Daily Archives: November 3, 2012

Mattie Lennon Irish Author/poet- BARNEY


By Mattie Lennon

John Sheahan is a musician, a composer and a poet. He is also a born gentleman in the truest sense of that word. He must have a portrait in his attic because he is twenty years older than he looks. He has been a member of The Dubliners ballad group for fifty years. When Barney McKenna, a founder member, unexpectedly joined Ronnie, Luke and Ciaran in that great celestial concert hall on Thursday 05th April this Barney year John put on his poet’s hat and wrote Banjo Barney.

But who was Barney McKenna? He was born in Donnycarney, Dublin in 1939 and was interested in music from an early age. He joined The Dubliners , along with John Sheahan in 1962. Barney was considered one of the finest banjo-players in the world. He was known world-wide for his musical ability and his love of fishing but was also famous for his “Barneyisms.”
What is a “Barneyism? John always, lovingly, described Barney as “living in a parallel universe” and I’m sure if you met him ten times a day for a year, he would have a “Barneysm” for each meeting.
Such as the time they were on tour in Germany and the following dialogue took place at breakfast.

BARNEY; I’m tired. I wasn’t in bed until two o’ clock

JOHN; Barney, you weren’t in bed until five o ‘clock. I heard you coming in.

BARNEY; You shouldn’t have told me that; now I’ll be knackered all day.

And, when, at the start their Australian tour, they were met at the airport by a friend of Barney’s. Barney immediately started to complain about the heat only to be told that that was nothing, later in the day it would be “forty in the shade.” “Be Jaysus” says Barney “I’ll be keeping out of the shade today.” On Good Friday 1977 while in Australia John Sheahan celebrated his tenth wedding anniversary. John is a non-drinker but Barney tried to convince him to drink a glass of champagne to mark the occasion. “Ah come on John” says Barney, “ After all it’s not every year you celebrate a wedding anniversary”.

During a London concert-tour, having done a sound-check early in the evening, in the Royal Albert Hall they all went their separate ways. When it was getting close to curtain-up Barney couldn’t remember the name of the venue but he wasn’t beaten. He explained to a taximan that they were a ballad group from Dublin and they were playing “ . . in a big roundy place near a park.”

It was on the same trip that John and Barney were looking out through a hotel window on the second floor They saw a taxi heading straight for the hotel with no sign of slowing down. It disappeared as if it had ran into the front of the hotel but there was no sound of a crash. Barney, being a man of enquiring mind, went down to investigate. He discovered that there was an archway running under the hotel and that was where the taxi had gone. He reported back to John that it was “an obstacle confusion.”

After 48 years on the road John suggested to Barney that they retire, only to be told, “It’s too late for that.” As John Sheahan parted with his old friend for the last time in St. Loman’s Cemetery, Trim on Monday 09th April, perhaps his pain was eased slightly by the hundreds of “Barneyisms” going around in his head.


Your plectrum, a fledgling bird,
Squeezed too tightly, it chokes;
Too lightly, it flies away.

Cosy in your care,
It nests between finger and thumb
Heeding your touch
To wake wonders on string.

Dancing fingers paint pictures in air,
Barneyisms embellish the craic,
And your love song steals the limelight.

In tune with yourself
Jigging for mackerel,
Wind-song in the rigging,
Rhythm of Rolling wave.

Heave and haul of Shanty,
Audience lashed with salty foam,
You, on the quarter deck
Guide us round the dreaded Horn.

Without fuss or warning
You heed a whispered call,
Adrift in the doldrums,
You succumb to the long sleep.

Your hands, fixed in death,
Your fledgling bird now flown.
Your cap, tilted to the north star,
Your sails, rigged for a far horizon,

Heave away, haul away,
Sail away to the music of silence.

©John SheahanMarino Music.


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Margaret S. Boone, Ph.D. Author- RED REVOLT The Story of Hank Chin and the Founding of Martian Society

RED REVOLT The Story of Hank Chin and the Founding of Martian Society

by Margaret S. Boone, Ph.D.

Hank Chin barely survives the Second Chinese Revolution, in which 200 million people die. When bombs begin dropping, he finds himself sheltered with Hu Mei, a young revolutionary who becomes his first wife. When she leaves him, pregnant with their twins, he immigrates to America as the sexual partner of a retired admiral who gives him his freedom and becomes a lifelong friend. He resettles in Southern Arizona, marries a Spanish beauty, Francesca, and creates the first planned agricultural community based on nanotechnology. They achieve levels of productivity never before seen on Earth. Hank is lead engineer on the 2094 Mars expedition, and builds a large and profitable bunker of New Arizona, overlooking the largest canyon in the solar system. Almost four decades later, he fights the Martian Rebellion with his third wife, Carolyn.

Hank evolves into an almost sacred figure … revered and feared, with a charisma that draws others to him. He and his now-adult children build a stable economy, form a new society, and lobby for Martian independence. When Chinese Earth forces blow up the Martian moon Phobos, the first inter-planetary war breaks out. The Chinese enforce a ten-year-long embargo and repel the Martian Militia’s best efforts to defeat them. The Martians eventually drive off Earth forces with help from distant sentient beings who provide them a very special advantage. Love, tragedy and holy things follow human beings from the third, to the fourth planet from the sun.

Email MSBRappaport@aol.com

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by Val Porretto

A family quilt is made from many pieces of fabric with their different textures, numerous designs, rough edges, and smooth corners all sewn together. Just like the quilt, a family is comprised of its many members and how they’ve joined to be part of any family: yours, mine, ours, military, foster. Family members come with their multitude of personalities, quirks, and loving ways, all knotted together to provide warmth, comfort, someone to snuggle up to, or someone with whom to share a picnic basket. Some you want to grab onto, hold close to your heart, and never let go. Others you want to give a good shaking to in hopes it will clear their heads of cobwebs and dust. Still other members are a bit frazzled, drifting from us, yet there, if only hanging on by a thread.

Some quilts have been a gift from one generation to another. In them we seek comfort, wrapping ourselves in the treasured memories of a grandma passed, a favorite uncle serving his country, or a new baby’s christening gown. Perhaps the lace or sequins from Mom’s wedding gown are entwined with your niece’s first prom dress. Or maybe your husband’s faded jeans pocket hides your son’s first bib.

Who scattered amongst these do we turn to for strength, inspiration, wisdom, a chuckle, a gentle hug, the softest of smiles, the firm voice, the rock, or the foundation as we caress the crinkled, torn, wrinkled, durable, transparent, brightly-colored, muted tones of the patchwork that is our family?

Amethyst Moon Publishing
Publishing With a Personal Touch™
Amethyst Moon Publishing and Services
P.O. Box 87885
Tucson, AZ 85754

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