Proinnsias

Proinnsias

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Hallowe'en Dance



Father, mother
And my own dear brother,
Come to join me
              Till the light of dawn.
Father, mother,
              And my own dear brother,
Dancing, singing
              Till the light of dawn.

                        Will you stay?
Will you stay?
Will you stay and join me,
Dancing, singing,
Till the light of dawn.
(Repeat)

Granny, granddad,
              Those who went before you,
Come to join me
              Till the light of dawn.
Granny, granddad,
              Those who went before you,
Dancing, singing,
              Dancing on the lawn.

                             Will you stay? Etc.

All good neighbours,
              In their generations,
Come to join me
              Till the light of dawn.
All good neighbours,
              In their generations,
Dancing, singing,
              Dancing on the lawn.

                             Will you stay? Etc.

All good spirits
              Gathering together,
Come to join me
              Till the light of dawn.
All good spirits
              Gathering together,
Dancing, singing,
              Dancing on the lawn.

                             Will you stay? Etc.

Smiling, laughing,
              Feasting and drinking,
Dancing, singing,
              Till the light of dawn.
Smiling, laughing,
              Feasting and singing,
Dancing, singing,
              Dancing on the lawn.

                            Will you stay? Etc.

Father, mother,
              And my own dear brother,
Come to join me
              Till the light of dawn.
Father, mother,
              And my little brother,
Dancing, singing,
              Dancing on the lawn.

Will you stay?
Will you stay?
Will you stay and join me,
Dancing, singing,
Till the light of dawn.
(Repeat twice)



Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Nelson

(A poem I wrote when I was a teenager, around 1959, a few years before Nelson was toppled from his pillar in Dublin)





Take Nelson down.

Fit
He dominate our town,
Is it?

Foreign man who fought French fleets,
Though remarkable his many feats,
What  do we to this man owe
That such respect for him we show?

He, with his one-eyed frown,
Looks our street up and down.
Cars and buses all around
Look little midges on the ground.

It is not fit!
Take Nelson down.


Sunday, 20 August 2017

Domestic Ghosts

Old people are often visited by ghosts of their deceased relatives, easing their passage into the next life.

The young are afraid of ghosts,
But there is no need.
Our dead are all around us
Behind a screen.

When they show themselves,
It is to bring us calm
And accept life and death
As they are.

Their demeanour is friendly;
Their mood is gay.
If we are welcoming,
They will stay.

But as soon as we say,
"Go  now please,"
Without demur or sorrow
They will leave.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Lonesome Scot

Ne'er thay laired me hou tae winch,
An ne'er thay laired me hou tae coort.
Nae I gainder in the rouk
Unkennins as tae hou tae do it.

Thay laired me hou tae spell an coont,
An all the kintras in the warld.
But it ails me that I leared na hou
Tae woo a lass wi golden curls.

I see the wey they keek at me,
The lasses blythe and cannie:
Whate'er it is a man sud hae,
Thay deem I haena ony.

And it's becase the lame-legged wey
I habble to come in aboot them,
And hou I ganch and stammer then
To try to get wirds spoken.

What guid to me are all the beuks,
An all the problems solven,
While I gang forth all on my ain,
A lanely furr a'pleuchin'?

"English" version:


Never they taught me how to flirt,
And never they taught me how to court.
Now I wander in the mist,
Ignorant of how  to do it.

They taught me how to spell and count,
And all the countries in the world.
But I regret I learned not how
To woo a girl with golden curls.

I see the way they peep at me,
The jolly and cunning girls:
Whatever it is a man should have,
They guess I have not any.

And it's because the lame-legged way
I hobble to approach them,
And how I stutter and stammer then
To try to get words spoken.

What good to me are all the books,
And all my problem-solving,
While I go forth all on my own,
A lonely furrow ploughing.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Swinging in the Choir

One of the additional eleven poems added to the new edition of Outrageous Poems published today:



Swinging in the choir

(A fictional choir of course)

The swinging began
When the choir went on tour,
Each Soprano and Alto
Already a whore
When we sang for the Pope
In Rome.

Father McCarthy
Was at it a lot.
We found he was both
A sod and a sot.
With no altar-boys,
Every Tenor he tried.
With respect for the cloth
Each one complied
And welcomed him into
The fold.  

As we headed for home
We swore to stay mum,
But never forsake
What we had begun.

Choir swings every week
On each Thursday night
Leaving our spouses
At home.

Avoiding attachment,
It’s best, so we found,
To constantly pass
The partners around.
We hope to continue,
For swinging is fun,
For ever and ever,
Amen.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Once I had a pen-knife




Once I had a  pen-knife
That could pare a stick so sharp
I could fling it at a lion
And penetrate his heart.

Once I had a pen-knife
That could shape a spear so fine
I could bring down an eagle
Or fight a crocodile.

Now I have a pen-knife,
But the stakes I mould
Perform no useful purpose
But pretty flowers to uphold.

Masterpiece

What a masterpiece
Nature paints,
As sun sets
On tranquil lake.

An artist quite
Indifferent to who
His present master-
Piece will view,

A timeless view
Known equally
To megalithic
Man and me.

Yet once off!
Next day's event
Will differ to
A great extent.