Tag Archives: irish poet

For My Daughter

Her First Confession


Blessed with water, wrapped in blankets of white

Their tiny hands held our hearts tight

Filling our souls with joy

The pink of a girl or the blue of a boy


Wax dripping from the candle

That takes its place upon the mantle

Of homes that they light

With smiles that shine in their eyes bright


As school friends, they gather once more

Lined up with family in the pews pure

God’s gifts blossoming to flowers

In the town of Loyd and Round Towers


Bless me father for I have sins so mild

The pranks and tantrums of being a child

Holy Father cleanse our innocence

Pray hear our words of penance with your benevolence


I’m Sorry God, Connected

Songs sung as parents reflected

On the wonder of their flock of Belles

As fair as any page from the Book of Kells


The kind words of the Priest

Permission in lent for a treat

Cleansed and pure wee doves

Ready now for the white dress and gloves


© Frank McGivney 10 March 2014


The Clamp

The Clamp

It came from a wreck,

An automobile of dubious ownership

Green with rust coloured trim

The name on the slip was faded to grey

A man of great substance

No wealth just a whole lot of nothing

The fine was mighty too mighty to care

Put a hole in the tyre, Dear Alfred she

Roared across the divide between her

World and theirs.

Yellow triangle with black trim

Dublin Corporation in proud script

Do not remove below.

The large giving the name

The small removing the gain

He was a cantankerous man

Of medium height and of lower measure

In the department where thoughts flowed

And dreams were meant to be formed.

It wasn’t they didn’t like him, or even hated

It was more akin to some form of deepest

Despise which permetated their laughter

Clamped Mr Purcell, you have been clamped

The world must surely pause its eternal progress

The powers that be may wait with bated breath

The cats may stop moaning and the dogs stop fooling

Until the problem is solved, the solution found

The raison d’etre is revealed, deduced and recovered

Get me the number of this so called corporation

Dial the digits, man the ford, line up the women

We are going to war and all hell will pay

“We have no record Mr Purcell, no record at all”

“You have the auto clamped Mr Corporation man”

“No we haven’t Mister”

“I’ve seen it myself”

“Were you left out for the day?”

“What the?”

Beep Beep Beep

Hello, Hey, come back

Right lads get me a car, a van, a bicycle, whatever

I am heading for the office of the boys in blue

Right you are Sir, right you are.

Hold on where’s it gone

It’s gone, It’s gone, it’s disappeared

What Mr Purcell

The clamp the clamp the heathen clamp

What Clamp Mr Boss

The one you showed me not but five minutes ago

No such recollection can I recall

He wondered many a day and a whole lot of nights

But no one would reveal the ghost he lost that day

©Francie McGivney

a poem after tayto park

The Crisp factory Ride

There they were beneath me floating on by,

their white patterned images reflecting the

creative design of nature’s greatest art.

Above me the fellow members of my tribe,

their breath exhaling the whoosh of the warrior

chariots sweeping rise and descent into joy.

Within their blood Cu Cuchulain’s people shared the

joint heritage of the DNA gift of an African Jane who’s

tribe ventured beyond the Pale of their jungle home.

A crescendo of human vocal exhalations reached out

to the spirit of the man from Tir na nog whose sliothar’s

path if true, would have sliced a straight tunnel to Irelands

freedom from the wrath of the modern Hun and the

ancient beguiling weakness of an island’s lack of esteem

in what it was and who it’s people could transform to be.

The knowledge of garments, whose time had arrived to

overcome the grime of life’s passions and reach into the

bubbled waters of a washing machine cycle, grasped me

by the inner male reproductive organs and imparted upon

my now delicate stomach the rotating screams of dizzy

stumbling steps and mumbled whispers of irate brain cells.

Before one leg went west and the other went north at the same

time, I hung inside out and upside down and opened my eyes

and unlocked my mind and felt the purest of enlightenment

sweep me away to the lake where the swans of Ireland’s myths

Floated freely upon tranquil waters.

