Sunday, 19 May 2013



Strange crawling carpets of the grass, 

Wide windows of the sky;

So in this perilous grace of God

With all my sins go I: 

And things grow new though I grow old,

Though I grow old and die.    

 by G.K. Chesterton,
from 'A Second Childhood'   


Friday, 10 May 2013



Last weekend the North Clare village of Corofin hosted what organisers claim is the first Irish Beard and Moustache Championships. I’m sure all my fellow facially haired Hermonites (mostly gents I presume!) will be interested in the new champ, pictured above. Plenty of time to shampoo, groom and coax our natural scrub into shape for next years event! By the way the ‘Festival of Finn’ has also incorporated the World Stone Throwing Championship into the festival, 10 out of 10 I say for the laterally thinking committee who hatched the whole thing. Now that I think of it, maybe they’d run the entire country for a while, couldn’t do any worse etc., etc.,…~GOSh.~

Sunday, 5 May 2013


HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.


William Butler Yeats is regarded as the major poet of the Twentieth century, and his popularity today is undimmed. In this poem he wishes for the ‘embroidered cloths’ of heaven to lay them under his love’s feet. Yeats regards the common ground too coarse a surface for his sweetheart’s feet to tread upon. This is the Romantic Yeats endeavouring through his verse to transcend time and space and enter that other world of light and mystery. He declares his material poverty and confesses that he only has his ‘dreams’ or poems to cushion the passage of his love through this world. The ‘dreams’  are the cloths of heaven and he implores his love to walk gently on these imaginative outpourings. Loving someone makes us vulnerable as we open up our secret innermost feelings. Yeats in his early twenties met Nationalist activist, Maud Gonne, so beginning a lifelong infatuation. She refused his marriage proposal on four occasions, eventually to Yeats’ horror marrying someone else. Perhaps in this poem he is remembering the far from soft step Maud left on his own youthful dreams.

Gerard O'Shea

 For a You Tube version of this poem…