Thanks to everyone who entered the Original Writing Winter Poetry Competition. Over the next few days we’ll be sharing the finalists’ poems with you. We’ll announce the winner on Christmas Eve. In the meantime here’s the first of the finalists; a lovely piece from Tom Clancy.
A Gift of Wicklow Gold
In the garden of old Ireland
Many moons and years ago
There lived a man in Wicklow’s hills
Where the purple heather grows.
Daily he would pan for gold
In a stream below the hill
His neighbours they would chuckle so
Although they praised his will.
“Oh John why do you break your back”?
“Sure tis fruitless what you do”
With pale blue eyes he’d shed a tear
“I am doing it for you”.
He would sift the sand and pebbles smooth
From sunrise to the gloam
When darkness fell upon the brook
He would make his way back home.
John was liked by one and all
Oh such a lovely soul
But fools are fools and that’s the truth
They have no useful role.
The land was owned by portly George
And rents were very high
If you failed to pay your fate was set
To sleep beneath the sky.
The years flew by and John grew old
‘Twas the saddest sight to see
He passed away with pan in hand
Face down amongst the trees.
They buried him on a rainy day
Most respectful to the end
A young girl stooped and laid a wreath
His best and trusted friend.
Bad news it spread across the hill
“The landlord wants to sell”
“And if you cannot buy your plot
Abroad you’ll have to dwell”.
There was consternation all around
For no one had a bob
As auction day began to loom
Poor mothers wept and sobbed.
The sun shone bright on Wicklow town
And the hill went up for sale
“One hundred pounds and that’s my last”
From a man in top and tails.
Going once and going twice
The gavel wielder roared
When John’s wee friend stood up and said
“I’ll give you twenty more”.
Everybody was aghast
To see this red haired girl
Bare drawstring purse of nuggets bright
John’s fortune to the world.
She bought the hill that very day
With fruits of waters cold
And a cross now stands beside the stream
Where an angel panned for gold.