The Lament Of Joe McCann


By Robert Lowery


(Air: The Valley of Knockanure)




Come gather round while I sing to you, Of a lad named Joe McCann.


Whose praises will be sung for years, In many a foreign land.


Wherever Britain's Empire's shed, The blood of martyrs true


0 they'll sing and talk of our Joe McCann, How he died for me and you




The first we heard of our gallant Joe, Was that night in '71.


Six hundred strong, the Crown did send, To take away our sons.


Internment had arrived at last, The night that we all feared


But Joe McCann, the Pastry Man, Called out his volunteers.




At Inglis' they made their stand, With Connolly at their side.


For six long hours, their Thompson's blazed, Their spirit would not die.


"Surrender now," they called to him, "You'll not save nary a man."


But the I.R.A. had won the day, With a lad named Joe McCann.




0 the Yellow Card was tossed aside, By that murdering Para corps


In their red berets and alien ways, Who came to conquer the poor.


"O we'll shoot to kill, this Joe McCann, Whoever he may be


And we'll send him off to join his friend, The one called Connolly."


O he walked the streets of his Belfast town, Heedless of the threats


that came


And the people saw he was unafraid, They sought to do the same.


But the bullets tore his flesh in two, On that Black April Day.


And as he clutched his wounds and fell, The Paras blazed away.




They shot you in the markets, Joe, You were unarmed it's true


As you fell to the street, a nation wept, They riddled your body thru


"McCann is dead, McCann is dead!", There came the anguished cry


And from out the soul of Ireland, The bitter question, "Why?"




He died to make our country one, In a way not known before


No more said he can we fail to see, The rich betray the poor


We'll drive away all those who seek, To take away our land


For the wealth belongs to only one class, The Workers of Ireland.




Taken from Irish People














He awoke to the sound of the rippling stream,




flowing down by the house, for years it had been,




little feet paddling through gravel and sand,




the pastimes of youth sure life would be grand,




and as the stream grew  so he grew fine and tall,




always willing and able to answer one’s call,




as he did in the days when I was lad,




in nineteen sixty two building Bridie’s new pad,




helping out Scanlon Mick mixing mortar and stone,




laying down the foundations of that stately home,




 and when I would tell Mick that chimney was leaning,




is that so says Mick with a smile that was beaming,




and Jerry would laugh at this not so innocent boy,




for he knew only too well  that I wasn’t  that shy,




and soon that leaning chimney would carry the smoke,




as we sat round the fire playing cards ‘twas no joke,




there was Bridie,  her mother Julie, Jerry and me,




single hand forty one for a nominal fee,




and sometimes they would speak about themselves and others,




as we listened to the sounds of the great Clancy brothers,




and that day on the hill how I fondly recall,




Jerry sowing potatoes coming down with the fall,




when grandfather looked up being sure of himself,




he shouted to Jerry, ‘go home young man and don’t be making a fool of yourself’




and again Jerry laughed as that was his way,




never known to take insult from whatever may,




‘twas around that same time we were making a furrow




when grandfather tackled the grey horse to a harrow




the horse he got frightened then jumped out the gap




tearing grandfather’s waistcoat right off his back




Jerry saw what was happening then he ran down the hill




got a hold of a bicycle and followed at will




catching up with the horse at the bounds of the county




that was his kind nature never looked for a bounty




and no matter how hard he toiled by that stream,




was always at the ready to join our young team,




when we gathered at eve’ about seven or eight,




to line out for a game at his own roadside gate,




the football was rough for a high ball I rose,




a crack, then silence,  I had broken Jerry’s nose,




with fear I ran off as the blood it did flow,




I could hear Mikie say, to doctor Browne we must go,




and I remember the all Ireland of nineteen sixty eight




when we all made our way towards Mick Feury’s gate




there weren’t many TV’s in the houses around




so in Mick’s spacious kitchen we all could be found




for the clash of the Kingdom’s that‘s Kerry and Down




but no joy that same year for the men from the Laune




then we replayed that great game on the Kerryline road




with Jerry at full back, strong and stalwart he stood




later on that same week to the races we’d go




always gave me a lift to Listowel don’t you know




in nineteen seventy one on my James motorbike




coaxed Jerry to take a ride and it wasn’t no hike




as fast as ‘twould go you could hear Jerry’s screaming




when we arrived at Mullane’s, the tears they were streaming




it was there Mullane Danny stood agasp by his shed




‘boyeen’ he whispered you must be clean off your head




and as Jerry jumped off he gave a loud moan




‘I can tell you’, says he, ‘well I’m walking home’




