This was written in a prison cell by a fellow Irishman, kindred spirit, poet, soldier and a far braver man than I. Bobby Sands, adhering to the ancient Brehon Law of fasting, died while on hunger strike in Long Kesh prison camp for his political beliefs on 5/5/’81.
The Rhythm of Time
There’s an inner thing in every man do you know this thing my friend?
It has withstood the blows of a million years and will do so to the end.
It was born when time did not exist and it grew up out of life.
It cut down evil’s strangling vines like a slashing searing knife.
It lit fires when fires were not it burnt the mind of man,
Tempering leadened hearts to steel from the time that time began.
It wept by the waters of Babylon when all men were at a loss.
It screeched in writhing agony as it hung bleeding from the Cross.
It died in Rome by lion and sword in defiant cruel array,
When the deathly word was ‘Spartacus’ along the Appian Way.
It marched with Wat the Tyler’s poor and frightened lord and king.
Emblazoned in their deathly stare, as e’er a living thing.
It smiled in holy innocence before conquistadors of old.
So meek and tame and unaware of the deathly power of gold.
It burst forth through pitiful Paris streets and stormed the old Bastille.
It marched upon the serpent’s head, then crushed it ‘neath its heel.
It died in blood on Buffalo Plains and starved by moons of rain.
Its heart was buried in Wounded Knee, but it will come to rise again.
It screamed aloud by Kerry’s lakes as it was knelt upon the ground.
And it died in great defiance as they coldly shot it down.
It is found in every light of hope It knows no bounds nor space.
It has risen in red and black and white It is there in every race.
It lies in the hearts of heroes dead It screams in all tyrants’ eyes.
It has reached the peaks of mountains high It comes searing across the skies.
It lights the dark of this prison cell It thunders forth its might.
It is ‘the undauntable thought’, my friend that thought that says ‘I’m right!’
Books for Sale:
Don’t Die with Regrets: Ireland and the Lessons my Father Taught Me.
The Journey: A Nomad Reflects.