Christy O’Donnell – Two poems

christy o donnellChristy O’Donnell’s first poem was published in Poetry America in the early eighties, following a competition in which he won second prize. His work has also been published in The Mater Hospital (Dublin) Quarterly Magazine, the Blue Hour Magazine Anthology, Anthology for a River and Revival, as well as several other publications.
Christy’s poems reflect his life, his family, his city and the people he has encountered through that journey. He writes with a deep insight into human nature and human frailties. His poems are often humorous, but this humour acts as a counterpoint to the sometimes bleak and tragic themes in his poems.

Thomand a bridge too far

On winter nights the cold from the Shannon makes you shiver
Thomand Bridge beckons some not to cross that River,
There are ghostly things here that to some call out,
Some people see moon beams others hear distant shouts,
Wars have been fought from it to conquer men have tried,
And throughout the years in battle many have died,
A witch was once rumored to have jumped from this place,
Into the bridge her handprint burned its trace,
Kings have looked down on it from their castle on high,
This bridge to the afterlife watches those dead float by,
Many have fell or jumped choosing suicide,
And the bridge watches only for the coming of the tide,
Some have fought on it from one side to the other,
All souls remain here comforting each other,
So often boats search for what the river will hide,
And the bridge watches on it will not be denied,
On one side the church on the other the castle,
In the middle Thomand bridge offering a way out of hassle,
And from its wall’s many have jumped,
Some were saved as their chest was pumped,
Lost souls gather here on most winter nights,
Waiting for new arrivals to lose life’s fight,
No mercy from this bridge as the tide goes out,
From the ebbing water a lonely shout,
I stood and watched from where so many fell,
Some jumped freely thinking this life was hell,
Mixed up feelings swirling in their head,
Lost to the river they become the floating dead,
Memories remain within those bereft,
All were loved before here they left,
On moonlight beams you can hear their song,
In death there is neither right nor wrong.
Crossing Thomand Bridge on any night will give you a shiver,
You can hear the souls floating beneath it down the Shannon River.


Emigration budget!

It looks like free medical care for kids under five,
The government has promised to keep them alive,
But at the same time I have fear and apprehension,
For between the fifth year and a retirement pension,
There is nothing left in this fair green isle,
To which anyone else can raise a smile,
Unless of course you are a multi-national,
Where little or no tax seems to be rational,
And if you are lucky to reach a pensionable age,
What little life remains will send you into a rage,
Any benefits you thought might be yours when retired,
Are in the funeral pyre they have all expired,
We are in a state of mourning and we all should grieve,
As of this week no one can afford to up sticks and leave,
And the church once rich and powerful in faith,
Are silenced now they have shut each gate,
Politicians have proclaimed themselves the new god,
Keeping their wages tight with a wink and a nod,
Yet we can send our youth to foreign lands,
No life for them with budget bans,
But when working lives are over and done,
Return to Ireland we can tax your fun,
German monies will never be able to fix,
The emigration of all between five and sixty six,
For those left behind in this country of despair,
Will either be too old or too young to care?
Let’s get back to times of old,
When days were long and nights were cold,
And fight all who take and tax and burn,
Until justice for all in this land returns,
Not just against those who have the cash,
But the politicians wielding the same old lash,
In Leinster house they make the rules,
And we swallow them hard like drunken fools.



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