The Dance Of The Begging Bowl Poem by Barney Rooney

The Dance Of The Begging Bowl

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We gave each baby born to Jesus
though some lapsed to love or drink
chose a path to spurn the wrath
that kept believers from the brink
but most of us kept the faith
told our lord we'd try
to be decent sober and righteous til
we'd meet him in the bye and bye

all the trouble in our place of birth
some thought they had to make their stand
kill or die so flags could fly
to show who owned this scrap of land
peace came one easter
tied in strings of red and blue
hold off on the prize now the dead can rise
for there's better things to do

things to do for the people
and that's a job that's not near done
to do for the party
but as parties go they're not much fun
to do for our cultures
putting on the Sunday best
holding on to most everything
got us in the mess
its a rocky road to paradise
through the vale of tears
but theres no going back its a one way track
all those wasted years

just hoped to find a way
to stand on our own two feet
hoped that we'd find a state
that somehow makes us feel complete
jobs cars and tapas bars
fit for the young and old
there'd be nothing worse than
hope being crushed
by the dole and the begging bowl

those strings of red and blue
caught the eye and turned the head
some dropped the guard and saw the charm
in slipping into different beds
swopped jokes for we're simple folks
knew the fix that we were in
trying to share a bit of power
while making sure we'd win

glad to walk on the road to peace
but not sure about walking fast
hard to get both legs to work
when they're dragging on the past
but somebody twitched those fancy strings
the legs did as they were told
almost wept at the ease of the steps
of the dance of the begging bowl

So comeallye take your partners
get the bad times on the run
dust off the dancing shoes
for all year festival fun
dance for Northern Ireland, Ulster or the Six
feeling the beat in the Cultural Quarter
or Hugo in the sticks
dance for the UK
dance for the USA
the IMF and the EU
for they taught us the dancing way
hoe down to Radio Uladh
dossey doe toe and heel
or clatter on the boards at the lawyer's ceile
for another Inquiry Reel
the last lap dancers down to their briefs
making a holy show
still doing the Shuffle to the dregs of grief
though the band stopped playing years ago
try your hand at country
with the ones who toe the line
or those who think their dance will come
but if it don't they're doing fine
or trip along with a marching band
to the tune of the flute and drum
and FTP on dolly's brae
now its only a bit of fun
there's grants to help you learn the dance
if you're good at the form filling
tho' somebody's made a killing
on the dances for forgiving
if the lord seems shy about taking the floor
can't take the lead from him
so we'll dance to the tug of the fancy strings
and just hope his people win

still, give those babies to Jesus
now we know who owns the land
bless the weans with names to show
where they fit in the dancing plan
and as long as they keep on dancing
and doing as they're told
they'll never know how much they owe
to the dance of the begging bowl

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Topic(s) of this poem: dance
David Harris 27 July 2014

Enjoyed this Barney. Will be reading more of your work.

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