The Prendeville Family California Style
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My Writing

by Tim Prendeville on Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 3:28am
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19 shot ... 6 dead ... one a 9 year old girl ... the target?  Democrats ... It should come as no surprise that it happened in Arizona, given the race cards / political cards / hate cards that all played out in the run up to the election.  We've been warned for over two years, since those on FOX "NEWS" started their crusade of hate and literal call to arms (and a certain pompous git on radio) that something like this would happen ... And Glenn Beck is still on the air?  And Rush Limbaugh is still on the air?  Vitriolic speech may be free speech, and thus protected under the Constitution ... But ... words have consequences, and those consequences were found in Tuscon today ... When sitting members of congress are shot in the head at a public assembly, it's time to rethink a few things, and maybe time to turn the dial to a little more balanced "entertainment" ... and ... maybe FOX should stick to broadcasting the Simpsons ... and ... maybe Rush Limbaugh should stick to abusing vicodin and Cuban cigars ... 


© 2011, Tim (P) Prendeville

Only Yesterdays

Tim Prendeville on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 8:26pm

It's funny the things that cross your mind when you're standing in the rain, waiting for a dog to, well .. enough said ... tonight while doing just that I was reminded of something I wrote last year.  I penned the words following hearing news of someone that I know that had just had a miscarriage.  I tried to remember the words that I had written, but in doing so, came up with something new ... naturally, by the time I got to my little writing room at the top of the house, lit my candle, tipped my pen, and tried to remember what it was I had uttered ... well, words had changed ... but ... I still kinda like it ...

Oh the times we could have had
I’ve lived them all
Mostly by myself.
Sometimes a little too often
Or so I’ve been told.
Yet, they give me comfort.
Simply moving on is never an option
At least for a mother
And more so in times a father too.

Most times
In my imaginings
You are grown
And it is Christmas time
Our favorite time of year
And the fire is blazing
The tea is poured
Our Christmas tree is lit
And warming our hands by the hearth
We sit in silence
Remembering all the days that came before.

Sometimes a chuckle breaks the silence
“Remember when ...”
And a story begins
No doubt events embellished by the years
All the while sipping our tea
Eating our biscuits
Warming our hands
And living in moments
Never lived.

© 2010, Tim (P) Prendeville

Welcome back to The '80's

by Tim Prendeville on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 10:11am

I was one of those that emigrated out of a bankrupt, recession laden Ireland in the 80's ... The "Christian" brothers had literally beaten any desire I had to continue on with any kind of further education, and there was no work ... So, off to London I went.  For many years I travelled a path that led me through an array of European countries, meeting all kinds of characters that I still think of today ... and ultimately led me to California and the life I now enjoy, and would not trade.  Ireland came through the recession, and for many years was the envy of all of Europe.  But, those proverbial powers that be, repeatedly voted in by sheep wrapped up in blankets of greed, pissed it all away, to the point where once again, Ireland's biggest export is it's youth ... I can only hope they have as good an adventure as me ...

Christmas with Gene Autry and years gone by

by Tim Prendeville on Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 1:57pm

Christmas is my favorite time of year ... always has been.  When I was a kid, putting up the decorations in our home was my favorite time of year; and every year Gene Autry was on the record player ... morning, noon, and night.  There came a time when I moved on from all those things, and didn't listen to Gene Autry, didn't decorate trees, and let Christmases come and go in stride.  I hoped the few times back home, over the years, that I could recapture some of the Christmas spirit that was there in my youth, but ... it, and everyone, just like me, had moved on.  Not to say that those trips weren't enjoyable; just not ideal.  There was still the little pin holes in the ceilings from years of hanging streamers, and looking at those always gave me a smile.  It wasn't until Tara was born in 2002 that Gene Autry made a come back, and when Alyssa arrived in 2004, he was still going strong ... indeed, he still is today ... I'm on the return leg of my trip through life now, the nostalgia portion ... what was in, that went out, is back in again ... and long may it live ... "Merry Christmas folks ... where ever you may be" ...

 Worth a Christmas Spin ... 

© 2010, Tim (P) Prendeville 


I can remember growing up with many things,
Most of which,
Like any other kid,
Lost in the selfishness of youth,
Assumed would remain,
I was wrong.
But …
I was but …
A child.
I remember having idols,
And doing the things that idols expect,
And not doing what I would now.
Or would I?
Heroes are sometimes always heroes,
But not to everyone.
I watched you climb!
You let me watch you,
Can you still see me,
Way down here?
Can you see me?
Did you ever?
Where are you now?
Do you know?
Can you see,
Where you are?
Where you were?
Where you went?
How you got there,
And stayed,
For so long?
Do you ever look back,
And see what it was you left behind,
Way back then,
When life made sense?
Did you even know?
Do you know now?
Who do you turn to when
Who do you call when
Which shoulder gives comfort when
Do you have a shoulder,
On which you can lean,
With eyes closed?
How fairs your means test of life?.

© 2010, Tim (P) Prendeville

One More Step

The girls are back to school today … Time keeps ticking …

I remember driving in cold Irish mornings, and you strapped beside me in your seat, with only few words yet spoken.  I remember dropping you off to smiles and hugs, to people who’ve long since forgotten your name … as have we they.  I remember cuddles, and kisses, and tears, and laughter … some from the past, some from the present … and some that only live in memories; it is those, in moments alone, that sometimes give most solace.  I remember living moments in moments not yet lived, and thinking … “these will be the good ones” … but also wary that life is not all fairy tales.  If I could stop time … I would not … If I could change yesterday, or any day that came before,  … I would not ….  Each day has brought me to you … each day has brought you to you … and me to me.  And tomorrow?  I hope tomorrow, brings … tomorrow.

My little girl is not so little anymore.  She walks, and talks, and thinks like … a little girl.  Sometimes she comes to me and speaks of dolls.  Sometimes she comes and speaks to me of life … sometimes I have to stop and think … and realise … she will always be … my little girl.

