Noel Burke

Creative writings: Samhain 2015; N5 at Turlough, Customs.....

Noel Burke at the Samhain performance in November 2014, the National Museum of Ireland -Archaeology, Dublin.
Photographer: Mervyn Watson
Talskiddy at en.wikipedia

N5 at Turlough

Whitethorn hedges offer up their

last haws in the late October sun.

Grief-screams from a young man’s

roadside shrine,  drowned out

by uncaring, incessant traffic’s  hum.


His picture set in polished stone,

his name, his age, a verse,

icons of Sacred Heart and Virgin Mary,

football paraphernalia,

large rosaries, all plead remembrance.


Yet, for millennia, weather-ravaged

in the hill-field opposite,

three standing stones survive,

holding silent conversations with

gods worshipped by our ancestors.


And behind that butchered hill,

The Country Life Museum –

listening, watching, in the trees,

placing Past into the future –

where Samhain will be remembered, soon.



Apples with a choice of flavours

from the orchard, set by our grandfather.

Hazelnuts from haystacks snaffled,

basin-ducking and snap-apple.

Then, Halloween was blind man’s buff,

barmbrack and monkey nuts.


Now,  bonfires blaze and kids compete

to get the most by trick or treat.

Frankensteins, zombies, witches’ brooms,

adults in custom-made costumes.

Samhain’s a memory for old fools

Cultures merge, Commerce rules.

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