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Showing posts from May, 2015


©Shers Gallagher 2015

Leave me air to breathe,
and I'll breathe humanity in gulps.
Breathing in and breathing out,
choking on the crowded streets 
amidst the elbows I am connecting to. 

What is this pushing, shoving 
need to be human?
Count me in and I'll be last 
among the first, 
my humanity touching yours.

Is this what it means to be human?
Leave me air to breathe,
and I am weightlessly
in charge of my bit of space.

It is enough on this teaming little 
green rock, turning brown.
It is enough for you and me, 
enough to leave each other air to breathe. 

Aisling Books

Hooked on Wallpaper, Peeling Brown

©Shers Gallagher 2015 
Hooked on wallpaper, peeling brown, is mother’s umbrella of tattered forest green.  Strapped around its well-worn tips is a tapestry printed satchel holding memories of   Grandmother’s curtains behind lemon waxed tables and full-tacked sofas of Chesterfield leather.  The hats she wore were hand-braided with wide ribbon trim  hinting of chic world travellers in her day,  of spirited Hepburns and sultry Lauren Bacalls.

Aisling Books

The Quest – full circle – rehashed for my brother, who now thinks on such things.... :)

©Shers Gallagher 2017

August 2011 found me sitting in a Westport B&B, having come to this North-western region of Ireland in search of my Irish roots with my two aunts in mind – Darlys Gallagher Weiss and Laverne Gallagher Robinson – my mother’s sisters still alive and well. My mother, Marvel Schuler ní Gallagher, has sadly passed away, along with her two brothers, William and Raymond (officially spelled ‘Ramon’, as neither grandparent could spell well in those days).  Their father, William (Bill) Emmet, was the 8th son of 10 children to Felix Peter Gallagher (b. 02 August 1863) and Anna Marie Murray Gallagher (b. 12 August 1866). 

Felix, my great-grandfather, was born in urban Westport to Bridget Gallagher ní McIntyre and her husband Martin. They were a Roman Catholic family, but documentation is sketchy for all born before the official Irish registry that began a year later, in 1864.  

My great-grandfather Felix, I found out, was born on Bridge Street; and, not only was he born on …

Oh, Those Fairies!

© 2015 Shers Gallagher --ex-Renaissance Fairy 

Where dusty paths 
and rain-thirst clouds
leave grit in hair and teeth,
the fairies 
with their fluted bows
spring forth 
with fluttering feet.
Tipping and tapping,
they chortle with laughter
on wee frowny faces 
and each crooked smile they greet.
Catch them! Catch them! 
Each sparkle of light
that zips in flight,
leaving trails of delight
as the flit from tree to tree.
[Shers, aka Thimbleberry, Colorado Renaissance Fairy (c.1990s)]
Aisling Books

Growing Up with Family - another slice of my silly life

©Shers Gallagher 2015
When we were kids - way before my little sister was born - my brothers and I were hooked on a TV horror series, entitled 'Thriller'. We were such a motley crew back then that, every chance they could get, my young parents would get away to rekindle their romance together. On one such occasion, I remember an elderly lady babysitting us, which was on an evening where, earlier, one of my little brothers had been playing baseball with the other in the front yard and had accidentally hit the ball into the living room window, causing a small hole yet to be repaired. Now, this hole was in the window just behind the couch where we all sat to watch television. Perhaps you can guess the scenario that followed....

'Thriller' was on, and with babysitter in the middle, we all sat mesmerized, watching the creature from the deep (or something like that) when, suddenly, one of our house cats stuck her paw through the hole, attempting to get in. She had reached up a…

An Infamous Wee

© Shers Gallagher 2015
In this narcissistic age with everyone a 5-second star of blogs and meals and secret thrills, of our kids with frogs and snails and their puppy dog tales....

So it is with Manekin Pis, the naked little Belgian boy and his 5-second self-pee, urinating with glee while capturing his wee for all he twitters and tweets to see. Such are the times we live in!
Aisling Books

How I I Came to Live in Boulder, Colorado

©Shers Gallagher 2015 a teen on the lam, mostly running away from myself, personal addictions and questions with a sinking feeling that there were no answers to any of them, not simple ones, anyway. As I sunk further into the hedonistic scene of living a non-mainstream life, I continued questioning, creating, inventing alongside others of similar mind, many eventually giving up and dying. Throughout the muck and mire of daily living on the edge juxtaposed against the incredible beauty of the Flat Irons, and Boulder in general, my very existence raised the question of God. I could not escape it. This was the Boulder I knew back then with conservatism running through its core, a soberness observed in the faces of its mountain folk – the ranchers, farmers and old miners who had eked out a living and were the community’s cornerstones. Yet, alongside this was a topsoil of challenging liberalism fomented by a university gaining a Haight Ashbury-like reputation, which placed the town in…

