I love the flags that pave the walk. I love the mud between, The funny figures drawn in chalk.
I love to hear the sound Of drays upon their round,Of horses and their clock-like walk. I love to watch the corner-people gawk And hear what underlies their idle talk.
I love to hear the music of the rain. I love to hear the sound Of yellow waters flushing in the main. I love the breaks betweenWhen little boys begin To sail their paper galleons in the drain. Grey clouds sail west and silver-tips remain. The street, thank God, is bright and clean again.
Here, within a single little street, Is everything that is, Of pomp and blessed poverty made sweet And all that is of love Of man and God above. Of happiness and sorrow and conceit, Of tragedy and death and bitter-sweet, Of hope, despair, illusion and defeat.
A golden mellow peace forever clings Along the little street. There are so very many lasting things Beyond the wall of strife In our beleaguered life. There are so many lovely songs to sing Of God and His eternal love that rings Of simple people and of simple things.
* From ‘The Street: Poems and Ballads’ by John B Keane [published by Mercier Press]
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved