We gave them names


On roads between the tribal territories we would stop
to hide amongst the green of things,
some lads would smoke and some be silent.

We talked to horses and forgot our lives,
most often the stillness would calm us.
From hidden hillsides we’d watch our enemies move.

We gave the horses names and fed them apples,
they became our friends they listened to our confessions.
They were not aligned to flags or kerbstone colours.

The radio static broke the spell like lightening strikes,
the rains would wash us back to streets
where our calmness would evaporate to hate.

On the Derriaghy Road between the hell of sink estates
we harassed joyriders and freedom fighters,
terrorists and lovers too, the green and gold, red white and blue.

We gave them names and labels from folklore, rhymes and fables
just like the horses in the stables
we gave them names.

We fed their hungry bitter souls with reason and with cause,
we never thought we might be wrong
when kicking down their doors.

We gave them names in a language laced with spite
we cursed our enemies so, to make our cause seem right
We gave them names.

And when I hear those names again, spoken, spat and screamed
I think of friendly horses
and wish the rest was just a dream

© Wolfgar 2019

9 thoughts on “We gave them names

  1. Beautiful, David,

    This brings to mind something which I have thinking about for days. When we assign a name, or define a group or individual by a single word, all of their humanity, nuances and experience is stripped away. That person becomes a thing. And I have been wrestling with how I could put that thought into words – but I don’t need to now. Thank you for this poem, and thank you for sharing your experience.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Jon and Devon, I’ve been running some of those memories through my mind recently and have realised how the passing of time has enabled me to see things so much differently. Not to forget or change how things panned out but to see how foolish so much of what happened was, and how so much of it was imagined and manipulated. I love Ireland, all of it. I want to see its people prosper and be happy. I don’t much care for the politics and religion of it I just think its people deserve to live together. All that said there is not a single State in the world that does not exist without division. Thanks for reading folks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. True, poigniant and bare.
    A thought provoking piece which brought back so many memories and more importantly people. This was written in the same time i worked with you and others. I live here, i love here, i have hated here all those years ago, but Dave for me……Here is!

    Thanks brother…..Stay frosty

    Spud Tait

    Liked by 1 person

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