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Ye got to Fancy this Hearty Stout, Aye,
Soot-soaked with tub-flavoured Laurels of Gold
Now bloke-haste Juggers tick your nerves on-high
And make ye shout the Trumpet-Football-Fold
Yet so, our Celtic Spirit comes to call
For you to Jig their Post-Victorious Dance
Or, if upset, prefer to keep knees on hold
And hope such Font will get you that Romance
Still, never deny those After-Glugs won't count
In palling the Bet for Arsenal's Wear
Sudden Death Match will cause the Team to Mount
And show those Charbarrels a Reason to Tear.
Raise a Swig, to where there Brave Captains be
I take me Share, and drink the Sailor in me.
#guinnessireland
Terry Collett Jan 2016
It's Sister Lucy not Sister Bridget
who's the crush on the young priest
Father Joseph Magdalene said,

Mary said is she the one? as she sat
on Mags bed listening to music
on her record player I thought
you said the Bridget,

Magdalene sitting beside Mary
passed a glass of lemonade to her
and said nothing certain
you understand just the rumours
I've heard but don't tell
the parents or my ****'ll
be slapped for spreading the rumour,

have you a ciggie?
Mary said
putting the lemonade and glass
on the bedside cabinet,

Magdalene poked under the mattress
and took out a squashed pack
of 10 Woodbines and said
open the fecking window
or Ma'll know we've been smoking
and she'll have a moan
and passed the packet to Mary
who took a cigarette
and put it in her mouth
and went and opened the window,

Magdalene took a cigarette
and stuffed the packed
under the mattress again,

Mary sat down and said
have you a light then
or are we to fecking **** on air?

Magdalene took out
of the pocket of her dress
a box of matches
(liberated from the kitchen)
and struck a light for them both
and put the matchbox away again,

they inhaled and sat in silence,

the record played( Billy fury)
and they tapped their feet softly
and nodded their heads,

so what are you doing
about Brian Brady?
Magdalene asked,

what'd you mean doing about
I'm doing nowt with the ******
it's him who thinks I'm going
to be doing things the soft loon
Mary said,

you seemed to be encouraging him
the other day Magdalene said,

ah was fun only I'd not let him
near me in a serious way
no more than the holy Joe himself
Mary said,

smoke filtered ceiling ward,

a car backfired from the street below,

Magdalene leaned in close to Mary
I'm your best friend
and I get jealous of the likes of him
being too near to you,

O he's nothing to be worrying yourself
about him Mags he's just a loon
as boys are Mary said,

Magdalene held the cigarette
a way from her lips
and kissed Mary's cheek,

Mary sighed and said
he's nothing I just give him
the tease he'll get nothing
from my ****** money box,

they both inhaled and exhaled again
and watched the smoke
rise ceiling ward,

the sound of Magdalene's ma
downstairs singing along to the radio,

Magdalene's hand went on Mary's thigh,

a bright sun in a blue Irish sky.
TWO GIRLS IN IRELAND IN 1963 AND THEIR CHATTER TOGETHER.
Francie Lynch Jul 2017
Love the name.
Got upset
When the man called out, Seen.
Stupid man.
It's Sean, and not Shawn.
A year older than Gerald.
Two younger than Kevin.
Two older than me.
That's Sean.
Daddy wrote home about us.
Maura was working at the hospital.
Sheila was finishing highschool.
Kevin won the Science Fair.
Sean plays ice hockey with the All Stars,
All over Canada and the U.S.
I found the letter, penned in '62,
A jagged European cursive. They tend to write the same.
I've seen the words, run together to hide the spelling;
With JMJ's and TG's sprinkled like manna throughout.
The last page was missing,
Just when Daddy'd write about Gerald, me, and Marlene.
Gerald with his Beetles haircut.
Me, mimicking ( probably mocking),
Some unknown priest, to my father's delight;
Marlene, the wee pigeon, he missed most when he worked
Away from home.
Jimmy, The Bruiser, wasn't here yet.
The last of an Irish brood settled in Canada.

