A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2008, vol 4 no 2

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Jim Norton


Bona Fides

...strange words from a lost time, drifting up through the haze of fitful sleep.

Boney fies boney fies, tell me why poor Mary cries...
Today is when her Son must die, and not a drop to wake him bye!

Pulling his frieze greatcoat tighter about him and his felted hat down against the icy driving rain, he trudges the backroads of The Naul and Turvey Swords and Collinstown, the way lit only by that memory of light and warmth within, the bellowing of coachmen calling for another round, gaunt drovers hogging the fire to wolf their sup, the din coming in gusts as the door opens to disgorge a staggerer, and slams again. A two-storey inn so old and past repair it seems as much a hay-rick sagging back into the earth. Complete with creaking sign - The Boot.

And trudges evermore, the hapless traveller, thirsting to find it yet in fear that he might once again, above the bleak stubble, hear that awful roaring, and see the lights, oh, the light, as though a million candlepower ablaze, but cold, no fire, its dazzle pitiless. And so he raved, the fever got him and no wonder wandering the roads, he's below in St Pappin's so they say, without stone or mark poor soul.

You can read about him in the The Boot Motel, you can't miss it, back of the Airport on the old north road, they have a nice display of local history - they say he had the second sight and saw it coming - coffee's all you'll get of course, today. Only joking, isn't it a bona fide?!

Good Friday
No liquor to be had
But there's full moon shine

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