ALL OUR HISTORY — a short poem

Round Tower, Timahoe, Co. Laois
Round Tower, Timahoe, Co. Laois

Diarmuid Breatnach

ALL our history is important,

not just 1916,


teaching us what we are


and what we have been.


How we came to reach the now,


of those who fought

or those who bowed,


through bloody pages,

down through the ages;


it relives the struggle to be free


and whispers soft what we might yet be.

British Embassy Dublin petrol bombed 1972
British Embassy Dublin petrol bombed in rage at Bloody Sunday, Derry 1972
Some of the wonderful children's artistic impressions of the Rising on display at the launch
Some of the wonderful children’s artistic impressions of the Rising on display at the launch of “Our Rising”.

THE MAROON TIDE

Diarmuid Breatnach

On 6th September 2015, the Galway GAA team played the Kilkenny team in the Croke Park national stadium.  I wrote this at the time but never posted it for some reason then and came across it to my surprise today.

Parnell s
Fans making their way along Cavendish Row and along Parnell Street on their way to Croke Park. (Photo D.Breatnach)
Fans making their way along Cavendish Row and along Parnell Street on their way to Croke Park. (Photo D.Breatnach)
Fans making their way up  O’Connell Street and along Cavendish Row on their way to Croke Park. (Photo D.Breatnach)

 

 

THE MAROON TIDE

A maroon tide swept through the city,

in numbers alone they would overawe

the wasp-coloured Kilkenny few.

“It’s on the field we’ll win the fight,

although outnumbered in the stands”

was the response of the Cats

to the mass of Galway fans.

And give them their due,

the final score proved them right.

The maroon tide swept out again

to coach and train and car

or hotel and bar.

A Galway fan wiped away a tear

and told me they’d be back next year.

End.

REMEMBER

Famine emigrants monument on the north quays of the river Liffey, Dublin, with superimposed image of African woman and children. Image from Memet Uludag on Facebook.
The Great Hunger (1845-1849) emigrants’ monument on the north quays of the river Liffey, Dublin, with superimposed image of African woman and children (image from Memet Uludag on Facebook).
Diarmuid Breatnach
Remember? Remember when we were migrants?
Remember when we fled murder and rapine
and many another terrible scene
When death and torture were at hand
and we sought succour in other lands?
Remember?
Remember when our little nation
was devastated by starvation.
disease and desolation,
our hope in emigration ….
Remember?
Remember when we died by
mountain, valley and sea
and we braved
the rolling waves
to go where we might be free?
Remember, oh do you remember?
Escape, the vote,
in leaky boats
in anything to float,
fear in throat,
today they launch
for our shores.
Remember? We must remember!
end

WHEN EAGLES SING — Kurdish singer and fighter Viyan Peyman falls in battle/ Cantante y Luchadora Kurda falla en batalla

Viyan Peyman, famous fighter-singer of the YPJ, fell in battle against Islamic State in Serekaniye (Yazira canton) on Monday 6th April 2015, according to news agency Hawar News.

Viyan Peyman, famosa luchadora y cantante del YPJ cayó én lucha contra el Estado Islamico el lunes 6 de Abril 2015, según la agencia de noticias Hawar News (miren enlace al fondo de este corto trozo para las noticias en castellano).

When Eagles Sing

(I ndil chuimhne Viyan Peyman/Gulistan Tali Cingalo)

A bird fell from the sky —

the birdsong now has died. 


A songbird but also a fighter — 


When eagles sing 


our struggle is made lighter.

She flies now in different skies,


skies of our memory,


of our heart, spirt and mind


where her song cannot be silenced


for Kurds or for humankind.

Diarmuid Breatnach April 2013

Viyan’s real name was Gulistan Tali Cingalo (Gulistan means “garden”) and she was from Mako city in the part of Kurdistan located within the Iranian state’s territory.

The song she sings in the video was composed by her; the lyrics say:

“Oh, mother, woe to me!


My heart cries today — what disaster has fallen upon us!


I will sing today of the resistance of Kobane,

that it may be a poem recited for the world and humanity, oh mother!


Today again our Kurdish boys and girls have made their chests into shields

against the tanks and bombs …
Oh, mother, woe to me!