I discovered it in the spare room at Granny's and Frank's.
There was no mention of Michael, Eucheria or Particia.
He exaggerated about the harsh, six-month winters here,
And our proximity to the North Pole.
Suggested Frank try putting copper wires around Granda's wrists;
The Egyptian mummies didn't exhibit signs of bone deterioration.
Daddy was hard-pressed to be proven wrong when he concocted.
Sean had a drawer full of ribbons, medals, trophies and plagues,
And a large S, his Senior Letter.
He also had sideburns, a much smaller nose, and,  smelled
as good as he looked,
The Elvis dip-curl, the Connery swag, the Selleck stash to Clooney cool.
Sean kept a disposition of hidden pains secreted for others.
A heart of tears.
A spirit of adventure.
I love Sean, I recall.
He is always welcome here.
Drops by sometimes.
It's always a great surprise.
Serious, hard edit and re-post.
JMJ: Jesus, Mary and Joseph
TG: Thank God
All eleven children are mentioned, but I wanted to focus on Sean.
Robin Carretti Jul 2018
She moves with
      Grace
The Gracious meeting in denial
He's the baron of beef delicious side
Reproduction picture full slide
The most
   Casual face

Met the eternal masterly
    Artist face
Saying Oh! Grace
The other side of midnight
     Mask Face
She could overjoy anyone's
Heart in the right place
    Deceiving Face

The miracle of love principles
Such skepticism could it be overjoyed realism

But a hell of a time with heavenly bliss
What a shock when he gave me my kiss
His Crooked face to longevity nose
Hiding place A-Rose

Beachy trance-set face

Highlands of Scotland,
anybody would want her
     *Joyful face


He's the baronial
Secluded caves but risky dives
The turn only If?? I
could turn back the time
The events strictly
confidential

Her apple cheeks bathing suit
He is picking her fruit
So soothing the fiddle
Tinman whistles the ladies harps

Their medieval moment's help!!!
The swords  bust to his manly chest
Sleeping Inn New castle west
Their best bedrest

The cupboards open overjoyed
invitation decorative cans
Of greens, pinks, purple passion

And flourless chocolate cakes
Powdered lips love his reaction

She was seductively awe-inspiring
The top hills of Ireland grass
vividly raised her legs
The bowl next to her
The Rose blush wines
Bare it Fruit and figs

The baronial tug of war wigs

Melodious birds the
Grand One
The thousand piano words
Overjoyed but
under the {Baronial} weather

So lordly new threads tailored
White-collared
carpenter pants
Men of the herds
She's the
Caron French boutique

There ****** desires
The creature within
Wildly mating like critiques

Her perfumes so extinct
mysteriously
Overjoyed her heart
So cultured violin strings
Dollhouse Castle to restore
With her unique touches,
he wanted more

The steps tiring like a killed deer
every muscle he could hear

Over elaborating how people are dating
With a  stamped from the very
heart  approval
But hard times such laboring
Sitting in her
overjoyed chair
His face all Scrooged
no gifts of flowers
What are the odds of this pair

Over and over again her rainbow
her sensitivity we need longevity
The  endless walls are caving in
We are not so overjoyed by
this monster garden
She had her first breakdown
Going up the
Jack and Jill Ireland hill
In the longtime what long run
Way too short
It didn't come from above

The vintage oldtimer
radios sitting
together with
family listening
so long ago
So commercialized
The crazy shows
Where do you really want to go,
you just want to shut everything off

He called her the powder puff
Waiting for the nocturnal star
Those scrubs and hot rubs shower
Over my knee-high boots so in
love cahoots

Oh! It's her
The smart student
Owl Hoot whats to boot
Eating her shepherd's pie
so lordly full lips word-me
Ireland Holy Land
of love and beauty

