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Outis 4d
Listen my grandchildren
And yee listen well,
For there is a story I ought tell,
A story of the blood of men and lady’s tears
The story of struggle of the Irish Volunteers.

A fine morning it was of Easter week,
I bought my sweetheart a present,
A shawl I gifted after lent.
A shawl of blue, a great blue starling
To show how much I loved my darling.

‘Twas a beautiful home
A growing son I had,
Not yet ten was the lad.
With his oversized trousers and squeaky boots
As he ran, that comic cloth made great long flutes.

I left her home not muttered a word
A kiss she gave, with love.
An innocent pale dove,
She not knew what pain I was to bring her
Fighting for my country, betraying our home with lustful vigour.

We took our positions
In that accursed pantheon of hell
Cocking our guns and loading shell
We broke the clear windows and blocked the wood doors
We were ready, restless, to settle scores.

There it was born, our Irish Republic
Forged in the flames of battle
Under death and rifle rattle
Tempered by the blood of men and lady’s tears
We were the hammer of God, the Irish Volunteers.

As a forest fire spreads over the face of green earth
Slaughtering all upon its path,
Wild beasts and men alike, run from nature’s wrath
As the trees look on, trembling with fear,
their barks alight their leaves in sear.

The trees look on, as their mothers and sisters burn,
Knowing that they will soon suffer the same fate,
But knowing escape is far too late.
So, a fire of patriotism spread from soul to soul,
Amongst the men sitting in that building, as it crumbled whole.

I aimed my iron cross
And clenched my finger with steel will
My eyes shone with rage, a lust to ****.
A flash, I flinch, I shrink, the bullet loops
There he lies before me, that boy with squeaky boots.

He would then sink his head
Into a dejected demeanour
If I were to go back, he says, I would with the same vigour
Risk my life and betray my home
To serve my country, not thrusting my head into loam.  

As a farmer casts his seed of golden wheat
Onto the brown soil of a furrowed field,
Bringing life and beauty for the vacant ground to yield,
So, artillery fire rained down upon us from the vast blue sky
bringing not life, but death for politics to justify

We walked out from that burning cradle of war and fire
Townspeople, those we loved, those we fought for
Jeered and cursed, we lowered our eyes to our county’s floor
I looked upon the crowd, struck I was, as by a maul
As she stared, with disgust, gravely, that navy shawl.

One moment ago, soldiers of honour,
Brave men, we felt we were, behind our triggers
Now mere traitors, scorned like *******
Our loved looked upon us, rabid dogs we were,
Waiting for cold lead to calm our wild stir.

It is with reason we left that building there to burn.
A pile of ash and gore for the British to neglect,
A standard of freedom for Ireland to recollect.
We shall long not forget the eternal glory
For what we fought for, our territory!

His long speech would end abruptly,
His eyes drowning in liquid sorrow,
His voice recovering scarcely on the morrow.
A speech cut short by what seemed was grief
was more than so, ‘twas regret, ‘twas disbelief.

My grandfather told us this story upon autumn nights,
The smoke of his clay pipe and the lash of rain
Reminding him of his unyielding pain.
A pain, a dream for a united island.
A dream drowned in blood and loud as silence.

He is with us no longer
Upon his wooden rocking chair,
Yet I am still here, his dream’s heir.
The faces that we once saw in life ourselves
Become mere pictures, gathering dust upon our shelves.

For those who read this allegory
May you be sure to remember this glory
When shoulder to shoulder our men there stood
Upon our ground, chopping forest wood.
Discharging splinters of freedom and death
We were Irish that day, you may bet!
A poem I wrote, so that people never forget the heroism of the Irish Volunteers.
Dean Shallow Apr 30
The bench squeaks as I rest, weary from the walk but only in body. My mind races, absorbing the movements of people never to be seen again.
The warm breeze sweeping the willows over the canal carries with it the bustling sounds of the city.
To some, the word"city" forces images of glass clad monuments and dull grey skys.
Not my city.
Red brick laid by men who likely knew my father,
paths stained by the countless spilled pints, Each one missed,
Streets that twist and turn like wrinkles from a smile
No, my City isn't some cold,  harsh statue to solitude,
it's the warmth of a fire after a bitter winter storm.
My city, My home
Sat by the banks of the grand Canal just passed lessons street is a bench overlooking charlemont place. Sitting there on a warm summers evening during the week is something everyone should experience at least once
The Celtic Cross at Île Grosse
by Michael R. Burch

“I actually visited the island and walked across those mass graves [of 30,000 Irish men, women and children], and I played a little tune on me whistle. I found it very peaceful, and there was relief there.” – Paddy Maloney of The Chieftans

There was relief there,
and release,
on Île Grosse
in the spreading gorse
and the cry of the wild geese . . .

