Waking up long ago

Portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh credit Wikimedia

Waking up long ago

My father wasn’t what you would call

in today’s patois a woke man

but he had his moments all the same

my father would talk about Sir Walter Raleigh,

or Rowley, with some disdain

another plantation owner

who’d taken over Irish estates and lands,

it came as a surprise to find Ireland once called

by the name “Isle of the Woods”

and the desecration paid out by the Elizabethans

of the destruction of all the green forests

of all the woods throughout Ireland’s lands

The payment for resistance to colonialism

brutality, enslavement and plantations

people woke up to some things long ago

but how the story was told depended

on whether you were rich or poor

had the money or the power or still do not.

“And we have been silenced, our history lost words

and our future is silent and will never be told.

Silenced from the hour, silenced from all our days.

Silenced from the years, silenced from all that might have been.”

Final stanza from my poem “Bitter Limp Fruit” as a response to The Aberfan Disaster published in Resistance Poetry at an earlier date with a similar theme that working class history and colonial history are not taught in our schools and are edited out. Working class and colonial history chime with one another. in this way.

©robcullen25102021

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