Overly scrupulousness
The time of blessings

But the baronial loved to be
overly entertained
And she would sit there  
Blue-blooded royal dishes
Got flushed away no wishes

Oversimplification
Like the hardest love
of multiplication
The ****** overstimulation
Over embellished
But you're still positive
overjoyed
But why did she
want to vanish

Over-programming
    Web-Face
Destroyed her
Apple jubilee computer

Spiritual Zen
Or new lover Amen
Ever touched by Ireland maidens
Like the crimson and clover
I do believe in the
Four leaf clover Face

Like the only thing she picked
were the weeds
More beauty of life and deeds
Or tons of sorrow wondering
how she
would feel tomorrow?
We will never know
Overjoyed by so many things have the beauty Ireland is amazingly beautified or everything feels unnecessary gloomy or horrified you rather pick of ripe blueberry or cherry or blackberry living like your in the castle being summoned on by the Scrooged type Baron
Deb Jones Jan 2018
My Ireland

Next summer I am going to Ireland.
Where my yearnings have always been.
Since I was a child I knew.
The thought still gives me shivers.
I want to stand on ground and feel the steps my forebearers once walked.
The battle cries, the pain and the elation.
I will know them all.
I will know the hills when I see them.
Like calling to like.
I will drive until I find the place.
Then I will park and walk the hills.
I will look at the emerald isle and let the wind blow through me.
My family makes fun of me.
Asking how will I know.
I will know. I will know.
My heart yearns for Ireland.
And I know, just know
That Ireland has been waiting for me.
Timmy Shanti Mar 2018
Some Jamie snugly in me hand,
A cause for celebration,
Today, I found me promised land:
The home of Irish nation.

I dyed me hair shamrock green,
I made me teeth look orange,
(A spliff of Carroll's in between)
A sliver of Dutch courage.

I mingle with the leprechauns
(A shamrock on me chest)
Not in a thousand years gone,
I’m messing with the best.

Atop the jolly rainbow,
In hand – a *** of gold,
Revering, till I find me rest,
The stories I’ve been told.
17-3-18
Happy St. Patrick's!
Maria Monaghan Jul 2018
The sun sets on Ireland,
patchwork fields illuminated by the august light of
abiding memory.

Misty hues spilling
over the mountains,
glimpsed through a mist of tears
fighting not to be shed.

The last sunset
of a brief glimpse of manic happiness
and friendship
and love.

The fields flash by,
each one transforming into a rose-coloured memory,
and a tsunami of melancholy threatens to
knock me down.

Heavy sighs and
knowing looks and
held-back tears and
one last caress of your sun-kissed skin.

The sun sets on Ireland
And opens into a bright new tomorrow.
fiachra breac Dec 2018
never content:
withholding love out of what?
fear? envy? greed? sadness?

how i long for peace, stability and change...

a constant contradiction. barreling from heart to heart -
never finding ground long enough to lose myself
in someone else’s arms.

feelings stronger after i tear them out.

have to look at them in the air in front of my eyes.
bleeding, dripping their blood on the carpet,
heart beating in my hands.
to be clinically inspected and torn apart
only to discover that this was what i wanted all along.

like a tree, felled to tell its age,
dead, but finally understood.
too late to say,
“ah! look how old it’s branches, how deep its roots, how wonderful it’s shade!”

dead. dead and decomposing on the floor.

will i always glorify love lost over love in front of my eyes?
an outburst found in my notes. dated 3rd nov 2018. I will wreck this, and it will be hell.
Sean M O'Kane Sep 2018
Auntie Em is calling….

I was just getting to love my Emerald City
The shiny feel of it, its sweetly diverse demi-monde.
Its shimmering green beauty and tranquil sense of safety.
The heels of my ruby red slippers were well & truly dug in.
But no, the state fair balloon stands before me ******* & ready to go.
A grand exclamation mark in my way if ever there was one.
And Toto for once has gone mute, no chance of a last minute hold up.

