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An Introduction To Patrick Kavanagh By Mary Buckley-Clarke

Mary Buckley-Clarke

For Sale; Traditional ballad titled 'Shoemaker's Son', A TRIBUTE TO THE GREAT POET Patrick Kavaghan. Beautiful relevant lyrics, musically crafted by some of the best traditional Irish musicians. Price $6 postage paid. Orders to Mary Buckley-Clarke at
"Excellent musicianship, with fine singing by Ian Smith. The good tune is backed up by the beautiful lyrics from Mary Buckley-Clarke." - Paul Rance/Peace & Freedom.



Everything stopped the day you went to hospital.
Life put 'on hold', normality falling apart.
The sink filled up with unwashed dishes,
It didn't matter.
The layers of dust settling on the hall table,
Didn't even get noticed.
We brought home your flowers,
No longer acceptable in hospitals.
Stuck them hurriedly into an unlikely vase.
Broke all the traditions of bed times
Meal times and play times.
Bills piled up, barely opened,
They could wait, every thing, could wait,
Until, you walked through the door, again.

[To remember London 07/07/05]

Chilling out, in a borrowed mobile home.
Behind the red and orange curtains
With cock-eyed, animated stars.
I sluice my body with shower gel,
Bought in London, back in March.
Stepping back in time, to simple ways.
July 9th, how blest am I
To yet have time to play.

Over by the ditch, wild poppies fading,
Their season now is all but done.
Clinging on, reluctant, who can blame them?
To leave this rare and precious day of sun.
A boy and girl, pick a seeding dandelion.
I hear him tell her "Count the hours".
She puckers baby lips, laughs then blows.
"Start again", he shouts on losing track.
But no amount of wishes, can turn the moment back.

Through sun I feel the chill
Of unexpected London snow.
Back in March, we were happy then.
Touching blood red petals, I see them bruise.
Gather up the twisted stalks of seedless heads.
Had we but known, we would have begged them, Stay!
Take a break! Do not go to-day!
They mock at gods, who seek to snuff out life.
There is NO creed on earth, to make such carnage right.


I suddenly smile,
At what you recall.
'Small boy in a corner
With face to the wall.'
Now, seeing your stories,
The flow of your rhyme.
Small boy in a corner
Just ahead of your time.

So, who was the teacher?
And who was the fool?
In that long ago summer
At a tough city school.
They were the sightless
Panning for gold,
You were the nugget,
The blind could not hold.


A story told of long ago,
Of other days now past,
As far away a lady sits
To tell her tale at last.

To tell how soldier whistles,
Turned girlish cheeks to red.
When sunlight threw dark shadows
Of bombers overhead.

Overhead they thundered,
Their snarling engines whine,
Changed your life forever,
Marie of Hythe, Kent in 1939.

Motionless you lay awhile,
Stunning pale and at a loss.
On your wrist their war brand,
A hacked out bloody cross.

Smiling now, you wonder yet,
Though hurt and scared and dazed
Glad at least your courage
Would earn you loving praise.

Amazed yourself to be so calm,
Despite the cuts and blood,
White faced then, you ran at last
To feel their joy and love.

Then at the threshold wwhere before
That place of safety stood,
Remained but fallen rubble
And shattered planks of wood.

Kneeling down to wipe the wounds
The price of hatreds sin,
Your childhood, reared and galloped past
To let the woman in.

No one noticed you were hurt,
The disaster left no time.
Your courage but a small thing
That day of grief in Hythe, '39.

Another lady sits to write,
In another place in time.
To say you were just wonderful.
Long ago in Hythe 1939.

© All work copyright of Mary Buckley-Clarke.

MARY is from Cork City, Eire, and says: "I have been writing in some form or other since my teenage years. I provided a weekly reflective piece for our city's paper, THE CORK EXAMINER, for a number of years. In the late '70s I broadcast THOUGHT FOR THE DAY, again reflective! This was broadcast for a week.

I have published many articles for papers and magazines, and currently write a monthly column for a multi-racial paper in Cork.

During the long illness, suffered by my husband, there was not the opportunity to write. His passing two years ago has given new impetus and more time to write. I have had many poems published in England and Ireland. Publication of late has been with PEACE & FREEDOM, QUANTUM LEAP, THE POETRY CHURCH, FORWARD PRESS, THE BLACK ROSE, and AWEN - to mention some.

Currently, I have been also working in the field of lyric writing, and have many songs written in collaboration with other musicians. I have also finished a collaborative work with another musician - this I feel very excited about. It is a tribute to the late, great poet Patrick Kavanagh.

I work full time as a nurse, and lived and trained in Belfast through the Troubles. I have a passion for animals, but especially Arab horses, and have bred about ten foals. I have just one daughter, and my late husband was a native of London . I hope to just write better material, and want to always be strong enough to let it be MY voice - hoping it may some day touch someone in a special way."

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