Brendan Hayes at Ormston House


They were just three ordinary ghosts that I met, going about their ghostly business-
so was I surprised? Well: I was surprised that I wasn’t more surprised by
meeting the three ordinary ghosts.

I guess they were not at all spooky –
No silly sheets over them with burnt-out holes for eyes …just three ordinary
ghosts as I’ve said . Near Ormston House

Later I was asked many questions: how did I know they were ghosts?
Could I see through them? Now that was I thought stupid …
But they definitely could see right through me …

And what of their business that caused them cross my path that day —
yes it was day, not night!? THEY WORE NAME-TAGS of men that I’d known
so there was recognition.. but I’m not sure; were they the likenesses of those
I’d known? Which might have made events easier understand.

Or were they simply carrying the tags of others departed …. I had many questions-
and I was much questioned later ..and later again. Oh, usual stuff; did I not try
and take a photo… Ask for email ,twitter, even facebook links.
it wasn’t like I was scared, either .

Yes. They knew my name, I’d heard it said- by someone in the trio-
as I stood aside, quite clearly ‘That’s Brendan!!!    And when they’d walked past I turned and saw -Yes, they had their feet firmly on the ground
and their backs jerking, like they were laughing …

They were just three ordinary walking, talking ghosts
that I left alone …and continue with whatever was their business that day
as I walked near Ormston house . Was that so weird from me ?
What else should I have done or said anyway ..

– Brendan Hayes


Brendan Hayes – Reflections on Street Line Critics

Brendan Hayes  – Reflections on Street Line Critics


Rain pelleting the front window; the lonesome wail of the midday Angelus bell

Monday; I don’t know what to say–I think of wet slippery streets that cannot be scrawled with chalk.

I want to get down and dirty by the river of no return; with the tear-less heartbreak and the crooked-necked swans, who splatter green shit like scared sick infants.
And be there… to stop the next lost ‘children of Lir’ become exiled to the dark riddle that is the Shannon. Forever.

Last night I was told a senior colleague had died- it was swift for he had been unwell, but previously had survived a bout of cancer. And then it insidiously returned.

Thinking of my departed friend and how  he once described me-but that’s another story.  I remember the subject of my Final Year Project back then and how puzzled he was by my topic: a 6000 word literature review on the subject: “Self-Induced Water Intoxication–a nursing perspective”, as it was eventually titled. He may have chuckled.

I could not have made that up: why were men in mental hospitals drowning from the inside out; their swollen brains leached of ions and  electrolytes, like batteries strewn and submerged on the river-bed.
How was that research going to save lives? I wanted to tell their stories: of the man I last saw, manic, toxic and drowning, collapsing at my feet
Finally overcome by  water overload..

I like what I do with the little tube of white chalk; watching Lotte neatly scrawl the temporary words. Of enduring feelings.
The light of a million moons…is captured in  chalk, too; now released by little scribbles on the blue-grey pavements.

“I shall atone…by writing on a stone”; I cannot find my Soul inside a bone- or any bone. Hollow like eye-sockets on graveyard skulls, the same fabric of calcium where the millions of squid are crushed into chalk by the weight of the world, and. And the suffering… to then have this once happening chance to release a little light from my crushed heart; to let my knuckle bleed… nursing the powdered detritus of millennia to life. Life, however brief.”

.. Humbling, but not ‘showing-off’, either.. In a parable Jesus said; ‘let he who is without Sin throw the first stone’. My take on that is: ‘Let he(me) who has sinned, write on the stone–not that I’ve “sinned”–but that I’ve not Loved enough; squandered talent and time in wilful fantasising ; avoided enriching my life–and the lives of others. And that the day of Reckoning has come… by the Humbling River!
“I may never have a blue plaque on a wall; yet the pleasure of chalk-dust by your feet may Forgive all,”

And I still had to do the research; Saturday afternoons; a can of cider propped on the window-sill. It was then I realised-and relished the calm, collecting power of cheap booze.  The randomness and boredom of internet-searching; cutting and splicing. Cut and paste. What a waste! All that plagiarism…citing references as primary sources.  And a life saved. Saving lives was the outcome; the managers accepted that- after I presented them with the international evidence.

– Brendan Hayes

Brendan Hayes on Clancy Strand

Brendan Hayes on Clancy Strand


I see the girl dancing by the river
leaping the gaps in the wall
but talking much too fast
How can she make sense of it all
or find the time
and space
to heal
But here I kneel and pray
and hope she’ll feel
happiness some day soon
let the light
of this summer moon
shine bright the way…

– Brendan Hayes (18-07-2013)

Brendan 1 CSBrendan 2 CS

Brendan Hayes on O’ Callaghan Strand

There’s a stone and its black and green and it lies on the riverbed,

With neither eyes to see nor tears that can be shed,

Yet the light of a million moons its drank searching for the dead.

– Brendan Hayes (18-07-2013)


Brendan 1 OCS Brendan 2 OCS Brendan 3 OCS

This is not the end of the the line__________________



|_________It is the beginning_______




This is not the end of the line________________________________

– Brendan Hayes (18-07-2013)


Brendan 4 OCS Brendan 5 OCS