Previously I had submitted the Poem "The Ghost of the Galway City Museum"
The following is a companion poem "The Ghost of the Waterford County Museum"
THE GHOST OF THE WATERFORD COUNTY MUSEUM
IT’S BEEN MANY YEARS SINCE I BROUGHT BACK WITH ME
THE GHOST OF A MAN WHO HAD YEARNED TO BE FREE
WHO HAD LEFT THIS DEAR LAND THAT HE HAD LOVED FROM HIS BIRTH
AND TRAVELLED, AT THAT TIME… TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
WHY I’M SELECTED, OR IS IT ELECTED? TO FERRY SPIRITS BACK HERE
I HAVEN’T A CLUE; MAYBE YOU DO…THOUGH I KNOW I HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR
RORY*, RESIDES BY THE QUAY, NEAR GALWAY BAY IN THEIR CITY MUSEUM
I’VE WRITTEN BEFORE, AND MUST SAY IT ONCE MORE, YOU MAY NEVER EVER SEE HIM
ISN’T IT GRAND THAT IN THIS LAND OF THE LEPRECHAUN AND THE FAIRY
THAT SPIRITS LIKE THESE ARE ACCEPTED WITH EASE, THOUGH SOME MAY BE A BIT SCARY
IT’S HARD TO PERCEIVE NEVER MIND TO BELIEVE…BUT I’M BEGINNING TO FIND
THOUGH I KNOW THEY’RE NOT REAL LIKE SOMETHING YOU CAN FEEL, THEY HAVE FOUND A PLACE IN MY MIND
SO I AWAKE THIS ONE NIGHT WITH A BIT OF A FRIGHT, STILL GROGGY AND TIRED FROM TRAVEL
IT WAS THERE IN MY ROOM, OBSCURED BY THE GLOOM…IS MY MIND BEGINNING TO UNRAVEL?
AND IN THIS CONDITION, I SEE THIS APPARITION, A FACE OF SINGULAR BEAUTY I SEE
HAIR SILVERY GOLD, FACE ANGEL MOLD, EYES BURNING INTO ME
IT WHIRLED AROUND, STILL STANDING ITS GROUND, HAIR FLYING ABOUT
IT’S ALL I CAN DO AS THIS VISION I VIEW…NOT TO GIVE OUT A SHOUT
THEN IT WHISPERS “MY NAME’S NANEBONE** AND AS WE’RE HERE ALL ALONE PLEASE LISTEN TO WHAT I HAVE TO SAY
“RORY CALLED OUT TO ME, TO WEST TENNESSEE, AND HERE IS WHERE I NOW MUST STAY”
I NOW FEEL THAT I MUST, TENDER MY TRUST TO THIS VERY DESPERATE BEING
EVEN THOUGH I MAY BE DREAMING OR IS IT’S MY BRAIN WILDLY SCHEMEING, CAN I BELIEVE WHAT I’M SEEING?
NANEBONE WANTS TO STAY, CLOSE TO THE QUAY, THE WATERFORD COUNTY MUSEUM IS WHERE SHE MUST NOW RESIDE
RORY THEN, SHE CAN SEE ONCE AGAIN, AND HE CAN BE FAIRLY CLOSE TO HIS LONG LOST LOVELY BRIDE
THIS MUSEUM IS A TREASURE, A WEALTH WITHOUT MEASURE, HOUSING INVALUABLE TREADS OF THE PAST
PRESERVING ITEMS ANTIQUE, MANY UNIQUE THAT OTHERWISE WOULD NOT LAST
THE PEOPLE THAT ARE THERE ARE THOSE THAT DO CARE FOR THE HISTORY THAT’S GONE ON BEFORE
IN PAPER OR STONE, MAYBE EVEN A HUNK OF BONE, IN REALITY…THERE’S SO VERY MUCH MORE
AND SO FOR ALL TIME, THEY’LL BE MET HERE IN RHYME, BOTHERING NO ONE AT ALL
THOUGH ONCE IN A WHILE YOU MAY SOMEONE SMILE TO HER PLAINTIVE '‘INDIAN LOVE CALL’
THAT WILL BE NANEBONE, NOW NOT ALL ALONE IN A PLACE SHE CAN NOW CALL HOME
THEN RORY AND SHE CAN AND WILL BE FREE, FOREVER TO RAMBLE AND ROAM
© 2005 K J DALTON CONNECTICUT USA
© 2023 Created by Gerry Regan. Powered by
REQUIEM FOR A NAVVY
I left my home in 63
And sailed across the Irish Sea
A navvy, I was going to be
In dirty London town.
