Writing: ‘Ireland by Night’, a poem by Martin Campbell, HMP Buckley Hall


We’re going up the road
with a full car load and
the boys are singing in the back,
fish and chips and skinny dips,
Guinness by the old turf fire,
kissing girls and holding hands,
tomorrow a day trip to Bloody Foreland.

Old men smoking pipes
talking in Irish with great delight
“I was young just like you
back in 1942,
I sailed the seas by night and day
and now I’m ready for the clay.
So say your prayers at night my son
And don’t come home
till a hard day’s work is done”.

The cock crows and I awake,
stuck behind a prison gate,
fourteen more hours to go,
then I can dream about Mary from Dunloe.
I will fill my day as best I can,
then as I lay my head,
I will dream of my green homeland.


Read the whole of The Gates of Ytan

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