I saw a dead horse in the road on the way to Ballyfermot

Gericault (1823) Study for Dead Horse
Gericault (1823) Study for Dead Horse

Cycling to prison for the summer
To meditate with the addicts and murderers
Sweating in the sun on the cycle path in July
By a river, by the rushes and marram grass
With blue skies carrying clumps of cloud like afterthoughts
And wind singing the white noise of motion
My cycle carries me forwards
Towards the beaten broken menĀ for repair

But as I thought
Of economics
Of the Buddha
And God

I saw a dead horse in the bushes on the road to Ballyfermot
And as I felt dread well in me like a thick oil
I saw the world with new eyes Continue reading

Chaplaincy Services in Modern Society

Out in a medium security prison in the west of Dublin city, an inmate is for the third time moved down the list of names for transferring to a new room in the prison. Gary is, by his own account, a model inmate with no history of violence or drug use while incarcerated. On finding his name has once again been arbitrarily bumped down the list for the third time, frustration continues building in him. He hates his current room because his neighbours are constantly playing music from their cells. He just wants somewhere quieter to sleep. Claiming that “the guards don’t do anything for you unless you give them trouble”, Gary is becoming more agitated by the day as he waits to be moved, pacing up and down the corridors, eyeballing the prison guards he knows to be in charge of transfers. He doesn’t say so openly, but his thoughts are dark. Continue reading