I reclined by the river in borrowed chair and while the breeze off the meadow ruffled my hair, Frankie amused and regaled us with tales of the hay and how it used to be “won” way back in the day. Anecdotes, amusing, informative, yet sometimes so sad: how day-to-day life was lived in times that went bad.
He pushed the empty dinner plate away Knife and fork lay respectfully side by side And picked up the child’s blue stocking-filler flute Huge hands gripped where small hands fit Fingers swollen fat as cows teats at evening milking Ooze blood from countless thorn and briar lacerations Each knuckle bent; etched deep with wrinkles as a thinker’s brow
I wrote the following two short poems recalling memories of my Aunt Tessie and Uncle Charlie. A sister and brother of my father’s they lived in a thatched cottage at the end of Tempo Main Street in County Fermanagh. They were the last to live in the cottage where my grandmother and grandfather had raised fourteen children, seven boys and seven girls, born from the mid-1890’s to 1919. Continue reading “Tessie and Charlie”
A lot has been written about place, the importance of it in our hearts and souls. We all come from somewhere. The places of our childhood are indelibly pressed into our psyche. Fields are particular places, defined by the boundary hedges around them. When we ‘go into’ a field that it gives us a strong sense of having left one space and entered into another. It gives off its own ambience; as with people, we relate to each field in a particular way.
Back when we first joined the Common Market as it was then, a change came to the country. Concrete lanes snaked round hills to farmyards where once the track was so rutted they were more easily approached across fields and ditches.
Five-barred tubular galvanised gates began to replace alike the ancient wrought iron and the makeshifts of barbed wire, branches and binder twine. Continue reading “The Milk Run”