Origin of the Species


Cobbled streets and smoky skies

Miners’ phlegm and grandma’s pies

Coal dust paths and privet hedges

Games of football Christmas sledges

Sandstone church all painted black

From dust in’th air and nutty slack

Flat caps pipes and cigs galore

Queuing for’t pictures out the door

Walk down’t road for bus and tram

Don’t do that I’ll tell me mam

Up t’shop for a loaf of bread

Get thi’ whoam and go to bed

Polished steps and women in curlers

Cigs on’t lip no fear’t burglars

Hardy folk and matter of fact

Tell it straight no need for tact

Mill and mine and factory shed

A life of graft until tha’s dead



Smell of turf fire on the wind

Endless sky and river bend

Trout and salmon lurking there

Open season and God’s fresh air

Floury spuds and cabbage and bacon

Boxty then and bread fresh baking

Salty butter on the table

Auntie Annie fit and able

Bruce and Black the collies faithful

Slopes of Tuiscean Carraful

Fields and boreens bog and drain

Collect the turf and home again

Cousins for company the livelong day

A paradise for all my play

Fresh and clean as when in Eden

Blue and green and very heaven


Brian Fahy

18 February 2023


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