Here’s the birthday poem I was working on for John Hewitt when I broke my arm.
One island so many diversities,
Divided pasts and shared futures
Our hopes, dreams and fears
Are the same, silence our greatest enemy.
You saw the truth, who sculpted words,
Fought for workers liberties a social poet,
Attended Agnes street National School
The voice of the left unity your vision.
Preceded Heaney, Longley and Mahon,
Quiet when it called for it outspoken
When driven to defend social rights
Acknowledged your ancestral past.
Remembered by summer school,
Celebrated by arts and voice,
Weary workers rest in the pub
Which carries your name.