ROSEMARY PORTER

 

Born in Banagher, Offaly, Rosemary studied at Southampton College of Education, University College Dublin/Galway and the Cambridge Institute.

 

She taught in Ireland, London and west Africa, before settling in Harlow where she taught at St Mark's School and Intergrated Support Services.

 

Rosemary has been a Member of Harlow Writers Workshop for over 10 years, contributing to their bi-annual anthologies. She has also had work published in Irish and British magazines, and has read her poetry at various literary festivals.

 

Her book 'Erse Echoes' is a collection of poems frequently rooted in Rosemary's deep love for Irish culture and history.

 

The two poems below refer to the participation of Irishmen in the 1914-18 war and the treatment they received when they returned home to Ireland.

NOBODY WANTED TO KNOW

 

They came back but nobody wanted to know

No marching bands or bugle blow

Suffering nightmare in silence and fear

unable to share enduring cowards' leer.

 

They fought for freedom in a foreign land

Their red blood mingling with golden sand

Haunted by carnage and blood curdling sounds

Familiar home was out of bounds.

 

            Nobody wanted to know

 

Sodden clothes infested dykes

Disease and footrot like walking on spikes

Now living the nightmare in broad daylight

unable to share their trauma and plight.

 

Prisoners to a darkened past

'Tho freemen now were still outcast

The bloodshed the comrades they couldn't protect

A shrine to their memory they would never erect.

 

            Nobody wanted to know

 

The men who fought with (Munster) Fusiliers

The Connaught Rangers who shared their fears

Now haunted by horror in their fitful sleep

They would go to their God, their secrets keep.

 

Fathers were silent mothers cried

brothers Laughed, sisters denied

Cambrai, the Somme and Gallipoli

Just names of places thery would never see

 

Mick and Pat, Jack and Ker, Davey and Joe

 

            But nobody wanted to know

 

            Nobody wanted to know 

© 2014

 

 

THE WALKING DEAD

A tribute to the 200,000 Irishmen who fought in the 1914-18 war.  Between 35,000 and 50,000 died, many of their graves unknown.

 

I hear their whispers

I hear their cries

I see their pain

I see their eyes

 

I touch their hearts

I touch their fears

I feel their sorrows

I feel their tears

 

The Walking Dead

 

I speak their tongue

I speak their prayer

I smooth their path

I smooth their hand

 

I kiss their lips

I kiss their wounds

I warm their feet

I warm their tombs

 

The Walking Dead

 

I cover their bodies

I cover their pride

I lay them to rest

On a green hillside

 

The Dead. 

© 2014

 

 

 

The Tiny World of Fisal

 

Canvas corner

Of a tiny world

Haunted owl-like eyes

Alert and frightened

Pierce the broken light.

 

Wanton war-lords

Wage destruction

Fisal christened Francis

Terrified traumatised

Cowers in fear.

 

Sole survivor

Of a merchant dynasty

A canvas corner

A mountain hideout

A tiny world.

 

Fisal fans the dying embers

Fells the crumbling dirt

The hard stone

On fragile bone

Haunted eyes

Pierce the broken light.

© 2015

Painting Shadows is Rosemary's latest (2015)

collection of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories

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