"Dorothy, Dorothy, where are you?"

I guess it must have been too fantastical a dream to be true.
A time for goodbyes.
I’m embracing the Lion telling him to always be proud of himself & not to walk unafraid.
The Tin Man’s gentle open heartedness I compliment him on as we both shed tears.
The Scarecrow I kiss and thank for his loyalty & grace under fiery pressure.
With a heavy heart, I climb that first tentative step on the block.  

"We’re sick with worry over you"

I could be angry but the wise words of the mystic ring loudly in my year.
I do need to go back – My Auntie Em is really calling me.
Calling me back to the grey flatlands of home.
Back to the numbness of small town heteronormativity.
Where Twisters rarely every came by to sweep you away and save you.
I could only keep singing ‘Over The Rainbow’ in vain hope.

"Find yourself a place where you won't get into any trouble!

Unlike Dorothy Gale, this Dorothy left Kansas voluntarily
The long yellow brick road finally took me under the rainbow and on to my Emerald City
I no longer pined for home but knew all along that it would call me back one day.
And so here I am, drifting higher & higher away from my adopted home.
Perhaps I need to build a revolving door when I get there to pass through both worlds easily
Or perhaps bring something of the rainbow back to illuminate the grey-lands.
Or perhaps – in reality -  some reconciliation between these worlds is in order.
Perhaps.
It’s time to slip on the ruby red slippers and prepare the way for Kansas.
Yes, this Dorothy has surrendered but
I always had the power to be me, my dear.
I just had to learn it for myself.

August –September 2018
This poem was written in response to my feelings about some tragic news I received last month & how I was dealing with it. Initially, it was quite deep & bitter in the way it wallowed over the world I thought I was losing because of my duty to family. My home town is a stifling throwback to bad old neanderthal homophobia and has nary a sniff of transcendental beauty unlike my adopted home.

However, I thought long & hard and realised that because I now stand tall as a proud bi/pan/queer person I should take what I have gained and use it to guide me. Plus my anger was wrongly placed - not at the family member for taking me away from my Emerald City but cancer itself for throwing chaos into our lives.
Steve Oct 2018
I wonder what you see
When you think of us
Red boxes, dead foxes
The flag of St George
Or a shiny red bus

Yes I wonder what you see
When you think of us
Scotch pies, och ayes
A white cross on a blue sky
Unruly Scots - treasonous!

I wonder what you see
When you think of us
Bore da, nos da
Green valleys and red dragons
Welsh words to discuss

Yes I wonder what you see
When you think of us
The mountains of Mourne, a leprechaun
Peace between orange and green
Or the troubles between us

What do you see?

Shamrock, glam rock, God save the Queen
Daffodils, leeks, tartan breeks, a red haired colleen
Better together, miles apart, kissing cousins or time for a fresh start?
Never before has the moment felt so close.
Dawnstar Mar 17
I know a land of salt
and pepper stalks and moss,
whose jagged, hazy coast
a thousand flowers bears —
of Ireland I boast.

Even now my heart is sick
for a home I never had.
If I were there,
what I would do,
I'll tell to you....

I'd show my love the mountain's nooks,
I'd pounce the foeman's daring rooks,
and plunder every dusty book,
and sleep in emerald vales.
We'd clamber up to a secret cave
and there we'd dwell,
away from the pell-mell,
and fast away in purple robes,
pretending we were noble-born
(for Ireland, we ought to be),
we'd in defiance hunger stave.

See now, her cloud legions marching in step
like flares emerging from the wood.
While horses roam her sunlit plains
and flowers shudder in her breeze;
while puddles form in shallow pools,
my watered mind accustoms trees
of bleak and twisted nature,
on the wild icicle river,
coldly biting my knees.

But here afar away,
there's treasure under every
glistening leaf,
'twixt frond and fern,
bristle and bramble,
and bounding stream.
By daylight,
Eire counts every rock;
at starlight,
assesses her stock.

