Matt Mooney

(1943 / South Galway, Ireland.)

Archways and Emblems


Archways and Emblems.
That old workshop in The Market Yard
Once belonged to a decent local man
Coming by laneways under archways,
Leisurely by bicycle up the busy town;
And since he died we sorely miss him-
He was both smith and harness maker,
Heart and soul in his daily labour there;
And callers made for daily conversation
While he was doing urgent jobs for us-
Maybe a new handle on a garden spade
Or fitting a blade on the tree of a scythe
That swathes of hay might fall before you.

Visiting Auschwitz I thought of that man
As I read the words in wrought iron metal
Of that awful archway –to a hell on earth:
A lie from the lips of the tyrant that time:
Arbeit Macht Frei-(Work will set you free) -
Shades of the father all evil and deception.

Immediately I’m back in that Market Yard
In a workshop where there is a metal sign:
Bheith ag obair bheith ag Paidreoireacht-
(To be at work is to be at prayer) it says;
A living emblem of that man’s life and creed;
In Auschwitz their word was not their deed.




That old workshop in The Market Yard
Once belonged to a decent local man
Coming by laneways under archways,
Leisurely by bicycle up the busy town;
And since he died we sorely miss him-
He was both smith and harness maker,
Heart and soul in his daily labour there;
And callers made for daily conversation
While he was doing urgent jobs for us-
Maybe a new handle on a garden spade
Or fitting a blade on the tree of a scythe
That swathes of hay might fall before you.

Visiting Auschwitz I thought of that man
As I read the words in wrought iron metal
Of that awful archway –to a hell on earth:
A lie from the lips of the tyrant that time:
Arbeit Macht Frei-(Work will set you free) -
Shades of the father all evil and deception.

Immediately I’m back in that Market Yard
In a workshop where there is a metal sign:
Bheith ag obair bheith ag Paidreoireacht-
(To be at work is to be at prayer) it says;
A living emblem of that man’s life and creed;
In Auschwitz their word was not their deed.






-

Submitted: Tuesday, September 20, 2011

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