Urban History Project – Urban Poetry

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Urban history is a field of history that examines the historical nature of cities and towns, and the process of urbanization. The approach is often multidisciplinary, crossing  into fields like social history, architectural history, urban sociology, urban geography, business history, and archaeology. Why not write an article, a poem or do some research about your local area! All articles/research/poetry © Marino Local History Society, except (*)

Urban History Project – Urban Poetry

Ref: 016 – ‘The Seventh Day’ – Poem by the Marino Local History Society 2019
Ref: 015 – ‘This is Dublin – not Belfast nor London!’ – Poem by the Marino Local History Society 2019
Ref: 014 – ‘Quo vadis Marino?’ – Poem by the Marino Local History Society 2019
Ref: 013 – ‘Who was the first widow of Easter 1916?’ – Poem by the Marino Local History Society 2018
Ref: 012 – ‘Swans on the Tolka’ – Poem by Patridge 1987 (*)
Ref: 011 – ‘Casino Lapidarium‘– Poem by P. Patridge 2015 (*)
Ref: 010 – ‘A cherry tree in Fairview Park‘ – Poem by P. Patridge 2015 (*)
Ref: 009 – ‘Sean Connolly’ – Poem by the Marino Local History Society 2018
Ref: 008 – ‘Balish’ – Poem by P. Patridge 2015 (*)
Ref: 007 – ‘Croydon Park House’ – Poem by the Marino Local History Society 2018
Ref: 006 – ‘Old Money & Fairview’s Sweets’ – Poem by P. Patridge 2000 (*)
Ref: 005 – ‘TV Once Upon a Long Ago’ – Poem by the Marino Local History Society 2018
Ref: 004 – ‘Michael the Coalman’ – Poem by P. Patridge 2018 (*)
Ref: 003 – ‘The Past A Distant Friend’ – Poem by the Marino Local History Society 2018
Ref: 002 – ‘Relieve-io Summer of 1974’ – Poem by P. Patridge 2017 (*)
Ref: 001 – ‘September 1977’ – Poem by P. Patridge 2000 (*)

Ref:016 – ‘The Seventh Day’ – Poem by the Marino Local History Society 2019

Sunday, a peaceful time
The church bell peals
A calling to pray!
The amble sound of people
Going to church, two by two
The early morning birds
Perched on hedges and roof tops
Sings nature’s morning song
To empty streets and gardens
Sunday, a day of rest
Before the beginning of a new week

Ref: 015 – ‘This is Dublin – not Belfast nor London!’ – Poem by the Marino Local History Society 2019

Like a lost flock of birds ‘adrift’ and ‘meandering’
The Luftwaffe crisscrossed the Irish night sky
Without raison d’être
Their navigational systems
Perhaps jostled by Britain?
Churchill later made known
The year was nineteen hundred and forty-one
Europe was at war, proud France,
Blue, white and red flag had fallen.
Beneath the chaotic wings of German planes
Lay rural Ireland – a neutral state
A country ill-equipped for war,
Devoted to the Kingdom of God, saints and DeValera
The town people of North Strand and Ballybough
Made ready for Pentecostal Sunday
And a family Bank Holiday to make merry
Their plans became royally undone
The thunderous drone of Luftwaffe planes
Flying erratic and low
Skirting roof-tops and Railway Station alike
The bell of St Agatha’s rightly quaked
A God-like warning sent from the skies?
The first bomb fell in the early morning hours
The coastal guns at Clontarf fired in riposte
The night sky became a revelation of bright flashing colours
Interrupted by white searchlights
And the sounds of anti-aircraft flak
By sunrise thirty-nine people rested in Death’s earthly slumber.
‘This is Dublin – not Belfast nor London!’ – an old woman cried!

Ref 014 – ‘Quo vadis Marino?’ – Poem by the Marino Local History Society 2019

What would Lord Charlemont say if he came back today?
“Where art my delightful meadows, bequeath from nature to man?
Sliced now from my countryside by a shocking thoroughfare
Full of horseless carriages bellowing fumes to the firmament
My stately quarters, lodging houses, parklands and the grand old inn
Conceived in Rome and teeming with pastoral kinship and laughter
Hushed into stillness and obliterated by time
I hear no peacocks, see neither farmer nor plough
But a fanfare of commerce and noise, grey material and steel
My sleepy hollows, lakes and magnificent Palladian rooms
Memories at peace now, resting beneath the clay
For what is this great indulgence called‚ Marino’?
Who art the marauders who levelled my demesne?”

