I had some notes for a poem about the Irish poltical problem and the "troubles in the North."
I decided to use this challenge as a chance to work on that poem. I do not claim that what is expressed in this poem is accurate. I live in the south (the republic) and have yet to visit the North but I watched the turmoil on the television and studied the conflict at school.
While things are still, as always shaky, we have a peace process and progress is being made. I like countless others only want peace and for the violence to end. I am not sure how well up everyone is on the troubles in the NOrth. I hope everyone can follow this.
Green pastures, white flag, Orange Sash.(price of freedom).
Lush green pastures, cattle grazing, stillness in the air.
a gunshot shatters the peace, echoing through valleys
it tolls the death bell of Michael Collins.
Fresh dew meadow, the long grass where rabbits scurry,
Thick tangled foliage camouflages the paramilitaries.
Eyes narrow in a hatred stare through the sight lens of a rifle.
Kill a protestant for every catholic claimed.
Wait for them to retaliate. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.
It is the same God that damns us all.
A tricolour waves in the wind upon the television screen,
Amid the rumble and turmoil of marching season,
Its green cloth is stained with countless deaths and cry of oppression
Its orange cloth is stained with countless deaths and the stamp of domination.
Its white cloth, the sign of peace, burns crumbling
to charred ashes, black symbols of our politics.
How long can a war rage, how long can hatred last?
How long can you wear those death masks
and call yourself a martyr, a political activist?
CRIMINAL, COMMON CRIMINAL
This is all you ever were. Betrayed Wolfe Tone
and the fathers of Eire, you are not fighting for freedom.
Orange sashes, banners and bowler hats.
The battle drum signals a crushing defeat.
This is not tradition, this is a celebration of victory.
Salt old wounds and insist upon annually invading
our territory. Some maddened spectators chant
"Brits out, Brits out." And bloody war is raged,
just like the old days English and Irish at each others
throats. The riot police charge, dispensing
"peace," tranquillity thro' violence it seems
the one creed both sides can agree to.
Ulster says no, No surrender. 32 counties,
within 6 there are two boundaries. The divisions
are scarred upon the country. Some where among the
chaos two children play unaware that they are each other's enemy.
So our Politicians get together, after much pantomime
we make progress, shaky negotiations, so many setbacks
and failures and sealed lips and bruised egos.
Finally one word hangs on the mouths of a country
"Cease fire" and we all breathe a sigh of relief.
This will never ease Omagh's mortar grief,
a tragedy unparalleled, all killed were innocence.
Is this the price for freedom, is this the price for peace?
Lay down your arms and put to rest your murderous beliefs.
"An abyss that lasted creation A circus complete with all fools
Foundations that lasted the ages Then ripped apart at their roots"
[This message has been edited by brian madden (edited 06-25-2000).]