soon a job came my way ‘twas nineteen seventy two




a guardian of the peace, with our own boys in blue




yet on each yearly visit to my dear Kerryline




for a visit to Jerry I would always make time




and there we would talk of old times and the weather




of those all Ireland games that we watched together




as we did July past recollect you might say




‘twas to be our last meeting we didn’t know it that day




our dear Lord needed men and Jerry was his man




and so he was taken, ‘twas part of God’s plan.




Rest in peace my dear friend.        




 George Langan, January 2017.




John McGrath - Poetry Workshop


John McGrath is a poet, writer, publisher and retired teacher who lives in Lisselton, North Kerry with his wife Kate and from where he runs his not-for-profit publishing company, Moybella Press. He is a founder member of the Seanchaí Writers’ Group in Listowel and was a member of the Listowel Writers’ Week committee for 15 years. He is co-founder and current Chairperson of The Ballydonoghue Bardic Festival.




John’s first collection, Blue Sky Day, was published by Moybella Press in 2007. His second collection, Closing the Circle, was published in 2015. He is currently working on a third volume. He has edited and published twenty books of poetry, short stories and memoir by local writers under the Moybella Press imprint. He also co-wrote Rebel Mind, Conor O’Sullivan’s biography, published by Moybella Press in 2011.




His work has previously been included in The Ballydonoghue Parish Magazine, Still in the Dreaming and in The Malpais Review, Santa Fe, and also online in The First Cut.














A Nostalgic Poem from John McGrath




(from John’s anthology Blue Sky Day)




Once in the Long Ago and Far Away




Once in the Long Ago and Far Away




I ran barefoot along bright boreens,




Dashing through pools of morning blue.




Over the dry-stone walls I flew,




Crashing through cobwebbed meadows,




Dew-drenched; phlegmed with cuckoo-spit.




Paused to wish by the whitewashed well.




Fished in its never-ending silver stream




For shining silver treasures.




All through the ringing fields I ran




All through the live-long, lark-song day,




Tireless as Time




‘Til time and hunger called me




Back to buttermilk lamplight, Banshee dreams,




Once in the Long Ago and Far Away.







Mary Cogan Listowel Connection


Saturday June 5 2021 Guided Forest Bathing in Garden of Europe as part of Listowel Writers’ Week 2021.




Feeling Creative after my treat for the senses I wrote this little poem




A Sense of Place




I am in Kerry, a carpet of green and gold before me.




I am in Europe, Schiller and all that is best in Europe to my right.




The Holocaust and all that is worst in Europe to me left




All around me is all that is most beautiful in Nature




Forty shades of green to see,




Birdsong to listen to




Scents of flowers




A taste of summer all around




Here I can touch all that is beautiful in Creation.










Poll an Eas in the sunshine by Tom




Poul an Eas … never more shall I see thee dark Poul an Eas


Shall I behold or hear thy flood,


For thy loved banks no more I’ll pass


Or wander by Killeany woods. It was there the cowslips were first seen,


To deck those sheltered banks so green.


For they loved banks no more I’ll pass


Or wander by Killeany woods. Turn then to where my youth was spend


Long beside my native home


Where Saxon rents and Saxon Laws


Compelled us here from there to roam


But if her sons united were,


There need not be an exile here


For grave should be the grabbers end. Written by: Kathleen Dillane


Glin, Co Limerick Composed by: The Late Timothy Costello


Killeany Cross, Glin






My days working in the library are coming to an end as I am retiring in June. This past year has seen the libraries closed more often than open so it has been a strange final year of work. I sent in my retirement notice in poetry as follows:




The 4th of June is a special date




‘Twas the day I wed my faithful mate




On that date too I began my career




As a branch librarian  for 19 years.




