Tommy Macham of The Clancy Brothers ((1933-2007)
A gravel voice roaring out irreverence
A ribald jest, paean to distilleries.
You’ve blessed for fifty years and more
Your listener friends from shore to shore
And homeward to the Irish Sea.
You’ve companioned multitudes throughout those years,
Including Sullivan and Kennedy and me.
But at your passing I’ll not be shedding tears
For that’s no proper way to mark
The roistering life you led.
On my stereo I’ll blast
“Isn’t it grand boys to be bloody well dead!”
Tommy, I trust it’s so
And as you rise and go,
I tip a beaker to the past.
You’ve made my way a lighter, jollier path to tread.
May you be in Heaven a full half hour
Before the Devil knows you’re dead!
Everyone can watch a boiling kettle’s lid
Note it’s rising, visualizing pressure pent within.
Then imagine lifting force
To drive a boat or iron horse.
Or operate a factory’s gearing
But to put the lid in place again,
Made ready for another stroke
Then go on driving mill or boat,
It’s no more fancy
To the memory of James Watt
Of crushed spearmint and Tennessee mash,
Bur d’cocoa, and dew-christened bramble roses
awash on sun-blushed breakers
troughing evenward to spangling silver.
A sea of youth’s remembrance,
sought yet in waxing age.
A first love’s perfume
the gentle caress -complaint of fabric melding with the flesh.
Literate conversation with unmet friends
through the lonely lassitude now wistfully recalled.
A voyaging on other oceans
beyond the earth itself
peering down crystal corridors tomorrow-ward,
to rive the comets,
to lasso-loop the sun’s wild bounty,
all brought full circle now in Dreams yet bright.,
each gold-lit note of summer’s rhapsody.