© 2010, Tim (P) Prendeville

The Clock

I wrote these couple of lines this morning.  They came to me from a post my brother in law (Martin) put on his facebook … (below) … They are expecting their first child to arrive in the next week or so … Good luck :)

Martin:  “Thanks guys. The holiday was perfectly timed. A week before our house gets that tiny little bit smaller. It’s just what we needed. Now it’s just a countdown. In fact the house is so quiet now all I can hear is the Clock on the wall ticking away.”

Ah, yes! The clock! Remember when it ticked time for just the two us?  And it was perfect; our own little chronometer.  How could we not have known the boredom?  The solitude?  And then along came 3, and time changed … It no longer passed, or if it did, it did so without us.  Our little clock became a mantel piece.  And then, one day, I heard it ticking again … and the house was empty … and quiet … And we were alone again.   Where did the time go?  Tick … Tock … Tick … Tock …

© 2010, Tim (P) Prendeville

Hindsights and Perceptions

Days and days of rain.
Was it ever any other way?
All of those days,
Perpetual darkness and gloom.
Did the sun not ever shine?
It must have.
It must have.
Didn’t it?
I just don’t remember.
I just don’t.
Why is that I wonder?
All those years.
Even when I look back now,
It’s rain I remember
And nothing much else.
But I’m sure there must have been more.
Wasn’t there?

© 2010, Tim (P) Prendeville

My Wife’s Family

A piece I wrote a year or so ago and was reminded of over the Christmas break, after a get together with my wife’s in-laws … it really should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt … for the most part they’re a good bunch of people and a lot of fun to be around … but as with all families, there are always times where harmony is hard to find …

Well I just got back from a trip down south
Where I met with some in-laws I can never figure out
Some of them are fine and some of them are not
And the rest are fine with alcohol
And lots and lots of pot

My wife’s family
My wife’s family
My wife’s crazy family

After 6 hours in a car driving though Los Angeles
Where the traffic can be murder and the smog a yellow haze
The kids all in the back crying “are we nearly there”
And the wife wrapped up in god knows what
Life is so unfair

My wife’s family
My wife’s family
My wife’s crazy family

Well I know I signed up for the long term marriage with my wife
And I know the preacher warned me that sometimes there would be strife
But If I knew back then the grief I’d have to put up with today
I’d run a thousand miles from here
Far far away

From family
Her crazy family
My wife’s family
Her crazy family

There’s an aunt that vacations there and she scares me so
My wife tries to tell me that she’s all a show
But I’ve seen her throw a look my way every now and then
That tells me that she hates me and I’m going straight to hell

My wife’s family
My wife’s family
My wife’s crazy family

There’s a cupboard in the kitchen that I run to now and then
It’s stacked and packed with alcohol which makes the trip real swell
I’m not alone at night time when the shots are flowing fast
I guess I’m not only in-law needing booze to outlast

My wife’s family
My wife’s family
My wife’s crazy family

Well I know I signed up for the long term marriage with my wife
And I know the preacher warned me that sometimes there would be strife
But If I knew back then the grief I’d have to put up with today
I’d run a thousand miles from here
Far far away

From family
My wife’s family
My wife’s family
My wife’s crazy family

I guess I’m stuck with all the in-laws that intrude from time to time
It’s no wonder that I drink and smoke and bitch and moan and whine
But from what I see and hear from all the other people that I know
It seems that in-laws are the same no matter where you go

My wife’s crazy family
My wife’s family
My wife’s crazy family

Well I know I signed up for the long term marriage with my wife
And I know the preacher warned me that sometimes there would be strife
But If I knew back then the grief I’d have to put up with today
I’d run a thousand miles from here
Far far away

From family
My wife’s crazy family
My wife’s family
My wife’s crazy family

© 2010, Tim (P) Prendeville

Every Now And Again

Every now and again
I look at you,
Captured there in a moment,
Mid sentence,
The way I remember you.
And I think of those days
Those days
Those days when we were young,
Those days when all we needed,
And all we had,
Was each other and a dream

Every now and again
I think of late night talks,
And starry island nights
And promises made,
If not to you
At least to me,
And if not believed by you
At least by me,
Only to be dismissed in later days,
And seen,
As you did back then,
As romantic notions
Dreamed of
In romantic places.

Every now and again
I look at you,
And wonder,
And pause,
And drift away,
And feel that old familiar feeling.
But all too soon it fades,
Surrendering to another pause,
One that reminds of today,
And yesterdays that are gone,
Put away like your photographs,
And memories
That can only be relived

© 2009, Tim (P) Prendeville


No one runs in a graveyard.
No one shouts.
It is peaceful,
Walking amongst those who came before.

Tip toe and listen to the silence,
Whisper the names of those you meet.
For most of those you chance upon,
You are their only visitor,
Save the daily procession of  new arrivals.

Who were all these people?
What lives did they live,
The same as I do now?
Did we share the same fears?
And joys?
And hopes?
And dreams?

Did they live lives fulfilled
Or take regret with them?
If given one more day to live,
What is it do you suppose they would do?
Where would they visit?
Who would they see?
What words of advice would they speak?
I can only imagine it would be magnificent,
Throwing off all the veils of a superficial life,
And living for one more day,
A lesson learned only in death.

© 2009, Tim (P) Prendeville

Night Flight

I saw you last night.
When our eyes met,
You smiled.
It was a gentle smile,
The kind you wore so long ago.
There was no surprise in your smile,
As if our meeting was not by chance.
You sat beside me,
We talked of trivial things,
Our arms touching briefly,
Then lingering.
But nothing more;
But still …

© 2009, Tim (P) Prendeville

Second Chances

How quickly lives can change,
And how those decisions and judgements of the past can come calling.
Some made in haste
Some not
Some made with feeling
Some that were not
Some we stuck with
Some we could not
Some that brought joy
But some that did not.
And for those we must atone

So fragile is our human ego.
We speak brave words to others
Yet to ourselves,
In the quiet times,
And ever so humbly
We question ourselves.
Where is it I am going?
Where is it I have come from?
How will people read my life?
When will it be over?
Maybe tonight?
And if so,
What is it I leave behind?