Today I imagine the mothers of Kobane crying in the streets;


I imagine the boys, the girls, the elderly screaming in pain and rage.


I see the tears of the children of Kobane as if they were the Euphrates river, 


flooding the streets of Kobane!


Oh, mother, woe is me!”

Information and song lyrics translated from Castillian text sourced here: https://comitesaharaui.wordpress.com/…/cae-en-combate-la-c…/

“BELIEVE” — short poem by Donal O’Meadhra

From their homes stolen lives.
Injustice never new.
Not one crime done nor crime seen.
A sentence served undue.

Witness blind and judge astray.
Trial a kangaroo.
You want a reason to believe?
My friend, I’ll give you two.

Two sons of Craigavon Ireland,
Our voices now are due.
The cry should shout until it cracks
For justice to the two.

It happens time and time again,
Shadows of me and you.
Where once stood four and then the six,
The mirror shows the two.

Together we can make this right.
As one we’ll see it through.
You want a reason to believe?
My friend, I’ll give you two.

Believe poster J4C2

 

The poem is about the incarceration of the “Craigavon Two”, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wooton.  On the 30th of March 2012 both men were convicted and given life sentences.  They were accused of the fatal shooting of Constable Steven Carroll in Craigavon on the 9th of March 2010.  The evidence was a hotch-potch of questionable material including an “eyewitness” who only came forward a year later after both Republicans had been in jail for a considerable time, a man whose evidence was contested by that of his wife and of his own father.

The case against them was so riddled with inconsistencies and suspect material, alongside new evidence of police interference with witnesses for the Defence, that there were high hopes of both men being cleared and freed when the appeal concluded in October last year.  However, to the shock of many, including a number of Independent TDs (members of the Dáíl, the Irish parliament) and the late Gerry Conlon, their appeal was denied.

The campaign is on-going and supported by a number of organisations and individuals.  It was in support of the Two that Gerry Conlon, formerly of the Guildford Four (and a subject of the film In the Name of the Father), made his last public statement days before he died.

Their campaign website http://justiceforthecraigavontwo.com/we-are-innocent/

“Where once stood four and then the six” in the second-to-last stanza is a reference to the Guildford Four and to the Birmingham Six, ten people (all Irish save one) who in 1974 were wrongly convicted of bombings in Britain and were finally cleared only fifteen and sixteen years later.  Also wrongly convicted were the Maguire Seven (which included Giuseppe Conlon, Gerry’s father, and teenagers) and Judith Ward (a woman who was mentally ill at the time).

POEM: THE NEW WAILING WALL

Part of Gaza after Israeli bombardment July 2014
Part of Gaza after Israeli bombardment July 2014

There’s a new Wailing Wall:
It’s in Gaza, and here mothers and fathers wail
at the bloody bodies of their children;
children wail at the bloody bodies of parents;
all wail over the bodies of friends and neighbours;
the wailing rises and the tears fall.

 

At this Wailing Wall,
we wail the mendacity of Israel and the West,
we wail the complicity of the media in the West;
while rockets, shells and bombs rained down upon us
the lies fell faster and thicker than rain,
a torrent of lies that never stopped.
To surge in flood over the bodies of our slain.
You come now with your flag of peace
tramping along the bloodstained road
and up the mountain of our bones
and the rubble of our homes
and offer us business as before
or – bombardment once more.

 

Now that the bombs have stopped,
we too stop and look around us:
our schools gutted and bloodstained,
mosques and hospitals in ruins,
so many of our buildings rubble,
or with gaping shell-holes,
in the hell-hole
you have made of Gaza.

We had so little and you destroyed so much.

 

In the days to come, more will sicken and die,
of wounds on flesh and wounds on soul,
of lack of medicine, fuel or food
as even in pause you take your toll.

 

Many are numb, some try to forget,
some try to live without forgetting,
but there is a begetting,
for in many hearts too,
your phosphorus flakes are snowing,
the embers of hate are glowing,
their machine guns and bombs are mowing
you and your children for generations to come.

 

Against your Goliath
our slingshots were of no use;
yes, God was with you –
he’s no longer Hebrew or English –
He’s American now;
you shot us down like fish
in the shooting barrel
you made of Gaza.