These years have given me much joy




And, in truth, this time has flown on by.




But now my life has changed its plan




And I must adapt as best I can.




So I pick the 4th of June once more




To hand in my keys of Glin Library door.




I am grateful for the years within




This lovely place in the town of Glin.


Poetry by Peg Prendeville












A Prayer for all Archivists


by Margie Buttitta, coordinator




Nations and institutions have archives - and you and I do, too! My personal archives go deep into my past, their vaults and drawers holding the history of my life, my mind, my heart, my relationships, my soul...Lent is a good time to go through my personal archives: to do some sorting and reviewing, to better understand the person whose history I'm living and making...Here are some suggestions for searching through your archives...








Archivist Katie McNally, from Boston CSJ Archives | Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston, shared this poem below from unknown author.








How often do I consult my archives, Lord,




   the filing cabinets of my life's story?








When I go to my archives, what do I find there?




   what records, reports and transcripts,




   what files marked PERSONAL and CONFIDENTIAL?








 Have I locked up files that need to be read,




   to be aired in the breath of your mercy?








Are there files in my archives I'm slow to pull,




   slow to read, slow to bring to you in prayer?








 Are some of my records in need of correction,




   any balance sheets in need of adjustment?








As I go through my archives,




   do I focus on files of failure,




   letters of losses, memoirs of grief?








Are there files of joy I need to review,




   memos of good times I ought to recall,




   treasure, savor and keep?








 In reopening my personal files,




   do I remember what's stored there is history,




   that I live in the present moment,




   that I need not be chained to my past?








Have I taken the time to find in my archives




   the documentation, the proof,




that you've always had my back, Lord,




 that your file on me is always active?








Have I read and treasured the folders of stories




   of those who've befriended, helped and loved me?








Have I opened the files on the good I've done




   for those I've cared for, loved and befriended?








 Have I found and read with a grateful heart




  the minutes and notes on my hope and trust,




   my desire and efforts to grow in faith?






As I go through my archives, remind me, Lord,




how you know every fact that fills my file yet you love me still,




wanting only and always to heal and forgive, refresh and redeem me...








Lord, give me the grace, the courage I need




 to open my personal archives




to my files, the permanent record,




   of your kindness, compassion and love...
















1) Were I to choose 3 files from my archives this Lent




     to share in prayer with God,




           which files would they be?








2) Will I pray for the Spirit




        to help me with files I need to open




           but I know I'll be slow to read?








3) Do I trust the Lord to review my files




      with understanding, healing and pardon?








4) Do I trust Jesus to expunge the files




       he seals with his mercy




     and free me from consulting, ever again,




        all he's erased from my heart and his?






Feb 2021


POETS: Five Kerry poets were among the artists to take part in the 15 hour-long readings in the recent Crossways Festival. Poets Nuala Ní Dhómhnaill, Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa, Simon Ó Faoláin, and Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin were the Kerry delegation.   















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the world that should be


it's the simplest thing we can do


that we don't find it the hardest


life has become a survival yet God never planned it that way


we call on his name all in vain for we only fear those who can fire us


true woship among belivers has been replaced with love for money and power in the church


the family unit established by God in the garden of Eden has been threatened by the rampant divorce and marriage separations among believers


the power to preach the truth and to receive spiritual guidance has been given monetary value


we no longer fear the giver of life but fear things created by God


we are afraid of loosing class and influence as that would make us seem weak


we are all competing just to educate our children yet we fail to teach them love,trust and patience


we are the modern day believers of Christ yet we are responsible for snatching and destroying other people's marriage


behind bars of alcohol and the bars of justice majority in there are born again Christians..


why because after children are born they only hear the word of God on Sunday yet the family is the basic primary church


we love those with money power and despise the poor for they cannot buy us'love'


Dear God have mercy on us for we love public praise rather than submitting to your will


we seek peace from God through phones yet God's word is now written in our hearts


we steal the young girls virginity just to satisfy our sexual lust


majority of our problems today are as a result of our lustful style of living..


many also are dead because of lust,envy and too much earthly pleasures forgetting God Almighty


no money can buy us freedom or peace


if love is not in you, you cannot offer it but hate and lust


if peace and patience are not your virtuals how can you then invest in time or talk about Faith and trust in God


Love God as He deserves and treat others as you would like to be treated for


what goes around will come back the same way


#chuimunga the poet


#made from Africa








SEÁN Ó h-AIRTNÉIDE 1928 - 2017




I met an old friend in Mountmahon today


And he said Jackie Thady had just passed away.


