Matt Mooney. Born in Kilchreest, Loughrea, Co. Galway in 1943, he has lived in Listowel since 1966. His first book of poetry ‘Droving’ was published in 2003 and this was followed in 2010 by Falling Apples’. His third collection ‘Earth to Earth’ was published by Galway Academic Press in 2015. His poems have appeared in ‘Feasta’, ‘West 47’ , ‘First Cut’ ,The Applicant’, The Kerryman, The Connaught Tribune,Peann agus Pár and The Galway Review.
I cry with joy this Easter Day for Ireland:
the tricolour is raised, a dream come true
at our centenary celebrations at the GPO,
there before its renowned portal columns.
I cry as well for war zones far from here
but not that far away that we do not care
enough to wish them their week of glory
when the sacrifices will lead to liberation.
‘Weep not for me’, Jesus said on Calvary,
on the first Easter to the weeping women,
‘ weep for yourselves and your children’;
did he think of Brussels and the bombing
and of the blowing up of football players
near Baghdad, a city recovering from war
or the Easter Sunday massacre in Lahore?
Could He see Syrian refugees in a huddle
in flooded field camps steeped in misery,
Europe deliberating on their destinations?
‘You may boast and speak of Easter Week’
and our independence won a century ago
but now we have to watch these terrorists
with Kalashnikovs or wearing bombbelts
marauding mercilessly, delivering death,
like thieves out of the night or hell itself;
distraught men and women bowed down,
weeping for their children and themselves.