Big thank you from

Church of the Dwarf

(first published in 1995 in Northern Ireland Poets anthology)

Where chieftains crowned and fought
And met Saint Patrick
On raths and huts of mud
In wooded land around the river.
Where Saint Aidan’s parish church stands
Through lynch-gate, its clock tower - guarding those-
Its faithful, laid resting side by side.
Who bequeathed their goods and chattels onto those they loved.
Where days of fights at fairs took place.
The monument inscribed still stands
To those they loved who fell in wars
Away from home.
Where folks worked and toiled the land
With horse and plough
Rucked the hay
And danced the night away at Crew.
Where griddles baked the soda farl
Enriched by handmade butter, patted neatly
Inside the whitewashed thatched home,
With clambering rosebush clinging on the walls.
Where the summers paved the way
Along the hand-shorn banks around the field
For orange sash and banner
And winters filled the lonin deep with snow.

Now the giant works of modern brick expands
And life goes on.

by Shane McClurg