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.