In the cold and dark of loneliness
In that place you have no hand to hold,
Or a shoulder for leaning,
Where will you turn?
When those decisions made in haste,
Their results now laid out before you
Come calling,
Will you find comfort?
And if offered a second chance,
Where all can be made good again,
Or at least the possibility,
Will you take it?
For some such a leap of faith is beyond their grasp,
But for others,
Which shall you choose?
I choose change.

© 2009, Tim (P) Prendeville

The Moment

The moment has always been now

© 2009, Tim (P) Prendeville

Kids and Parents

As a parent I am always at odds as to the “correct” approach with my daughters … The tooth fairy, leprechauns, Santa Clause, mermaids, unicorns… all these fanciful flights of childhood have some degree of guilt built into them; at least for me.  When my 6 year old asks me if I believe in mermaids, little questions shout out inside me … “what is the appropriate age for my kid to put away little kid ways? … at what age will the “other” kids ridicule her for believing in such things? … how much of this beautiful innocence do I want her to keep?”  When I wrote “A Hand To Hold” it was the pondering of questions such as these that became my inspiration …

When I wrote “Don’t Grow Up Too Soon” it was because I had finally come to the realization that my kids are “kids” … and that I cannot expect them to be anything other than that … the proverbial “time flies” is absolutely true … I’m just glad that I figured it out sooner rather than later …

I guess as parents we are always questioning ourselves when it comes to the “right” or “wrong” way to raise our children … and this I think, is a good thing.

Tim P.

© 2009, Tim (P) Prendeville

Without Wings (Revised)

When I was young
It was the little things,
Those things in later life ignored,
That gave me moments of unrest.
The big picture too abstract
Too far removed,
Something to be pondered in later days;
Those days have come and gone.

I would like to think it not my fault
My life now lived in a role of minion
The dream once dreamed no longer real
Or even within reach,
Left for other fools to folly with
And ponder in their later years.

Now I am grown and life has moved on.
I punch a clock
I grind an anvil
I serve my time.
I have a regiment of should haves
And could haves and would haves
But they too have grown tired
They too have grown old.

© 2009, Tim (P) Prendeville

A Hand To Hold

?A short time ago my six year old daughter’s teacher told her that she’d soon be old enough to walk to class by herself, and not “drag her poor dad along all the way from the car.”  I was within ear shot of this at the time, and casually smiled it off as a non occurrence.  But for some reason this morning it came back to me, and the profoundness and fragility of such an utterance hit me hard.  It occurred to me that I never want my daughter to feel so grown up that she wouldn’t want me to walk somewhere with her.  I never want her to be so grown up that she doesn’t want to hold my hand in front of her friends, or give me a kiss and a hug goodbye in the morning, or be embarrassed by me when I goof around with her in public.  I want to be with her until I take that last walk with her down the aisle, and hand her off to whom ever she chooses to be her life partner … and even then, I’ll have problems letting go.

I remember the first morning I saw you
Taking your first peek at the world
And the look of confusion
And a face full of questions
But no fear.

I remember it was raining
A typical Irish day
Though it was June
And in my heart I knew
That my life was now not my own.

I remember phone calls made and one line texts
Telling those who cared that all was well
Five fingers five toes and eyes that were mine
And making plans to wet the baby’s head
Old Irish traditions live long

I remember Granny
And the first time she held you
In the sun lounge where the sun seldom shines
And her smile speaking volumes
The way only a granny’s smile can

I remember your first day in school
And tears that were shed
And wondering where the years had gone
And why so fast
And becoming fearful of a future without you

I remember all of your days
Your first steps
Your first fall
Your first words
Your first smile
Your first pain
Your first ice cream
Your first everything

When you have grown
And put away those little girl ways
And live in a world of your own making
And no longer need my hand to hold
I hope it is because I have taught you well.

© 2009, Tim (P) Prendeville

Pancake Tuesday … Irish Style

There’s one day in the year when my two daughters are allowed to let loose on the candy and ensuing sugar rush (although apparently it’s not the sugar that causes the rush) … Super bowl Sunday! … we plan it for weeks, purchasing a variety of candy, chips, soda, and for me, a boat load of chicken wings.  However, this morning, my sister Barbara, now living in Sydney, sent me an email asking if we had had our pancakes today, today being Pancake Tuesday or “Shrove” Tuesday as it is known outside of Ireland.  I had completely forgotten about it.  Fortunately for me though, my Tuesday was only beginning here in California; Sydney, 17 hours ahead of me, had already celebrated the day, and was tucking itself into bed.  Like Scrooge waking on Christmas morning, rejuvenated by fear of futures thwarted, I immediately smiled, thinking about all those Pancake Tuesdays I enjoyed so much growing up in Ireland … and how my mom would stand for hour on end over her little frying pan and make pancake after pancake for us all … and drown it in sugar and lemon juice … I miss those days.
So, why should the Super Bowl be the only non traditional American holiday we celebrate in the California Prendeville Clan?  No reason at all … That being said, I told the girls, still eating breakfast, that dinner today would be Irish pancakes … they couldn’t believe it and immediately began talking excitedly about such an odd occurrence and treat … Pancakes for them are usually a Sunday morning event, something they never seem to tire of … although those pancakes are the kind that come out of a box … Not tonight though … tonight I’ll make them the way my mom used to, all those years ago in our little kitchen on Woodvale Road … our little borough on the outskirts of Cork … Happy Pancake day people!

