by Mari McKee
Poem about celebrating the life of an Irishman following his death
|Death of an Irishman
Mournful notes from bagpipes
played by kilted men
all wearing the same tartan
of their clan
White cliffs, pastures of lavender heather,
fields of fragrant clover, and pure azure skies
frame the open grave
ready to receive the body
of their brother.
The beauty of his still youthful face,
accentuated with his tartan and sword
the brave kinsman is laid to rest
as each one lays a white marble rock
to forever mark his grave.
“May he be with the fairies and hunt dragons
with the leprechauns in the magical place
found beyond the rainbow”
is the eulogy and the bagpipes
play a soulful Gaelic hymn.
Bundles of heather are laid
atop the startling white of the marble
the sweet fragrance of lavender
envelops the mourners
in a comforting grace.
Because the miss him they openly weep,
as they leave the serenity of such beauty
traveling quietly back to their village
to where the next part of the funeral
takes place in the pub.
Tall tankards of Guinness are passed to all,
then raised high with their toasts
to their brother
as they celebrate his life on earth
and his journey to his after-life.
The fiddler stands as his fiddle
sings a joyful jig and their lively jumping
with intricate movements of feet
makes beautiful motions
of their dresses and kilts.
They continue to dance
and raise toasts the night through
because death is not the end of man’s journey
but is a part of continuous celebration