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Young boys near village Mass-grave, Kosovo. Photo - Michael J. Whelan

Young boys near village Mass-grave, Kosovo. Photo – Michael J. Whelan

QUESTION

(Kosovo)

There is a theory, one which I tend to like,

which says ‘energy can never die,

always has been, always will be,

only changes form,’

in the same way emotions

built upon events

become something else.

So my question is, – like war

are the tears that rolled down

the young boys face onto bloody ground

when cluster bombs accidently fell on his village

(dropped by those who had come to help)

transformed in some way

and if so

what have they become?

Michael J. Whelan

Published in ‘The Burning Bush 2’ online Literary Journal , issue No. 8  http://burningbush2.org/ August 2015  – Guest Editor Joseph Horgan

Poetry

michaeljwhelan:

Tinteán online magazine is an initiative of the Australian Irish Heritage Network and they have published much of my material for which I am very grateful. This is their latest post referring to my Landscapes Of War & Peace poetry exhibition which is currently running is South Dublin Libraries, please have a read at the link…

Originally posted on Tinteán:

Landscapes Of War & Peace 1914-2014: War Poetry and Peacekeeping

by Michael J. Whelan

echoes-rlbf

Irish Martyrs In Lebanon by Michael J Whelan

100_6139 Gulls by Michael J Whelan

Some words we don’t read them,
we taste them
deep into our souls,
some bring back our missing memories,
our loved ones to our hearts.

Many times I saw their wives and mothers
lay flowers in my country
near the places of their martyrdoms.

My heart is like a room
big enough to receive many visitors.
My heart is a wing
to fly your martyrs on,
to reach heaven

to make them meet at the river,
to hug and kiss their children,
to sacrifice and water their thirsts
of a land with pure blood
spilled far from home

flowing from peacekeepers
into the valleys of my country
where the cedar grows forever
and remembers everything.

Michael J. Whelan July…

View original 170 more words

LANDSCAPES OF WAR AND PEACE - Michael J. Whelan

LANDSCAPES OF WAR AND PEACE – Michael J. Whelan

Poetry exhibition  LANDSCAPES OF WAR & PEACE 1914-2014: WAR POETRY & PEACEKEEPING  by Michael J. Whelan will be on display at Castletymon Library Tallaght, County Dublin for the month of August 2015.

Echoes - Michael J. Whelan - RLBF 2014

Echoes – Michael J. Whelan – RLBF 2014

The exhibition is being run by South Dublin Libraries and is currently touring the county. The exhibition features many poems inspired by events during the poet’s tours of duty as an Irish United Nation’s Peacekeeper in South Lebanon and Kosovo in the 1990s and others inspired by the Great War (WWI) and material covering conflicts over the 20th Century.

The exhibition was designed by David Power of South Dublin Libraries/ Red Line Book Festival 2014 and Michael J. Whelan. The exhibition is currently running in Lucan Library till the end of July.

http://www.southdublinlibraries.ie/find-library/castletymon

No entry fee

All welcome

 

 

Flock of Gulls - Michael J. Whelan

Flock of Gulls – Michael J. Whelan

 

IRISH MARTYRS IN LEBANON

 

(After conversations with Lebanese exiles -)

 

 

Some words we don’t read them,

we taste them

deep into our souls,

some bring back our missing memories,

our loved ones to our hearts.

 

Many times I saw their wives and mothers

lay flowers in my country

near the places of their martyrdoms.

 

My heart is like a room

big enough to receive many visitors.

My heart is a wing

to fly your martyrs on,

to reach heaven

 

to make them meet at the river,

to hug and kiss their children,

to sacrifice and water their thirsts

of a land with pure blood

spilled far from home

 

flowing from peacekeepers

into the valleys of my country

where the cedar grows forever

and remembers everything.

 

Michael J. Whelan

Published in A NEW ULSTER magazine, issue 34, July 2015

Michael J. Whelan - poet, Tibnine Castle, South Lebanon 1994

Michael J. Whelan – poet, Tibnine Castle, South Lebanon 1994

 

GRAVEYARD SHIFT

 

On the rooftops in the night

under trembling flares

heavy raindrops curtain bomb

the ponchos of peacekeepers

on the graveyard shift,

standing fast like cold statues in the dark

scanning dead ground

through mist tinted glasses.

 

Michael J. Whelan

Published in A NEW ULSTER magazine, issue 34, July 2015, edited by Amos Grieg

 

Bunker S. Lebanon, 1994. Photo: Michael J. Whelan

Bunker S. Lebanon, 1994. Photo: Michael J. Whelan

TANK

 (Civilians move to shelter in U.N. bomb shelters)

 

Thick black smoke

splutters out above the compound,

the beast is moving, ready to fire,

we hear it cough before seeing it

and the clanking of a metal monster on tracks,

exhaust clouds follow along the hill’s horizon

poisoning the sky behind the perimeter wire.

We know where it is – what it’s thinking

long before its deafening report

screams back across the valley,

sending the shaken to the underground.

 

 Michael J. Whelan

Published in A NEW ULSTER magazine, issue 34, July 2015, edited by Amos Grieg

 

Early Bird minesweep Lebanon: Michael J. Whelan

Early Bird minesweep Lebanon: Michael J. Whelan

THE SNAKE ROAD

(Irish area of operations- south Lebanon 1990s)

 

It wound out like the long

wriggling body of a reptile, treacherous.

Most mornings it had to be swept for roadside bombs

by the Early Bird team, the snake could bite.

At dawn they would set out,

walking the length of the living thing

with electronic mine detecting gear, slowly,

the lead sweeper swinging the Valon

from left to right continuously,

like a doctor with a stethoscope

listening carefully on ear pieces for a change in tone.

Medics, bomb disposal and armed security elements

following at a safe distance

in case of booby-traps,

it happened many times,

all under the scornful guns of warring factions.

The only protection a blue flag

that didn’t always work.

 

Michael J. Whelan

Published in A NEW ULSTER magazine, issue 34, July 2015, edited by Amos Greig

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