Category Archives: Ireland

WALLS (for Sean, on his 27th birthday)

I built my dry-stone walls
In the garden, through the years:
Happy, heavy work,
The most gratifying of chores.
While the light of summer evenings
Turned stones to gold,
Bats and swallows swooped
Under Ned’s big sycamores.

But football on the lawn—
Our game of sweat and cheers—
Placed my walls in jeopardy.
Shots that went wide
Loosened wedges inside
The front wall’s hidden heart,
Like medieval weaponry.

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Filed under Death, Ireland, Poems

Angels

A new song.

ANGELS

I walked up to
An open door
That I had seen
Some time before

I disappeared
Without a trace
And found myself
Another place.

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Filed under Ireland, Music

Lucky in Love

A new song.

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Filed under Ireland, Music, Philosophy of life, The music of what happened

For Sean, on His 26th Birthday

shoulders

The windows are open;
Air from the garden
Will freshen your room.

A hurricane brought you
And took you away:
You are part of its force.

The shoreline before me
Recedes and advances;
My boat is becalmed. Continue reading

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Filed under Biography, Blogging, Ireland, Memories, Philosophy of life, Poems, Religion, Stories

All Souls’ Day

It was cold last night
No stars in sight
No moon to light the way
I thought that you
Might be lonely too
On the eve of All Souls’ Day

The storm had hurled
The teardrops in the world
Against some hearts of stone
I went to you
And told you to
Never cry alone

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Filed under Death, Ireland, Music, Philosophy of life, Religion

Thoughts on Martin McGuinness

I saw Gerry Adams being interviewed about Martin McGuinness on RTÉ’s Six O’Clock News. Adams spoke of the discrimination suffered by Catholics in Northern Ireland in the 1960s, and the mistreatment of Civil Rights marchers. This was used (as always) to justify the Provisional IRA’s campaign of violence, which had the goal of a United Ireland, as if the two (Civil Rights/United Ireland) were inseparable.

However, this was not the case. The demands of the Civil Rights campaign were granted by the early 1970s. Politically conscious Nationalists in Northern Ireland could have worked towards the goal of a United Ireland through peaceful means, and in fact most of them (the SDLP) did exactly that. The Provisional IRA, meanwhile, disregarded the most basic human and civil rights.

To portray McGuinness as a great peacemaker is to tell only half the story, given that his organization was driving the violence in the first place. Things could have been different; other choices could have been made.

Far from achieving its one and only goal (a United Ireland), McGuinness’ Republican Movement drove people farther apart than ever. I find it difficult to see how this represents any kind of success, or anything that we should admire.

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Filed under Ireland, Politics

Make Time Good

A new song.

MAKE TIME GOOD

I know you’ve done the best you could
I know you have a hill to climb
We just need to make time good
We don’t need to make good time

I don’t have any place to go
There’s nothing heavy on my mind
I’m prepared to take it slow
You never know what we might find

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Filed under Ireland, Memories, Music, Philosophy of life, Uncategorized