I know a land
whose greenery bursts
in the morning dew,
and gives hopeful cause
to a hundred generations
of stoic sword-brethren
flashing down the coast,
singing their jolly tune,
as the oak decks are mounted
with freedom's guns
emboldening battle new.

Her amber-gilded name spears through
clouded sea and Cambrian cliff:
if every isle were touched as this!
by saintly light from Atlas' air.
She is the jewel of the isles,
the song of countless souls.
As men march down her
summer roads to meet their
tender-hearted lovers at home in
comfort from callous kings, the
breeze will bring news of another
christening or crossing... for then
each girl will spy him coming, and
make haste to alert the town,
and they will all turn out with joy
to welcome home their darling boy;
to herald the ending of famine and war,
and so they will shout for centuries more!
Éire,
The beauty of a broken land,
Where each and every man
Took up his own fight
And fought it with all his might
. I really should keep learning Gaeilge (irish language)
Sean M O'Kane Sep 2018
Glenshane Pass separated you both.
23 miles away in the same time, same place as my father’s childhood.
So when you talked of your da digging Toner’s bog and waxed lyrical about sheughs, I knew in our English class what exactly you were saying (when others didn’t).
Your words float over time & space to me now.
A celebration of the intimacy of our homelands.
A holy adoration of long gone voices that still resonate.

You never strayed, never.
It was always in your heart, always:
the land, the forgotten lanes, the broad fields, the lost language of it all.
I keep a certain comfort now with your lines as I Iay in my southerly home,
knowing that I am forever tithed to the townlands of our shared ancestry.
I thank you.
May your words stay alive as song as Ireland still has its beauty
and may their illumination still shine on us all.
Heaney was indeed in the same time & geographical places that my father grew up in. Glenshane Pass is a stretch of road between Dungiven and Maghera in Co. Derry that traverses some of the Sperrins mountain range.  Heaney grew up in Banagher, my dad in Park both villages on either side of the range. A sheugh is a ditch on the side of the field which acts as a boundary in farming land.
Sean M O'Kane Nov 2018
When great aunt Maggie passed away years ago, the one thing I really missed was her angelic voice.
The swaggering, sing-song lilt of the mid-Derry accent was as sweet as the confections she used to pass out to us as kids:
The inflection, the intonation, and the slight lisp she brought to it was so gloriously unique but was never heard again.
I often wish I could go back with a tape recorder to capture it in all its glory and relive how wonderful she was.
Now all I have is a untranslatable memory that can't be brought back to even vaguely approximate what it meant to me.

And now here I am again with the same obstacle.
The same tones, the same inflections albeit through a different light have just been extinguished before me.
This time there was no digital device rushing in to capture our time before it ran out.
No instinct for preservation was forthcoming - we were too busy having fun & 'being here now'.
No, once again I am bereft:
All I I have is here (in my heart) and and here (in my head)
The loved sounds I miss will always resound there albeit without backup
Voices lost but not forgotten.
HeWhoExplores Dec 2018
All the sad faces, so quickly they appear
Those eyes they peer; like voyeurs of the night
As time approaches dusk, and light becomes dark
They disembark
From Upper York Street-
To the strongholds of the the Shore Road
Glimpsing in, people stare back
From the Spides of the north
To the elderly and beyond
Coughing and shuffling, moaning and groaning;
Oh! What a concert!
Amadeus would be a proud man indeed
As it slogs by I catch a fleeting glimpse
My face, appearing ever so different; sadder
It must be illusionary, right? Perhaps
Standing there, just thinking to myself
Will I ever see these people again?
life
Sean M O'Kane Sep 2018
We are the kids – beautiful blank canvasses ready to receive the joy of life.
We are the kids – hope & love consuming our souls, grasping at the shiny & new.
We are the kids who played in the fields and danced in the sun.
We are the kids with innocence in our hearts and a cheekiness in our soul.
We are the kids who believed in a benevolent God and the generous teachings of Jesus.
We are the kids whose imagination was an infinite resource - bounteous, diverse and effervescent.
We are the kids who reveled in the fancy, the nonsensical, the romantic and the wild.
We are the kids that couldn’t wait to grow up,
We are the kids who believed in our future.
We are the kids who never saw it coming.