Memories of a Childhood Thanksgiving

©Shers Gallagher 2015
At Gran and Gramp’s house it was always chaotically wonderful with the five children and their spouses bringing with them all their children, my nephews and nieces, along with my own family of five siblings. My brother and I were around the same ages of three of our cousins, give or take a year. And the eldest was only two years older than her younger brother, a year older than me. Along with all the younger cousins, we always had plenty of kids around to play with. Our drive to get there was on dairy land roads. As we approached the town’s vicinity, we would recognize how close we were from the smell of cattle and farmland, the richly pungent odor of cow pies mixed with rain wet grassland.

When we  arrived, there were already two tables set: the main table for the grownups and the other long and lower table for us kids, which we loved because of no adults being there to monitor our behavior and make us eat or not eat certain foods. We never really thought of mindi…

A short slice of life - Uh-Oh, Spaghetti-Os!

©Shers Gallagher 2014 

I grew up in the midst of a big gaggle of kids, which is why a lot of my memories include several overnights with the grandparents who were kid-oriented and loved us to bits. Yet, in truth, I think that even they needed a break from us now and again. One of these times was when they left us to spend an afternoon at a neighbour’s house, who’d also had grandchildren to watch that day. And, I’ll never forget the memory, if only for the lunch menu item the grandmother had served.

I never thought that my little Irish-American mother spoilt us kids. In my mind, it was more like she indulged us with her own love of children and play. Yet, I can’t remember her ever serving us canned foods for a meal, except for maybe a cup of warm Campbell soup along with a sandwich. But that was it. So, when this neighbour of my grandparents’ served us all platefuls of canned Spaghetti-Os, I was appalled. I was also brought up to be polite, and did try to be as mannerly as a young girl c…

On Clowning Around - Marvelous Marvel and Sammy

©Shers Gallagher 2015

Living overseas I've often viewed programs a few days after their release on prime-time TV. One of these is ‘Modern Family’, a show featuring different branches of a family unit, descending from the remarried and semi-retired father and absentee mother. The middle-aged children live nearby with their own eclectic pods, involving scenarios that can be quite wittily written and performed, though sometimes dull and obtuse in forcing canned laughter, as I thought was with the episode of my last viewing. What I’m referring to is one of the families, consisting of gay husbands and their adopted Asian daughter, Lily. In it is a mostly stay-at-home partner, who teaches HS athletics part-time and is a hobbyist clown. His love of clowning is so deep that he desires to pass it on to his now six-year-old daughter, which results in him taking her to clown camp. Briefly describing their own campy interactions, I disappointingly write that they consist of little more than Li…

Travels with My Father

©Shers Gallagher 2015

My family travelled a lot when I was growing up, Dad being an ambitious career climber and taking whatever steps he could to further his vocation as a sales representative and later district manager of a huge auto manufacturing industry. And these professional jaunts of his sent us kids packing and assuming a lifestyle of hopping from state to state. I have many personal memories of my oldest brother and me eating breakfasts out of mini-cereal boxes in back of the station wagon full of bags and boxes. Like many childhood friends made in passing, who for us were mostly military brats, I could count having been enrolled in at least half a dozen different elementary schools: no available preschool in Oregon, my first and second class years in Ohio, continuing in Arcadia, California and finishing in Encino. My third year of school began in public education and, after an operation, ended in private. My last year of primary school I happily spent at a spanking new schoo…

A Youthful Experience with Travellers

©Shers Gallagher 2015 

I was one of the fortunate few to have had an experience of a lifetime as a teen runaway. I didn't run far, though, from the Valley to Hollywood (of my birthplace). What a city to be born in, eh? But I've never been a star. Only in my own mind. Yet, I did eventually end up with a Russian family of travellers who lived in a dilapidated mansion in Los Angeles's belly. Now, these weren't just any travellers. They were part of an intellectual bohemian group of artists during the time when (as I was growing up) clans, groups, kith and ken, tended to stick together. And, after my initial running away from home and living in the Nirvana apartments behind Grauman's Chinese Theater with a classmate and his gay friends from my theater group, I'd had enough of them and their silly antics and took up the invitation to stay with an eccentric artistic family of Russian Europeans. The daughter was seven years older than me, a recent UCLA graduate and pot…