Poem: I’m Not IrishPosted: July 9, 2021
My bones, my genes, my blood aren’t Irish.
They’re rooted in the fields, towns and ghettoes
Of Central Europe.
They‘re called German, Swiss, Polish, Ashkenazi Jew.
But there’s a sliver of my ancestry from the British Isles.
That’s where my soul comes from
The lyrical language, drama and poetics
Of my certain Irish ancestors….
May they be called Yeats, O’Casey, Joyce, Wilde, Beckett or Heaney
Who wrote of love, war, death and the human spirit.
My Irish is in politics too.
The separation of the Irish into two parts,
And the decades of the Troubles
That divide Northern Ireland
With bombs, guns, touts and hunger strikes
All because of two religions at war
That religious war only interests me
Because of the signs, banners and the shadow of a gunman.
I’ll take no religion, thank you,
But if I was Irish, I’d be IRA,
Not Unionist, RUC or UDA.
The Troubles were only the latest
In the forever war for independence
By Ireland from its brutal English overlords.
No, I’m not Irish except for that 3 percent sliver of my genetic heritage
But my heart and soul are drawn and quartered
By the poetry and politics of both my Irelands.
NOTE: Just trying out a poem from a planned new collection for 2022. Hope you find it interesting.