Tuesday, 9 February 2010


Today is the first anniversary of the death of my uncle,
Frank Phillips. To mark the occasion we set up this
garden ornament 'bike' outside his old apartment
at Villiers Square to celebrate his cycling prowess.
A year of days has free-wheeled by
Since your sharp and sudden departure,
Twelve months of afternoon jaunts
Through your beloved Ballycannon
And weeks of peddling to Ardnacrusha
Past Considenes and Bertie Boyles and Barrys ,
And past the golden cottage,
Where years ago you spent paraffin-lit nights
Poring over ancient tales of romance and adventure.
An entire year since you rode out of our fractured lives
That last great expedition
When, despite every impulse of your being
You were ushered away to some other realm.
We met today to remember
A great life lived long and well ,
Our heads and hearts clanging with memories
Of precious days listening to your soft voice,
Regaling us with stories of our past
And keeping us abreast of every present moment.
Your wit and sharp tongue
Kept us on our toes
As you filled our lives with soul and wonder,
And filled our prosaic days
With poems rich and waving.
We salute you uncle Frank
As you still spin about us,
Roaring over mountain moors
Spreading your net far and wide
To catch the semblance of a dream.
We were all caught in your net
Mesmerised by your hold on life
Until at last it loosened,
And in the silence of that hospital night
You left us with the harvest grain
Of rich warm memories.
Gerard O'Shea


Antoin said...

Beautiful words. Would you write one for me so I can edit it before I go.

Tony said...

A fitting tribute to Frank and I believe he would have loved the byke.

Tony O'Shea said...

great piece on Frank well done .