'Ulster' and 'Bloody Sunday'


That evening, as the sun eclipsed in a stricken sky,
We walked, hand in hand, along the shore,
Where rhythmic sea washed back and fore
And seagulls mewed on high.
With the silence of the world all around
Our thoughts turned to another land
Where, doom-ridden and utterly damned,
The gunmen went to ground.
Words went through our minds that day
Of Pearse, Collins and that sort,
And English heroes, too, who fought
Against them, and with their lives did pay.
We wandered on, and now the night was falling,
A satin moon came out to pay his court
To a troubled world, where man had taught
That freedom was ours for the calling
But we were not too concerned with matters of that sort
For freedom is a transient thing –
Is that not why people cling
To hopes and dreams; or at least they ought.

Walking on we looked up at the distant stars,
Each one jewelled, twinkling in perfect array,
A vast panoply, a host, some would say,
All were there — Jupiter, Venus and Mars.
And if, it seemed to us, there were a scheme to things,
And we thought, perhaps there was,
How can you deny the truth because
Are not the fields of Kent as
Green as the fields in that other land of kings?

: David Adsett, 1972.

Bloody Sunday

How do you live with the unliveable?
How can you think of the unthinkable?
How can you describe the undescribable?
How can you suffer the insufferable?
How can you forgive the unforgivable?

: David Adsett, 2 February, 1998, after seeing a TV documentary on ‘Bloody Sunday’.

Born in South Wales in 1937 the author has lived in London, Liverpool and Dublin. He has worked as clerk, petrol pump attendant, porter, dishwasher, salesman, soldier, labourer, poet & writer. He now lives in semi- retirement in Cardiff.

First published in The Green Dragon No 6, Spring 1998