Friday, April 6

Beloved Poem

Davina Murphy-Gibb

The Crop Of Stones

Were they the ruins of some forgotten monastery
laid to it's rest by Henry's henchmen
or the remains of Druidic calendar
and temple of rites?
No, they are the sacred symbols
of inhuman labour
expended to create arable lands.
The toil of a grandfather's tribe,
A crop of stones dug up with broken spade.
Raked out with iron hoes,
Clawed over with blistered hands.
A man's blood leaking sacrificial homage
to unseen gods.
For in Mayo
the first three crops are stones.

Her fertility hidden under barren veils of
that fit in the palm
the size of fists and
to break the back.

Layer upon layer.
a penance undergone for a rich man's wealth,
a poor man's pride.
Gone are the portals of history
that upheld crumbling alters,
mere rubble now of abandoned ages.

A crop of stones.
The first harvest will be corn
and the second barley
the third may be rye
but the fruits of a man's patience will be tried,
for in Mayo
The first three crops are stones.

photo taken in the far west of Ireland.


  1. beautiful words, perfect picture - have a good Easter - perhaps it will involve the Bay! - are you still having your poetry meet ups - can anyone join?

  2. Brilliant! Printed this out and it is on my wall - trying to learn it! Thanks.

  3. Aye it is the icy frost of a rich man's heart that keeps forcing the stones to the surface. I like this story of endurance of working men and blithe dispassion of the land holder. he who works it should rightly own it.

  4. thankyou all for the lovely comments!

    JP... yes of course anyone can come they just need to be local! and find Clairs Cake Shop in Penketh!
    2nd Tues. every month...1.30 - 3.00ish! glad you liked t5his by Davina Murphy- Gibb. She must have been Mayo of at least family there.

    Natasha...thankyou..see you soon!

    Mark...grand words in this one. We have just got a bit more info on the paternal family and back to 1770s they were all "movers of stones" in the heart of Ireland. I'm peasant stock through and through...though they called's pride for have to have it!


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