Ref: 013 – ‘Who was the first widow of Easter 1916?’ – Poem by the Marino Local History Society 2018

Who was the first widow of Easter 1916 –
over one hundred years ago?
Christine Connolly, born near Fairview –
her name, still perhaps unknown.
Christine met her love in the Emmet Choir –
Seán Connolly – an Abbey Actor and a
Captain in the Irish Citizen Army.
In concert and in theatre, they sang along as one.

Their home was in Fairview – with their children,
Aiden, Kevin, and baby daughter Madge.
But at daybreak on that fateful Easter Monday,
they said their last farewells.
Seán was with his comrades at Dublin Castle gates,
as the Tricolour was raised over the Volunteer GPO.
His life was, however, ended in the early afternoon,
by a single sniper shot, fired from the old Clock Tower.

Ref: 012 – ‘Swans on the Tolka’ – Poem by P. Patridge 1987 (*)

A placid river flows down to the sea
From Batterstown to Tolka Quay
And at Annesley Bridge there’s a sight to behold
Between Fairview Park and the East Wall Road
Six swans – noble, majestic, delicate and serene
Their snow-white feathers they gently preen

The tide has gone out, a family there feeds
Far from the Broadmeadow’s estuarine reeds
Long necks immersed, white buoys remain
Plants are retrieved, and stature regained
With wings arched high and longish tail
These beauteous creatures through ripples sail

To greet young children on their way home from school
On a wintry afternoon that’s sombre and cool
But in this spot, effervescent and bright
Shrieks are heard and cries of delight
As the gregarious host with rounded heads
Accept uneaten lunchtime bread

But now from these waters where Turlough was slain
Where oil, metal and plastic waste is wantonly laid
With slow powerful flaps sadly they softly arise
With wings that sing towards twilight skies
Fionnuala and Conn, Fiachra and Aedh,
Midir and Etain, must they fly away?

Ref: 011 -‘Casino Lapidarium‘ –  Poem by P. Patridge 2015 (*)

Ref: 006 – ‘Old Money & Fairview’s Sweets’ –  Poem by P. Patridge 2000 (*)

Half-crowns, shillings, sixpences
thrupenny pieces, pennies and halfpence
merrily spent on
Cadbury’s, Urney’s, Bournville chocolate
Dairy Milk, Fruit ‘ Nut
Fry’s Chocolate Cream
sweet cigarettes
broken Snacks and Easter eggs
ice pops, cool pops, lollipops
gob stoppers, bulls eyes, jelly babies
acid drops, jelly snakes, penny bars
pipe tobacco and Thornton’s treacle toffee
lemon balls, sherbet dips, dolly mixtures
liquorice all-sorts, orange pyramids
Tayto, King and Smith’s salted crisps
ninety-nines, Refreshers, Jollies
Devon cream fudge, Terry’s Chocolate Orange
Clarnico Murray iced caramels
Quality Street, Aero, soft nougat
coconut ice, pick n` mix and bubble-gums
in The Pear Tree, Brennan’s, McCoy’s
Smyth’s, Stanley’s, O’Leary’s
Griffin’s, Monnelly’s, Ryan’s
Leavy’s, the Merrythought and O’Kane’s

Ref: 005 – ‘TV Once Upon a Long Ago’ –  Poem by the Marino Local History Society 2018

Our TV screen was full of fuzz, our eyes were fixed,
holding in our gaze, an electrical snowstorm,
our TV set humming and hissing aloud,
the aerial rotated, pointed towards the East
across the Irish Sea, to a dear old friend – the BBC.

There followed a crispy tapping of cold TV valves,
vertical lines, a monochrome experience,
followed by images scrolling like Hollywood reels,
and the rotating ‘BBC Globe’ a symbol of delight –
our morning journeys had now finally begun.

Our world was now in beautiful binary, black and white,
as many kids in Ireland and Britain sat on the floor to wait,
for Swap Shop, Zorro, The Flashing Blade, Flipper,
Skippy, H.R. Pufnstuf and many more,
their minds transported from Dublin,
to a tropical island several thousand miles away
and a castaway fron York – Robinson Crusoe!

Would he ever make it home to Merry Olde England?
Kids of the nation waited to see,
and when the programme ended,
front doors opened and we ran out onto the street,
recreating our vivid imaginations.