© 2009, Tim (P) Prendeville


2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 eggs
1 oz unsalted butter
Additional butter for frying
granulated sugar
lemon juice

1. Beat the milk and eggs together in a bowl. In another bowl, sift the flour and salt together; add half the milk and egg mixture, stirring constantly.
2. Melt the butter and whisk it in. Whisk in the rest of the remaining milk and egg mixture.
3. Allow the batter to stand at least two hours.
4. Melt 1 tbs butter in frying pan, add 1/4 cup batter and tip until the pan is evenly coated. Keep the pan moving as you cook to prevent sticking. When the underside is golden brown, flip the pancake and cook the other side.
Slide onto an oven proof platter; sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice and then, roll up.
Keep warm in a 300 degree oven until ready to serve.

A Life Unlived

Oh the times we could have had
They seem so real to me
So clear in my mind
As if already lived.
All the laughs we shared,
And tears too
Memories now lost and unlived,
But clear to me that
Some day
They would have defined my life.

© 2009, Tim (P) Prendeville

random lines

Once we were young
Then along came time
And like an unrequited teenage crush
Stole our innocence away

© 2009, Tim (P) Prendeville

California Farmers Market

Every week I see them
Walking their casual pace
Speaking their laid-back gibberish
Believing their youthful nonsense
That life will always be like this.
The girls bubbly and poised
The boys plucky and brave
Neither trodden by experience
Their dreams still unharmed.
Under my breath I mutter
“Christ I envy you so.”

Worry free
Care free
I was once like that
I too wore carefree smiles
Before the lines of life crept in.

Should I stop them
Warn them
Plead some crazy man’s case?
Scream “your time is now!”
Live in the moment but know it is so
Tomorrow creeps ever so quickly
Swallowing whole your today
And then it is gone.

A century ago we lived as we do now.
People made memories
Pondered regrets
And lived lives like generations past.
The same lives
Always the same.
And now in today’s world
A world recycled by time,
The same lessons are being lived
The same lessons learned
Only to be lost again
To time.

© 2009, Tim (P) Prendeville


I love the warmth of a rising sun
The night slipping beneath it’s blanket
Bringing dreams to others in far off places.
While all the while
In my waking state
My dreams live on.

The fortunate ones are all the while aware
That good fortune smiles upon them.
Those lucky few live in days present.
While those not knowing,
Long for days past,
Oblivious to the knowledge
Their good old days are slipping by.

When the comfort of a rocking chair
Or a seat well tethered
Gives time to reflect,
How will you ponder your life?
How will it read?
Will you be one of the fortunate ones,
Or one of the others?
Will you have chosen life,
Or will life have chosen you?

I love the night
I embrace it
The quiet
The shadows
The stillness
The peace
The slowing of time.
Tomorrow can wait
Today is still living.

© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville

Trapped (song lyrics version)

Where are you now,
In these every days?
Are you still you and living
As I used to know?

Give me back those days,
My today’s I will trade,
For they just pass and fill my moments,

Outside eyes are peering
Seeing only prim rose shadows.
I am hiding from the world
A life unseen,
Oh I am hiding
A life unseen.

I am growing old,
Life is too,
And I am weary for a past
That’s lost along with you..

Release me to that past
Where I belong with you
My one and only one
I let slip away.

Outside eyes are peering
Seeing only prim rose shadows.
I am hiding from the world
A life unseen,
Oh I am hiding
A life unseen.

© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville

Without Wings (alternate)

I would like to think it not my fault
My life resigned to role of minion
Too little discipline
Too much time
Too little foresight
In my prime

Whatever the reason
Life has moved on
And I punch a clock
And I serve my time
And I grind an anvil
And I wait in line

I have a regiment of should haves
And could haves
And would haves
But they have grown old
And tired,
And so have I

© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville

A Life Recalled

How will you measure your life
How will you set the scene
How will you temper those days
Those days
Those days that define you

How will you answer those questions
How will your legacy read
How will you chisel  and fashion
Those days
Those days that define you

How will you speak of those days
How will you measure your words
How will your conscience remember
Those days
Those days that define you

How will the listener see you
How will your words be received
How will your version resemble
Those days
Those days that define you

When I look back at my life
Which story shall I tell
A story of fanciful flight and fairytales
Or the one which shows flaws?
When words can sculpt
Will I mold anew
Those days
Those days that define me

When I look back at my life …

© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville

The Watch

Sometime this year, probably because I became a little obsessed with the passage of time in my own life, I began purchasing antique watches on E-bay.  One of the watches I purchased was from a man who was selling off all of his father’s belongings; I can only assume that he had died.  It struck me as odd that the man would be selling his dad’s watch, a watch he had worn through all of World War II as a Co-pilot on a B-17 in Europe.  With the watch came it’s history (I asked all kinds of questions) and I was able to find photographs online of the actual plane, the crew, and the father.  What drove the son to sell the watch?  From that watch comes this poem … I don’t know how accurate, if at all, the story is that I tell of the watch … but …

Sifting through your life,
Those trinkets and treasures you cherished,
Each now for sale
To strangers who will perhaps wonder,
Who was this man that once lived.

Your watch still turns,
Ticking time ticking time
Ticking time away,
Oblivious to your passing
As I was to your living.

Black and white photos scattered,
Show a young man smiling.
That is not the man I knew.
That is not the man you became.
I never met this man.

When you were young,
And owned the world,
Did you feel as I do now?
Will I too grow old and embittered,
Resentful of a youth adrift in time?

I could keep your watch,
And wear it all my life,
As did you through yours.
It could be a reminder to me,
That I once had a father,
But I wont.

© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville

Random Thought

We are all our parents’ children, for good or for bad; the  trick is to find ourselves without letting go.

© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville

Half Way?

I made my will today.
A will!
Am I really that old?
Has my life slipped by so fast?
Sure wasn’t I young just yesterday?
Sure wasn’t there nothing I couldn’t do,
And no one I couldn’t topple?
And the world outside,
Was it not still simple?
And sure wasn’t life still real and for the taking,
For a man not yet in hiding?

© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville


I remember Tahoe,
We were young.
I remember our friends,
They young too.
I remember our parents,
Together still.
I remember our future,
We still owned it.
And I remember secrets.