There was relief there,
without remorse
when the tin whistle lifted its voice
in a tune of artless grief,
piping achingly high and longingly of an island veiled in myth.
And the Celtic cross that stands here tells us, not of their grief,
but of their faith and belief—
like the last soft breath of evening lifting a fallen leaf.

When ravenous famine set all her demons loose,
driving men to the seas like lemmings,
they sought here the clemency of a better life, or death,
and their belief in God gave them hope, a sense of peace.

These were proud men with only their lives to owe,
who sought the liberation of a strange new land.
Now they lie here, ragged row on ragged row,
with only the shadows of their loved ones close at hand.

And each cross, their ancient burden and their glory,
reflects the death of sunlight on their story.

And their tale is sad—but, O, their faith was grand!

Keywords/Tags: Ile Grosse, Celtic, Cross, faith, belief, grief, Ireland, potato, famine
Stood, fixed to the spot the man observed well into the darkness
as far as the eye could see. This was his view, as he nervously awaited his flight. The large windows showcased a cascade of gale and rain, like a Russian ballet, some kind of twisted beauty. Looking outwards towards the sheer magnitude of the storm, blankets of pelting rain gunned down onto the tarmac ground. The only lights were from the large runway floodlights, rocking back and fourth as the wind began to show no mercy. The windows take a battering, as his mind contemplates ever get off this rock.
"Mother nature cannot be tamed, nor can her wrath, it's better to let her be," he mutters.
The loud speaker blurts out "Departure gates have now opened."
And, in this moment his fixed gaze slowly detaches itself from the wrath, away from the demon. Away, from the dance.
If the United States made an Ireland . . .
It would be somewhere on the coast.
It would have massive blue rocky cliffs to hold back the ocean.
It would have fields outlined with shallow rock fences.

If the United States made an Ireland . . .
There would be every shade of green as you walk down the street.
There would be moss dangling from the trees reaching out to you.
There would be rain, lots and lots of rain!

If the United States made an Ireland . . .
People would be sailors, fishermen, and drunkards.
People would be cautious and friendly in the same moment.
People would be the biggest jokers you ever met.

It the United States made an Ireland it would be in Oregon. . .
Ich am of Irlaunde ("I am of Ireland")
(anonymous Medieval Irish Lyric, circa 13th-14th century AD)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I am of Ireland,
and of the holy land of Ireland.
Gentlefolk I pray thee:
for the sake of saintly charity,
come dance with me
in Ireland!

Original text:

Ich am of Irlaunde,
Ant of the holy londe
Of Irlande.
Gode sire, pray ich the,
For of saynte charite,
Come ant daunce wyth me
In Irlaunde.

Keywords/Tags: Ireland, medieval Irish, translation, holy, land, good, sire, gentlemen, pray, saintly, charity, dance
Hearthside
by Michael R. Burch

“When you are old and grey and full of sleep...” ― W. B. Yeats

For all that we professed of love, we knew
this night would come, that we would bend alone
to tend wan fires’ dimming bars―the moan
of wind cruel as the Trumpet, gelid dew
an eerie presence on encrusted logs
we hoard like jewels, embrittled so ourselves.

The books that line these close, familiar shelves
loom down like dreary chaperones. Wild dogs,
too old for mates, cringe furtive in the park,
as, toothless now, I frame this parchment kiss.

I do not know the words for easy bliss
and so my shriveled fingers clutch this stark,
long-unenamored pen and will it: Move.
I loved you more than words, so let words prove.

