Every Book Has Its Last Page

Dedicated to the memory of the late writer, artist and musician Ingrid Andrew…

Every book has its last page
When turned, signifies the end
Such is life, and its many chapters
We turn the last page on our friend
But life, unlike a look, its length we know not
When finished ask in surprise, is that it?
Be sure to read each chapter and page, each line
Miss not the tears, the tales, worry and wit.

The late Ingrid Andrew. We published her verse "They Are Tearing Down the Mountains" in Cartys Poetry Journal a few years aback along with some artwork, if I remember correct... always sad to hear of someones passing, but heartning to see the tributes on their wall...

The late Ingrid Andrew. We published her verse “They Are Tearing Down the Mountains” in Cartys Poetry Journal a few years aback along with some artwork, if I remember correct… always sad to hear of someones passing, but heartening to see the tributes on their wall…


Cartys Poetry Journal, Feb 2010, “They Are Tearing Down the Mountains” (PDF)
WordPress website



Glam Dicenn on Daesh

May the strength that they seek elude them
As they are blind to the faith they profess
The glory sought be thwarted: their names forgotten
Those who seek to be great, may they be less.

May they be known for what they are: but mere cowards
Slaves to their nafs within
Shown to be ignorant of the faith they claim to preach and know
Be shown not to be pure of, but represent sin.

A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing
The most dangerous sin is pride
Coupled together they lead to disdain for fellow man
Murder comes from the hate grown inside.

They claim to be a steeds of faith running life’s race
To be Gods Warriors, the holy class:
Let this glam diceann from a mere Irish bard
Tell the world the followers of the Fáith are but the kick of an ass.

Glossary –

glam dicenn – satire in Irish gaelic tradition, said to raise boils on the faces of the satired
fáith – prophet. Daesh – ISIS hate to be called that, so that’s what we will call them, do their works of evil in the name of the Prophet Mohammad.
“blind to the faith they profess” – Islam states folk of the lower nafs – uneducated common folk – can only be expected to keep to not committing shirk – denial of God – an little more, but they seek to make the most common be the most pure in Islam as they see it, flying in the face of their own faith they profess. Insomuch, theologically, they are but fools who profess to be wise men.


Why ISIS hate being called Daesh (Mirror newspaper)



Tears For and Thoughts with Paris Tonight

Après la pluie, le beau temps.
Translation: After troubles, calm comes back.

These streets have seen blood before
Terror too, and have survived
The Commune, the Revolution, the Nazis and more
Buried its dead, moved on, remembered and thrived.

The enemy now is not a state
Or a standing army or a rebel mob off men
But a shadow that disappears to return anew
Unseen till too late, they attack again.

Those who attack do so in the names of the wronged
But wronged or not wronged they would attack still
For the hate the West for who and what we are
They seek to oppress the different, to rule, to kill.

They call on Gods name, as his name they know
Declare Him the greatest, as did Crusaders before them
Spill blood, taking His name in vain
Who on their deaths, shall judge and deny them.

These streets have seen blood before
Though seldom in these times of peace
After the trouble, like the storm, the calm returns
In time, these troubled times will cease.



An Irishman’s Apology (for Our Part In The International Slave Trade)

The slave ship HMS Glendower brought human cargo to South American and the Indies.

Sorry – one little word, not enough or near it
For our part in a history we know little of from school
And are taught less, we think it was just the British – and it was
But we too were up to our necks in it under British rule

Some say Gaelic clans allied with England are not Irish anymore
So our nation is absolved somehow from blame
But all Irish are Irish, nationalist or unionist:
So I say no… we too bear our share of the shame.

Yes, I know the Mali emperor sold slaves first to the Portuguese
The fact he was African too and Islamic does not lesson the deed
We who were enslaved by the English before we became dealers ourselves
Greater is our crime, be it from necessity or greed.

Yes, we know Irish were indentured laborers too
But most were prisoners for political reasons and more
They were slaves in chains sent to work for no pay and could be sold
Unlike the indentured who followed the others before.

Yes, I know there were black slave owners too
Their shame is their own for which to apologize
Its not my business to tell them what how or when to do
I must for my own when the extent I realize.

So, mere words as an Irishman is all I can say
For a history hidden, a little known shame
All the worse, for we once were what we reduced other men to
When we first to those shores as slaves we too came.


It is contested today were the Irish indentured labourers or slaves, and little known is our part in the slave trade. Some of the McCarthy Reagh who sided with Cromwell though Catholic in their long running dispute with O’Neill, on the Restoration fled the country and settled in Maryland where they were involved. The Irish families such as the Riordans of Nantes in France were notorius for a clause after the French Revolution which stated though all men were free slavery was permitted. And of late, I have found a Longford involvement in St. Croix of which even I was not aware, and am currently researching, which inspired the verse Bitter Sugar. It would be good for a national apology, even though it was only a section of society involved, for our nations part in the international slave trade.





