and Message from the King (2018 & 2016 respectively) that I was half taken aback when he spoke in this movie.
Boseman plays Andre Davis, a celebrated New York city detective who is a tad trigger happy. He claims he shoots in self defense but his reputation still precedes him.
One night, in Brooklyn, two burglars kill seven cops and a bar manager when a robbery goes wrong. They don’t know if they’ve been set up or if they just have terrible luck but now Manhattan is closed down and everybody with a badge and a gun is shooting to kill. This time, though, Davis is asking questions before shooting.

I don’t know why this movie disappointed me as much as it did. In truth, it didn’t disappoint me that much as I knew virtually nothing of the plot other than that it involved multiple bridges, but it did let me down towards the end. It was enjoyable throughout and had enough action scenes to satisfy your average cinema-goer, but the beginning of this film was so intriguing and thought-provoking that it failed to deliver. At just over an hour and forty minutes it felt like it dragged and could have been finished about twenty minutes earlier.
The cast was almost too talented for this poor an offering. Boseman might not be the most gifted actor around but he is above this movie. So is J.K. Simmons and so too is Sienna Miller. Taylor Kitsch’s character was probably the best part of the beginning of this movie. However, he was removed far too early and when his character died, so too did most of the intrigue and the action.
Stephan James was brilliant as the young and confused Michael. The pair had great chemistry as frightened, confused but deadly killers.

Taylor Kitsch and Stephan James in 21 Bridges (2019)

The Russo brothers of Marvel Cinematic Universe fame were billed as producers for this movie. They definitely had control of the soundtrack choices as several scenes are completely overshadowed by loud, intrusive and epic scores. They add to the atmosphere, if the atmosphere they were going for is absolutely sh1tting your pants at loud sounds.
I can only guess that the production team were going for suspense. What they achieved was a mixture of confusion and fear that Thanos was about to reduce the number of bridges to an even twenty.

In saying all of that, I did enjoy the movie. The first hour or so was really good and just what an action movie should be. However, there was never any sense of danger. Detective Davis was always gonna come out on top, and Miller’s portrayal of the narc, Frankie Burns, was always a bit sketchy so there was no surprise she was a bad egg. Simmons’ reveal as the real villain of the piece and his embittered monologue about his reasons for partaking in illegal activities was so shoehorned in that I needed a new pair of socks! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, shoe puns!

All in all, a watchable movie that disappoints. The first hour is great but the last twenty minutes seemed like an afterthought. Everything is wrapped up neatly to the detriment of the plot.


“Everybody feels fucking anxious.”
Just something I say to myself a few times a week,
Generalising the pressure rising inside of me like a kettle about to boil.
Brushing off the insidious feeling of being alone despite being surrounded.

Some days I feel like a coffee cup that’s too full in a speeding car on a bumpy road.
Thrown about this way and that.
Sometimes the hand that holds me has to take a break,
Wary of the hotter bits of me that breaks out every now and then.

A wave of emotion came over me that night, bawling my eyes out into your arm,
The rock crumbling against the mighty sea.
The image I had carefully constructed was fading and I
Was fully at your mercy.

“Why the fuck do I feel like this?”
Just something I ask myself most mornings.
It is not just tiredness that invades my thoughts but a
malicious weariness that pulls me down ever lower.

The dam is fit to burst and has not been emptied in years.
Cracks have appeared in fissures and grew,
Spiralling out in icy cold tendrils along the surface.
If someone looked closer they could reach out, touch it and watch it crack.

Even as you held me you knew this would not be the last time.
Paper doesn’t beat rock.

Mr. Right (2015) – Netflix

Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick in Mr. Right (2015)

There are only a few film stars, actors and actresses that I am in awe of every time they appear on a screen. Whether that be interviews, t.v. shows or movies, I am enthralled by their every move. Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Emily Blunt, to name but a few. However, none of them have captured my heart and my attention like Sam Rockwell.
I first saw Mr. Rockwell in Iron Man 2 (2010). I didn’t think much of the movie or anyone in it at the time, but Rockwell’s weirdness just jumped out at me. The same thing happened in Moon (2009). His turn as the Jack of Diamonds killer in Seven Psychopaths (2012), one of my favourite movies, just made me appreciate that he was and still is my favourite actor. Again, in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing (2017), he was aloof, weird, eccentric and downright hilarious. So, taking all this into account, when I saw Mr. Right appear on my Netflix recommendations, I knew I was going to be watching it right away. As a plus for me, Anna Kendrick was starring alongside Sam, and I have a crush on her. She doesn’t know about it so its cool. I know she reads the blog, though, so Anna…your move.

