Saturday, August 18, 2007

All of us are stained.

Since travelling to a place of war and little hope it has been a big encouragement to reflect on how far my own little country of Northern Ireland has come in recent years. We have seen things happen that we never thought we would see. I was chatting to some of the guys about an experience I had when I was 16. We were walking home from doing a GCSE when we saw 2 IRA men shoot two policemen in the head from about 3 feet. I wrote this poem quite a few years back about the experience. Lurgan and N.I. has become a better place since I wrote it.

This is the land of black and white,
Whose God is a province and might is right.
Where babies get born in orange and green.
Red hair, left foot.
Yeah you know what I mean.
This story's found in Lurgan Town,
Where all of us are stained.

Enniskillen, Omagh, Shankill, Roselawn.
All of these days had a dawn.
On this day's dawn we lay uncovered,
Quiet and undiscovered.
But it came around in Lurgan Town,
All all of us were stained.

Sixteen years old and the futures bright,
Another milestone the world to light.
When to the left a thunder call,
Red cloud, staccato fall.
In Lurgan Town the two fell down.
And all of us are stained.

Growing up in a bubble shelter
I reached the bottom of the Helter Skelter.
Saw my innocence erode,
As I watched his head explode.
Lurgan Town will wear a frown,
And all of us are stained.

This is the land of black and white
Whose God is a province and might is right.
Over oceans and seas in many guises,
Cowboys and Indians and no surprises.
The world is found in Lurgan Town,
And all of us are stained.


Alan said...


I will never fully understand how people set aside their grief and move on when such destruction of life is so wilful and yet needless.
I have distant relatives whose young policeman son was killed by the IRA and then in later years their workmen were attacked at teeban.
I don't know how people like them, whose pain is so real and genuine, move on and accept our new dawn. They may well have...I don't know but it can't be easy.
Nor can it be easy for the families whose sons were convinced they were doing their duty for Ireland and joing PIRA etc to fight British Rule when they see Sinn Fein in government with Unionists.
All I know is there is no other option...we share this place and successive British governments have screwed it up...we as a people must work hard to ensure our Assembly moves forward for all our sakes.
People like you help make that difference.

Anonymous said...

A powerful poem. What a horrific experience for you at the age of 16...
Let's continue to hope that God can create good out of pain and grief.


Anonymous said...

How thankful I am that my world has changed a bit and our little land is beginning to move on. Sometimes its sooo hard to watch. I often look back and think 'what was it all about?' But when we can see Martin and Big Ian 'getting on' I am so thankful. I only wish that my dad was here to see it. Powerful poem john-boy. Sara-Lou xx

Anonymous said...

Hey bro,
Mighty words put into verse.

joy said...

John one word for you...