The great Seán Ó h-Airtnéide has gone to his rest.


Devon Road is in mourning. He was one of the best.










John McGrath


usstSmpoNovuenmbeur sou25 iaants fr7:0eefiu9do ooPoMghm  ·


Ballybunion Community Market


will have a book stall at their Christmas Market in


Ballybunion Community Centre


on Sunday 6th December, featuring books from local authors. I'm pleased to have 'Closing The Circle' included on this stall. Please come along and support a great cause.




At Corcomroe Abbey


The Japanese tour-bus leaves,


Taking with it the voices of the living.


Silence floods back, filling the cloisters.


Among the tombs and effigies,


The long-dead whisper their secrets


To the listening stones.


Thrushes serenade a thousand souls


In the green sward beyond the Abbey walls


And everywhere the hum of trees.


A solitary blackbird calls me to prayer


And I respond. My pain slips away


Between the arches and the bell-tower.


#ballybunioncommunitymarket #supportkerrybusinesses #buylocal






CS O Sullivan - File Éireannach - Irish poet.




One can't rise


by digging holes,


Look at all you have done


rather than what you haven't done.


Look at all you have


rather than what you don't have,


Look at all you have become


rather than who you are not.


Look at all the battles you have won


rather than at the ones you haven't yet won,




win or lose, we grow.


Look at your strengths


your talents, your skills, your loves.


Look at how blessed


you are,


Look at the times


you have already come through.


Look to your wellbeing


your spirit, your morale,


Raise, don't dig.


Why criticise when you can cheer?


focus on action not fear,


You can build


so why dig?


Self sabotage is beneath you,


attend to what serves you.


Give yourself a break


and give yourself a raise.


Cornelius Simon.






The Toys




My little Son, who look'd from thoughtful eyes


And moved and spoke in quiet grown-up wise,


Having my law the seventh time disobey'd,


I struck him, and dismiss'd


With hard words and unkiss'd,


His Mother, who was patient, being dead.


Then, fearing lest his grief should hinder sleep,


I visited his bed,


But found him slumbering deep,


With darken'd eyelids, and their lashes yet


From his late sobbing wet.


And I, with moan,


Kissing away his tears, left others of my own;


For, on a table drawn beside his head,


He had put, within his reach,


A box of counters and a red-vein'd stone,


A piece of glass abraded by the beach


And six or seven shells,


A bottle with bluebells


And two French copper coins, ranged there with careful art,


To comfort his sad heart.


So when that night I pray'd


To God, I wept, and said:


Ah, when at last we lie with tranced breath,


Not vexing Thee in death,


And Thou rememberest of what toys


We made our joys,


How weakly understood


Thy great commanded good,


Then, fatherly not less


Than I whom Thou hast moulded from the clay,


Thou'lt leave Thy wrath, and say,


"I will be sorry for their childishness."






The Corona




Oh Corona, you’re the devil




You’ve brought such hurt and fear




Since you floated sneakily into our lives




At the beginning of the year.




Yes, we thought we had you captured




When we went into lockdown




We thought we’d frighten you away




From county and from town.




But you went spreading with a vengeance




Like the thistles and the weeds




As soon as some are cleared away




Another comes with ease.




You show no love nor mercy




As you watch some people die




You laugh at people mourning




When they cannot say Goodbye.




You’ve struck terror into people’s hearts




And questioned our belief.




Who do we trust? What can we do?




When will we get reprieve?




But the Irish you’ll not conquer




We’re made of stern stuff




We’ve beaten enemies before




Now we say Enough’s Enough!