We are the kids who lost our innocence as soon we walked through the big school gates for the 1st time.
We are the kids who were told to “think of your future” and to suppress creativity.
We are the kids who were forced to grow up very quickly.
We are the kids who didn’t know we were “different” but there were plenty out there who did.
We are the kids who had to pretend to be what “they” wanted us to be just to survive.
We are the kids who came home with scars every day – both physical and emotional
We are the kids who endured the obscene words of Neanderthal hate every single day.
We are the kids who were screamed at by our parents to fight back even when we really didn’t have the capability to do so.
We are the kids who were told crying was a sign of weakness.
We are the kids whose so-called classmates stayed silent when they did their worst.
We are the kids where the school gates were no barrier to their lynching.
We are the kids who turned quickly from being wide-eyed & hopeful to being terrified & desolate.
We are the kids who dreaded every single weekday from first term to last.  
We are the kids who fruitlessly prayed to a God who had deserted them.
We are the kids taught by teachers who were found wanting.
We are the kids who suffocated in sheer hate.
We are the kids who took our own lives or at least tried to.
We are the kids who self-harmed.
We are the kids who sometimes never came home.
We are the kids who survived but never really left the school yard behind
We are the kids.
Your kids.

June 11, 2018.
HeWhoExplores Feb 23
It was Friday morn, and the sky was still as dark as charcoal.
The coach drove on through the peaceful County of Carlow, with sleeping passengers as quiet as door mice.
As the clearing of the morning darkness began, the bedraggled boy awoke from his slumber, perplexed and bewildered.
It was in this moment his journey took a delightful twist; as the skies from outside turned a pale blood-red.
It was a magical sight, he thought, as he rubbed his eyes just to be certain.
But what a shame for the passengers as they continued to sleep, missing the rising spectacle.
The boy, in awe and delight took witness to the beautiful gift, witnessing for the first time beautiful County Carlow, in all of its glory.
A little story from a bus trip
Sean M O'Kane Nov 2018
It's a phrase I often playfully use to describe my queer self.
("Were you ever?"my beloved Alison uniformly says in jest).
But now it seems unusually apt in another way:
As I swann around this empty house, the decor, the photos, the ornaments and old perfume bottles overwhelm me.
My head is brimming with memories as I glance past these fragments of our shared lives.
My loss is palpable and yet inescapable under this roof.
She surrounds us on the walls, hanging over us with her beaming smile amidst the family photos.
I want to escape but I can't:
In a mad way I want to believe that something of these relics around us can bring her back somehow.
She did after all carry something of the old Irish paganism with her.
But, no, this ancient shamanism is sadly absent in a room drowned out by every token of Catholicism you can think of.
It's all too much for this first born to take and yet she is still here in the tiny gaps of these precious artefacts.  
Hidden away where you can't see her.
So, no, being honest right now - I'm not quite straight yet.
The head and heart will realign soon but not with this gnawingly painful grief.
Pray for me.
HeWhoExplores Dec 2018
As we dove down the lonesome Irish road
not a sinner in sight, was all I could think

Past the old shops and beyond the grand pubs,
we drove on into silence, without even a blink

To my right lay dreamlike misty mountains,
and to my left lay a calm bay; as daytime turned into night

And it was beyond that bay I saw something,
so incredible in all its own right

With large glowing cranes and a foggy sky
propelling a light hazy glow for all to see

It was Christmas Day after all,
and this image was magical even for me

I smiled like that of the Cheshire Cat,
belly full and looking out towards the fading light

