Lislea Church

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A hundred years I have stood

Looking out over those dark hills …

A hundred years I have seen them come

From child to man, down those stiffened slopes:

I have stretched my hand to grasp their fears

Soothed their sorrows, heard their grief

All their whispered words of hope, like silent encrustations –

Hang along my darkened walls.

For I am mother, seer and friend

And silent guardian of their fate,

My face turned towards the rising sun of time

And the growing prosperity of their race.

I note their rise. I mark their growth with pride.

But at my back the rolling years of pain are filed

That stretch in searing contour to a distant fast

For I am come of hunger, pain and great sacrifice,

Forcepted into being from famine’s womb.

The tortured seed Of countless generations gave me birth

Their faith, the cradle of my dreams.

Tonight, listen to my words

You who would be wise; mark my people

As they strove this barren land

Scratching dreams from broken hills

That stand in silent witness to their fate.

Mark them well as they struggle

Towards their distant hope – for they are you

Flung out along the quick of time – one century of pain removed.

Hugh Murphy

Nature confused

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Here we see the “Walkers Line” at the Sacred Heart/St Ronan’s Schools lined with the daffodils planted in memory of Mrs Goss – in full bloom, and it is still February.

My neighbour’s Camilla bush goes one better. Already it is shedding some of its blooms. Let’s hope we don’t now get a sharp frost to kill all these lovely blooms!

Backward, not Forward

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‘I began driving backwards two years ago’, the taxi driver explained, ‘when I found I could only engage reverse gear.  I soon realised I could drive just as well backwards as forwards.  I had my gear box altered so that the forward gears work in reverse.

Now I’ve developed a whole reverse philosophy of life!  You know you can improve a situation by going backwards.  It was at this point that I was contacted by politicians all over the world.  Tony Bliar is interested and of course, all the unionist politicians from Northern Ireland.  I am waiting for offers.’

Harpo Devi has a mission to promote peace between his own people of India and those of traditional enemy Pakistan, but he wants to contribute to global harmony.  He has reversed his taxi several hundred miles from his native Punjab across the Pakistani border.  He went on,

‘I can drive at speeds of up to 100 kph.  True, it’s dangerous and my passengers are sometimes nervous but I am confident.  I have had only one serious accident.  I have a severe backbone problem with always looking behind, and pains in my neck but I’m not giving up’.

Such dedication to a cause.  That’s what we’ve been missing!

Newry Journal