And the one with the auburn hair and the wit in her eyes

Grasped one hand in hers while the one with the smile

In his soul and the humour on his lips held the other

And I looked at the one I made the vow to and

I smiled

© frank McGivney 29.08.15 after tayto park

The funeral (a poem)

The funeral


Along the crumbling sides

slithering deep in their

disturbed home the worms

turned from her cries

A virginal tongue hung

out of the gaping mouth

where a trail of garlic

tinged, spittle dribbled

along the pale cheek

above the white collar


The decrepit retiree, who had only

the week before, in a moment of

clarity concerning the inevitable,

picked out his own final home;

a mahogany coloured box

with fake silver handles and

a cross in the style of a Celtic

Warrior’s sword-handle emblem,

dragged a shot from a newly lit

Major, watching the smoke trail

in blue fog circles through a ray

of freezing sunlight and yawned


The busy one who never missed

a funeral, state occasion or the

seldom invited weddings

nodded a fickle head

Containing a barren brain,

Supported on a crooked body,

Turned to his non attentive neighbour

who ignored his complaints of

annoyance at the delay the

audacity would cause to the

rest of his self important daily

schedule of gossip filled meetings

There was a brown jackass in the glen

who regularly refused to comply

and a herd of cattle in the pasture

waiting with teats in need of emptying,

united in ignoring the amorous

advances of a rampant bull jailed

behind an unfortunate white washed wall.

On the hill above the honey valley

a goat mixed with sheep consuming

anything foolish enough to succumb

to natures desire to bring

forth a vegetative head or end

out of the craggy stone-dotted soil

In a wooden shack a chicken delivered

Her morning prize unaware of a bushy

Tailed devious desire for her flesh

All of them combined in a distinct

Lack of concern for the occurrence

The boy’s body never flinched

His eternal sleep unperturbed

His soul shed not a single tear

His mother’s prone body

six foot down, five foot length

ways and loads of feet around

shook with her loss of the only

One who smiled at her for no

reason other the inherent desire

to reply to her own

The cantankerous man

who smile was never found

who grumbled at teenagers

who snuffled at gossipers

who cursed freely at priests

and shopkeepers and everyone

in-between, with equal resolve

reached out unthinking a hand

calloused but gentle to take her

from her refuge, ignoring the

Scratches, leaving the broken nails

in his cheek to be removed in time.

She melted into him until the heart beat

steadied and the mind fogged enough

to never forget but to survive

as the patient clay filled the space

She had vacated.


© francie mcgivney spain summer 2015


Alicante summer 2015 (part 1 the fiat 500)

Alicante summer 2015

Part one the car

It could have been smaller

If it had two wheels and pedals

Enthusiasm for its fuel efficiency

Gave me a similar measure

Of solace while I solved

The containment problem

How to squeeze four bags

Two adults, one lumpy boy

One smart girl, a shoulder bag

Laughter, confusion, squalling

Knees and a wife’s beautiful

Attitude into a fiat 500. I was

The miser, delegated the task

to solve the wonderful quandary

on account of been the gobshite

who inadvisably picked class z

On an economic basis

From the safety of a two hour

And thirty minute distance

Failing miserably in considering

The fitting them all in conundrum

Their eyebrows raised when

I suggested we may have to

Possibly, but not likely get out

And push the ladybird up the

Steep hills. The auburn haired one

Christened it so but I remembered

The Irish way, the father’s punto

The uncoolest ever cream one’s saviour

The high hill’s fast descent to

Stretch beyond the internal combustion

Engines defined limitations to

conquer the summit of the next.

It was all a shocking disappointment

Until the button, the special one we never

Had before, the one to transform the

Pappy Smurf’s dream automobile

vehicle into a super duper, trendy, top

Of the range wonder of a convertible.

Small expanded to the edges of the

Blue sky still capable of fitting

In the rear end of a real motor

The wife was doubtful the

Kids were delightful and I drove

In some state of hopeful

Father’s Day


It’s a tale like the rest

They all come to know

The man is your father

The script of the poem

the words in the rhyme

he sings to your soul

the beat of the drum

you danced with his love

the smoke trails a path

from the front to the rear

you sit alone and remember

his song, his reverie

the voice of a man

the spirt of a king

the eye of your friend

The one you hold dear

The hands were all calloused

The touch it was soft

The path he lead onwards

Was the best that he could

Now he lies floating

Away from your sight

Beside with your dreams

Inside you in love

And all that you long for

is the day when it comes

when he takes your hand

softly and leads you on home

© francie mcgivney Fathers day 2015


they walk fields of green 

With red rose smiles

She dreams of a lover 

With a smile at dawn

Above ample breasts

I see hands with rings

Silver and gold 

Two tuxedos no regrets 
Beyond the yes I hear

The whistle of freedom 

Beating the tune 

Equal tides for different strokes 
Rain forests grow where greed dies

Marriage vows sing a hymn 

To hand holding women
10 billion to be the same 

To walk the same path

Nightmare visions I see

In their words of no 
Different make me different 

To stand on my own 

Beside the rest I love

They’d rake my soul

To plant their holy words
Frankie McGivney 21.05.15