Poetry

Six Poems

A Happy Marriage

The match was made and on the day,

Because they’d never met,

When the groom and groomsman came to church

She asked “Which one of ye is it?”

She soon found out and in that church

She vowed to live her life

For richer, for poorer, for better, for worse,

A humble country wife.

She cooked for him, she washed, she sewed,

He worked the farm outside—

Were they happy? you might ask;

Well, on the night he died

She told her story to her son,

How his father was a man

He could be rightly proud of;

She let him understand

That all their years of marriage

They lived in unity,

They worked together, prayed together

And did agree.

“When I think of other men,” she said,

“He was a cut above;

We were very happy, son,

I’ve no regrets worth thinking of

But I wonder how it might have been

If we had been in love.

I wonder how it might have been

If we had been in love.”

The Last Wren Boy

In memoriam Eddie Cunningham

They brought their celebration

To the darkest time of year

Lighting up midwinter

With music, song and beer.

Before Saturn was forgotten,

The Wren Boys played their part;

Now the state we live in

Has breathalysed the heart.

Farewell to winter revelry,

The sacrament of night,

We have no need of Wren Boys

In artificial light.

We have no need of Wren Boys,

We have no need to give

Libation to the darkness

That the light might live.

Farewell to you, last Wren Boy,

You blessed my home today,

You played and drank my whiskey

And went upon your way.

Farewell to you, last Wren Boy,

High Priest of the dark,

You brought your light here with you,

Behind you, left this spark.

You brought your light here with you

And left it in my heart.

Gabriel Fitzmaurice

Wren Boys (they can be men, women or children) go through the countryside on Saint Stephen’s day, December 26, making merry, playing music, singing, dancing.

Death of a Poet

I stood up for my people,

Out of them I made

A silk purse of a sow’s ear.

For this, I was betrayed.

A silk purse of a sow’s ear,

For in them I could see

Not Ó Bruadair’s total boors

But the stuff of poetry.

A silk purse of a sow’s ear,

For this I was betrayed

By gobshites who care nothing

For the beauty I have said.

A silk purse of a sow’s ear,

I bid you all good day;

As you leave me, so I leave you.

There is no more to say.

When I Pray

I talk to myself,

The only person

I can’t lie to.

Whether God is listening

Or not,

I don’t know

But I talk

As if He were.

I talk,

He doesn’t answer.

Not that I expect Him to.

But wisdom comes

Through talking

As if God were listening

Where only truth will do.

An Ageing Artist Looks at a Young Woman

When I was young and I saw beauty,

I wanted it for myself;

Now I’m older, when I see beauty,

I love it for itself.

For I no longer need to possess it,

It’s enough for me

To be happy in your beauty

Where it’s enough to see.

I’m happy in your beauty

Where it’s enough to see.

The Traveller Woman

She came out of my childhood

Begging at my door;

The children hadn’t seen

A traveller beg before.

She said that God would bless me

For any alms I’d give;

I know the times would tell her

She’s got enough to live;

I know the times would tell her

That begging is a crime

But she came into my classroom

From another time.

She came into my classroom

With a basket that would show

The truth of all who looked in it—

We’re either yes or no.

She came into my classroom

And I gave. Oh happy day!

She called God’s blessings on me

And went upon her way.

0 comments
Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.