Mr. Right is about finding the Mr. Right who is right for you, and finding out you’ll fight to keep them at all costs. On a much more real level, it is a thriller/rom-com that has an abundance of violence and most importantly, Sam Rockwell playing a character that skirts the line between lovable, morally corrupt goofball and psychopath.
He plays Francis, a hitman turned vigilante, killing the people who hired him instead of his actual targets in a skewed attempt at redemption. He bumps into Martha (Kendrick) in a convenience store. Martha, fresh from a bad breakup, agrees to go on a date with him and their whirlwind romance begins immediately. The only problem is that Martha doesn’t know his name, his job or anything important about him. Hilarity ensues.

Anna Kendrick in Mr. Right (2015)

As with the rest of my reviews I am not going to give away many or any other details. These movies may be old but go watch them and enjoy.
Sam Rockwell does no wrong as the deranged yet heroic anti-hero, while Kendrick is her usual goofy and hilarious self as the unwilling yet totally willing sidekick/love interest.
Tim Roth supports as a former colleague of Francis’, switching between his cockney accent and a fairly decent attempt at an Alabaman one effortlessly.
RZA cameos as ‘Shotgun Steve’, a hired thug who Francis befriends with his absolute insane sense of right and wrong in the middle of a gun fight.

Overall, I would say this is a great movie. It is almost like a McDonagh film and reminds me of Seven Psycopaths an awful lot, without seeming like a ripoff. Watch it on Netflix whenever you get a chance.

Rating: 4/5.

Hangover Watchable: Most Def.

Dear Diary 2: Electric Boogaloo

Hello again guys! It seems like, for the fifth time this year, I’m making a grand return to writing. Like the prodigal son I am slinking back to my parents house with no money, no camel of my own and a pocket void of gold coins. In this simile WordPress is my parents house and the pocket is empty of both gold and euros.
A fair bit has happened in the two months since I wrote the award winning* entry, ‘Dear Diary’. The dizzying heights of writing a blog post with a few likes leaves the recipient with only one way to go: straight down. Your next post might only garner a few likes or none at all. You question your skills and your relationships. You overthink every single thing in your life. That’s why I chose to leave the game. I chose to get out. I hung up my pen and my notebooks. They immediately fell to the floor so I stacked them neatly and put them in a drawer in my room. But now I’m back. Do I have any material planned? No. Do I have a plan for this particular post? No. Will I edit it carefully so that you, the reader, gets the most from my post? Probably not. Let’s enjoy the ride 😎


I got a new job! You’re looking at a brand new, highly trained, fully qualified and sought after….data entry clerk. Yup I said! Give me that feckin’ number there until I put it in that feckin’ spreadsheet there for ya! Do you need a copy of that because you better feckin’ believe that I am on my way to the printer! Yeah I can do a pivot table, are you crazy! ‘Course I can, let me just google that there kid 👍

I got a new car! That’s right, guys and gals. Ya boy Cian, this always drinkin’, sometimes writin’, Luke Kelly lookin’ ass muhfucker got himself a set of wheels. Now I can arrive and depart in style. I can let people out at the lights, giving them a little flick of the hand to let them know I’m a sound fella. Most importantly, though, I can now operate my own heavy machinery while delving deep into my own subconscious about the uncertainty of my future. Happy driving ahead 😎


The writing class is no more. Well, it is. They still meet up every Monday and probably have really interesting discussions about literary themes and writing styles and sip coffee and laugh about me behind my back. ‘One-Class Cian’ they probably call me. Bastards.
I had to give my place up in the class because I became a working man. I don’t have time for silly things like writing. In truth, I did become distracted from pretty much everything with the new job, and that isn’t a bad thing. However, I did enjoy that first writing class and although we haven’t seen each other in two months, I know they still think of me fondly.