So we’ll wash our hands and wear our masks




And keep two metre distance




And soon we’ll wave goodbye to you




And blow you from existence.




By Peg Prendeville.



Local singer Francis Kennedy she hosts concerts featuring music, song and comedy.


 Frances Kennedy lives in Listowel, she is very much a Cork woman also. The youngest of a family of eleven, songs and stories were always part of her home life. Neighbours called at night and her father would fill them up with all sorts of stories. Her mother, a great believer in ghosts would tell of strange lights seen and things going bump in the night.






Francis Kennedy October 2020



The Banks of the Abha Bhán


How often in the years that’s passed I walked with fishing gear


Along the banks of sweet Abha Bhán as big trout did appear


What a thrill to see them leap and see the rod aquiver


As we hooked them, fresh and pure, from the lovely Abha Bhán river.


Here the anglers came from far and near and were always satisfied


As many hours passed quickly by along the riverside.


And many’s the pleasant chat we had as we all walked along


Our relaxed minds so free from care on the banks of the Abha Bhán.


For here amid the fragrant flowers the spirit seemed to rise


With the skylark singing overhead and we heard the cuckoo’s voice


The hawthorn blossoms, pink and white, were beautiful to scan


Like a bridal silken veil adorning the banks of the Abha Bhán.


Paddy Faley R.I.P.






Begin again to the summoning birds


to the sight of the light at the window,


begin to the roar of morning traffic


all along Pembroke Road.


Every beginning is a promise


born in light and dying in dark


determination and exaltation of springtime


flowering the way to work.


Begin to the pageant of queuing girls


the arrogant loneliness of swans in the canal


bridges linking the past and future


old friends passing though with us still.


Begin to the loneliness that cannot end


since it perhaps is what makes us begin,


begin to wonder at unknown faces


at crying birds in the sudden rain


at branches stark in the willing sunlight


at seagulls foraging for bread


at couples sharing a sunny secret


alone together while making good.


Though we live in a world that dreams of ending


that always seems about to give in


something that will not acknowledge conclusion


insists that we forever begin.




— From The Essential Brendan Kennelly


Life in the time of Covid. A poem by Marian Relihan




Enveloped by four four-legged


who don’t watch the news


they don’t listen to Dr Holohan


they do not hear Trump


What is the HSE?


Even when I was covid-ed


they did not practice social distancing


No, they sat on my lap


curled at my feet


seeking closest contact




Cowslips and primroses


joyfully present themselves


Blackthorn and Lilac blossom


reach down to shower their scent.


Young calves run and frolic


Crows rush around building homes


Mornings full avian songs


Grass competing to be tallest


Life when we are gone


Life in the time of covid.




I live in North Kerry and attend regular writing groups. I published a book of poetry ‘Skyland ‘ a few years ago. I work as a creative writing tutor.


A Hare


by Walter de la Mare




Eyes that glass fear, though fear on furtive foot


Track thee, in slumber bound;


Ears that whist danger, though the wind sigh not,


Nor Echo list a sound;


Heart — oh, what hazard must thy wild life be,


With sapient Man for thy cold enemy!




Fleet Scatterbrains, thou hast thine hours of peace


In pastures April-green,


Where the shrill skylark’s raptures never cease,


And the clear dew englobes the white moon’s beam.


All happiness God gave thee, albeit thy foe


Roves Eden, as did his Satan, long ago.




Glin Site







Show us, Lord, the path of life.


Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.         


I say to the Lord: ‘You are my God.         


O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;


It is you yourself who are my prize’. (R)




I will bless the Lord who give me counsel,


Who even at night directs my heart.


I keep the Lord ever in my sight:


Since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm. (R)




And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;


Even my body shall rest in safety.


For you will not leave my soul among the dead,


Nor let your beloved know decay. (R)




You will show me the path of life,


the fullness of joy in your presence,


At your right hand happiness for ever. (R)



Rainbow Books


April 9 at 3:14 PM ·




The churches are empty,


The schools are empty,


The shelves are empty.


But that’s OK because


The tomb is empty too!




The theaters are empty,


The arenas are empty,


The offices are empty.


But that’s OK because


The grave is empty too!




