Looking Irish

Because it is Saint Patrick’s Day (and everyone’s Irish today), I’ve decided to poem about it!

There is a fire in my hair
A smoldering ember in my soul
Play with danger if you dare
Know my rage will consume you whole

Many try to match this mane
Bottled dyes from the barberโ€™s chair
This hue they can never gain
There is a fire in my hair

Famine, war, a hardscrabble life
From the sea or mining coal
The flame kept burning through the strife
A smoldering ember in my soul

Perseverance is the key
Go through life on a wing and a prayer
Hear the wail of the banshee
Play with danger if you dare

Heavy is oppressionโ€™s yoke
On the outside we play the role
My people are a hardy folk
Know my rage will consume you whole

I’ve got more than my fair share of Irish ancestors. Yeah, I got the hair, fair skin, and mostly not the temper. But that small spark remains and once fanned into full blown anger is a force to be reckoned with. As I’ve gotten older I’m much less likely to burst into a bonfire. In fact there are many who think I’m “safe” meaning they can make cutting remarks or take advantage of me. The truth is that fire is never safe. You can pretend to have mastery but in one unguarded moment your sleeve can catch fire and your life is never the same…

The poem above is a rhyming Cascade. The first stanza’s lines are repeated in order as the last line in subsequent stanzas. I added the rhyme simply because I like a challenge. The 1st stanza can be as long or short as desired but must have a minimum of 3 lines.

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50 thoughts on “Looking Irish

        1. Hehe! I know! I guess since it was Skyline I just figured Cincinnati was assumed. I grew up in Muncie, Indiana just about 2 hrs north of Cincinnati. My best friend’s family were big Cincinnati Reds fans and I went with her a couple of times to games – having Cincinnati Chili was required! I’d eat at her house and if we were lucky her mom would make Cincinnati Chili for dinner….

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  1. Happy St Patrick’s Day to you, Val! So, I actually have another friend with Irish blood! There’s certainly something about Ireland and the Irish. For some reason, this nation has been on my heart since the early 90’s.

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    1. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you too! There are lots of Irish that came to the US, so many that you can’t throw a rock and not hit someone with at least a smidgeon of Irish blood! My mother visited Ireland, drank some Guinness, sipped some Irish Mist (and bought a bottle to bring home because she didn’t know she could buy it at the local liquor store) and kissed the Blarney stone. She had wanted to go back and take all of us girls but it never happened…

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  2. I am only Orange Irish by heredity, but will still enjoy some Irish toasts at a nearby pub with my sons and their beloveds tonight. Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner is the specialty tonight, of course. ๐Ÿ˜€

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  3. I’m always jealous of red hair. I had it as a kid, and it turned to black. I’m not fair skinned. My skin is pink or a light olive, more pink. My eyes used to be bright blue but changed to a strange green. I love your poems and passion. I have a mutt of things in me, minus eastern European in me. It doesn’t make a difference except that they don’t celebrate pink skin in the stores or haven’t found it. I look really weird with a cream face and darker arms.

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    1. Kid’s hair color changes – son#2 was born with a head of jet black hair. It fell out and he had blonde hair. It darkened and now he has dark brown hair… eventually he’ll go gray. Since I’m very pale (vampire pale – which sounds better than fish belly white) I know the struggle to find makeup. So I quit wearing it!

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  4. When my sister and I visited Ireland, I was surprised at how familiar it felt, I mean despite the language barrier. The Irish have had a huge influence on American culture, not the least of which is the “you’re not the boss of me” attitude.

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    1. Judy my Mother loved Ireland. The Irish temper is often remarked on as is the proclivity for fisticuffs but are also noted for being stubborn to rival the Dutch (though I prefer to call it determination)!! That “you’re not the boss of me” attitude is really an entrepreneurial spirit (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!) ๐Ÿ˜€

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  5. Hope you had a lovely St.Patricks Day! Love your poem. I can relate to what you said about people thinking you are ‘safe’ and thinking you won’t respond to cutting comments.

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  6. Those who think a fire can be extinguished have likely forgotten the blaze in Juniata, PA that burned for at least twenty years, underground, and may still be burning, for all I know.

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