Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Junior Poetry Prize, 2012

Congratulations to Samuel Clarke, who has won this year's Junior Poetry Prize for the poem below, 'It is Time', which is seen through the eyes of Padraig Pearse, leader of the 1916 Rising (and headmaster of St Enda's School just down the road from the College).

It is Time


The soft, threaded light of morning                                                                                                   
seeps through the window’s rusty bars,
trickling down into the dampened darkness,                                                                     
and envelops its pale folds into the cell in which I lie.

The time I have so dreaded is approaching.

The cry of a twisting key,                                                                                                       
sounds from the cell’s door handle lock,                                                                                
and a screech shatters the peaceful silence,                                                                                   
as solemn faces pull back the whining door and beckon my exit.

Precious little time is rapidly slipping my grasp.

My hands now clasped in metal cuffs,                                                      
I trudge slowly down the sorrowful corridors,
and out into the dawn’s prevailing dazzle                                                                            
that casts shadows from Kilmainham’s high prison walls.

The ticking clock draws me closer still to the fate I am bound to face.

At the Courtyard’s far end,                                                                                                              
six green uniforms stand, with gleaming guns,                                                              
awaiting to part my lifeless body from my fearful soul,
that now shakes me viciously in agonising despair.

I have few seconds left.

Wrists wrapped to a wooden pole,                                                                                                     
my eyes turn to the crimson-lit sky,                                                                                    
and to the veils of light which spread their fan-like rays.
I witness the sunrise that has signalled my end.

It is time.

They concentrate their sombre gazes,
and point their rifles with steady stares.
"Lord Jesus Christ receive my soul",                                                                                                 
And a thunderous crack splits the air…

Time comes to a sudden halt.

Yet lifeless as I may be,                                                                                                            
though I will lie cold in a lonely grave,                                                                          
A pulse of pride still strongly beats,                                                                                                       
Through the man condemned in Ireland’s name.

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