The gym has also taken a hit in the last few months. I planned on going in the evenings after work, but wouldn’t you know it, everyone else in Cork had the same idea. One evening, after leaving the treadmill, looking at the almost full to capacity weights room and trudging back to the same treadmill, I lost some of the fire that was in me a few months ago. However, things are not too bad the last few weeks as I have been going at least once a week and doing some other exercises at home. The kettlebell is a mighty yoke altogether, and named after my favourite kitchen appliance!

So all is relatively good in the hood and I’m almost always happy. This new routine is doing wonders for my sleeping pattern and I finally have weekends off to spend with the lovely Limerick lady I am fortunate to call my girlfriend. That’s right, I’m gone soft and lovey and romantic and I love every second of it and her 🤷‍♂️
I rarely post on Facebook and I’ve scaled back my Instagram stories in a big way but I still tell people even more stuff here. So keep an eye out for personal poems and another post in a few weeks announcing my sixth return to the literary world.

Dear Diary

Happy Friday, folks. Another work week down for all of us young professionals, ha? Just clocking in and clocking out, amirite? Guys? Just workin’ for the man, paying our bills. It’s a crazy world, being a young professional. That’s what we’re called, right? Young professionals? I’ve heard that on the radio anyways. The radio, huh? Can’t live with it, can’t live without it, as the old young professional saying goes. Guys?

I recently started a writing class of a Monday morning because I inexplicably have a lot of free time. The first class was fun and typical. Most of the class was quite a bit older than me and the teacher was quirky, artsy and had the trademark breathy voice of a writer. She was cool and so were the other class members. Now, if I get a whiff of a full time job they’re all dead to me and FUCK WRITING. But until then, they are my brothers and sisters in arms and I love each and every one of them like family.
The teacher made sure to tell us that we should write in a journal every night. We are not writing a diary, (which makes the title of this piece fairly redundant, but hey, that’s showbiz!) but moreso a journal with writerly intent. Every entry was to be descriptive and awash with prose and feeling. Mundane events were to be transformed into something extraordinary. My life was to be interesting.
I gave it a go over the last few days. Here are a couple of entries.


General shitheads, teenagers and asshole adults: “What films are on?” “What time’s the next film on?” “Can I go see Hustlers please?” “But I’m his mother and I say he can go see that film! This is ridiculous!” “Why do I have to pay an extra euro for a seat I didn’t ask for?”

Me: Guys, if I could just answer ye all in one sweeping statement. I appreciate that the signs are hard to read and that the writing is a bit small on some of the fliers. I know, too, that you’re his mother but, and forgive me if I’m overstepping the mark here, but you don’t work for IFCO nor do you work here. That’s actually my fault, sir. You can sit wherever you want and I’ll just inform the managers that nobody wants to pay for luxury. So, everyone, kindly, FUCK OFF!


Dearest Diary,

It is a blustery day here in the North of the City. The rains have stayed away for now but there is talk of a storm coming. Lorenzo, they are calling him. Isn’t that funny, Diary? I am imagining a big hunk of a man, of Spanish descent of course, riding in to our Emerald Isle on a horse and sweeping the nation up in hysteria.
Oh, Diary, it has been so long since anyone has swept me up in hysteria, if you know what I mean. Do forgive me, Diary. I don’t know myself sometimes.
The local picture house still holds me in employ, thankfully. I am looking for something more permanent but I doubt that an office will satisfy my need of popped corn and cola, HA HA HA HA. Oh, we do have fun, Diary.
Anywho, it has been fun. Until tomorrow, my friend.

Ciana Dalton.


All I give you is love. I made a promise to love you forever, through thick and thin. I have upheld my end of the deal. I will love you forever, but you have to meet me halfway here. I can’t be doing all of the work. I can’t see you week in and week out just not caring about me anymore. It’s not just me. There’s a billion of us out there, loving you and needing you to just… care. So, as God is my witness, if you lose to AZ Alkmaar tonight in the Europa League I will still love you, but I will not like you.

