The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

MARCH 17, 2012 2:25PM

Irish Heritage Tribute in Poetry for St Patrick's Day

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This is an amalgam of re posts in honor of St Patrick's Day and my Irish heritage.






 Francis X


dressed to the nines, always

witty, self taught

exceedingly well read

embodiment of every Irish bard 

and drunk perhaps

one says yes another no

ah, yet you held the family together

loved each 

only as far as you could


your life

a Celtic cycle 

of hushes and secrets

always asides 

who was mad

who was drunk

who was all at once and

perhaps unable

all were brilliant, cold and aloof


my majesty my inheritance

this house of cards

of lies of who knows and who doesn’t

of pride in intellect and humor

of appearances 



I feel you inside me

as I write a poem

or make a sarcastic jab

when I stifle a cry

or walk erect

as I set my jaw

or straighten my jacket


when challenged

I remember

who I came from

before I walk forward 

i see you wink and nod

Francis X

I deem to make you proud














My Grandmother's Photo Speaks


Ah yes, I stroked each downy head

each baby cheek so soft

and lingered long upon each bed

to brush the locks that fell astray

leaned down low and longed to stay



Oh, the nights the tossing nights

where bits of baby's cries and

scent of milky breath

Woke me, tore me, lulled me


In that hollow bed

amoung the other hollow beds

and other bits of dreams

and ending lives


So leave me now so silent; still, upon your wall

So wistful then at twenty one, unknowing then at twenty one

Of years and tears and babes now gone

of lingering looks and longing on


Ask me not

for words to heed

for I have none to give

Life is cruel and life is brief

so LIve my daughter, Live.



My grandmother was the daughter of  a woman who landed in a small port town outside of Philadelphia with her two sisters. She contracted tuberculosis at the age of thirty six shortly after giving birth to her eighth child. As was done in those days, she was sent off to a sanitarium and died away from her home and children. I can't imagine the pain.

The effect on my mother's life then nine years old, and her family, my grandfather was palpable, always. He was left a young widower. This is the only photo I have of he and I.  

My successful uncle kept a placard on his desk that my grandfather Frank had given him from the old days it said "No Irish Allowed" . 

My mother helped raise all her brothers and sisters even though she was only a child herself. She is a strong stoic lady her strength these last years taking care of my father was awe inspiring, loyalty and devotion, the Irish credo.  

I honor the men and woman who struggled to travel here and how much they gave us. 











  Mom and her Father Frank with my twin sisters 




Mary Jean



She is small

but the red hair

will tell you

She has a lion's heart

Don't look to her for coddling

but look to her for your very strength

your very breath

for all your soul's comfort

in this soul less comfortless world


Beware all those who seek to harm me

for I have beside me

a gift from my God

my Irish



lionhearted mother


And she will be your bane

or she will be

your strongest ally

as she is mine

as she is mine. 







  Luka Bloom - Black Is The Colour .mp3    Found at bee mp3 search engine

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tangled roots, rita
in the details, in the abstract
this is a wonderful tribute to our elders and our peers ~
Thanks Tril, you may have read these already one was from 2009 the other two from 2010, appreciate the thoughts too.
Thanks jmac!
Catch tangle roots always this Irish way of life, I guess all of life. Thanks Catch...
Hey Sally, glad you came by to see the Irish tribute, how was your party? Hair o'the dog for ye??
Seriously, kind words, I appreciate you stopping in.
Rita ~ Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and yours! Ireland is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited and it was sad to see the ruins of homes that had been abandoned because of the potato famine and other reasons. When prosperity hit Ireland not so long ago I felt like they had something really great happen there for a change, but then the bubble burst and I could not believe what a disaster the nation's financial situation had become. Throughout all of the ups and downs the country has held onto its natural beauty and many of its friendly and interesting citizens!
Outstanding work. Strong and moving.
lovely as always... and the music? perfect.

Keen introspection that encapsulates an Irish/American story, an American Tune. Allow a toast--glass held high-- and a verbatim dictionary quote, as poetry and literature are wearing the green:

lyr·i·cism (lr-szm)
a. The character or quality of subjectivity and sensuality of expression, especially in the arts.
b. The quality or state of being melodious; melodiousness.
2. An intense outpouring of exuberant emotion.

(:off to find my margin notes on Ulysses:)
I can see you examining the crystal bowl there,
in Waterford,

hear your boots crossing the bridge up in Galway, walk down through the Claddagh,

watch you step into the boat, in Dingle, to cross the morning damp harbour with a book under your arm, and a dolphin waiting to greet you~
Pleased to see these again in triptych tribute.
Now you have one more, Ferns.Thanks for the goof wishes..
Boanerges I know you have a red head you are fond of also, thanks for reading!
Designator, I have not had the pleasure but am planning a trip next year, thanks for dropping in.
James Joyce, Mr. Freeze, thank you for dropping that beautiful verse on my post, swoon indeed.
Thanks you RP glad you didn't mind reading again.
Kind words Candace, I appreciate your feeling that way and taking the time to read these again. TY
Scarlett, must go to that link, my mom sang Tora Lora to my son, now I sing it to Sofia, my granddaughter.
OIT: most grateful, thank you.
Hey Jules: Smile emoticon thingy here TY
Slainte to your Patrick DMW!
Natalie.. HELLO, so glad to see you. Feeling quite privileged you came by and read my poems, thanks so much, they were strong woman, I admire them more and more as I age myself.
James I love your comment, Fiery, I hope so. I like to think so. Thanks James and Happy St Patty's belated..
Fernsy, of course I meant GOOD wishes.. heehee, little slip there.
Welcome here Mamato3 thank you for reading.
Will have to look up his photo FF, thanks for coming by/
Thank you t, hoping so.
LL2 glad to to you also, appreciate your support.
Thanks Kathy back at ya, a day late.
JD, awww. You always say such nice things about the poems, TY friend.
Art, I thought it was Fat Tire beer? OK, let's go loco.
Thanks Jennifer.
Lorianne, I always wonder if people like the music, I love this version of a wonderful song. Nina Simone also does a great one. Thank you.
Fusun, I look a little like her, lips maybe. But she is very small I am 5'5 brunette, she 5foot redhead. Thanks for reading Fusun
JP lyrical is a wonderful word, glad to have you associate it with my poems, TY
Margaret, my mom helped me a lot when I was younger, going to college with two kids, working. Thanks so much for reading.
Lovely Algis!
A Heron Wow, thank you I like that very much GH.
As anna1 aptly relates, I love your words to me. I hope to one day walk those roads and feel that kinship, II, so thoughtful to leave a poem with my poems. Saludos!
anna1, I knew you would relate to this one. Your uncle sounds like one of the good ones, I wish I had been able to get to know my grandfather better. Hope you enjoyed some scones or sodabread.
We have much to be thankful for.
c&v, thank you, I had to google those words, so nice of you to pop in,must get to your place see what you are working on..
Mime, welcome here and thank you for reading and glad you enjoyed. My mom used to say her 'tan' was all her freckles stuck together!
Thank you Erika and thanks for reading.
Nice to see you Bell, glad you enjoyed and thank you for the kind words. My mother is actually a historian for our hometown and the family, so I get all the stories first hand~
Thanks so much Sparky your poetic nature is always appreciated here.