“A writer is not interested in explaining reality. He’s only interested in capturing it.” ~ Brendan Kennelly.


The Singing Bones

Inside my father's bones lie a million secrets.
Secrets passed down the long chain from the
beginning of time and the vastness of space.
In the glorious mix of diversity, endlessly
coursing through the shrouded mists of the
Holy Island, he breathes still. The memories
of his people, absorbed by the stones and the
very earth herself, exhale all that ever was.
Their essence still permeates, insisting that it
be never forgotten.
From Cessair, through Fomorian,
Nemedian, Fir Bolg, Tuatha, Milesian,
Celt, Saxon, Norman and Viking, I inhaled                              that cocktail of life  with eager lungs and                magnificent surprise.
I am inside my father's bones and my father
is inside mine.
He is the beggar-man, the holy man, the master
and the freeman. He still walks the fields, sure of foot.
He still wades the stream, fearless. He still lures the
trout, with quiet assuredness.
He still charms the goldfinch from her tree-top
perch, ever gently.
His bones sing loud enough for me to hear
even in the darkest, deepest reaches of the
night. On a quiet evening I still hear his melodic
whistle floating on the air, calling to me.
Yes, I am inside my father’s
bones, and he is inside mine.

John A. Brennan
Long Island, July 2014

Views: 392

Tags: Literature, Poetry

Comment by Ryan O'Rourke on August 7, 2014 at 4:16am

Absolutely lovely work here, John.  I'm one who struggles to find meaning in many poems, but you've struck a chord with me here.  Well done, and thanks for sharing.

Comment by kimberly on August 7, 2014 at 7:53am

Just beautiful!!! you are a real talent..hope you continue to write!

Comment by Bit Devine on August 7, 2014 at 10:20am

Maith thú, a chara!  Well honed and such an honour paid

Comment by Fran Reddy on August 7, 2014 at 7:33pm

Lovely poem and ode to your Dad :)

Comment by John Anthony Brennan on August 7, 2014 at 7:39pm

Thanks Fran

Comment by Jean Sullivan Cardinal on August 8, 2014 at 2:33pm

Beautiful, thank you for sharing.

Comment by John Anthony Brennan on August 8, 2014 at 2:34pm

Thanks Jean...

Comment by Gerry Regan on August 9, 2014 at 11:02am

John, you may be the best kept secret in Irish literature, or perhaps I simply need to get out more. Where has your extraordinary work been published?

Comment by John Anthony Brennan on August 9, 2014 at 11:05am

A Cairde Gerry,

Thank youfor the kind words. My new book titled "Don't Die With Regrets" is for sale on

Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com 

Comment by Jim Curley on August 10, 2014 at 7:35am

Beautiful poem, great thoughts.   Thank you, John.


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