Matt Mooney

Head Of The Clan

About you Mike I could write a book
If I was worthy to put you into words;
Yourself could put it better I believe:
Death has left us at a loss without you.

Going to fairs with seasoned farmers,
To them you were the old lad’s son,
But fully fledged you surprised them:
Dealers now bargained with a man.

You arrived on call when skill was all,
Weather fair or foul the job was done
And you freely gave of what you got-
A farmer who had loyalty to the land.

As time went on they’d take their turn,
Hard working men came hurrying in
To meadows when the hay was down
Or cattle testing time had come again.

Agile, red haired, in faded blue shirt:
Reins a bandoleer for him in Spring
Guiding plough horses by the furrow,
Seagulls following –a storm warning.

Sheep shearing time, greasy fleeces,
Bottled stout for neighbours helping;
Sharing, swearing, telling good ones,
Among friends feeling free and easy.

On a kitchen chair he’d kneel to pray
In the morning as in the old tradition;
After he’d herd the sheep and cattle
And then he tilled in fields till evening.

By night after earning his daily bread
He felt the need of some good libation
And on his high stool he so often said
‘I’m luckier than most’- in celebration.

Head of the clan, how I miss that man.
We had our nights in Lisdoonvarna;
Saved turf together on the mountain,
Mended the fence down by the river.

I write these lines for an absent brother
Buried on a hill up in Kilchreest village;
From here or from heaven overlooking
Forever the beloved land of our fathers.

Poem Submitted: Friday, August 28, 2009
Poem Edited: Thursday, September 3, 2009

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Comments about Head Of The Clan by Matt Mooney

  • Louis RamsLouis Rams (10/19/2009 7:14:00 PM)

    this is a beautiful poem and dedication to all the mikes of the world, who touch our hearts and minds, as you was touched.
    GR888888T WRITE double ten

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  • Rachel Butler (9/6/2009 2:28:00 PM)

    On a kitchen chair he’d kneel to pray
    In the morning as in the old tradition;


    Rachel Ann Butler

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  • nomad omnia (9/3/2009 8:22:00 AM)

    You have shown us the man, the time, the place, the values in an easy rythm. Great work, Matt. N

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  • Siobhan Mooney (8/30/2009 12:46:00 PM)

    This one is beautiful, I think you captured Mike in his youth and in the years before i knew him very well.

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  • Buscador Del Palabra (8/30/2009 3:59:00 AM)

    Being just three generations from Ireland, I love hearing the lilt that comes through the metre. Also, the descriptives tell of the beautiful home of my great grandfather, Jeremiah Augustine Bryant, from one of the many Bantrys that seem to be spread over a large area of Eire. And last, what a grand token of your love and respect for Mike, He could be one of my brothers, strong, effective, full of gratitude and fun. Thanks for this beautiful work. Mike

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