Images Of Ireland

Poetry

I Don't See Annie Anymore

Standing by the red rust gate
where it joins onto the post.
Waiting on a Saturday
for the time I loved the most.

The Derry bus crawls over Drim
It's progress like the clock.
Perhaps it won't reach Rushfield Lane
or maybe it won't stop.

Granny's voice calls laughing
"Any sign of her?"
Sleeves rolled up from baking
and apron full of flour.

 


Aunt Annie & Me

Up top the post I scramble
Eyes keen like the hawk.
My Aunt Annie's coming
around big Rushfield rock.

With comic books and chocolate bars
and company for play.
Annie made it heaven
On a summer Saturday.

But trees and time have covered up
unlike those days before.
I cannot see the big rock.
And I don't see Annie anymore.

Copyright 2000 Owen Brennan


Rushfield lane where it comes around the big rock, Innishowen, County Donegal 
by Owen Brennan

This Place Called Ireland

 

"So peaceful and calmly this place it seems to be,
Yet I stare at it sadly for its thru a picture I see,
this land far,far away from mine
I watch the clock in patient time
for someday soon I'll touch the sand
of this calm place called Ireland.
 
I can hear the Atlantic pounding so hard
I can see the sun set by a still grave yard.
I can feel the mist of a small seaport.
I can feel the awe of Powerscourt*.
 
I can feel the releif of the dew-settled field
that in due time its crops will yield.
I can hear the wolves crying out on the moor.
I can taste the taste of the streams so pure
So, someday soon, (I'm hoping) I'll be able to stand,
and say I've finally made it to this place called Ireland."
 
Copyright Chantal O'Connor
*Powerscourt is a mansion near the region of the rivers Dargle, Glencree, and Glencullen. 

 

The Sick Note

Dear Sir, I write this note to you to tell you of my plight
For at the time of writing, I'm not a pretty sight
Me body is all black and blue, me face a deathly gray
And I write this note to say why Murphy's not at work today

While working on the 14th floor, some bricks I had to clear
But to toss them down from such a height was not a good idea
The foreman wasn't very pleased, he is an awkward sod
He said I'd have to cart them down the ladders in me hod.

Now shifting all those bricks by hand it was so very slow
So I hoisted up a barrel and secured a rope below
But in me haste to do the job I was to blind to see
That a barrel full of building bricks was heavier than me

And so when I untied the rope, the barrel fell like lead
And clinging tightly to the rope, I started up instead
I shot up like a rocket, till my dismay I found
That half-way up I met the barrel coming down

Now the barrel broke me shoulder, as to the ground it sped
And when I reached the top, I banged the pulley with me head
I clung on tightly numb with shock, from this almighty blow
And the barrel spilled out half the bricks some 14 floors below

Now! when these bricks had fallen from the barrel to the floor
I then outweighed the barrel and so started down once more
Still clinging tightly to the rope, me body wracked with pain
And half way down I met the bloody barrel once again

Now the force of this collision half way down the office block
Caused multiple abrasions and a nasty state of shock
Still clinging tightly to the rope, I fell towards the ground
And I landed on the broken bricks scattered all around

I lay there groaning on the ground, I thought I'd past the worst
But the barrel hit the pulley wheel and then the bottom burst
A shower of bricks rained down on me, I didn't have a hope
As I lay there bleeding on the ground I let go of the bloody rope

Now, the barrel then being heavier, it started down once more
It landed right across me as.., I lay there on the floor
It broke three ribs and my left arm and I can only say
I hope you'll understand why Paddy's not at work today

written by Pat Cooksey

The Dubliners do a good version of this.

 

The Elf Man
There was a little elf man once, down by the river grove,
I asked him why he was so small and why he did not grow....
He slightly frowned and with an eye, he looked me through and through,
"I'm Quite as big for me he said, as you are big for you"

My thanks to Theresa Amies from Australia who sent me this lovely wee poem. The poem was told to her as a child by her mum who was from Dublin.

