What If I Never

What if i never see Millstreet Town or Claraghatlea again
Or walk in the old fields in the winds of rain
When the hawthorns are cloaked in their blooms of white to gray
And the nesting birds are singing in the prime of the May

It was my love of adventure that brought me far south
Of the fields of the badger and the waterways of the brown trout
To the coastal countryside of emu, koala and gray kangaroo
And white long billed corella and dark brown yellow tailed black cockatoo

For my years i cannot boast of material gain
And of what was i only have memories to retain
Yet on a calm Summer’s evening i fancy i hear
The call of the migratory cuckoo distinctive and clear

What if i never again see the Boggeraghs in their hats of snow
When the cold winds of December in the gray sky do blow
I left old Duhallow but it followed me
And i live with my memories of what used to be

Though i often do think of my friends of the past
In decades of absence few friendships are known for to last
Some of them in Duhallow are aging and gray
And to them i may well be a stranger today

And what if i never again hear the lowing of a cow
In the calm of a Summer twilight by old River Finnow
In the fading light just before moon-rise
Such things i see and hear when i visualize

What if i never again see Hibernia’s shore
Or climb on the high fields of old Claramore
In this great Land i would be happy to live until i die
If i did tell you different this would be a lie.

– by Francis Duggan (on Rhyme Only)

Clara sits above January fog – taken from Caherbarnagh

2 thoughts on “What If I Never”

  1. Francis!
    I internalize what you have said in this writing. I am still in harmony with the place where I grew up: Millstreet. But now I see no connection with the people…even those who are siblings. But, it is still my homeland. My hometown. But I will not ever have a desire to go back because there is no welcome any more. ALL FORMS CHANGE and we, who have left those shores have grown in all directions. We, who have become who we are from being away cannot be accepted any more in the place of our birth. It makes me very sad.

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