 

You wish us to recognise you?
Of course we recognise you –
the imprint of your boots are upon our necks;
we carry them from cradle to the grave.
But we will never agree to accept
or agree that you should keep
what you have stolen and plundered
the land you have sundered
or that you can make us second-class
citizens in our own land.

 

While we struggle to endure
and to ensure
that you never defeat us
let it be that we do not learn to treat others
as you now treat us.
What did you learn from your oppressors?
If all you learned was how to also
do so much of what they did,
then truly have the six million died in vain
and you mock their memory by invoking them.

 

Diarmuid, Feabhra 2009

 

I began to write this just as the December 2008- January 2009 bombardment of Gaza by Israel was coming to an end and rounded it off in February.  That was the one they called “Operation Cast Lead”, which killed over 1,400 Palestinians, mostly non-combatants, including 400 children and injured over 5,300 — again, mostly non-combatants.  I little thought that so few years later Israel would unleash an even worse bombardment upon the beleaguered Palestinians in Gaza, as it did in July last year, during which it killed over 2,300, again mostly non-combatants and this time nearly 500 children.  The damage to infrastructure is colossal and the Israeli-Egyptian blockade makes significant repair impossible.

I noted recently that I had published this on Facebook only so published it here on the “Rebel Breeze” blog also.

 

RANT FOR MARGARETTA

RANT FOR MARGARETTA

(click on the title immediately above to access the video)
(A mobile-friendly version is also available, click on the author’s name below the video and the other version should show).

RAP POEM, VIDEO IMAGES WITH MUSIC IN PROTEST AT THE 3-MONTH INCARCERATION OF MARGARETTA D’ARCY, 79 YEAR-OLD ACTIVIST AND DRAMATIST, BECAUSE OF HER PROTESTS AGAINST THE CONTINUING USE OF SHANNON AIRPORT BY THE US MILITARY IN COLLUSION WITH SUCCESSIVE IRISH GOVERNMENT IN VIOLATION OF OUR NEUTRAL STATUS.

RANT FOR MARGARETTA

Diarmuid Breatnach

Forgive my confusion …

I was under the illusion …

or was it a delusion?

That we are a democracy,

not an autocracy

nor yet a plutocracy ….

That we citizens had the right

to decide whether a war to fight;

That we could choose with whom to ally …

Or was that all a cruel lie?

Listen now to the warning bell,

an Irish citizen in a prison cell;

Put there for taking a stand

against murder in foreign lands.

FREE MARGARETTA D’ARCY! FREE HER NOW!

FREE MARGARETTA D’ARCY! FREE HER NOW!

Well yes, it was all a delusion

and our government’s in murder collusion;

To murder planes turns a blind eye,

making accomplices of you and I!

Because the US is a superpower,

before them are we supposed to cower?

Are we to turn our hearts to stone,

to ignore the unmanned murder drones?

Surely not! Margaretta stands not alone —

we are of her blood and of her bone!

Listen now to the warning bell,

an Irish citizen in a prison cell;

Put there for taking a stand

against murder in foreign lands.

FREE MARGARETTA D’ARCY! FREE HER NOW!

FREE MARGARETTA D’ARCY! FREE HER NOW!

Our rulers fumble in a greasy till,

They never cared and never will:

Little women and little men,

Hucksters and middle men —

Believe me they don’t dither

to sell us out to the highest bidder!

Ach seo hé an scéal,

this is the story:
Ní chuirfidh muid fáilte

roimh – dúnmharthóirí!

Listen now to the warning bell,

an Irish citizen in a prison cell;

Put there for taking a stand

against murder in foreign lands.

FREE MARGARETTA D’ARCY! FREE HER NOW!

FREE MARGARETTA D’ARCY! FREE HER NOW!

Drone in the sky: someone’s crying …

Drone in the sky: someone’s dying …

If we allow it then we share the blame

so say we all: NOT IN OUR NAME!

Visitors are welcome from any land

but don’t come here with bloody hands;

Using Shannon as a staging post,

making our land a murder host —

we won’t pretend that we don’t know —

like Margaretta, we’re saying “NO!”

Listen now to the warning bell,

an Irish citizen in a prison cell;

Put there for taking a stand

against murder in foreign lands.

FREE MARGARETTA D’ARCY! FREE HER NOW!

FREE MARGARETTA D’ARCY! FREE HER NOW!