 

 

A Little Bit Of Ireland

"You're my little bit of Ireland"
that's what you used to say
and from my eyes fall teardrops
that taste of Irish clay
for I feel my life a mountain
that rises from a sea
of Irish songs and memories
that wash you back to me.

Elizabeth Gallagher

I Will Bury You

I will bury you with wisdom
Bury you with pearls
Wrap you in a peaty earth
That kisses every curl.

I will take your body, warm still,
Bury you with grace
Clothe you with the darkness moist
Reflected in your face.

I will carry you inside me
Bury you with pain
Wake you in the smallest times
And bring you back again.

Elizabeth Gallagher

Two beautiful pieces of poetry from Elizabeth Gallagher. "A little bit of Ireland" written about her mother in England and "I will bury you" is about the Irish father she never knew.

 

 

The Mark of the Bard

The old one lay in stillness, hands crossed upon his breast
The young ones came to see him, peaceful in his rest
No more the music came from him, no more the laughing gale
No more the fire of passion in a quiet winter's tale.

Then a young one rose from his place and he began to sing
His hands were quick and agile, making the harp strings ring.
The music then poured out of him, remembering the old bard's life
He sang of honor and of faith, he sang of truth and light.

Then the pipes wailed out, their lament filling the hall
The music of sorrow crying, filling the hearts of all
One by one they came to him, the last sight of him in this world
Each hand that touched, each tear that dropped, a memory of a heart stilled.

But know ye all this truth, forever the bard's music lives on
It beats in the hearts of those hearing it and they pass it in their own song.
So mourn not the death of the passing Bard, nor give up his ghost to the end
But bend your ear to the music and hear his heart on the wind.

Copyright 1999 Caitlin Mansell

Caitlin wrote this beautiful poem as a tribute to her father on the anniversary of his passing. Please visit her website at http://www.sunflower.com/~caitlin/index.html

In the Glade

Wind sighing, tree limbs swaying
Listen and you will hear the song.
Faint harp playing, the owl crying
Of days that are now long gone.
Moon riding high on a cloud tossed sea
Shining silver in the glade below.
Shadows dancing, moonlight playing
On a dance done long ago.
Hands touching, eyes catching
Shining in the fey touched light.
Hearts racing, breath sighing
Ancient love is afoot tonight.

Copyright Caitlin Mansell

You can visit Caitlin's website at http://www.sunflower.com/~caitlin/index.html

 

 

Eire in the Family

They have good hearts,
these distant kin
strangers who wear my uncles' faces,
waves of sea-parted cousins.

To embrace them
I tip too often and too much
They understand the bottle not the punt.
In America they guess
we all be millionaires.

Copyright 1996 Betty Hufford

Lovely wee insight from Betty Hufford. It's not the custom to tip in Ireland we think that people in the service industry should get a decent wage in their pay packets, we think that it's expensive enough to eat out or buy a round of drinks without having to hand out extra. But when the shoe's on the other foot and you work in a pub or restaurant an American visitor is as welcome as the flowers in May. Yes Betty you're right, I guess we do think that all Americans are wealthy.  Betty would be happy for you to contact her at  BettyHufford@aol.com   

 

 

Spare me the lecture, Father

Spare me the lecture, Father -
I'm goin' t' hell an' we both know it
An' all the choirs an' blather
Won't but start me sufferin' years

Before me 'lotted time. Ye'd make
The Devil's work a damned sight quicker
If'n I weren't deaf in both ears twice before me wake -
Fer all yer moanin' fer me soul

Spare me the lecture, Father -
I'm goin' t' hell an' we both know it
Aye, an' it don't seem right a man should suffer
Twice fer the same sin.

Kevin Taylor

Kevin Taylor is an Irish writer living on the west coast of Canada.
You can visit Kevin's web-site at:

http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Bistro/8066

Browe's Puckan by Mattie Lennon

Jim Browe above in Lacken
Had a virile puckan goat
On his prowess , 'mid the bracken
There was every right to gloat.
The she-goats of the nation
He's see they'd have a ball;
For a small remuneration
From their owners one and all.
 
