Have you ever been to Mars?” I was asked one morning at 2am as I made my way up east 81st. street in Manhattan. I was returning home from a night out at Manny’s Car Wash, a favorite blues bar on 2nd avenue. I stopped and heard it again, louder this time, “Have you ever been to Mars?” Looking around I couldn’t see anyone and was beginning to wonder if perhaps I needed to have my hearing checked. Peering intently at the wall on my right, I noticed something move in a darkened doorway. Moving closer, I could make out the outline of a huddled figure lying there. As I got nearer I saw that it was a shabbily dressed man with long, unkempt brown hair and a beard.

A dirty plaster cast covered his right arm from shoulder to wrist. “Are you alright?” I asked. “Can you help me to get up?” was his reply. Grasping his left arm I pulled him upright and held him until he steadied himself. As his face drew level with mine, the eerie, yellow light of a nearby streetlamp formed a halo around his head. I was startled by the brightness of his clear, piercing, blue eyes. He seemed to have a glow about him, maybe it was just a trick of the light, but at that moment a thought flashed through my mind and gave me such a jolt… This man looks just like Jesus!

I brought him home with me and after eating and showering he slept on my couch. I left one of my shirts, a pair of jeans with twenty dollars in a pocket, a jacket, socks and a pair of old sneakers on the end table beside the couch and then went to bed. I woke the next morning and found that he was gone. On the coffee table lay a large manila envelope. He had written the first half of a short poem using a pencil, in a childlike scrawl on the back of the envelope. At the bottom he wrote, “Thank you for your kindness. I wrote this for us and I’m leaving it for you to finish. Until we meet again,” Gabriel Molloy.

*note This is the completed version.


Dreaming of the planet Mars,

Wistfully thinking upon fallen stars.

I found myself behind prison bars,

with Molloy and Jesus, showing our scars and

remembering the magical nights

in those wild Irish bars.

Searching for paradise, our souls on ice,

choosing virtue over vice.

We remade the divine sacrifice

by being all too human,

me and Molloy.


Traveling through time and space

seeking the original universe,

and finding a sacred place

to sing of the blessings

and to nurse the curse.

See how to be.

Let the light set you free.

Eternal now,

shining into the black and blue void

on this good, godly night.

Live and let live is all there is,

the road less traveled He chose,

having no choice.

To become the ultimate sacrifice

For me and Molloy.

John A Brennan and Gabriel Molloy. 2001

From  "The Journey: A Nomad Reflects."

Available at: 


Views: 567

Tags: Poetry

Heritage Partner
Comment by That's Just How It Was on April 2, 2016 at 4:19pm

What a lovely poem by a man who you gave succor too. What is even more important is the fact that you reached out to another human being in his hour of need....  Take a bow JAB I am applauding you here  in the UK , you deserve it .

Comment by Claire Fullerton on April 2, 2016 at 8:19pm

Certainly divinely inspired, but I expect this of our dear Mr. Brennan.

Comment by John Anthony Brennan on April 2, 2016 at 9:50pm

Thanks again Mary Thorpe for the kind words. I was just passing on a kindness done for me many times in my own life.

Comment by John Anthony Brennan on April 2, 2016 at 9:51pm

Thank you Ms Fullerton. And yes, divine intervention was the force.

Comment by Daniel P Quinn on April 3, 2016 at 1:20pm

You are fortunate and kind.  I was in a very similar spot a 3 years ago, and shared my space w a homeless man for about 10 days.  Things went down hill quickly when he pilfered half the heirlooms and paintings in my rented room.  Last night he went into a crack induced rage, and assaulted me. Police intervened.  I did not press         charges, because he knew where I lived, and I was afraid it could happen again.

Comment by Jean Sullivan Cardinal on April 3, 2016 at 1:33pm


Heritage Partner
Comment by That's Just How It Was on April 6, 2016 at 6:59am

Daniel P Quinn....................The thought and care that you provided for a homeless man , will  be rewarded to you, not by this man obliviously... It is this though and car.. that JAB showed above also... that gives me hope for all human kind. /// Sorry that you suffered in the process of your kindness .



You need to be a member of The Wild Geese to add comments!

Join The Wild Geese

The Wild Geese Shop

Get your Wild Geese merch here ... shirts, hats, sweatshirts, mugs, and more at The Wild Geese Shop.

Irish Heritage Partnership


Extend your reach with The Wild Geese Irish Heritage Partnership.

Congrats to Our Winners


  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2021   Created by Gerry Regan.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service