And perhaps I was wrong to ever claim,
that not a sinner was ever in sight
Christmas memories
Sean M O'Kane Sep 2018
“Oh you’re Irish?” he said.
“Did you learn the language much?” he said.
Honestly, what can I tell him? I was raised in the North - a ****** wasteland for such a naïve question.
Vague memories of fumbled classes where our secret history was ditched just to get straight into the basics (Cad é mar atá tú?)
No – seriously - I was not tied to it – it was anonymous to me at that age.
Forgotten like some distant echo of once visiting Coole House as a child.
Sure, we knew it was “important”, “our national language”, “heritage” etc. and we were warned it was quickly slipping into the drain of Western hegemony.
But it was baffling, unsexy and only the blunt-faced humorless IRA thugs amongst us were in any way keen.
Then it was gone, just like the faded memories of “The Children of Lir” from my primary school.

Looking back I wonder, what was the point?
A half-full measure paying lip service to our identity.
Teachers and headmasters terrified of the grand colonial reveal that the lessons might have hinted at (were they trying to stop us being Provos-in-waiting?).
And all of this against the awful shame of a common tongue that had no foe yet was slowly vanquishing from our shores.
It could have all been so different.
Rather than rushing to get something in our empty skulls, they could have given us a sense of joy, pride & belief in our own culture.
Calling on Yeats, Behan, Heaney and others to drown us in the language of our ancestors.
Telling the stories of old that only the academics & hippies were keeping from us then.
You know, it might kept us all on the same beautifully illuminated page.
We might have been comfortable in our skins and open to others,
not looking deep into our worthlessness and lashing out at them.
Language is being and language is connecting, I’ve learnt.
But that’s not something I got from my secondary school.

June-July 2018
Obviously, Teanga is the Irish word for language. "Cad é mar atá tú" is a basic phrase every Irish child would remember from the limited experience of the language that we had then - "how are you?".  I did visit Coole House around 1980 (when I was 10)  but had no idea at the time of its significance as the 'petri dish' of modern Irish culture - the home of Lady Gregory whose influence on many of our great writers was fundamental to their survival & their continuing importance today. "The Children of Lir" is an old fantastical Irish myth that was often read to very  young children during their  "story time".
Tommy Randell Mar 2017
Wear green, anything green, green will save you
For certain - except on non-holy days maybe,
For those, a ****** is the best standby
Preferably one from an old religion
Thus establishing your undoubted innocence
And no matter it hampers the shenanigans
We are after all preventing lightning.

In the absence of a ******, some silk –
Yellow as the Sun and carried in the pocket
Out of sight as if it is a secret -
Damp it through with a drop of neat Poteen,
Drink some yourself to keep the airways clean
And never, but never, carry a stick
Unless it has a rubber ferrule on the end.

Ireland has a big sky so do look up.
Leather shoes are important - don’t wear synthetic -
And patterned socks are best turned inside out,
Though it must be said of this advisory
The ways of lightning are its own to know
And no amount of shoe and sock revising
Can guarantee your safety on an Irish road.

For the rest advices, I do not hold them to be true -
Tried and tested down the generations
My ancestors, and my family too,
Have always known that lightning prevention
Is its own reward, and habit forming.
Finally, there are leaflets available for free and
As you exit the aircraft please do feel
Ireland always takes your safety seriously.
Happy Paddy's Day
Mary Gay Kearns Jun 2018
I took the left path where hydrangeas grew and sleepy primroses under woods, edged shady trees.
The empty stream ran quietly dry
With grass cuttings piling high.
If one peeped, one would find tiny creatures
To cast a sparkle here and there, a delight.
So on tip-toe, with sandels bent
Up high I reached to take
The plastic fairy as she twirled a pirouette
In a theatre made by chance.
Reflected in a silver mirror intwinned with ivy branch
A mottled foal tends his dreams and Chrismas robin chirps.

