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Games Of My Childhood

 

“Military Manoeuvres”, a wonderful painting from 1891, by the artist and Royal Hibernian Academy member Richard Moynan.       [It should be noted that Richard’s wife; Susanna Mary Moynan, was born here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary and both were married in the Thurles district in 1884; the same year the GAA was founded.]

Games Of My Childhood

By Author & Poet Tom Ryan ©

We whipped a spinning wooden top along the road
With a flick from a bamboo stick and twine,
Or followed glossy, coloured marbles in the street,
Or, playing beds, hopped on a chalky line.
We climbed into our hobby house in the tree,
With bamboo rod and gut we fished for eels,
Or built a U.S. Fort Apache strong,
And from cakes of mucky mud made magic meals.
In that summer long ago, just out the road,
We drank the sparkling water from the well,
And played our secret agents in the trees
Vowing to die before we’d ever tell.
We hurled the morning, afternoon and night,
And pucked the leather ball along the road.
And quarrelled with a frenzy, in our fights
That movie stars would never have allowed.
We splashed in the mighty ocean of the “Lake”,
Fighting naval battles we had known,
And drank our Sunday lemonade and biscuits ate
Under a great oak tree we called our own.
And there we spun our yarns and told our dreams
And thought the day eternal and a joy,
And back to the road, to play our childhood games
Before the bed and a comic to enjoy.
The times were hard and little was there then
And everyone was poor and just the same,
But we were boys and mad to conquer men
And fight for glory, fortune and for fame.
We had our little thoughts and childhood dreams
Within our happy world of family way back then,
An ideal country of the mind, it seems,
Gone, but in memory to warm our hearts again.

End

Tom Ryan, “Iona”, Rahealty, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

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The May Procession

The May Procession

By Author & Poet Tom Ryan ©

Ave Maria in the evening air the procession of the faithful sing,
Old and young, heads bowed in prayer, the statue of the Virgin bring.

Ave Maria, like their folks of old, their Rosary beads now telling,
Glorious Mysteries now are told, their hearts the Virgin praising.

As those of another time and place, by hillside rocks and glen,
Gloried then their souls to trace through sorrow, trials and pain.

Ave Maria in the May – flowered air the prayerful walkers sing ,
Their hearts and souls beyond compare with worldly reasoning.

Ave Maria, like children there, Ave the blue clad vision,
To the gentle girl direct their prayer to a far-off hallowed heaven.

Ave Maria, sweet Muire of May, a nation’s consolation,
When all but love had passed away in the midst of desolation.

Ave Maria, hear them sing along the sylvan way,
Ave Maria, their praise they bring to Mary of the May.

End

Tom Ryan, “Iona”, Rahealty, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

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“Grief” – From The Pen Of Poet Tom Ryan

Grief

By Author & Poet Tom Ryan ©

How can you ask me to pretend,
To smile and go my way indifferent,
And busy myself with useless things
And not cry,
Though the tears are bursting from behind my eyes.

How can you say “time makes a difference”
And I shall forget it all,
When I really don’t want to forget,
But to gently remember
The time and times we shared
In the moments before yesterday.

How can you say you’re sorry
And not wonder
Why the earth will not stop wheeling,
Why the stars don’t lose their sparkle
And why, oh why
My sad heart will not break to sorrow.

But even as I ask the questions
I know that I am sorry, too,
And ask forgiveness,
For I’m not myself at all
Since she left this place
Forever.

End

Tom Ryan, “Iona”, Rahealty, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.  [With my Thanks]

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Still Now The Hurling Hero’s Hand

Still Now The Hurling Hero’s Hand

© Author & Poet Tom Ryan.

[Dedicated to Thurles Sarsfields Hurlers of the past.]

Still now the hurling hero’s hand
That wedded to the ancient ash of his camán
On green and glorious fields of youth
Forged memories magical.
Abandoned now the stalwart hurl of pride,
Hewn from the ash of Killough Hill,
That in many a field of trial had fashioned
The powerful poetry of play.
The game is over,
The nets are down,
The passion spent,
The hero’s home.
He hurls but now in memories
On dark, cold winter nights
By the fireside’s of Cuchulainn’s Gaels.
Or wherever hurling folk assemble
With the ash in their head and heart,
To play and play again
The stirring games of yesterday.

End.

Tom Ryan, “Iona”, Rahealty, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

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The Bright Side Of Loneliness

The Bright Side Of Loneliness

© Author & Poet Tom Ryan.

I have lived my life on the bright side of loneliness.
Scorned the darkest secrets of within,
Laughed at them nervously and then
Resolved to on and onward go again,
Till those dark shadows
Steal around my soul once more.
Unbidden, unexpected and dark as black,
Memories of some deep hurt of yore.
Life is what is, you can’t take back,
But yet I hold this world a splendid place,
And splendid too each feeling, human heart.
And every girl I loved had special grace,
And every man some virtue to respect.
Little after that I sought – a roof, a bed and fire,
A little bit to eat and drink and love.
And I have all and no more to desire
From this great earth or from my God above.

End

Tom Ryan, “Iona”, Rahealty, Thurles, Co.unty Tipperary

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