Don’t touch your face,


Don’t touch your mouth,


Don’t touch your eyes.


That’s OK because


He touched my life.




Wipe clean your house,


Wipe clean your car,


Wipe clean your food.


Yes, and Jesus


Wiped clean my heart.




The President said


Stay safe, Stay home,


The Governor said


Stay safe, Stay home,


The Doctors said


Stay safe, Stay home.


Jesus said


You’re safe,


Your heart is my home.




The tiny, invisible enemy may be here for now, But My God is Real, Bigger and Forever!


This poem was written in 1869 by Kathleen O’Mara:




And people stayed at home


And read books


And listened


And they rested


And did exercises


And made art and played


And learned new ways of being


And stopped and listened


More deeply


Someone meditated, someone prayed


Someone met their shadow


And people began to think differently


And people healed.


And in the absence of people who


Lived in ignorant ways


Dangerous, meaningless and heartless,


The earth also began to heal


And when the danger ended and


People found themselves


They grieved for the dead


And made new choices


And dreamed of new visions


And created new ways of living


And completely healed the earth


Just as they were healed.




Reprinted during Spanish flu pandemic, 1919



The following poem, written by Sr. Maud Murphy SSI. and submitted by Fr. Brendan Duggan


The Challenge of Corona




We were flying to the Moon




We were finding life on Mars




We were dropping bombs with drones




We were getting bigger cars.




We were building finer homes




Flying out to warmer lands




We were busy buying clothes




We were brushing up our tans.








We were throwing out good food




While we watched the starving poor




We kept burning fossil fuels




And our oil became less pure.








We were warned by our Pope




Need to mind our Common Home




Need to watch our Carbon Footprint




Try to save our world from doom.








But we didn’t want to listen




And we didn’t want to hear




We just watched TV and Tablets




Drank our wine and quaffed our beer.








Then Corona chose to visit




We were all caught unprepared




This wee microscopic VIRUS




Has our whole world running scared.








So our hands we keep on washing




And we’re careful when we cough




We stand six feet from our neighbour




‘Cause this virus might jump off.








Now we live in isolation




While our hearts are full of fear




And we fill our fridge and cupboards




Just in case it lasts a year.








Pubs and cafes are forbidden




And we dare not go to Mass




Nursing homes we must not visit




Hospitals we have to pass.








But this enforced isolation




Gives us lots of time to think




Time to clean the kitchen cupboards




Time to make our wardrobes shrink.




Could it be that this Corona




Is a blessing in disguise




Makes us think about our lifestyle




Makes us open wide our eyes.








We thought we were all important




Greatest beings on this earth




So we used it and abused it




As if it were ours from birth.








But Corona is a challenge




Makes us take a different view




Helps us see what really matters




What it is we need to do.








We must watch out for our neighbour




Doing everything we can




We are all in this together




Let us love our fellow man.








God is with us every moment




Minding us with loving care




Now we know how much we need Him




Let us talk to him in prayer.








So Corona, thanks for coming




Truth to tell we needed you




But don’t overstay your welcome




That, alas, would never do!


Jack Ash writer poet Listowel

 verses 1935






The world and his wife were there to see the contest played.


The ploughman left his horses and the tradesman left his trade.


Excitement spread, like lightning flash through every house in town.


The night the Boro' Rovers met in combat with the Gleann.




The father and the mother, yes, the husband, wife and child.


Were there in great profusion and went mad careering wild.


Said the young wife to her husband: "Sure, I'll pawn my shawl and gown


And I'll bet my last brown penny on the fortunes of the Gleann"




In later years, 1953, once again those great rivals met in the final, well known All Ireland


footballer, Jackie Lyne was the referee, afterwards Lyne remarked, that the match


was as exciting and the play as skillful as any inter-county match he had ever played in.


Once again Ashe's 2 first verses were classic in their descriptive lines.






T'was the thirteenth of August and the year was fifty-three,


And the bustle and excitement filled expectant hearts with glee,


So we all stepped off together to the field above the town,


To see those faultless finalists, Boro' Rovers and The Gleann.




