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.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.