Tag Archives: Ireland

I Wonder, St. Patrick

Oh Paddy, oh Paddy! Long have you and I
held difference perspectives, not seen eye to eye,
nor found much in common, through legend or faith,
or some shared experience wrangling with wraiths.

I wonder, St. Patrick; and wonder makes doubt:
disabling sureness of what one’s about.
Is that what’s called “testing” or “trials” in life,
when words said against you cut like a dull knife
and nip at your ankles, like so many snakes,
while waiting so patient for your heart to break?

There is no reward save a deed in itself,
so never mind waiting in silence and stealth,
but swing that shillelagh as hard as you can!
The wheat and the chaff that cling fast to a man
can turn him to shadow and blind him to truth,
and leave him a feeble reminder of youth.

I wonder, St. Paddy, if a shallow grave,
the rest for both cowards and foolishly brave,
grows grass that is greener than one dug so deep
that who lies there never awakens from sleep.

17 MAR 2016

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If the Germans Could Laugh Like the Irish

If the Germans could laugh like the Irish,
reckless, deep in drunken ambrosial seas,
walking wandering paths,
their cracked looking-glasses on open hearths

(these are the holy fools)

If the Irish could laugh like the Germans,
deep and still like endless speech-lost oceans,
climbing somber mountains,
their rise and fall engineered by the night

(these are the gods’ architects)

If the Germans could laugh like the Irish,
their eyes warm and hair gentle heather-swept,
greeting quiet morn in song
and weeping proudly in their silent grief

(these are the poets of the gods)

If the Irish could laugh like the Germans,
strong and firm, like dark primeval forests
meeting sun’s fade in song
and building stories in their silent sleep

(these are the holy dreamers)

If the Germans could laugh like the Irish,
if the Irish could laugh like the Germans,
if the earth both revere,
and the sky and the sea could hear them all

(these are the gods’ ploughmen)

If the Irish could laugh like the Germans,
if the Germans could laugh like the Irish,
their fires burning bright
across the valleys deep
and over mountains high
in morning’s rising fog
and in evening’s cool mist,
with awestruck joy and mirthful fearlessness

(these are the storytellers of the gods).

corrected version 20 Sep 2001

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A Druid Reflects on Patrick’s Sainthood

I won’t march in your drunken green parades,
nor think of your name when I spy clover;
I’m tired of these cruel lies and the charades –
it won’t be my eyes your wool pulls over.

For I am of the breed of snakes you fought
and drove from Erin’s shores in ignorance,
when with a blessing of my blood you brought
your cursed words of sin to my Beltane dance.

You stole my history, my country’s soul,
and yet, your patriarchal leaders boast
that somehow you redeemed our sacred isle.

May your eyes be lain with live, burning coal;
in the Hell you created may you roast.
I shall think of that scene in March, and smile.

07 MAR 2003

for Live Journal user estersin

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