Poetry by Patricia Conway, Mayo Genealogy Group


Vestiges of ancient peoples

Druid and Christian

Chieftain and lord

Monk and friar

Settler and migrant

Farmer and merchant

And all classes between

Passing through the shadows of time

Leaving in our county`s heritage

A legacy of their presence

A treasury in so many forms

People and place

Land and sea

Culture and sport

Language and music

History and faith

Stone and ink

Tears and memory

DNA and the search for home



They moved from earth to new house

Changing from sheltering home to deserted ruin.

But still something remains.

Spirits and memories linger in their permanence.

Witnesses to laughter and tears

Joys and sorrows

Dignity in hardship

Preserving the essence of barely remembered lives


Suitcase Encounter

Hello my friend,

Before the final clearing out

Come and take a walk with me

Through memories and time.

I have been a

Loyal travelling companion,

Support in partings and returns,

Holding a life`s necessities.

But the end comes

And I am left, abandoned,

Custodian of a life`s treasures.

A poignant reminder

That life was but a moment.

That moment was one life.

Patricia Conway & Seamus Bermingham (2021) Mayo Genealogy Group.


Sliproad musings

A busy link between roads old and new,

A treat for motorists, cyclists, runners, walkers.

Their journeys enhanced by Nature`s bounty:

Yellow furze and lilac orchids.


But its man-made decor

Also reveals the route from past to present.

From a time when

There was neither a place called ‘away’,

Nor much left to throw there

To the age of fast food and plastic,

Coffee cup and mask.


Nature asks only for our respect

As she converts our waste land to a haven.

But our progress blinds us to her beauty,

While oblivious to our journey

We rush to our destination.



Endless mutations of birdsong thrilling in the evening calm,

Lowing of an anxious cow, her calf hidden by shady grass,

Bleating of a lost lamb, seeking a motherly recognition,

Buzzing of a now precious bee, savouring nectar filled pauses,

Whooshing of a balmy breeze, soothing skin and spirit.


Such riches of melody, loud and soft and softer still,

Some sounds too delicate for human ears –

Busy rustle of mouse and shrew,

Focused scurry of ant and beetle,

Gentle flutter of butterfly wing,

Aimless drop of stray leaf.


And with closed eyes and the ear of memory another world is revived –

Echo of scythe stone and rumble of cartwheel,

Jangle of horse tackle punctuated by whoas and gee ups,

Rattle of farmyard buckets summoning hungry calves,

Cheery tune of homeward bound whistler, his turf clamped and dry,

Mournful cry of curlew, heralding a twilight mist.


But with end of reverie and jolt of reality

A powerful monster of speed and progress

Traverses the meadow gobbling up grass and melody,

The driver’s ear muffs

Ensuring an arid journey through an oasis of sound.


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