In solidarity with the turf cutters. The latest of the poems restored to the website, this one was written a few years back.
By hand it was cut, the dark brown turf
Donkey and ass dew it by cart home
Hands hard from work tossed it to the fire
Neath hair that rare e’re saw a comb
Then by machine it was cut, dark turf
Tractor now drew it home to the shed
Soft hands, from little work, into the range
Tossed it, neath styled combed hair now instead.
Now, by decree from abroad, dark brown turf
It cannot be cut, or burned no more
We must save the world, by killing ours
Our lives not to be as before.
More than mere labour, was cutting turf
More than a way to work and lose sweat
It was a bond of community
And kin that together are strong yet.
Hands may be softer that fuel the fire
And the ass in the field is for play
But the eyes that look out upon land
Are the cold hard eyes of olden day.
They take slight to mutterings of fools
Who say that the best for us they know
Hey, we survived famines before
And its not all of that long ago.
When greed, fascism and hate ruled their worlds
And Irishmen for their freedom died,
Not our own fight, not under our flag
To their arguments it should be replied.
Through it all, through it all, dark brown turf
Was thrown by working hands to the fire
Students, scholars, fools, equal drew heat
Truth!!! None can call the writer a liar.
Stranger, stand back, leave to us our bog
And we’ll leave to you your nuclear fuel
When another Chernobyl blows up
You’ll see the Irishman was no fool!!!”,””