Top of the morning to all on this St. Patrick's Day 2011; hope all are enjoying themselves and avoiding the sacrilege of turning perfectly good Harps into green beer. What was once a very solemn religious holiday honoring the patron saint of Ireland has become the equivalent of Mardi Gras, Bacchanalia and Cinco DeMayo, and New Year's Eve rolled into one in terms of celebrations and parties. to be Irish one needs to be more than a button, a green shamrock, green shirt or dress. God may have invented whiskey to prevent the Irish from ruling the world but he also invented poetry to enable them to rule the hearts of the world. This Irish Alaskan Poet hopes you enjoy the following written on this St. Patrick's Day, 2011
Like the summer patriots to men like Thomas Paine
To the colors in the warm rays and leaving in the cold and rain
The summer Irish on this day are flocking from near and afar
To the closest tavern, to the closest pub and to the closest bar.
Awash in green to down a pint or two of Guinness or Harps,
To listen to the wail of the pipes crisp and sharp,
Gathered not in church but around tables with friends
Bushmill shots until the wee hours finally end
Every lady is now a colleen
All are decked out in their finest green
For this day all are Irish that’s what the shamrock buttons say
As the day wears on most can barely stand only sway
The lines are not to mass but to the pubs into the street
Patiently waiting for the shots and suds to greet.
If one were to think back when the potatoes began to rot
Famine stalked the land, nary a crumb or potato to be bought
The Irish fled by the millions from that Emerald Isle
Human sardines in steerage across the ocean miles
To a land devoid of outstretched hands,
No ticker tape parades or marching bands
But signs in most windows “Dogs and Irish not allowed”
Bias rampant but onto these shores they continued to crowd
Today a button or green is not needed to one’s heritage to rejoice
For among us are the works of Yeats, Becket and Joyce
Or the works of Wilde, Shaw and Swift
When in the Dark Ages, who stopped civilization’s drift?
The Irish monks writing to preserve and to keep
Knowledge from sliding into the dark, dark deep
That’s why the Winter Irish should be held in awe
That’s why we toast Erin go Braugh!
Still for one day all should be Irish, today enjoy the “Gaelic Right Stuff”
For if you are lucky to be Irish, you are lucky enough.
Michael P. Ridley
(c) March 17, 2011