I remember Avalon,
Our lost weekend.
I remember a good book in hand,
The one you gave me.
I remember you smiling,
No trace of betrayal.
I remember a tent left open,
Though the night was cold.
And I remember secrets.

I remember,
The innocence.
I remember,
The moments.
I remember,
The living.
I remember,
The future.
I remember,
The secrets.

© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville

Tick Tock

My daughters.
    But for how long?

Time is not my friend.
It tiptoes
    Sure of pace
It whispers
    "Cherish your time"
It counsels
    "You write your own story"
It does not retreat
    It never has
    It never will

"Should haves and could haves"
	Endlessly pondered.
"Once upon a times"
    Those pondered too.
“One of these days”
    The words of a dreamer.
“When I was young”
    Long lost to the past.

Be happy where you are
    Or change it

(C) 2008, Tim Prendeville

The Writer

For years now they have come
These late night conversations
Between past and present
A soul still seeking direction
But never asking

Such patience we humans can show
It masks our fear of confrontation.
Be damned the consequences
Our days are too short
To pander to endless folly

Am I not unlike any other
In crisis behind closed doors
But smiling to the world?
Family harmony is a thirty minute sitcom
The real world is somewhat different

I am tired now.
Leave me be to me and my own
No more endless drama
No more late night slurs
No more
No more.

© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville

Bum on a bridge

From my little patch of the American dream
I watch them all roll by.
I do not envy them
Wrapped up in their little bubbles
Scurrying here and there
Likes ants to sugar.

Some look but most do not
And when they do
It is with pity
You have it wrong my friends
You are the ones to be pitied.
Your lives are lived by rules
Rules not of your making
Little bells and whistles
Beckon you here and there
To destinations and appointments
That lead to nowhere

My life is simple
I walk with my head down
Eyes averted
Wits intact
I am all but forgotten
In a world that has no soul

(C) 2008, Tim Prendeville

Moments Lived

I have many firsts
I hold them close
They keep me young
If not in body
At least in mind

My first crush
A lesson in life
Learned well.
Not all is for the taking

My first kiss
The feeling of a hand in mine
Accepting me
For me

My first days in that big world
The one my mother spoke of,
Walking the streets of London
And finding no gold.
The grass is never greener

My first hard lesson learned
On the Spanish Steps in Rome,
A romantic place for some
A brush with death for others.
Lifetimes are sometimes short-lived

My first true love
Fast and fleeting,
Ultimately tragic
Defined by moments
Now lived in fanciful daydreams

My first great loss
Life’s reminder
That all of this is not permanent
And preparation … though wise … is futile
Where matters of the heart are concerned.

My first true fear
What is it I will leave behind?
What memories will my children hold
Of a father who struggles
In a world no longer his own

(C) 2008, Tim Prendeville




Those summer days have long since passed
Those days when I was young
And free of ties
And cares and worries of this world.

In that summer I had a plan
Though roughly sketched
And adrift in the aloofness of youth,
It was clear to me.

My life since then,
Two decades now,
Has rambled and sauntered
And led me far from home.

Where has your plan led you?
Has it fallen by that wayside
Rubbing shoulders and keeping company
With the isolation that life can sometimes bring?

Where has your journey brought you?
Where have your hopes been parked?
Where have your dreams been sold?
Or is it as you always thought it would be?

(C) 2008, Tim Prendeville

The In-laws


Home for the holidays
The show begins.
A crowded house
Filled with strangers
And memories that have died.

That one there
Such pomp and flare.
God forgive the thoughts that run amuck
In this weary mind of mine.
Damn the laws and morals that keep her here.

And him,
How far he has watched us fall.
Beyond his reach now
Beyond the precipice of reason
And family bonds.

Curse the sham of hugs and handshakes
And the smiles that betray truths.
If honesty ruled the day
Change would be fast
And binding.

(C) 2008, Tim Prendeville

The Stairs

Closing his eyes he drifts,

And hears the laughter.

The past drifts in and lingers

And grasping at the moment

He sighs.

Standing now his eyes take in the mantel

Moments in time

Frozen in time

They alone in their lives

He alone in his.

Hand on rail he climbs the stairs

And recalls when they were new.

Sixteen steps from bottom to top

So many footprints

All in the past.

Top of the stairs

He pauses.

And looking to the attic

Remembers Christmas days and decorations

And sounds of children.

The house is quiet

The past is gone

He lives alone with his memories

And alone with his thoughts

And a conscience that will not sleep.

© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville


Forgive me for my present

Give me back my past

It is there I am living

With you

The one who got away.

Where are you now,

In these every days?

Are you still you

And living

As I used to know?

Give me back those days,

My today’s I will trade,

For they just pass

And fill my moments,


Outside eyes are peering

Seeing only prim rose shadows.

I am hiding from the world

A life unseen,

A life lost.

I am growing old,

Life too,

And I am weary,


Weary for a past


© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville

Phonecalls from the past

When I was a child

Life was good

And lived in moments


But that was then.

In my days of now

Too many times

Life comes calling


This is how I live.

Was life so good

In those good old days

Of which I speak

So often?

Or just the innocence of youth?

The emotions of confliction

All too familiar

In my everyday life

Haunt me

And hide me from the world.

Where is my world

The one I dreamed of

Before life took hold

And trapped me

In a present

Fixed in the past?

© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville

Time Lines

Time soothes

Distance too

Memories rise

And fall

Emotions quarrel

Questions abound

No more running home to mommy.

© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville

Don’t Grow Up Too Soon


Don’t run in the house,

This isn’t a race track.

Don’t grow up too soon.


 Pick up your toys, 

Your room’s like a bomb site. 

Don’t grow up too soon.


 Eat what you’re given, 

There isn’t a menu. 

Don’t grow up too soon.


 No talking while eating, 

Mind your manners. 

Don’t grow up too soon.


