Marie Clifford, Glenageary, Dublin 2003
Photo by Brian Doyle





M J MacManus

Voice: Marie Clifford

Michael Joseph Macmanus (1888-1951), was born in Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim and was a freelance journalist on Fleet Street in the early nineteen hundreds. He returned to Ireland in 1916 and was literary editor of The Irish Press from 1931 to 1951. He was a friend and admirer of Sigerson's work and their friendship flows through these most original thoughts read beautifully by Marie.

I remember how his hand reached out for mine
When youth was a spancel tying me to the hills.
Tradition was a cool spring-well under hazels.
He bade me drink deep and listen
To the green branches growing.

I urged my shadow before me across furze-squared grasses,
And heard bog-water telling its amber beads over pebbles.
Knowing tomorrow I'd give him today's speckled wonders
I cherished the brown bird of contentment
By some travelling tinker's fire.

Now the hills wade through silence and bare the hob-corners
Where the old men thatched their dreams with adjectives.
Some day, maybe, on our bones they will build skyscrapers.
Still, green grow the restless rushes
In the meadows of the mind