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The Return Visit

Cabra West

The Return Visit
by/Tony Gorman

Slowly I walked down the streets of my childhood
Remembering the places where I used to play
Sadly the areas are deserted of children
Only some old folk live there today

I visualise my friends playing games along the pavement
The girls with their skipping reciting their rhymes
The boys with their marbles of harlequin colours
As my mind kept remembering our past childhood times

I hear all voices of the women on doorsteps
Telling of happenings that made up their day
Their menfolk out working in all kinds of weather
With one thing in mind, to earn a day’s pay

And on the green sites they have built ugly factories
Removing the views of the landscapes we had
And houses half built are the signs of recession
The visions we see there would make you feel sad

So I’m walking away from this place I was born in
As its changes don’t figure too well in my heart
But I’ll always remember the good times I had there
But those times won’t return so it’s time to depart

So farewell to the streets and the fields of my childhood
And the ghosts of my friends that roam there today
For I leave with my memories of happier times
As time wait’s for no man and its true what they say

I wrote this poem in 2012 after taking a trip back to Cabra West where I was born.
I had a very happy upbringing and some wonderful friends back then and I suppose I had expected everything to be exactly the same as when I left over forty years ago.
When I was young we had miles of open green fields to play and an open swimming baths where all my friends would meet but sadly that’s all gone now.
I loved all the openness of greenery when I walked over Broombridge on the way to the baths and the Tolka River but developers have changed all that with factories and houses.
One good thing I will always treasure the memories of how it was back in my boyhood days.

6 Responses

  1. Tony Gorman says:

    Paris in Mourning 15th November 2015 by/Tony Gorman

    Emptiness fills the space that laughter use to fill
    And the silence it is deafening in the air so cold and still
    And tears replace the smiles for a city filled with pain
    And disbelief surrounds everyone for an act that was insane

    A place where lovers use to stroll in the romantic Paris air
    A horrendous thing has happened sending people to despair
    For it happened on a night like any night before
    When evil struck so violently within the city core

    When radicals with bombs and guns brought Paris to its knees
    And death and mayhem took its role upon the evening breeze
    As bodies littered everywhere from bullets as they flew
    And the fear was multiplying as the death toll grew and grew

    No pity from their slayers as randomly they killed
    A haunting time to cope in life as if all time stood still
    And when the horror mist had cleared and reality it struck home
    The world held France in its embrace to show it’s not alone

    Now our unity will help the French to cope from day to day
    To bring them strength and peace of mind of new hope to come their way
    And show them our allegiance is true in everything we do
    By rallying in solidarity around their flag of Red and White and Blue

  2. Admin says:

    Beautiful Piece Tony, thanks for that, important to let
    French people know that we’re all in solidarity with them

  3. Tony Gorman says:

    The Irish Immigrant by/ Tony Gorman

    Across the waves we made our home
    Across the oceans wide
    Across the seas on foreign shores
    Arrived by air and tide

    We built our lives on what was there
    We worked at what we could
    We mingled with the people there
    And only right we should

    They accepted us for who we were
    They accepted us for our toil
    They accepted us for our personality
    As at times we made them smile

    Through the years we made our mark
    Through the years our family grew
    Through the years our friends passed on in life
    And through age we joined the queue

    Our children became citizens of the land
    Our grandchildren are the same
    We started out as immigrants
    As from Ireland we all came

    Spare a thought for all of us that’s left
    Spare a prayer for those that’s gone
    For we know there’s more will follow us
    As immigration goes on and on

    One day our economy will stabilize
    And our youth can stay at home
    To work and live in harmony
    And never have to roam

    It was sad to see so many young and old leaving Ireland to find work abroad in the 60s and 70s when there was no work to be found at home.
    I was one of those that in the early 70s had to leave Ireland to find work on the building sites in England to earn a living.
    I struggled for a while trying to get digs to enable me to bring my wife and two children over to start a new life.
    I suppose I was one of the lucky ones but it took four months before I could find anywhere suitable to bring my family over to.
    I put my head down and worked my socks off and eventually made it pay by working myself into a management position over the years which allowed me to help others who were struggling back then.
    There were those who because they had no fixed abode couldn’t get work which left them sleeping rough and having to beg on the streets of London.
    My position back then on the sites gave me a chance to help some by employing them as labourers and giving them subs and references to enable them to get off the streets into digs by having a weekly wage.
    I’m glad to say most of the lads back then went on to pick up a trade on my sites as plasterers, dry liners and carpenter’s
    Sadly you can’t help everyone and there were those who thought themselves a failure and were too embarrassed to go home to Ireland and ended up living rough on the streets and drinking their lives away.
    I always wished that the Irish government at some point would be able to see further then the end of their noses and see the talent that have to leave the Irish shores to find work abroad.
    If these people used their talent back home instead of on foreign shores they could boost up the Irish economy but first the government need to get creative in the roles they have been elected for and devise ways of creating jobs to stop the flow of workers joining the immigration queue leaving their native country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If only!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Admin says:

    As always, a pleasure to read, thanks Tony!

  5. Paul o farrell says:

    Tony very interested in your poem and ur photo am a community worker based in the GAA club-the old playground. You might drop me a line.

  6. Tony Gorman says:

    Hi Paul
    The photo that complements my poem is down to the FRG Admin. What is the address of the GAA club and I will be glad to drop you a line there.



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