 Eat all your veggies, 

Or you’ll get no dessert. 

Don’t grow up too soon.


 Brush your teeth, 

The dentist’s not cheap. 

Don’t grow up too soon.


 That’s not how you do it, 

You must pay attention! 

Don’t grow up too soon.


Would you please keep it down, 

I’m watching the ball game. 

Don’t grow up too soon.


 Pick up your clothes, 

I’m not your maid.

Don’t grow up too soon.


 Don’t talk back,

 Just sit there and listen.

Don’t grow up too soon.


Do as you’re told,

While you’re under this roof.

Don’t grow up too soon.


My, the house is real quiet,

Where are the kids?


© 2007, Tim (P) Prendeville

Stolen Moments

Another early morning sunrise

Daylight yawns and slowly rises

It’s warmth a welcome caller.

An extra day in paradise.

It is good to be alive

The garden dew resembles raindrops

It takes me home awhile

To call on a past I ran through

This time unhurried.

The road is long

Nothing stirs now

The stillness of first light lingers

Memories visit and rest awhile.

They give me comfort

Shelter from the world

All is quiet

Save my thoughts

This is the time to delight in

Before daytime deeds intrude.

These moments are my own

Outside a hurried world awaits.

The masses will soon rush forth,

The puppet show begin.

It is not as it should be

It is not as it could be

It is early morning

It is a new day

I am alive and life is good.

My time will not be hurried

It is my own

© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville

Dark Clouds

Take away these clouds
All day long they hang.
Give me a clear sky
One that offers hope
That all will once again be fine.

Let me feel the warmth
Of memories relived
The way I remember them.
Let me visit a while
An imaginary world long gone.

Take from my life the naysayers
The well to do begrudgers
The ones who hold me back
Those who count their way through life
Let me be

Where is that person
The one I always spoke of
The one I said I would become
So many years ago
Before I met the world.

Let the race be long
I have much to do
I have only now awakened
And seen the world for real.
It is not what I thought it would be.

© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville


Firsts and Lasts

I remember our first day together

It is as clear to me now as our last.

You were smiling

Lost in a moment

And I, lost in my youth



I remember two people on a silly road

Far from home

And the ties that bind

Free from prying eyes

Values and morals

Letting things be.


I remember the thrill of youth

The carefree thoughts of those early days

In a time where age allowed adventure

And the world held no fear.

It was in those days that we began our journey



I remember the things we shared

Those things we found along the way.

Trinkets and gems of time

Precious only to the few

That through the years

Became our own.


I remember good times spent

It is those I take with me;

My todays bring their own pain.

Leave the past as it is

It has led to roads otherwise unknown

It has brought me here.


I remember our last day together

Going through the motions

Of watching a life disappear.

And saying goodbye

And knowing it was final

And feeling lost.


© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville

The last breath


For much of my life I was fortunate,
And within the oblivious beauty of ignorance
I lived my days unaffected by your reach.
But you were patient,
You bided your time
You had no rush.
With a cold impassioned precision
You went about your business.

From time to time our paths would cross
But we never did converse.
It was a blessing I counted too quickly,
And took far too much for granted.
When you did come calling,
It was not by invitation.
Like a thief in the night
You let yourself in.

You defined a life with your touch
Pushing aside all that came before.
That which once was happy
Will forever now be seen with sadness.
And those forced to the fringes,
With smiles and hushed voices
All the while watched,
All the while waited.

Life’s pendulum should be unseen
The history of our tos and fros,
Not displayed for all to see
Like pages from a book.
Life should be lived in the moment,
One that has always been now.
It should not be lived in fear of a day
Beyond our choosing.

You had but one redeeming quality
The gift of goodbye,
But it came with such a price.
With a cold impassioned precision
You set to work.
Year to year
Month to month
Week to week
Day to day
Hour to hour
Minute to minute.

© 2008, Tim (P) Prendeville

The Apple Trees


When I was born my parents planted a tree.
It came to be known as my tree.
They planted five in all
And each was named

They have grown much since then
And as if to mimic life
Some are big
Some are small
Some reach high
Some not so tall
But the roots in each are strong.

In summer they all bear fruit
And limbs grow heavy.
But branches long since merged
Have made them strong
Intertwined like vines on a wall.
In years past the fruit was always used
But these days it often spoils
Resigned to blanket a garden no longer played in.

The sights and sounds of autumn are familiar.
Birds busying themselves with plans for winter
Hopping from tree to tree comparing notes
All the while whistling a tune.
A final clearing of the garden.
One more cut and raking of the lawn.
Each tree a trimming of its branches.
Seasonal changes bring seasonal chores.

Winter paints it’s own picture.
The lonely months.
The trees are without life.
There is no fruit.
There are no birds to speak of.
They are alone with themselves
With visitors very few
Save the crows that never leave.

Spring again the garden feels renewed.
The trees begin to bloom with life returned.
Shaking off Jack Frost and winter slumber
They stretch.
Another year has passed.
The trees have grown.
But I remember them when they were small.
Sometimes … I wish they still were.

© 2007, Tim (P) Prendeville

Familiar Paths


Walk with me these traveled roads

Familiar scenes unchanged through time

Places from the past

Shared by generations.


Let the silence bring us closer

Me alone with my thoughts

Life’s confusion left behind

And you beside me


Such irony we live with through life

That which makes us happy

Will with time such sadness bring.

Evolution’s weakest link


Life is a story each day we weave

Write it well and read it often

It is a tale others will tell

It is what we leave behind


Tomorrow is for fools with little pitchers

Today is for the brave

Unafraid of facing truths well tested.

The moment has always been now


Give me understanding

Give me acceptance

Give me freedom

Give me peace


© 2007, Tim (P) Prendeville

Without Wings

If I had studied more in school

I would have more answers than questions.

But I didn’t

So I don’t.

I flittered my days away

With little regard for learning.

I don’t know why

But I did.


