New Green Fool

More Rigged Than Recollected


By Alan Cunningham.


I’d been back in Newry four weeks and had renewed an old habit of taking a walk everyday, around nine or ten in the morning, depending when I rose.

One morning, I passed a woman as she picked leaves from a plant growing in a hedgerow and put them into a blue plastic bag. I wanted to stop walking, turn around and ask her what it was she was picking—and for what purpose —but I was also aware of the hour and the pleasant silence.

I said nothing and walked on.

Another morning soon after I passed a group of labourers as they were about to start work. I nodded at one of them as he walked towards a small digger. He was a man in his fifties with an attractive yet melancholic look to his face.

‘Are they looking any men on that job you have?’, he said, almost smiling, and walked on to his post.

‘I doubt it,’ I said, softly, almost smiling too, thinking then that whatever it was I was doing walking the back roads of Newry at 9 a.m. on a Tuesday, perhaps it was a fine job, if job at all: walking during the day, and reading and writing at night.

It was only a pity that no one felt moved to pay me for it.

My stars are events in time, things that happened and could not have happened to one born in the 16th century.’

– P. Kavanagh, The Green Fool


I shall try to describe what happened before all that.

In order to describe it I have read and written words.

It will be an inexact description of an event and the effect.

It will be a process of accumulating noise.