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Poetry Magnum Opus

Tír na n Óg


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Back in the days when the world was young

came a fairy princess across the sea

mounted on a flying white horse.


She came flying to the land of Erin

hard by the cruel and cold grey ocean

and put her eyes upon the young Oisín.


Young man, you please me, rise up

behind me on this pure white horse

and I will take you back to Tír na nÓg.


What the hell are you saying to my son,

rumbled Finn MacCool, the hero of Ireland,

the veteran of a hundred murderous battles.


My father, the god, wishes to borrow your son

and take him to the land of the Ever-Young

under the depths of the boundless sea.


I have no wish, fair child, to lose my only son

for there are great deeds needed to be done.


I shall borrow him, Lord, for a sweet short time

and return him to you, and to the men of Erin.


There were grumbles, as usual, among the men,

for the lads, even then, were the same as ourselves,

thinking why should Oisín get this cushy number?


The father, great Finn, composed himself in thought,

thinking it bodes not well to offend the authorities,

particularly those that control our final end.


Oisín lept up behind the girl and away they went

far up and away across the white-flecked ocean

followed by half-hearted waves from the men below.


Hold tight, says Niamh, for that is her name,

hold tight, young man, around my waist, and please

keep your hands off my breasts for the moment.


They arrive in the splendid palace below the sea

and the god, Niamh’s father, embraces Oisín

and offers him a hearty, a true father’s welcome.


I don’t want you diddling my daughter, he says,

as the wine passes around the table. O Daddy,

cries Niamh, laughing, red-cheeked, a bit petulant.


It’s a great honour, My Lord, says the green Oisín,

not knowing WTF he’s got himself into. He is, obviously,

a handsome guy. Niamh has planned this all along.


Three months, six months, a year passes: what the hell

is the matter with you, screams the beautiful Niamh,

why the hell can’t you fuckin fuck me?


Oisín, in many ways a child, is bewildered.

But we are not married, he says, in trembling tones.

I am immortal, she cries, the daughter of a god:




I want to go home. I want to go home, mumbles Oisín.

Oho, I’ll send you home, purrs a quickly quiet Niamh,

on the same horse you rode in on!


And we all know what happened after that.



As Gaeilge: (pronunciations)

Oisín ... Usheen

Niamh ... Neeav

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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