I would like to think it not my fault

My life resigned to the role of minion.

Too much chalk dust

Too much lead paint

Too much asbestos

Too many beatings

Whatever the reason,

The friendly skies of knowledge remained aloft.


Now I am grown and life has moved on.

I punch a clock

I grind an anvil

I serve my time.

I have a regiment of should haves

And could haves and would haves

But they too have grown tired.

I wish I had paid more attention in school.


© 2007, Tim (P) Prendeville

The Mantelpiece Dwellers

Who are these people,

The mantelpiece dwellers,

Sitting there in judgment,

Witnessing our lives.


Are they content,

Sitting silently by,

All the while watching,

Frozen in time.


I do not envy you,

Posed there for all to see,

Grasping at futility,

Generations removed.


When I am gone,

Give me the comfort of a drawer,

And let me go.

Keep the mantelpiece for the living.


© 2007, Tim (P) Prendeville

Paddy in America

A mix of dread,

A touch of fear,

A dash of youth,

But no regrets,

Paddy stepped off the plane.


Reagan was out,

Bush was in,

Gas was cheap,

America safe,

Paddy was living the dream.


Still in his twenties,

Skinny and charming,

Working for cash,

Under the table,

Paddy’s best friend was illegal.


Quick trip to Tahoe,

She said “I do”

Music and dancing,

Then off to Hawaii,

Paddy was getting the green card.


She stayed in college,

He made the money,

She graduated,

Then booted him out,

Paddy was back where he started.


Moved onto a sailboat,

In Santa Cruz Harbor,

Five years of College,

Then four on the road,

Paddy had entered his thirties.


Married again,

Back to the homeland,

Two children later,

Ran back to the States,

Paddy stayed home and did laundry.


Happily married,

Two kids that like him,

Comfortable living,

Writing again,

Paddy is finally happy.


© 2007, Tim (P) Prendeville

The Rain

I love the sound of rain
It comforts me
Like an unfiltered cigarette
Or a Sunday morning beer.

I love to stand in the rain
It is my sanctuary
Sheltered beneath my raincoat
Hidden from the world.

I love to watch the rain,
It is a portal to my youth,
When from my bedroom window,
I would look and wonder.

I love to walk in the rain
It takes me places from my past
It reminds me of where I came from
All those years ago.

I took a walk tonight
It rained and I heard my mother call
“Put the rubbish out”
And I was home again.

© 2007, Tim (P) Prendeville

The Ones We Leave Behind

The house slips into quiet,

It’s redwood clock the only sound.

And waking from a restless sleep,

He curses in the night.


The room feels cold and empty,

And he shivers as he stands.

Outside beneath the streetlight

An Irish drizzle dances.


He slides his chair back into place,

And puts the room to sleep.

And shuffling to the kitchen,

He sighs.


Gazing through the window,

Two chairs by a tree,

Under a winter moon,

Sit empty.


Christmas will be coming soon


© 2007, Tim Prendeville



I’ve walked in San Francisco,
And sailed from Monterey.
I’ve seen Santorini sunsets,
That took my breath away.

You were always there with me.

I’ve won more times in life than lost,
And laughed more times than cried.
I’ve needed help along the way,
In you I did confide.

You were always there for me.

I’ve learned that life is sometimes hard,
And often unforgiving.
I’ve struggled through some wretched days,
But somehow kept on living.

Your strength showed me how.

I’ve learned the facts of life are firm,
And void of all emotion.
I’ve woken to a new day now,
My stream has found its ocean.

You taught me well.

It’s your turn now so rest awhile,
Let your children bear the load.
Lean softly on our shoulders,
We’ll start you on your road.

I will always keep you near.

The daffodils have no flutter
The rose is bleeding black
The woods are cold and empty
The road is quiet tonight

© 2007, Tim (P) Prendeville

Mom battles her camera ... again










  Thoughts From A Rocking Chair 











































  Posted November 27, 2007 by tim prendeville in "Prose / Poetry". Tagged: , , , , , , , , .






















I have become old.
I am that person from my youth,
The one my parents knew.
I am an elder.

I do not hurry anymore.
I live my life at my own pace,
And each day like there is no tomorrow.
I live for this moment.

I do not worry anymore.
My days of stress are gone.
I have no deadlines,
Nor quotas to meet,
I answer only to me.

I am responsible for my own happiness.
I have loved and been loved,
I have laughed and given laughter.
I still have more to give.

I will look back at my life,
I will make amends if they need making.
I will let go of all regrets.
I cannot change the past.

© 2007, Tim Prendeville

Dear God: Just Checking In

How does this go again?

Should I kneel?

Should I bless myself?

I used to as a kid.

I’ve been away a long time.

I wonder how that happened.

How long since my last confession?

Has it been that long?

1) “I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me”

Well, I think I’m ok with the First Commandment.

But if I could offer a suggestion?

Given the state of the world,

Could you make your intentions a little clearer?

2) “Do not make an image or any likeness of what is in the heavens above…”

I haven’t carved any statues lately, so Two looks good.

And bowing down is so un-Irish.

I’m with you in the vengeance area,

And I’ve compiled quite a collection of names myself.

3) “Do not swear falsely by the name of the LORD…”

Number Three I’m no good with,

I never have been,

And I know I never will be.

I’m hoping for a special dispensation on this one.

) “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy”

Number Four looks ok.

Although you might bear in mind the times we live in.

My expenses are soaring and my checkbook’s a joke.

You may have gotten by on six days, but margins are smaller now.

5) “Honor your father and your mother…”

Number Five has gotten easier for me, only father left now.

Mom died of cancer this year.

She led a good life.

I guess you had your reasons, but you could have been easier on her.

6) “Do not murder”

Number Six is intact, no killing done here.

That’s not to say a good beating hasn’t crossed my mind.

Just look at some of the people that make the news.

Is that a sin?

7) “Do not commit adultery.”

Just me and the wife Lord,

So Seven’s just fine.

