Diaspora

Hey everyone. Happy St Patrick’s Day. Hope your all enjoying the parties big time in the time honoured tradition. Anyway here’s a poem to celebrate the day

Diaspora
Land of myths and legends
kings and warrior tribes
poets playwrights and patriots
schooled in culture and identity
from the green glens of Antrim
to Kerry’s ancient kingdom
they stand on the shoulders of giants

From the rebel country
to the one carried the banner
the fields of Athenry were the result
of holocaust denied
the empire’s need valued higher
than natives left to emigrate or die

Departing on overcrowded boats
to make new lives
an act of necessity, not choice
the voice of the auld country
grew stronger with exiles flame
scarlet shame directed at those
who held our their hands for silver
Patriots do not beg for crumbs at any table
but respectfully ask only for a fair share of the meal

this is the land not of thick Paddy as some would have you believe
but of Joyce Shaw O’Casey Yeats
literature’s greats still walk the streets of Dublin
In every bar there is music to made
tunes to be played
and Ceilidh is a party by any other name

this is a land where local heroes will never be allowed
to get too big for their size ten boots
where fiddles and flutes have a place
in the same band
A land with a confident handshake
and a hug which once it has held you
will never leave your heart
through the generations
your ancestors will call you
and the diaspora’s children will walk once more
in the land of our kin

@ Gayle Smith 2012

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