Thursday, 24 February 2011


Tom Mc Carthy


Spent another highly enjoyable evening in the company of poets at the White House last evening. There were several highlights at the open mic (where anyone with a poem can perform) and later as Joe Healy from Kilmeedy read as the guest poet. Healy’s poetry and indeed demeanour reminded me of John McGahern and his work references many rural themes such as Pattern Days, working on the land and the GAA. Evelyn Casey read a very moving poem about an elderly neighbour who had recently died and new talent Edward O’Dwyer gave us a stunning piece about the poem itself.

As always the master of ceremonies, originator and human engine driving proceedings along was the indefatigable Barney Sheehan who introduced each reader and mingled among the large audience welcoming one and all. Tom McCarthy is a stalwart of the Wednesday night gathering and he passed around a verse, written some years ago but still relevant today. As this country goes to the polls tomorrow to vote in a General Election it seems appropriate to print Tom’s poem here …

Promises promises from men without Clout,
The same old story without a doubt.
Canvass for me and I’ll fill you with booze,
With tax-payers money I have nothing o loose.

Posters and leaflets of faceless men,
They’ll sell their souls for a vote to get in.
With tax-payers money they’ll pay for the print,
No stamina, no power just a hundred yard sprint.

When the ballots are counted amid the roars and the cheers,
You wont see them again for another five years.

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