I threw my bundle on my back
And never once did I look back
My mother cried 'God bless you Jack'
And wiped away a tear.
The cattle boat bobbed up and down
And I spent my last half a crown
On a pint of Guinness, dark and brown
Out on the Irish Sea.
In Kilburn, I did lay my head
Just one small room and a dirty bed
`No Lady friends' the landlord said
`And keep the auld room tidy.'
Next morning, at the break of day
A rusty van took me away
From now on I would earn my pay
With Mcalpines Fusiliers.
I stood in mud and swung my pick
I shovelled mortar wet and thick
The foreman said 'Good on you Mick'
A good old Irish navvy.
Up swaying ladders, I did climb
An' sanc, about 'The Rare auld time'
And not a worry in my mind
Sure life was free an' easy.
The hod, cut deep into my bone
And sometimes I did think of home
What made me leave it, for to roam
An' be an Irish Navvy.
I cursed the Ganger every day
On Friday, when I got my pay
The sun would shine an' I'd make hay
Around the pubs in Kilburn.
I'd drink like hell, enjoy the craic
A donkey jacket on my back
An' sometimes I would get a whack
When ructions flared in Kilburn.
I spent the odd night in a cell
I'd kick the door and shout and yell
Ah peelers — may they rot in hell
They have no time for Paddy.
A few times now, I got the sack
But the ganger, always took me back.
Sure I kept them going with the craic
A carefree Irish rover.
Money? Ah I saved damn all
I pissed it all against the wall
Sure I was young, I had a ball
An' life was free an' easy.
The English man, looked down his nose
To see me in my auld torn clothes
To him, I was just one of those
A paddy and a navvy.
They called me Paddy, called me Mick
They called me stupid, called me thick
I slapped cement upon a brick
And sang the 'Irish Rover'.
A donkey jacket on my back
Sure all I wanted was the craic
I sank the Guinness, foamy black
And danced an Irish jig.
I paid the ladies of the night
To love me in the bright moonlight
In Ireland, that would not be right
But sure a man gets lonely.
And I'd always say on Christmas day
This summer, I'll be on my way
To walk in fields of new mown hay
But I never saved a penny.
As soon as I had got a sub
I'd drink it in some dirty pub
A few shillings left, to buy my grub
Then another week of toiling.
I never sailed back 'oer the sea
To my lovely cottage by the lea
Sure, I was young and wild and free
A handsome Irish rover.
I worked with men of many hues
While mud was squelching in my shoes
And spent my weekends on the booze
Mcalpine's men were hardy.
I sang and danced my youth away
I couldn't wait to spend my pay
I never thought I'd rue the day
For life was free an' easy.
But time moved on relentless'ee
Old age was creeping up on me
A shooting pain was in my knee
So I had another drink.
But drink, the cunning, crafty,knave
Was master now, I was the slave
An' damn a penny I could save
All pissed against the wall.
I lost my job, I lost my home
In dirty alleys I did roam
With shaking hands I sipped the foam From stout as black as midnight.
With wino's I did congregate
To drink around the graveyard gate I never pondered on my fate
As I sang 'Peggy Gordon'.
I slept at night down in the park
I coughed and shivered in the dark And dreamt about the singing lark In happy childhood days.
On misty mornings, cold and grey I'd stagger up, get on my way
To spend another drunken day
In dirty London town.
And then one night, in snow and sleet
With The Financial Times wrapped round my feet I passed away, my god to meet
Too drunk to say a prayer.
I rest now in a pauper's grave
Where weeds and nettles gently wave 'Cause not one penny I could save All pissed against the wall.
A navvy, from auld Erin's Isle
A snatch of a song, a cheeky smile I loved the craic, I had no guile When life was free an' easy.
I knew when I first crossed the sea A stranger, I would always be I saw just what you thought of me It was written on your windows.
You looked on me as second class
But while you sat upon your ass
We built this town of brick and glass
A monument to navvies.
You wrote it so the world could see
Just what it was you thought of me
But forever it will always be
A requiem for navvies.
No blacks, no Irish, no dogs
In the city of drizzle and fogs
You said 'Paddy, go back to the bogs'
No black's no Irish, no dogs.
I love it...It's the way I think poetry should be.
To tell a story..in rhyme and so you don't have to say "I wonder what he meant by that".
Some of my and my male siblings have passed some of that same path
Nice job. Thanks for sharing.