Ciarán Bourke poem by John Sheahan

Long haired, wayward chieftain
Sloping in from Celtic mist;
Recycling myth and legend
Through the holes
Of a battered tin whistle.

Desk-bound harness untackled,
You surrendered to the lure of living.
Like a moth to a flame, you followed
The warm glow of music and the craic.

Bhí an Ghaeilge agat ón gclíabhán,
Beguiling Peggy Lettermore;
Lamenting Eanach Cuain;
Embroidering and stitching 
Your story to the night air
With guitar and harmonica.

In old shebeens where time was barred,
You toasted life with Preab San Ól.
Whiskey-flavoured yarns flowed and
Meandered from byways of memory
Till dawn broke the spell
Through a smoky haze.

“Well that ties a knot on that one”
You’d say, saluting the dawn
And the gift of another day.

When fate struck a cruel blow,
You bore your lot with stoic acceptance.
With shepherd’s crook, your footsteps
Found their echo in half remembered places,
Till they faded, all too soon,
Back to the shadows of a Celtic twilight.

© John Sheahan

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