Quietly Cultured

Musings and contemplations of a gentleman without direction.

Thomas McNeeney

If I could move the hands of time,
For a moment that would just be mine.

I’d move them back just a few years,
To a time in life with far less tears.

Because how I’d smile to know I can,
Have one last drink with that old man.

We’d sit in silence, he & I,
And slowly watch the world go by.

Just one last drink, to say cheers,
For being there, for all those years.

One last hour, so that you knew,
Just how much that I’m missing you.

But if I got there, I’m pretty sure,
I’d stick around for just one more.

Until the tiny hours, after several fights,
We’d have put the world to rights.

And when I go, I won’t be sad,
I’d have the most worthwhile hangover I’ll ever have.


Oh lord how I wish I can,
Go for one last drink,
With that old man.

- Thomas McNeeney

She’s the butterflies in my stomach dancing,
She’s the goosebumps on my arms raising,
She’s the hair on the back of my neck standing,
She’s the involuntary smile to myself.


I never notice when she’s not there.

- Thomas McNeeney

Send me down the road my dear, with nought but gin in hand,

And I will find a new life dear, leave the life I’d planned.

I’d walk, happy with my choices, not doing as I was told,

Making friends along the way, I’d walk happy down the road.

Though that road it may be dangerous & underfoot may crack,

My spirit will pick me up again, for I won’t be coming back.

And walk I shall. Never stopping to settle or stay,

I’ll simply pack my things with a “I must be on my way”,

When I’ve walked it all, till I’m grey & old,

Take my dusty bones and toss them on the road.

- Thomas McNeeney

There’s a moment when I’m woken, by a ringing in my ear,

And a taste I can’t identify, somewhere between an ashtray & the fear.

There’s a moment of hesitation, is this the fault of mine or of the beer?

And at this painful moment, a sound from someone near,

Says ‘I didn’t think you’d still be here’.

- Thomas McNeeney

My feelings are so very far away from yours.

Not by distance but by time.

I’m still living in a past where nothing went wrong.

And we were happy.

You moved on.

Though you’re not happy.

So we’re quite close in that respect.

- Thomas McNeeney

She smiles. I melt.

She laughs. It’s music

She bites her bottom lip. Heart racing

She looks into my eyes. I’m home

She leaves. I should have said something.

- Thomas McNeeney

“Death is a horrid, vicious, destructive thing. That comes to us all and we can never escape. And no matter how many times we meet with her, she’s never any more welcome or her arrival any easier.”

My hand shakes, from deep within.

Like the earth shakes. Earthquakes.

Causing damage.

Causing problems.

Forces controlling nerves, connected to bones,

running like rivers down to fingertips.

Shaking because of the drink. The Drugs. The endless late nights. The Fear.

Yet here I am again, drink in shaking hand.

Forcing through smiles & false pleasantries.

You look great, we should catch up. I miss you.

I love you.

Lies. Twisted lies from a twisted mind.

Bent beyond repair but carefully held together

with a dangerously strong drink.

          - Thomas McNeeney

Found in my notebook after a houseparty.

She’s sitting on the sofa now,

Lighting cigarettes with matches,

Singing to some man’s guitar,

So I start to doubt my chances.

And sneaking to the bedroom now,

She’s leaving me behind,

In a kitchen full of strangers,

With disappointment on my mind.

- Thomas McNeeney

What I’ll Tell My Children.

Hopefully there will come a time in life,

When I’ve settled down & have a wife.

When the memories of my youth are sewn,

I’ll start a family of my own.

After my adventures have long since past,

My memories of these days will last.

All those people I had the pleasure to meet,

Remembered in the stories I repeat.

The ones who changed this life of mine,

Immortalised when it comes to bedtime.

For McNeeney children, tucked in bed,

Will have the most amazing stories read.

Of places traveled & cities seen,

The locations that will fill their dreams.

And populate each & every night,

With tales of ones who changed my life.

And those who’s bodies long since gone,

Through bedtimes stories will live on.

But I’ll stress to them in tender voices,

"Take care not to make the same bad choices,

Don’t let your passions be subsided,

Or let yourself be narrow minded”

I will kiss them gently on the head,

And say now, may darlings time for bed.

There’ll be no princes or witches in this cast,

Just people from their parent’s past.

No made up kingdoms in far off lands,

But places they can see first hand.

I’ll tell them “Now children please take care,

The real villains are out there,

But the good folk are all around,

And so much adventure to be found”

They will meet all the stars of these great tales,

Who’ll fill them in on more details.

Sit them on their knee & whisper “By the way,

I know your Dad gets carried away,

But listen to what he has to say,

And you can have tales of your own one day”

Out into the world they will go,

To see things only they will know.

Until when I am old & grey,

Which comes to us all some day,

And the roles we, years ago rehearsed,

Find themselves reversed.

Son’s & daughters tell their dad,

Of the adventures they have had.

Of all the places they all have seen,

Of distant places they have been.

Reminding me of stories I have said,

But in my age I now forget.

Bringing me back for just a while,

To my brilliant friends & days of style.

Letting me relive, just once more,

The wonderful things I’ve done before.

Then they’ll kiss me gently on the head,

And whisper “Dad, now it’s time for bed”