The game began at nick of time, the "Ref" was Jackie Lyne,


The whistle held in master hands was an inspiring sign,


It was an epic struggle and to history 'twill go down,


An eventful, epic final twixt the Boro' and the Gleann.    


Michael Langan poem


must have been around this time that he composed the following poem entitled Clounleharde, which was given to me by the late Thomas Michael Feury (Buddy) of Glenagragra, Glin that he recited for me verbatim during one of my many visits to his homestead.




The Praises of Clounleharde.








My fickle fancies and inclinations oft times did lead me from place to place




I’ve been prone to ramble by perambulation while life remains I shall never cease.




One day per chance while for recreation to view the beauties of this verdant lawn




In deep reflection, I chanced to stray through the pleasing landscapes of Clounleharde.








As if enchanted my senses scattered when I beheld the surrounding scenes




While abundant nature clad every meadow with vernal robes of delightful green




Each airy silver and each nymph and eagle each comely Saturn silver fawn




Are always sporting with sprightly motion through the pleasing landscapes of Clounleharde.








But in vain my efforts towards delineations the super subject of my infant thyme




Crown pagan Rick and that oration would not be adequate to paint the same




Oh hath I the eloquence of famous Cicero or like Juvenis or Mercury at dawn




Or like Jesurius could I paint the muses I’d write the beauties of Clounleharde.








‘Tis there you’ll see the thrush and blackbird wild goose and eagle and well fed stare




The jolly huntsman with his hounds and horn the fox the rabbit and the bounding hare




Its sterling springs are of the best spa-water, which my fond verses can be debarred




In spacious providences scattered wildly the blissful rarities of Clounleharde.








You’ll see the lark, the linnet, snipe, curlew and seagull the joyful songsters of the liquid air




The crake, the cuckoo, with gentle voices, the honest pheasant in her park doth cheer




The friendly neighbours or participators of the alterations of each other’s gains




While the numerous herds o’er the fields are grazing to crown the beauties of that rural swain




Abundant cares with all her graces for my dear subject has such regard While each yellow Autumn and yearly season smiles with complacency in Clounleharde.












It was there famed Daveron was by Goldsmith pictured and all the beauties this place can vie




The fields of Elysian whom poets treat of in super couplets of sweet poetry




Or the beauties of old Tara’s green or the splendour prospect of Rathcrahane




Cannot bear a ratio in point of beauty to the charming landscapes of Clounleharde.








Pray-gentle editor will you excuse me for many a defect this may comprise




Let friendship glow within each poets bosom rather pity such than criticise




A noble genius a joyful Tyro a humble scholar and a fearless bard




Can raise you up to famed Parnassus’ steps and paint you more pleasingly sweet Clounleharde.








Written by John McGrath and Neil Brosnan, September 2019 and sung by Neil at John B's, Listowel, January 2020


Never did what I was told. I dug the field but not for gold,


Though long ago my father told me how.


‘Forget the cows,’ the old man said, ‘to make it pay, plant trees instead,


This boggy ground is far too poor to plough.’


But land, like poetry, draws you back, to write a line and leave your track.


Dry summers gave a glimpse of buried store.


I dug where mighty trees had grown, where cows had grazed and crops were sown


And men had thrived two thousand years before.


‘Too poor to plough,’ my father said, ‘Forget the cows, plant trees instead.


Plant trees and then sit back and watch them grow.’


But I was wilful, I was bold, and far too smart to heed the old,


With much to learn and still too young to know.


Golden roots of deal I found, and as I raised them from the ground


I filled each space with fine and fertile soil.


Now the grass grows sweet and green, the finest sward you’ve ever seen,


A rich reward for all those years of toil.


‘Plant trees, my son,’ the old man said, but I dug deep for trees long dead


And found the gold of myth and ancient lore.


Now I sit beside the fire. I watch the bog-deal blazing higher


And drink a toast to all who’ve dug before.


‘Too poor to plough,’ my father said ‘Forget the cows, plant trees instead.


Plant trees and then sit back and watch them grow.’


But I was wilful, I was bold, and far too smart to heed the old,


With much to learn and still too young to know.


John McGrath