I’m still working on my tone. Hopefully my teacher approves. Wish me luck you guys, xo 

Barry’s Rants: The Gym

Well, horse? How are we getting on now? You off training? The bag on your shoulder! You always have it with you. The gym? Ah jaysus, you’re not one of those lads, are ya? I had high hopes for you, Dalton boi. Just another young sheep is all you are!

I wonder would you be able to go out and do a bit of honest work with all your veins and your muscles, ha?! All for show, I’d say anyways. Bicep curls and ye lifting little plastic yokes. I don’t know what ye think ye’re doing but it’s not exercise. Ye’re getting bigger alrite, I won’t begrudge ye that! But at what cost? Doing a crabwalk down the aisle of the train when you’re getting on and off? Cramming yourself into the cubicle when you need a piss? Where do ye draw the line? One look at a bale of straw or a pallet of bricks and ye’d be gone home to flex in the mirror!
No, I worked in the office all my life, why? What’s so funny about that you langer?

My oldest grand son is one of those personal trainers, yknow? Telling young ones and Junior B all-stars what way to bend down in the morning! Getting them to throw heavy balls off the floor and off the wall! He asked me the other morning if he could use my garage for work and I didn’t know he was at this shite so I let him at it. I came back after a few pints that night to hooks and chains all over the walls and the floor; big black ropes on the floor; mirrors at all angles! My own grandson! A sex-pest?? Where did his parents go wrong?? Is that what you’re into, ha?? Thank feck my bus is nearly here because my skin is crawling thinking about ye just staring at each other and grunting. Pack of weirdos, the lot of ye.

Look, all im saying is ye can lift all the weights in the world and I’d still bate ye in an arm wrestle down the Country Squire. I’ll be set up in the back room this Saturday night. Entry is the print of a Murphy’s. Bring it to me, wait for me to finish it and a packet of scampi, and then I’ll flip ye’re arms over faster than a feckin mattress.

Best of luck you gowl!

Sir, You Need to Calm Down.

“Sir, you need to calm down.” The bartender puts her hand up in front of her and backs away from me.
I start to laugh, wondering what she is talking about. I was just sitting here enjoying my pint and I asked for another one. She looks oddly familiar. I make to rise up off my seat and ask her what I did wrong when I feel a hand on my shoulder. I turn around a see a security guard. He’s tall, blocky with a shock of red hair.
“Sir, you need to calm down.” Again, I chuckle and look around at the other patrons, only now they are not there. The young couple sitting next to me, a fair haired man and brown haired woman, have moved to the other end of the bar. They are shouting something over to me but the music is very loud. After a small lull in the music I hear them shouting the exact phrase that the security guard and the bartender had just said.

The bartender has reached the end of the bar and hasn’t taken her eyes off of me. I can see her hand and lip quivering, terrified. But I still don’t know what I have done, and look pleadingly into the security guard’s eyes. He leans in close, his blue eyes boring into mine, whispering, “Just calm down. This happens to everybody.” I wrench my shoulder from his grasp which wasn’t that strong. I burst out the back doors, passing two bouncers who tell me to go get a coffee and to come back when I’ve calmed down. I look back at them, realising they are twins. They both turn to watch me walk right down the busy city street.
Pubs, clubs and restaurants adorn each side of the street. My friends are all outside one of them, beckoning me over and at the last second turning away. I hear them say, “But you work every weekend, we didn’t think you’d mind.”, as I continue on, confused beyond belief.
Further on, I see all the lads from America. For a brief second my heart leaps with joy. Cigarette smoke blurs them in front of me, each asking the same question, “Are you coming back? You said you were.” I can’t get through the smoke and tears begin to form as I shout, “I don’t know! I don’t know anything!”

Through the haze of smoke and tears I manage to hail a taxi. I hop in, speaking to the back of his ginger head. ‘Home, please.”
“You need to calm down. This happens to everyone, it’s normal to feel like this.”
“What is everyone talking about? I’m fine! I had one fucking pint and I got refused another drink! What is it with this fucking town?!”
The driver turns around and the shock of seeing myself in the front seat causes me to jump up in my seat, banging my head on the roof, hard. I begin to feel woozy, my vision slipping.
He, I, look down at myself, shaking my head and sighing. “He’ll be grand, it’s just a bad day.”