A Winter Poem

Winter Poetry Finalists – Tom Clancy

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.


About Tom Clancy, Poet, Folk Singer,

Tom Clancy, Poet. He is a renowned Irish folk musician, an aficionado of the tin whistle and the unique sounding, "Low Whistle". Well known as a Trad Folk Singer and International Rugby player, his poetry now speaks for itself, from the Hearth and the Heart. Facebook features more and more Poetry extracts as he nears the launch of his first book of poems. Tom is available as an after dinner speaker and entertainer, delivering the music and stories that form the soundtrack of his life.
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