Michael J Whelan – The Hero

Profile Michael Whelan Live Encounters Poetry & Writing April 2017Download PDF Here

The Hero, poems by Michael J Whelan

Michael J. Whelan is from South Dublin and is a member Irish Defence Forces in 1990, serving on tours of duty as a Peacekeeper in South Lebanon and Kosovo. He is a published historian and keeper/curator of the Irish Air Corps Military Museum Aviation Collection and holds an MA in Modern History from NUI Maynooth. He has lived in Tallaght with his family for more than thirty years. His poems have been published in France, Australia, Mexico, and the UK. Prizes for his writing include 2nd Place and two commendations in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Awards, 3rd Place in the Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards. He was selected to read at the Poetry Ireland Introductions series and his debut collection PEACEKEEPER was published by Doire Press in 2016. https://michaeljwhelan.wordpress.com/


You say I’m the hero.
I save you, saved your broken heart
but I am stilled,
eclipsed forever in a burst
of perfect colours,
a flash of brilliant light
where I am killed.
Ever waiting
in this living moment
I become the Universe
and all the world within.
I touch you
and I am saved again.

In memory of Irish peacekeepers
Killed  on Peacekeeping service in Lebanon


The peacekeeper,
flak-jacket buttoned to the neck,
blue helmet fastened tight
under the chin,
rifle slung across the chest,
muzzle pointing at the distant ground,
trigger finger tensed
along the trigger guard
switched to automatic.

Alone he stands there,
holding the road
in front of wire entanglements
and tank-stops
in the narrow chicane
of a sun trapped checkpoint,
left arm raised high,
the palm of his hand
facing the threat.

© Michael J Whelan

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