White Sails on the Claddagh

White Sails on the Claddagh - alas but a yacht today, not the King leading a Red Sailed fleet of hookers out for a days fishing...

White Sails on the Claddagh – alas but a yacht today, not the King leading a Red Sailed fleet of hookers out for a days fishing…

Peasent folk of Claddagh

Peasent folk of Claddagh

White sails on the Claddagh
Sail out neath grey skies
Red sails of the Hookers
Fished there in days gone by

White cottages, since knocked
Once proud there did stand
Neither English or Irish
They told each armies Command.

Their King of the White Sail’s
The men voted on
Who sailed the rough waters
Elected on the Day of Saint John

Portraits of People of Claddagh Source: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20608722?seq=4#page_scan_tab_contents

Portraits of People of Claddagh
Source: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20608722?seq=4#page_scan_tab_contents

The women in blue, wear not Connemara red
On the cloaks that blow in the wind
Gut the fish brought in by men neath the Red Sails
Follow the White Sails to where the fish they may find.

Instructed in a tongue ancient
Only understood by theirs, to them known
Who look on the Gael strangers as much as the Saxon
Marry maidens from among their own.

But men in ties who know more
The buildings condemned
In a craze for health and safety
Brought a culture to an end.

Today a social project
On the former Cladagh lands
Ugly in form, without passion of construction
Was built by strangers hands.

Lost is all today bar the tales
The culture is wrecked
Rare today heard local the ancient tongue
Never mind the Claddagh dialect.

We race for progression
To reject what is ours we choose
We gain little from a world that does not know us
What we are as a people we lose.

Could they not have built new cottages
Bigger, hygenic, kept a community as one?
They smashed a society that even the British did not
Mere poets write now of a society now gone…

The white sails I see on the Claddagh
Are but that of a yacht
Not of the King directing his fleet
To where the fish may be got.

The red sails of the hookers
Still bob up on the waters of the bay
Curiosities seen as quaint by passing strangers
Who take photos and sail them as a toy with which to play.

Claddagh in Galway. Image from Library Ireland - http://www.libraryireland.com/SceneryIreland/2-XI-2.php

Claddagh in Galway. Image from Library Ireland – http://www.libraryireland.com/SceneryIreland/2-XI-2.php






Rattling Buckets Cant Be Seen

A boy, an errand, and a bucket of beer …
A drain, a death, and now a ghost does appear …
A true ghost story from North Longford …

Flooded Sheugh, the child, drunk fell in and drowned. As a sound of rattling buckets, it haunts Augahgreagh to this day...

Flooded Sheugh, the child, drunk fell in and drowned. As a sound of rattling buckets, it haunts Augahgreagh to this day…

Rattling buckets at a drain
Sound … though there’s noone there
And we ask are we insane?
As an eerie stillness is in the air
But other a take they tell
Of a spectre that does appear
Of a youth who once fell
And drowned while carrying beer
To his home from the village pub
Which he never got to see for he drowned
For he drank most of the beer—theres the rub!
And in waters shallow was found.
So the tale they recount to all
And I, as I was told write in rhyme
Who am I, a poet, them to liars call
For telling the tale sure passes the time!
But should their souls not at peace be
I hope that God to them gives rest
A shiver runs up my spine as I see
These words Ive written with such zest
To record for generations to come
Our history, ledgend, be it fetched or not, far
Its what we were and where were from
All part of what makes us what we are!



This Could Be 1939 Again

“This Could Be 1939 Again”
Czech Roma refugee, a friend of mine, who will remain nameless, circa 1998

The residents, who did not want to identify themselves, told RTÉ News that while they had sympathy with those affected by the tragedy at Glenamuck there was

The residents, who did not want to identify themselves, told RTÉ News that while they had sympathy with those affected by the tragedy at Glenamuck there was “no goodwill” towards Traveller families in the area and that they want them to be rehoused elsewhere.

The flames of fate had barely cooled
When the flames of hate were fanned
We though, we hoped, these days were gone
We saw, we see, cannot understand
Not since the rosary was prayed
By faithless folk who took Gods name in vain
Has the likes been, in Ireland seen
How can such bigorty remain.

This could be 1939 again
I was told by a Romany freind
Whose forfathers in Hitlers Reich were killed
After time in the camps did spend.
I scoffed, “This is Ireland”, I said
“Its not the Eastern Europe that you knew”…
“This is Ireland, and great it is” he replied
“It could be 1939 again here too.”
The smoke cleared and all can see
The smoldering blackened remains and residue
Of the homes in which the people died
And that my friends words, alas, are all too true.

