The Ballad of Bolton Square Maaket

Local poet Gus Gibney's latest effort deals with the garda crackdown on illegal Chinese fags in the market.

This week in the Drogheda Leader we grasped the local torch of bad poetry and ran with it. We’re pretty confident it’ll be on the Junior Cert. curriculum within the next year or two.

Poet laureate Gus Gibney will give a public reading on Saturday morning down the market from his latest anthology I Can’t Believe Its’ Been Published: Poems What Make it into the Local Papers, Vol. VII.

Gus has been documenting Drawda life in stanza form since poems were first imported into the town in the 1970s. He has won several awards including the Griffin Poetry Prize (twice) and was made an honorary Japanese citizen for services rendered to the Haiku. He read his most famous Haiku to Emperor Hirohito when his majesty visited mid Louth in 1985:

Oh Tullyallen,

So much better than Collon,

But ‘tis no Ardee.

Gibney will read the following poem about Drawda maaket.


The Ballad of Bolton Square Maaket


Strolling down the maaket,

To get me Chinese fags,

I kem across a wino,

Still in last night’s glad rags

Callt I across the road to him,

‘Man is it even ten?!’

‘Ten’s not too early sure

It’s only Speckled Hen.’

We stopped at Dolan’s Corner,

And for a while we chewed the fat,

He was heading down the Tholsel,

To his natural habitat.

So I ambled on down Patrick Street,

And a thought occurred to me,

Soon ayr winos’ll be homogenized,

Like Starbucks, wait and see.

And then right before me eyes

Something very problematic.

Playing havoc with me plans

To buy some ‘discount’ Ariel Automatic.

Undercover guards about?

Or is it all hearsay?

I ordered the Blu-Ray

Part Two of the Hunger Games Mockingjay.

Those maaket guards haven’t been here,

Since miles before Halloween.

They must be on the overtime,

They’re not usually this keen.

Old granny Val is at her stall,

Flogging her coat hangers.

But you and I know it’s just a front

For the black cats and the bangers.

Play it cool Gus – nice n’ easy,

Don’t be going acting all suspicious.

Go over the fruit n’ veg stall there

And buy a bag of Golden Delicious.

Sure I might as well while I’m here and all,

Pick some tat up for a fiver.

Then spend the day trying to put it up,

With no screwdriver like McGyver.

I can’t see no Chinese cigs at all,

I’ll get young Zhang Wei on the blower.

He’s off today but Lily-Hua has some,

She’ll sort me do I know her?

The guards! The guards! Quick boys!

An ecstasy of fumbling,

All the Chinese fags are confiscated

Me hopes they are a crumbling.

I give this Lily-Hua a buzz,

Do a deal later on the sly,

I tell her I’ll be there for her,

Should she need an alibi.

A garda takes her phone away,

And says I’m outta luck.

Try out those new vaping things,

Much more bang there for your buck.

But I’m only an old pensioner,

And Johnny Blues are €10.50.

So I’ll have to use the bus up for free,

And be in Craptown fairly nifty.

Dundalk’ll have some – they have to,

Sure they’ve everything up there.

Paypal, Xerox, Fitzer…

It really isn’t fair.

It’s only when we’re past Ardee,

Long after the bus’s departed,

That I realize my big mistake…

Dundalk has no maaket!