A Full Life of Narrow Streets
Beneath the broad columns of Herculean Pillar,
Weeps the springtime feather dance
Of freezing frothing blanket.
He lies on Irving’s rocks across the Henry,
Painting words of Freedom’s March across a furrowed brow,
Till tiredness creeps it’s feet on lonely eyes,
As they frown down from above.
On the first crack of the distant Bell
A teary head raises from a bloody pillow,
And sings out the count, to defiant beats.
Flakes drift softly round a faraway moon,
As drizzle melts the lines of morning strollers,
With the hoofs their companions, embossed upon the heather.
His eyes close as he settles to dreams of futures possible,
Picturing rows of steaming turrets, sharpened blades
And crumbling fear, as they draw known faces on fancy paper.
He hears whispered talk of sagging brows and lobbing smiles,
Scribbling and scripting our morning news where
New artisans paint headlines in his head,
“Work, save, and Beg.
Make ends meet,
Work those streets,
Bare them writers, debaters,
Teeming with poor lice“.
Upset now, he straightens, filled with sculpted fear,
And flagging hope,
Devouring ideals of painful labour,
Darkened evenings and prose.
The Narrow Alleys echo his comrades screams,
‘They are Flogging the undesirables‘.
Cries of the deserted ring out
As sweat now pours on dirtied boots.
On a one page of women Jubilant,
Black Coffins swim across the oceans, and the singing corpses chant the Voters Slogan
‘The great appear great,
Only because we are on our Knees’
The Parisians have embraced the soul of his youth, stole his heart,
Hardened his resolve,
And emancipated the print of the newest chapters.
He’ll fall upon the lords great will,
The ‘Singers’ and ‘Wobblies’ will call and cheer,
While unrest leaves lanes of torn and listed books.
It’s a world only make believe could make so real.
Locked in, Locked out,
Fattened Guerrillas stalking shadows,
In concrete jungles of law and lands.
Their people long since, Ner’ forgotten,
For He hears their whispers in his sleep.
This Farmers land, had workers lead their kin to the gates of Slaughter,
Then scavenged, begged and stowed to the cloudy Hill
To remorse or return, is a question beyond the door of the living.
He must shed not for the defiant butcher,
But more for the life now gone,
Since sold to an aging critic.
He was born in to the Poor mans world,
But now freed from it’s chains,
Must help make what‘s fallow ripen.
On the streets where rubble were once great walls,
Where mounted high, the heavenly stag did Breed,
In fields where blight had starved their plates,
He would toil and drive and dig and build.
That day, that day in May,
Upon a hazy heather pillow,
A life of history filled a lonely man.
As he lay and held the hand of glories past,
He raised a fist to salute the one which had just begun.
He shakes hands in his dreams with the men of the mist,
At the edge of great towns.
Seamus Mac Giolla Phadraig
A poem which explores the story of realisation for an Irish farmer, robbed of his Land and forced to travel to America to find work. He comes in contact with James Larkin and James Connolly, and is inspired to learn how to read and write, bringing him in to contact with novelist James Joyce. Throughout his travels and work, he keeps his religion close to him, reminding himself of what St. Patrick had brought to Ireland, and what he had come to mean as a symbol of the country worldwide.
In this piece he is daydreaming, staring across the Hudson bay area, at a new Manhattan, his Atlantis, from an opposing hillside. He is alone with a copy of Ulysses and the frightening yet imbedded thoughts of returning home to help fight for the re installment of Ireland as a sovereign nation. He has just heard of the execution of Connolly in 1916, which has had him leave work physically sick, knowing he may not go back to his job, and with a feeling he had been summoned to return to fight. But as with all dreams, reality is somewhat harsher, and the leaving of his own dream is harder still, thus the correlation, comparison, with the diaspora of today during the demise of the Celtic Tiger.