Protests at rehousing victims of fire that survived in Carrickmines



Good Boys and other Blaggards

Bucks and nyeucks read books in nooks
Of history, language and culture told
Lewd jokes, vetted new comrades in diviment
For adventures to come original and bold.
From defacing headstones, to pulling pranks
Condemned by clergy from pulpit high
These boys who did not exist were tradition old
The trials of Ireland being the reason why
Societies shadow existed and did not exist
Enforcing unwritten laws and social taboos that stem
Rooted in the sin of pride aimed to prevent sin
Condemned by the clergy that condemned them.

 Buck - young man Hiberno-English
 Nyeuck - Sniggerer, prankster. Ulster Scots
 Nooks - Corner of pub. Oaths and history books and pamphlets were often hidden and read in covered areas, such as corners in pubs so if found could be dropped and all deny it was theirs. An additional stranger would have said to have been seen reading it, who not existing, would never be found.
 Blaggards - lit. Black Guard Hiberno-English. A guard of slaves, known for being of little character.



Posted by Lalin Swaris . Added to this by the local “Good Boys” was the dirge lines “To follow you I wont be content / Until I know which way you went”. Its a common graffiti put on the headstones featuring this verse, noted in Australia and America in forms.

Good Boys – a North Leinster / South Ulster version of the Straw Boys or similar, prob originally an oath bound society, but by the early 20th century had descended to being an informal group of pranksters that also enforced social taboos that were breached but were not breaching laws.

Activities such as “clodding” lovers (where the boy or girl would be known for sleeping around as opposed to just being lovers) would involve following the trysting couple, and when they were comfortable, throwing clods of clay or turf or small pebbles until they were disturbed. The couple on being roused would look up, to find the good boys had hidden and / or dispersed.

In two notorious cases, headstones were defaced by dirge poetry, one which we wont repeat as it offends the character of the woman in the grave, but the other we will, it is above. Its noticeable that they themselves were condemned by clergy for their activities who enforced social taboos against the likes of pre martial sex which though sinful to the preaching of the church, was more persecuted by the groups such as this than even by the clergy. It was the sin of pride that that thinking was rooted in.

As a retort its common enough, the verse in its variants was fashionable in the 1600’s – 1700’s among Puritans, and the retort has even been recorded in Australia

Little known, is that Regan was brought to see the headstone while in Ireland, as recounted here… Regan in Longford



The Muses Café

The Muses Cafe in Easons in Dublins O Connell Street

The Muses Cafe in Easons in Dublins O Connell Street

Easons on Dublins O’ Connell Street has a Cafe called Muses… appropiate for a bookshop! While there, looking at pictures of now famous Irish writers on the wall some years back, I, a writer as I call myself, wondered will someday my picture hang there? I think every writer wonders of their legacy after their day… no? This is a very old verse of mine I republish on the website…

As I pay, I look on their faces
And I wonder, are they proud
Now that they are acknowledged with
The respect in life so often not allowed?

And as I eat I wonder will
On some far off distant day
My picture, name and words shall be
On a wall in the Muses Café?

Could I reach the heights they’ve known
With my offerings of poetry and prose
Shall my name be as synonymous as theirs
Only I care and only God knows

Did they on a day now past
Wonder then as I now, of their future fame
The only reward that surrounds our death
For anonymity is the ulimate shame

As they sat and wrote with quill
Did they think as I: as I scribble in Biro
A rhyme to pass the time or record a thought
Of women, nature, or wonders south of Cairo?

The till girl smiles, pearl white teeth with ruby lips
Shy downward glance and snow white skin…
Shall I from those walls of the Muses Café look down
As another admires another and dreams of original sin?



She Loved Not Him Who Her Father Chose

A poem I wrote some years back, on love, a disapproving family, and a tragedy of murder and suicide! which I now republish on the website…

She loved not him who her father chose
A man with castle and land
Oh, no, it was but a humble serf
Who asked the daughters hand.
And to spite his pleas and all he said
And in fits of rage did fly
The fact he was her father made
No difference, she did defy.

She a girl who ne’re spoke once
A word against her fathers will
But such is the power of romance
Now she cries with anger shrill
As her love from the house is cast
Never to return shes sure
For there are men who’ve killed in the past
Waiting for him on the moor.

And so she cries and upstairs runs
As a broken woman she does feel
And her father smiles at his three strong sons
And sits down again to finish his meal.
And upstairs from a window on the roof
From the room to where the maiden fled
A figure frail emerged to display her loves proof
And she landed on the ground cold dead.

And that night at heavens gate
The lovers danced in glory
Her father was left desolate
And here ends our story.
A man may be poor and have a home small
And a girl father may not have been proud
To have a daughter as commoner call
But to see her each day he’d have been allowed.

He used murder to separate the lovers two
For nothing surmounts death
But the girl in the afterlife believed and knew
And their dancing in heaven yet.