The Pandemic Ballad of Limerick. A poem by Kieran Beville

The world as we knew it is no more.
No pubs, no pints, no fellowship in spliffs and joints.
No mass for the devout.
Holy God, they’re all locked out!
Or should I say, we’re all locked in,
stuck with our next-of-kin.
Though “stuck” may be an unkindly word.
Some mumble prayers to the Lord –
“Help me not to wring his neck,
or hit him with the frying pan.
I know dear God, he’s just a man!”
We miss the river and the steeples,
but most of all, we miss the people.
We’re longing for the ceoil and craic.
When the bars reopen we’ll be back.
Nancys, Dolans and O’ Dwyers
We’ll call the politicians liars.
In the Commercial, we might even dance
and if we’re lucky, find romance.
Up to Charlie Malone’s we’ll go
to beat out tunes, fast and slow.
The White House a favourite haunt
It’s where poets like to vaunt.
Yes, we remember better days,
but it won’t be like this always.
Painters, poets and musicians
have laboured under tough conditions
to paint, compose and to write
but the real heroes are physicians
and the nurses who fought the fight.
This latter group of angels need more than our praise
We must insist, yeah demand, that they get a raise!
It seems a dream that not long ago
this sporting city’s status quo
was Thomond Park and the Gaelic Grounds
Where we cheered and sneered and jumped around.
We will go to these arenas once again,
but just for now, we don’t know when.
We will toast to bright tomorrows
as we drown all our sorrows.
And celebrate our freedom as we stroll
on Cruises Street in the sun.
O’Connell Street will be our pleasure
and Catherine Street a treasure.
To saunter in the Milk Market again
That will surely end our pain.
To walk the three bridges, that’s the plan
And stroll along Clancy’s Strand.
To watch the ladies smile.
To walk another mile.
To meet and greet and have some fun.
To sip coffee with our friends.
Take our time and make amends
for the days we were cooped up.
We will even have a second cup.
To hug and hold and not let go
the ones we love – let it be so.
To greet the ones we once dismissed
and kiss the cheeks of girls we’ve missed.
Meeting up those we mingled with before –
Oh come the day when this is o’er.


Kieran Beville lives in Limerick and is the author of “Write Now – A Guide to Becoming a Writer” (2019, Limerick Writers’ Centre; “Fools Gold”, a collection of poetry (2019, Revival Press)and “Pulling Back the Clouds” a short biography of Mike Kelly, collector of the model, die-cast airplanes on permanent display at Shannon Airport (2020, LWC). He has numerous books and many articles published.

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