Wednesday, 7 December 2011
My mother, Grace, a virtuous woman,
Baptised me Patience, why?
At that small church in Belleek,
An only child, I tried my best to die.
I was born at dead of winter night
Seven degrees below.
At time of frost and thaw
At time of haw and sloe.
My father decreed I was half a child
Only twenty six parts,
From a pack of fifty two
No clubs or diamonds; just spades and hearts.
He was a porcelain potter
Fingers of slurry and Slip,
North and south, connecting bridge
He crossed on path to toil and trip.
Twin babes were given me by God
Joy and David their given names,
Twice the blessings, twice the sorrow,
Twice the beaded counting frames.
David joined the RAF
With braid and buttons, shiny peak,
He saw the war in
Never more his own Belleek.
And Joy lives in
In house of wood near
In prison of her own I fear
No knowing if its night or day.
Himself is long time gone to God
Or so I must believe,
I found it in me to forgive
Hadn’t the heart to grieve.
The corner shops are closing down
Courtesy of corporates and banks,
Post office counters, silent, bare,
And for this we must give thanks?
The pews are empty, whorehouse full,
No working sweat on factory brow,
Gone the linen, gone the wool,
The shirts are jobs in
I often cursed the local pubs
Their hollow laughter left us poor,
They too are relics of the past
No polished counters anymore.
Our games have lost their men and boys
Traditions die and standards fall
The future’s bleak and colourless
If future there exists at all,
I live alone now, better that way,
The only way I know,
The parson calls for blather and dues
I pray for him; to go.
I can walk east to the flagstone bridge
From my humble house on Rowantreehill.
And think of
, far away, Sydney
And Heaven, even further still.
I like to sway in rocking chair
And wait that call from Him on high
And wait to see my Dave again
In glorious cockpit in the sky.
I was born in
At seven degrees below,
And my mother called me Patience
How in God’s name did she know?