Barney Rooney

Barney Rooney Poems

They say the child's been radicalised
impregnated before their very eyes
a neat incision implanted with precision
blind stitched the cleft between truth and lies

They said that of course the soul could not be seen
but mine was translucent white
exuding a gentle light
nestled there deep within my being

I'll buy me a burger that's sweet and cheap
get me a burger that fills
give me a burger that I can afford
for craving is the worst of life's ills

Faith of our Fathers living still
in spite of dungeon fire and hoary
old pulpit tales at the mission
in spite of a church militant that forgot what

Warn your children not to eat
or touch the fruit when raw
but processed flesh proves sweet enough
for those within the law

in this town
it is not the common way to meet the eye
of even an almost brushing passer-by
in this town

Good morning Bernard how are we today?
The girl in the paleblue uniform top leans across my bed
the pillow is straightened and gently eased beneath my head
and the light clean smell of perfume warms me to the voice

The wee dark eyed girl.
Where is this child from?
What changeling act
what soldier on his weary journey back

Ssssh hush my sweet new born
I have carefully wiped each nipple
in preparation for your tipple
the package makes a promise

So, the first cut is the deepest?
but what of deeper cuts to come
for to change a creed seems deep indeed
as when a father's name no longer suits his son

In time he raised the finger
forty years coming
raised the finger to bless the child
though the child should be done with growing

Having strutted out like solemn wee cocks
from tiny country halls hung with damp and cold
to hold the gates
to end up bickering in the blocks and boxes
of rough cast grey estates

Don't forget, each day but Sunday
a throng thousands strong of shipyard men
funnelled in the gates
and at the end of the long days shift

find the road to Cranfield's holy well
where Antrim's fields give way
to dark edged hedge and jagged ends
of stunted trees and wetland sedge

cutting across through strange streets
you'd assess the chance
with an upward glance
take some comfort when the front wall lacked

I'm a day case for surgery
ready by the bed
arrived at 7 on the table by 11
out at 5 unless I'm dead

there is talk of boarding up the nation
now the river is on the rise
of sealing every border to hold back the human tide
for there is a fear abroad that this will not subside

there are days when enough seems enough
when the nervous ends let loose
softening the sinew and the skin
harsh heat ebbs out to leave the warmth within

Its an early quiet in the harbour bar
worn wood and weathered men
with shoulders hunched around a glass
thats slowly drunk with time to pass

Sat there on an after the night before wall
a too low you'd think to contemplate a fall wall
head in hands re-running the looped moment
when the heart big as an ox let the head have its day

The Best Poem Of Barney Rooney

The Child's Been Radicalised

They say the child's been radicalised
impregnated before their very eyes
a neat incision implanted with precision
blind stitched the cleft between truth and lies

How else could someone so young know
that a fire for justice would grow
beyond the need for wisdom or restraint
beyond fear or doubt or calculation
beyond the calming voice of reason
beyond the thought of treason
beyond the care if common people bleed
to concede the claims to lead
of men who play at being small pack gods
inducting them to suffer for the cause
in the hellfire spat from heaven
offer them in that blackened plume
of oil smoke and buckled burning steel
where life is pared of fripperies
barren as the landscape

They say 'radicalised' - a careful smear
the very quest to comprehend is now despised
on either side
a crime made of that last thread of virtue
before hope calls it a day
compassion gives way to the fiction
that holy truth is deemed to be
that which cannot cope with contradiction
when hands no longer scrape at barren soil
to find their roots
and humble people resign
to being trodden underfoot
and cannot rise
without the means of being radicalised

exactly how, and what should be excised
what charm or incantation?
a garlic infused stake driven through the heart?
water boarded incarceration?
a shaft of sunlight risen in the east
to lead the child back to the feast
to consume or be consumed by the greater beast?

Barney Rooney Comments

Eve Rooney 11 September 2018

Barney is phenomenal, I think he should be considered for Ireland’s Poet Laureate

12 0 Reply
Darwin Henry Beuning 04 September 2017

Barney is an exceptional poet, a poet's poet. I have listened to him reciting his poem, The Child's Been Radicalised many many times. In my view, he is Ireland's Poet Laureate! ! !

13 0 Reply

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