A New Start. – Poem by Bernard Shaw
I have wiped the slate clean,
No more reminders from the past.
Memories of what I have been,
Have vanished at long last.
I look forward to my future new,
Where all is territory strange.
Soon I will be among the few,
That plans their life at long range.
I see my life laid out at my feet,
New friends shall rally at my call.
They will be the first I will greet,
At this my welcoming ball.
Soon all memories will depart,
Of a past left well behind.
I will get off to a new start,
With the best of mankind.
When you plunged
The light of Tuscany wavered
And swung through the pool
From top to bottom.
I loved your wet head and smashing crawl,
Your fine swimmer’s back and shoulders
Surfacing and surfacing again
This year and every year since.
I sat dry-throated on the warm stones.
You were beyond me.
The mellowed clarities, the grape-deep air
Thinned and disappointed.
Thank God for the slow loadening,
When I hold you now
We are close and deep
As the atmosphere on water.
My two hands are plumbed water.
You are my palpable, lithe
Otter of memory
In the pool of the moment,
Turning to swim on your back,
Each silent, thigh-shaking kick
Re-tilting the light,
Heaving the cool at your neck.
And suddenly you’re out,
Back again, intent as ever,
Heavy and frisky in your freshened pelt,
Printing the stones.
Alone, all alone, by the wave-washed strand
All alone in the crowded hall
The hall it is gay, and the waves they are grand
But my heart is not here at all.
It flies far away, by night and by day
To the times and the joys that are gone.
But I never will forget the sweet maiden I met
In the valley of Slievenamon.
It was not the grace of her queenly air
Nor her cheek of the rose’s glow
Nor her soft black eyes, not her flowing hair
Nor was it her lily-white brow,
‘Twas the soul of truth, and of melting ruth
And the smile like a summer dawn
That sold my heart away on a soft summer day
In the valley of Slievenamon.
In the festival hall, by the star-washed shore,
Ever my restless spirit cries.
‘My love, oh, my love, shall I ne’er see you more.
And my land, will you never uprise?’
By night and by day, I ever, ever pray
While lonely my life flows on
To see our flag unfurled and my true love to enfold
In the valley of Slievenamon.
Charles Joseph Kickham
Poems by Charles Joseph Kickham
The Harbour, Poem
By : Winifred Mary Letts
I think if I lay dying in some land
Where Ireland is no more than just a name,
My soul would travel back to find that strand
From whence it came.
I’d see the harbour in the evening light,
The old men staring at some distant ship,
The fishing boats they fasten left and right
Beside the slip.
The fishing boat rests along the shore,
The grey thorn bushes growing in the sand,
Our Wexford coast from Arklow to Cahore –
My native land.
The little houses climbing up the hill
Sea daises growing in the sandy grass,
The tethered goats that wait large -eyed and still
To watch you pass.
The women at the well with dripping pails,
Their men colloguing by the harbour wall,
The coils of rope, the nets, the old brown sails,
I’d know them all.
And then the sun- I’d surely see
The disk against a golden sky.
Would let me be at my rest.
Landscape from the Irish hills
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington
The hills of the South east of Ireland are on of my favourite locations to wander and go for long walk, they are not as spectacular as the peaks of the Kerry mountains but there is a stillness here. Space to think and clear your mind and just walk and photograph the landscape.
I will let the words of the below poem say everything else for me, complimenting just how much I like these locations in the soft Irish hills.
S. Weir Mitchell
HERE have I wandered often these many years
Far from the world’s restraint, my heart at ease,
With equal liberty of joy or tears
To welcome Nature’s generosities,
Where these gray summits give the unburdened mind
To clearer thought, in freedom unconfined.
Kind to the dreamer is this solitude.
Fair courtesies of silence wait to know
What hopes are flattering a poet mood,
Stirred by frail ecstasies that come and go,
Like birds that let the quivering leaves prolong
The broken music of their passing song.
Here may we choose what company shall be ours;
Here bend before one fair divinity
To whose dear feet we bring the spirit-flowers,
Fragments of song, stray waifs of poetry,
The orphans of dead dreams, more sweet than aught
Won by decisive days of sober thought.
Landscape of the Irish hills a Gallery
Sunday and today I just wanted to be silent to be still and think of nothing, so often we hear the sound of voices around us, people who just cannot stop for fear of a gap.
The most I wanted to hear was a song, the song that nature makes on the hillsides.
So a poem for a Sunday evening :
Today seemed like a day I should be silent.
The silence seemed so absolute, every small sound
My annoying voice would shatter such a perfect peace.
Perhaps a song.
If a song were to break out over this hillside,
causing the grass to move, that might be acceptable.
The silence their audience,
a brilliant song.
I wish it so, but I know my voice has not that song,
and in thinking so I find I’ve lost it altogether.
So I sit back, a supportive member of the audience.
So step up; we’re listening.
We silenced wait for your beautiful lucid song.
Someone to save us from the silence we trapped ourselves in,
afraid to break perfection.
Someone to tell us that imperfection is something that’s okay.
Your song can rescue us.
Your voice can come and let us sing again.
Let your music ring across this silence.
We’ll rise up, a chorus of flaws, and be beautiful.
Set us free.
Sophiea · Oct 28, 2011
– Louis MacNeice
Our half-thought thoughts divide in sifted wisps
Against the basic facts repatterned without pause,
I can no more gather my mind up in my fist
Than the shadow of the smoke of this train upon the grass –
This is the way that animals’ lives pass.
The train’s rhythm never relents, the telephone posts
Go striding backwards like the legs of time to where
In a Georgian house you turn at the carpet’s edge
Turning a sentence while, outside my window here,
The smoke makes broken queries in the air.
The train keeps moving and the rain holds off,
I count the buttons on the seat, I hear a shell
Held hollow to the ear, the mere
Reiteration of integers, the bell
That tolls and tolls, the monotony of fear.
At times we are doctrinaire, at times we are frivolous,
Plastering over the cracks, a gesture making good,
But the strength of us does not come out of us.
It is we, I think, are the idols and it is God
Has set us up as men who are painted wood,
And the trains carry us about. But not consistently so,
For during a tiny portion of our lives we are not in trains,
The idol living for a moment, not muscle-bound
But walking freely through the slanting rain,
Its ankles wet, its grimace relaxed again.
Poem by : Louis MacNeice
Full version of the Poem
It rattles the shingly beach of my childhood,
Subtle, the opposite of the earth,
And, unlike earth, capable
Any time at all of proclaiming eternity
Like something or someone to whom
We have to surrender, finding
Through that surrender life.
Louis MacNeice 1907-1963