As long as she’ll have me,

It’s her for all time … Well, Larry David’s definition of all time.

8) “Do not steal.”

Number Eight is complicated.

How do you feel about white theft?

OK, I took a menu from the Trident hotel in Kinsale.

Forgive me?

9) “Do not bear false witness against your neighbor”

Number Nine is still intact.

My neighbors have nothing to fear from me.

It’s an isolated world these days Lord.

I don’t even know the names of their kids

10) “Thou shall not covet thy neighbor.”

Number Ten can be hard at times.

I struggle like most people to make ends meet.

For a while I’d like not to.

And I’m okay with that.

© 2007, Tim (P) Prendeville

What If (Alternate)

What if you had returned an hour earlier?

Would you have turned and walked away?

Would you have said goodbye?

What if you had stayed on the camp site that day?
Would you still be touring Europe?

Would your mom still have a son?

What if you had asked me not to leave?

Would Utrecht be my home?

Would you still be the one?

What if we never met in college?

Would our lives be that much different?

Would happiness have found us so easily?

What if you had one more Christmas morning?

Would you make us all some breakfast?

Would we know to make it last?

What if you could change the past?

Would you let the present go?

Could you live with that?

© 2007, Tim (P) Prendeville

What If

What if you had caught the early plane,
And seen me there with her?

Would you have turned and walked away?
Would you have even said goodbye?


What if you had stayed home that day,

And left the Spanish Steps to someone else?

Would you have made it home for Christmas?

Would your mom still have a son?


What if you asked me not to leave,

And I had stayed and worked things out?

Would I be riding bikes and speaking Dutch?

Would you still be the one?


What if you never shared that seat with me,

And our days were spent apart.

Would our lives be that much different?

Would happiness have found us so easily?


What if you had one more Christmas,

And we could share some time with you.

Would you make us all some breakfast?

Would we know to make it last?


What if we could be happy,

And see that life is good.

Would each day that we are given,

Be all we know it could?


© 2007, Tim (P) Prendeville

You and I

When next we do meet,

Shall we smile like all is well,

And let life go on?

© 2007, Tim Prendeville

Wasted Time

I saw you walking on Main Street.

You were wearing that smirk again.

What is it about your airs

That bother me so?


I remember a time of simplicity,

Before life’s complications.

More the fool I

That I ever kept score.


And now?

Too many wasted moments.

My resolve is one of surrender

To each their own. 

© 2007, Tim Prendeville

No More Tomorrows / Song Lyrics / Country

Our portrait on the wall
Doesn’t look like us at all
You’ve changed the way you look at me
Your eyes they tell it all
The way that you’ve been lovin’ me
It just doesn’t feel the same
As the day when we walked down the aisle
The day you took my name.

For me there’s no tomorrow
The sun will never shine
Unless you’re there beside me
With me for all time.

Why are you so distant
Why do I feel so small
Why do you still hold me
When I feel no love at all
Why can’t you be honest
The writings on the wall
If we have no tomorrow
Then let’s just end it all.

I remember when all I wanted
Was to get on home to you
The daytimes always dragged along
Seems that’s all that they would do
But at night time when I’d hold you close
All my worries slipped away
There are no more nights like that my love
Now we’ve got nothin’ left to say.

Today I’ve seen the future
And I’m standin’ all alone
With no one there beside me
I’m facing the unknown.

Why are you so distant
Why do I feel so small
Why do you still hold me
When there is no love at all
My darling let’s be honest
The writings on the wall
There’ll be no more tomorrows
Let’s just end it all.

© 2007, Tim Prendeville

Woodvale Road

I remember Woodvale Road when it was young.
Houses had large gardens
The fences were low
And neighbors talked to each other.
There were open spaces for kids to play
Toys lay scattered on lawns at night
Doors may or may not have been locked
And everyone slept soundly.

I remember going home after late nights out with friends
And walking the last stretch of Woodvale Road with shoes in hand,
Careful not to alert parents or neighbors to our near dawn returns.
The stillness that night time brings is not suited to teenagers.
The front door lock was always tricky
Poised to betray my entry.
Did you ever hear me?

I remember I’d always stop at the foot of the stairs
And listen for the familiar creak of floorboards,
A signal that someone had heard me.
And sneaking to the kitchen to satisfy alcohol induced hunger
That only food from a mother’s fridge can quell.
In my minds eye I can still see our little kitchen,
I can even smell it.
Mushy peas soaking on the stove top,
Potatoes peeled and soaking in a pot,
Trifle setting in the fridge,
And silence.
Absolute silence.

Many years have passed since those early mornings on Woodvale Road.
Children no longer play there now
Toys no longer cover lawns
The houses all have gates
And trees circle the gardens.
The neighbors are not how I remember them,
They have aged and walk a little slower.
Kids that once ran so carefree have long since grown and moved to other places
And doors are locked by day.
Woodvale Road does not sleep so soundly anymore
And neither do I.

© 2007, Tim Prendeville

The Clothes Line

One of the last things my mom said before she died was,
“I was at my happiest when I was hanging out the washing.”

I know of a little pathway you used to walk
I’ve walked it many times myself
I never knew it gave you so much joy
I never knew it was your solace.

How many times do you suppose you walked on that path?
Up and down come rain or come shine.
How many problems pottered around your mind?
How many did you solve?

When it was young it could see for miles
The wind could blow
The sun cast no shadows
It had purpose.

But now it is old and overtaken by life
It no longer sees so far
It’s keeper gone.
No one uses clothes lines anymore.

© 2007, Tim Prendeville

All Grown Up

I met you sometime back,

I think you had just turned 40.

And as I watched you walk towards me,

I could see you had no hurry.

It was not a carefree walk,

More like you were questioning your direction.

And though all around you there were people,

You never asked which way to turn.

What brought you here?

Was it just life?

Which way did you come by?

Did you get lost?

Are you still lost?

© 2007, Tim (P) Prendeville











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