Like wildfire round the mountain
His reputation spread,
And nanny-goats past countin'
With binder-twine were led
The puck could fairly rise 'er
(He serviced great and small)
Like a P.R.O. for Pfizer
He pranced around his stall.
 
His prowess was discussed with pash,
Among the Wicklow hills.
In places like Donard And Clash
(Well known for trills and spills)
When the media came to tape him
He was at their beck an' call.
And youths aspired to ape him
In every Parish Hall.
 
Some neighbour-no doubt jealous
Told an agent of the State,
Who with pen and clipboard, zealous,
Arrived at Jim's front gate.
" An illicit stud's reported,
I must check out the call".
"I'm guilty" Jim retorted
"My back's against the wall".
 
The puck went through exacting tests
With techniques old and new,
And past them all (despite their jests)
And with flying colours too.
He was registered in Dublin
As a stud could now walk tall:
With his new found status troublin'
The ones who hoped he'd fall
 
Now trading with impunity
Jim Browe could plainly see
A golden opportunity
To double up the fee.
The goat-house he had slated
With fluorescent light an' all
And the price (in Euros) stated
On an ornamental spall.
 
Soon came an old reliable
With goat, and readies too.
The new regime seemed viable
But wait 'till I tell you;
The Puck decided he'd relax
And languised in his stall
While a licence stamped with sealing_wax
Hung framed upon the wall.
 
As more clients at the junction
Queued now with some chagrin
Erectile (goat) dysfunction
Appeared to have set in.
They coaxed him by being placid,
Then began to roar and bawl,
But the puck remained quite flaccid;
He wouldn't rise at all.
 
Said Jim " My little earner
Has turned out a farce"
As growing ever sterner
He aimed a kick in t' arse.
The puck glanced sideways, nervous,
At the parchment on the wall.
"Now I'm in the Civil Service
I'm supposed to do fuck-all".
 
Copyright   1999 Mattie Lennon
 

This poem is based loosely on a lifelong friend/Entrepreneur of Mattie's. Mattie is from Kylebeg, Lacken, Blessington, Co Wicklow. He has lived in Dublin for almost 30 years where he works as a Bus Inspector with Dublin Bus. Mattie writes occasional articles for newspapers and magazines. He also presents a Ballad Programme on Radio Dublin  100 F.M. every Sunday morning at 07 30 AM. If you want a request played for anyone in the Dublin or surrounding area or if you have a comment, suggestion or...even.....a criticism phone 1550 923 655 anytime. (This phone number is only operational in the Republic of Ireland.)  If you are outside Ireland you can Email Mattie at  mattielennon@hotmail.com

Mattie Lennon's Ballad Hour
 on Radio Dublin 100FM 
 

Every Sunday morning at 07 30 AM.

 

The Time I've Lost in Wooing

The time I've lost in wooing
In watching and pursuing
The light that lies
In woman's eyes,
Has been my hearts undoing.
Though wisdom oft has sought me
I scorned the love she brought me
My only books
Were woman's looks,
And folly's all they've brought me.

Her smile when Beauty granted,
I hung with gaze enchanted,
Like him the Sprite
Whom maids by night
Oft meet in glen that's haunted.
Like him, too, Beauty won me;
But when the spell was on me,
If once their ray
Was turn'd away,
O! winds could not outrun me.
 
And are those follies going?
And is my proud heart growing
Too cold or wise
For brilliant eyes
Again to set it glowing?
No -- vain, alas! th' endeavor
From bonds so sweet to sever 
Poor Wisdom's chance
Against a glance
Is now as weak as ever.

Thomas Moore (1779-1852)

 

 

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Owen Brennan
Copyright 1998 belongs with the original authors. All rights reserved.
Revised: July 07, 2004.