Download PDF Here 13th Anniversary
Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Two December 2022.
Field of Hope, poems by Katie Burke.
Field of hope*
Oh sweet majestic soldiers dazzling all that you meet.
How you make our hearts sing!
Enveloping us with your gleeful giddiness in your vast golden sea.
Towering over us, a lofty six feet tall & more.
Who would have known we’d see ourselves in your bright bold faces,
a shiny mirror for us all to behold.
No two the same but nevertheless standing tall, side by side,
bowing and bopping their heavy heads in sworn solidarity.
All the while knowing it was the same path that surely brought them
together by a sweet serendipity.
There was something in that air that day, a kind of magic meant to be.
A cosmic shift in thinking, for the first time seeing the wonders of tomorrow
that might well be.
One final glance over my shoulder as we depart,
to watch you smile your radiance out towards the glimmering sea.
Now we clutch our long stems in excited chatter of fruits
to be harvested in time, tenderly.
* dedicated to Geraldine Mullan and her beautiful family-John, Tomás and Amelia,
whom she lost in a tragic accident in Co. Donegal , Ireland during the Summer of 2020.
Along with family and friends, Geraldine planted a field full of sunflowers as a loving
tribute to the memory of her family and to mark the 2nd anniversary of their passing.
The benefit of hindsight
And it’s got to make you wonder,
Will we ever learn?
Will a Russian ruler one day speak of such regrets,
round tall tables in their finest with neighbours in their midst?
For now we vow a prayer of ‘Never again’ with the benefit of hindsight.
Never again! Amen! At least until the next time.
At home, we press onwards to Tomorrow,
forging ties and building bridges over tidal waters.
Wondering above all else, if that’s where our sorry song gladly ends.
Blessed are those splintered hands dear dad, bestowed with a grit and a glory
that hails from higher yonder.
Those restless hands of a third born, stretched wide with a coo and a yawn.
Hands, that once herded the flock and hammered the hay high, conceding only
then in heavy, heartened sigh.
Hands, that many a time delivered the prized penny with puffed out chest into
an-others, a faithful test.
Hands, having rung the last bell of play, from hence on became their working day.
These hands that bode the familiar farewell to toil the sites of London and
taxi the night away.
Hands that enterwined with anothers in a faithful loving vow, ready to welcome
a family now.
These hands that juggled so many balls in life, as much as in sports halls.
These hands that raised a pint goodbye to a Country that raised a man.
Hands that in early August led a flock of his own across waters to harvests of home.
These hands that carved unsung wonders from wood and always did the damn
best that they could.
Hands that of late, find fresh wonder crafting on a chopping board or swinging
a well worn club on a green.
These wizened hands that now cradle two sons of a new dawn, whose hands
out-stretch with a coo and a yawn.
Hands, oh blessed are we to know these hands.
© Katie Burke
Katie Burke is a Primary School Teacher living in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. She has a huge passion for the arts which led her to study ‘Speech and Drama’ teaching at the Royal Irish academy for Music in 2011. She has written poetry since her early teens but until now has kept all her writings private. She completed a six-week creative writing course in 2022, which ignited a hidden passion.