My brother took the right hand path where the trees grew fruit
Ripe berries from the gooseberry bush bulged their prickles.
Dangling from hawthorn now a cowboy with a hat
Looking for his fellow Indian with the yellow back sack.
Sheep gather in a hollow, dark, protected from the sun
And Mr toad, now lost of paint, has turned a bit glum.

And so we leave our woodland friends and travel up the *****
Winding round the rose bed and goldfish where they float.
Then up we climb, the middle route, to jump the pruned clipped
Hedge.
The lawn divided in two halves, a contemporary taste.

Now we're nearly at that place where if one was to turn
Could see down across the land
To the sea and sand.
Of all the beauties that I've known
Nothing beats this Island home.

Love Mary x




My grandfather’s retirement bungalow was in Totland Isle of Wight.
It was named Innisfail meaning ‘Isle of Ireland’.
Behind, the garden led down to magical and delightful to children who came as visitors. My grandfather would prepare this woodland with some suitable surprises.
The garden and woodland deserved its own name and in retrospect
Is now named ‘Innislandia’ to suggest a separate, mysterious land.
Beyond the real world.
In the poem A Country Lane on page 8 the latched gate is the back gate to my grandparent’s garden and bungalow in Totland as above.
John Garbutt wrote the following piece on the meaning of the name 'Innisfail'.

My belief that the place-name came from Scotland was abandoned
on finding the gaelic origins of the name.
‘Inis’ or ‘Innis' mean ‘island’, while ‘fail’ is the word for
Ireland itself. ‘Innisfail’ means Ireland. But not just
geographically: the Ireland of tradition, customs, legends
and folk music, the Ireland of belonging.
So the explanation why the Irish ‘Innisfail’ was adopted as the name
of a town in Alberta, Canada, and a town in Australia,
can only be that migrants took the name, well  over a century ago
to their new homelands, though present-day Canadians
and Australians won’t have that same feeling about it.

------------------------------------------------------------­---------
The bungalow was designed by John Westbrook, who was an architect, as a wedding present for his father and Gwen Westbrook.
I do believe he also designed the very large and beautiful gardens.
It is there still on the Alan Bay Road. Love Mary xxxx
Deb Jones Jan 4
When I was a child

Some of the most judgmental and unkind People I ever met were on church pews
Every Sunday with a Hymnal
And a Bible in their hands

I didn’t know how some people
Were able to disassociate their own Shortcomings and cruelty
From their religious
Obligations and convictions
But many were able to do just that

But as a child I couldn’t reconcile
The child abusers
The pedophiles
The rapists
The drug traffickers
The thieves
The alcoholics
The cheaters
The liars

From the people that stood at the pulpits.
The ones I was told to emulate.
The minister
The reverends
The deacons

The word minister embodies
Loving protection

The word reverend invokes
Reverence and inspiration

Doesn’t it?

I was a young adult
Before I realized
Church is for sinners
By that time organized religion
For me?
Was black and soiled.
Repulsive

Here I am now.
I fling mantras out into the world
Of love, hope, compassion,
Good health

I recently walked into
A cathedral in Ireland and cried.
I felt the weight of time and
Countless generations of believers.

Working in the medical field
And specializing in pediatrics
Holding a one pound baby
In my hands
Months before even
The parents were allowed to touch them
I sincerely believe in miracles
I see them almost every day

My church is in my head
Buddhism is in my heart
And in the actions of my hands
The words in my mouth
What my ears hear
The soothing of my soul

The meals I help serve the homeless
The blankets I spread on their cots

I bow my head and listen to prayers
Wherever they are offered
I quietly whisper
My wishes
Into an unknown ear  

I don’t judge many people anymore
My childhood is past
I learned valuable lessons
And peace is mind at last

That doesn’t mean I trust
Easily or broadly
It just means I am an adult
And am responsible

There is some good
In almost everyone
I don’t say that out of naivety
I have danced with monsters

But that’s another tale...
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