Ref: 004 – ‘Michael the Coalman’ –  Poem by P. Patridge 2018 (*)

Michael the Coalman,
the original ‘Man in Black’
Peaked cap on his head,
Cigarette hanging from his lips
Do you remember him,
with his steaming dray horse and rumbling old cart,
heaped with ‘home-heating’,
heading in from the quays?

A ding-a-ling bell to alert the neighbours
and a never-to-be forgotten, soot ingrained face
– a veritable portrait of old Dublin times,
If ever one was needed.

This icon of Marino was a character
indelibly imprinted on the memories
of those who knew him,
and of those who loved him –
that baggy-trousers, boot-wearing man.

With sacks of shiny coal
nimbly carried
on strong sturdy shoulders
and resting on his ‘black leathered’ back,
hoisted through houses,
and literally poured into
dusty dark sheds.

To be shovelled
into brass buckets
and cast upon fires,
stoked with iron pokers,
transformed into cinders,
and removed as soft ash.

A Ford motor truck replaced the
horse and the cart
and Celtic Sea natural gas
replaced the Silesian coal
as Michael finally ended his rounds.
Lucky for him, some do say –
that tender-speaking, respectable soul!

Ref: 003 – ‘The Past A Distant Friend’ – Poem by the Marino Local History Society 2018

The hum of a Nr. 24 bus strolling around the top Circle,
a British Leyland engine grinding,
echoing around the Green,
picking up passengers,
pensioners on pension days,
going in to town for a pint and a chat,
or to shop?

On the outskirts of the top Circle the ‘Top Shops’,
Donnelly’s, Dolans, McCallons and Andy’s
The Beano, Dandy, Cakes, World War II, Airfix Models
Plastic soldiers, Germans, Japanese, British and American
Lining the shelves, waiting to be bought.

God Bless Ben – Mahon’s for being simply more than a shop,
a kind hearted man, who sold everything from
Gas, briquettes, biscuits, bread, meats and sweets to cough medicines.
Ben provided credit to families, when money was rare,
a natural kindness not often seen since.

The Backers! a natural playground,
once the former Croydon Park grounds,
belonging to the great Earl of Charlemont.
It was now a principality ruled by kids
it’s spoken history was untold.

Imagination was‚ King’, imaginations ruled,
the Backers a pop up battlefield from World War II
with trenches dug and lookout towers.
we held our positions, defending Ireland’s honour,
we threw our grenades and provided sound effects,
while the radio played the latest No. 1 –
perhaps Abba’s Fernando – in 1976.

Ref 002 – ‘Relieve-io Summer of 1974’ – Poem by P. Patridge 2017 (*)

Ref: 001 – ‘September 1977’ – Poem by P. Patridge 2000 (*)

There was always a nice view across the Circle towards Clontarf Presbyterian Church.
Especially in the autumn and spring times of the year.
Like an English pastoral scene hanging on a sitting room wall.
He had planted a new grass lawn in the front garden, painted the front railings, and clipped the yellow hedge.
Tulips, daffodils, carnations, begonias, petunias, and French marigolds were his favourites back then.
Sunflowers, red and black cherries, rhododendrons, roses, fuchsia, lavender, rosemary, heather, and holly came later.
Bord na Móna Peat Moss and Edge’s bone meal the secrets of his trade, along with an old stick to skewer the soil which had been hewn and pointed at the end.
Shovels, spades, forks, trowels, trimmers and a pair of shears.
Fresh air in the early evening with plenty of bending up and bending down.
It was a mild Indian summer.
He was enjoying weekly visits to the Grande Cinema in Fairview, as he was nearly eighteen at the time.
Boa, Bella, Buona Vista’s Belle Vue Schöne Aussichts and beautiful parkland views.
Sitting comfortably in a sunken red chair with a big bag of Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles in his hands.
Not good for the teeth though.
Night-time thrillers with stadium snipers, Lipstick, and Carrie burning in hell for the unjustified torment of her poor innocent and decent little self.
It was all a big adventure, a powerful sense of emergence and a joyous journey of welcome renewal.
Community Games, Dazzites, Loftyites, hobby evenings and Canavan’s Francais Film Club were things of the past now, like jogging behind Noonan’s farm and games of Risk after school.
A new departure was at hand.
He could feel it in his bones.
Novel aspects imminent in and pertaining to his city and his land.
And there would be many more to come.
For him to reach out to, partake in, yonder and way off beyond …

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