Day of Rest
On Sunday the gates
Of quiet open and the slow
Sluices allow the tide of things to go its different gaits;
And earth shows her other side.
There might be Mass
In the air so peacefully does a country move
Inwards to the bell, slowly to pass
Up, like a smoke sucked surely from above.
Never are colours
More coloured; into them the young drive bicycles;
But the old are content in their harbours
Of grass and the bright gusts that rise like angels.
Padraic Fallon from “The Poplar”
Padraic Fallon was born in Athenry in 1905 and spent his early childhood here. His father was a successful cattle jobber and the family also had an interest in the hotel and butchering business. Fallon later went to boarding school and the family moved to Dublin. He joined the Civil Service and spent periods in Cavan, Dublin and Wexford. He retired to Cornwall but later returned to Ireland.
References to many places associated with Padraic Fallon are to be found in his poetry.
He was also a playwright of considerable note, many of his works being written for radio. He died in 1974 and is buried at Kinsale in Co. Cork.
I have chosen ‘Day of Rest’ as a poem having as much relevance today as when it was written. Perhaps its message is even more urgent in these times of ‘not enough hours in the day’, a time of Stress Management Courses and other less desirable methods of relaxation. It shows the way of renewal of body and soul, so necessary to us, simply by taking (to use a modern word) ‘Time Out’.
Lady’s Day is just such a day – a day to reﬂect to reﬂect on the traditions associated with the visit to the Holy Well and a day to enjoy the camaraderie of friends and family.
Further reading: “Padraic Fallon – collected poems” published by Carcanet/Gallery Books. Edited by Brian Fallon.
“Erect me a Monument of Broken Wings” – an anthology of writings by and on Padraic Fallon, edited by Patrick O’Brien, published by Padraic Fallon Celebration Committee Athenry. 1992.
Written by Aideen Rynne
Published here 01 Nov 2022 and originally published 1995
Padraic Raftery, Farmer
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