This sonnet is written from the perspective of the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats in his loose translation or interpretation of the Pierre de Ronsard sonnet “When You Are Old.” The aging Yeats thinks of his Muse and the love of his life, the fiery Irish revolutionary Maude Gonne. As he seeks to warm himself by a fire conjured from ice-encrusted logs, he imagines her doing the same. Although Yeats had insisted that he wasn’t happy without Gonne, she said otherwise: “Oh yes, you are, because you make beautiful poetry out of what you call your unhappiness and are happy in that. Marriage would be such a dull affair. Poets should never marry. The world should thank me for not marrying you!” Keywords/Tags: Yeats, Gonne, sonnet, Irish, Ireland, mature, love, night, fire, bars, books, shelves, chaperones, dogs, mates, parchment, kiss, bliss, fingers, pen, will, move, words, prove
Erin
by Michael R. Burch

All that’s left of Ireland is her hair—
bright carrot—and her milkmaid-pallid skin,
her brilliant air of cavalier despair,
her train of children—some conceived in sin,
the others to avoid it. For nowhere
is evidence of thought. Devout, pale, thin,
gay, nonchalant, all radiance. So fair!

How can men look upon her and not spin
like wobbly buoys churned by her skirt’s brisk air?
They buy. They ***** to pat her nyloned shin,
to share her elevated, pale Despair ...
to find at last two spirits ease no one’s.

All that’s left of Ireland is the Care,
her impish grin, green eyes like leprechauns’.

Keywords/Tags: sonnet, Ireland, Erin, hair, red, carrot, skin, pale, pallid, fair, devout, children, sin, adultery, gay, skirt, skirts, men, lust, desire, passion, arousal, radiance, nylon, nylons, tights, stockings, pantyhose, beer, ale, alcohol, *****, spirits, drink, drinking, pub, bar, club, care, worry, anxiety, grin, smile, green eyes, leprechauns
Isolde’s Song
by Michael R. Burch

Through our long years of dreaming to be one
we grew toward an enigmatic light
that gently warmed our tendrils. Was it sun?
We had no eyes to tell; we loved despite
the lack of all sensation—all but one:
we felt the night’s deep chill, the air so bright
at dawn we quivered limply, overcome.

To touch was all we knew, and how to bask.
We knew to touch; we grew to touch; we felt
spring’s urgency, midsummer’s heat, fall’s lash,
wild winter’s ice and thaw and fervent melt.
We felt returning light and could not ask
its meaning, or if something was withheld
more glorious. To touch seemed life’s great task.

At last the petal of me learned: unfold
and you were there, surrounding me. We touched.
The curious golden pollens! Ah, we touched,
and learned to cling and, finally, to hold.

According to legend, Isolde/Iseult/Yseult and Tristram/Tristan were lovers who died, were buried close to each other, then reunited in the form of plants growing out of their graves. A rose emerged from Isolde's grave, a vine or briar from Tristram's, then the two became one. Tristram was the Celtic Orpheus, a minstrel whose songs set women and even nature a-flutter.

Originally published by The Raintown Review and nominated for the Pushcart Prize; since published by Ancient Heart Magazine (England), The Eclectic Muse (Canada), Boston Poetry Magazine, The Orchards, Strange Road, Complete Classics, FreeXpression (Australia), Better Than Starbucks, Fullosia Press, Glass Facets of Poetry, Sonnetto Poesia (Canada), The New Formalist, Trinacria

Keywords/Tags: Tristram, Tristan, Isolde, Iseult, Yseult, Arthurian, legend, myth, romance, Ireland, Cornwall, King Mark, love potion, spell, charm, magic, adultery, harp, minstrel, troubadour, white sails, white hands, betrayal, death, grave, briar, bramble, branches, rose, hazel, honeysuckle, intertwined
Marco Feb 27
Pointy nose, freckled bridge
Fair creme skin, speckled lips
Dark green eyes under dotted lids
Flaming hair weaves around your neck
and polka shoulders

Warm emotion sits in your cheeks
Stubborn chaos to your teeth
Roaring throat behind bowed lips
Willpower in raw fingertips
palms so rough from housework

Sturdy arms and steady legs
Robust frame to birthing hips
Heart of fire in its thick-walled cage
beats for me so strong and brave.
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