Monday, 12 January 2009


Frank as a young man

in the Armed Forces.
You were always one for talking Frank,
But I have never heard you speaking
With such urgency and detail
As now, lying in a hospital bed,
Your chest wheezing and your left arm lifeless.
Beneath a ‘fasting’ sign you are talking
In a low, tired voice
Flitting from one thing to another
At the speed of light -
We are relieved dear uncle
That despite all that’s happened
You are making sense…
It will take us a little longer
To make sense of all the happenings of this,
Your Passion week -

Over just eight days
Your life has changed utterly,
Lost its ringing certainty,
Robbed of its jaunty swagger
By a contrivance of events
That have sapped the soul and heart from you,
And left you with little more than that ‘voice’
To let us know, you are still here,
And still the man who has dwarfed our lives
With your towering presence,
And kept the fire of family history burning
With your forensic remembering
And conjuring of lives lived long ago.

Tonight you are in the hospital ward
Alone with your fears and dreams,
In the closing of an eye Frank
You enter worlds more real than terra-firma…
I pray that this night
Large vistas of welcome are opening for you
As you pluck from your store of dreams
Those that will now sustain you…
As your ‘body’ who up to now has never let you down
Restarts and revitalises
Responding to your mental commands
To renew and re-invigorate,
And cause the surge of swelling life
To course again, Atlantically
Through your trembling veins…

And may God, who still believes in you

Bring comfort through these darkest hours,
And turn His face towards you,
And make His voice be heard
Above the sound of yours,
And please God, Frank.
May you know the blessed difference.

Gerard O'Shea
Wednesday, January 7 th.


Tony said...

Frank saw the wonder and beauty of life and welcomed it with an innocent smile. Such men have little trouble hearing that still small voice.

Antoin said...

May he the melody of the Trinity, and may he dance to there music. Amen