‘An Opening of Eyes’
© Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved.
Sit a while and listen whilst a tale I tell ye all,
Close thine eyes and picture well the scene.
Let me take ye back to sad and distant times,
To places like Mayo and Skibbereen.
Gaze across a barren field, see the wither’d stem,
Smell the stench that reeked within the nostril,
Hear the plaintiff cry of a saddened mother’s scream,
Fell their pain their mourning and the wind chill.
Ingrain the sight imagined, within thy prying mind,
See the curse, the suffering, shallow graves,
And then when I awaken thee, tell me whats’t ye feel,
About the scenes ye witnessed so depraved.
Bathe thy festered wounds in trickling mountain stream,
Taste the salt from Erin’s emerald grass,
Hoke around the field for a wriggling worm to eat,
And loathe the fat cat gentry as they pass.
Find a sturdy board to clothe thy stillborn angel;
Whose lips no longer suck on barren breasts
Pray the Lord will greet thee as ye knock on heaven’s door,
As ye escape the horrors of this Earth.
Come back now and tell me as ye sit on cushioned chair,
Hast thou got rhyme or reason to complain?
Did’st thine eyes open widely although they made ye stare,
At a nation‘s children laid by shough and drain?
I take it by your silence as I witness in ye, tears,
The curse a foreign foe cast on thy nation,
For there was food aplenty stole away from thy forbears,
Go forth my friends! And share this education.
Teach thy children, warn them, let’s have no repetition,
The hurt is felt unto this day within this Gaelic nation,
If there is food and others starve then share thy bread with them,
And pray the day will come when we’re a nation once again.