an old man sleeping in church

Old fellow asleep near that confessionbox. Hence those snores. Blind faith. Safe in the arms of kingdom come. Lulls all pain. Wake this time next year.

He saw the priest stow the communion cup away, well in, and kneel an instant before it, showing a large grey bootsole from under the lace affair he had on. Suppose he lost the pin of his. He wouldn’t know what to do to. Bald spot behind. Letters on his back: I.N.R.I? No: I.H.S. Molly told me one time I asked her. I have sinned: or no: I have suffered, it is. And the other one? Iron nails ran in.

Meet one Sunday after the rosary. Do not deny my request. Turn up with a veil and black bag. Dusk and the light behind her. She might be here with a ribbon round her neck and do the other thing all the same on the sly. Their character. That fellow that turned queen’s evidence on the invincibles he used to receive the, Carey was his name, the communion every morning. This very church. Peter Carey, yes. No, Peter Claver I am thinking of. Denis Carey. And just imagine that. Wife and six children at home. And plotting that murder all the time. Those crawthumpers, now that’s a good name for them, there’s always something shiftylooking about them. They’re not straight men of business either. O, no, she’s not here: the flower: no, no. By the way, did I tear up that envelope? Yes: under the bridge.


I looked up what the letters IHS means on the back of priest vestments. Apparently it’s the Greek word for Jesus in Greek ιησους, and “Iron nails ran in” is obviously the other symbol commonly on priest garb, which is the first two initials for Christ in Greek Chi and Ro. ( source ) 

Just this afternoon I attended a Bloomsday event in Lancaster PA and the host sang a song about James Carey ( wiki ), the leader of the Irish National Invincibles ( wiki ), a group of Irishmen who assassinated the British appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland. Carey turned on his compatriots and was assassinated himself on his way to exile in Australia. 

Please take a moment and check out Seamus Carmichael‘s page and enjoy a few of his other songs.